In the UK, around 14% of carbon emissions come from heating our houses with gas. So as part of the journey to reach net zero by 2050, the government is launching a Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). The scheme will provide a grant towards the cost of installing a heat pump and combined with the recently announced cut to VAT on clean technologies, will incentivise more people to swap fossil fuels for renewable energy.  

Our report into how Britain can reach zero carbon, Renewable Nation, showed that by 2050 the majority of our homes and businesses could be heated using heat pumps, which use small amounts of electricity to create large amounts of heat. They can be more than three times more efficient than a traditional gas boiler, and when run with renewable electricity, produce no carbon emissions. 

 Just as with the reduction in cost of technologies such as solar panels, it’s anticipated that the increased demand for cleaner heating will soon bring down prices, until they cost the same to buy and run as gas boilers currently do. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme, and other measures such as the VAT cut for heat pumps announced in the 2022 Spring statement, will help accelerate this process and drive uptake. 

What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme? 

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a £450 million scheme offering grants of £5,000 towards the installation of air source heat pumps, and £6,000 towards ground source heat pumps.  

“Our new grants will help homeowners make the switch sooner, without costing them extra, so that going green is the better choice when their boiler needs an upgrade”  

Boris Johnson

The average cost of an air source heat pump is around £8,000-£10,000, so the grant will only cover part of the cost and homeowners will have to pay the remaining amount themselves. The grant towards air source heat pumps is proportionately higher in relation to the cost, as these heat pumps are more suitable for the majority of properties. 

The scheme is operated on a first-come, first-served basis and will be live for three years – with the intention of supporting roughly 90,000 homes to get heat pumps. Whilst no doubt a good start, Good Energy, along with our partners in the Electrify Heat campaign, are calling on the government to raise the ambition so we can reach the government’s target of 600,000 heat pump installations by 2028.  

How are the grants paid out? 

If you choose to get a heat pump, the first step is to contact the installer who then needs to apply to Ofgem on your behalf for a voucher for the cost of the grant. You will then receive an email, asking you to provide consent on the government website.

Once the installation has been completed, the installer will then contact Ofgem again to redeem the voucher. The redeemed vouchers are issued straight to the installer.  

Vouchers for air source heat pumps and biomass boilers are valid for three months, and ground source heat pump vouchers are valid for six months. 

Key dates  

1st April 2022 

This is the official start date of the scheme, and any eligible low-carbon heating systems that are commissioned on or after this date will be entitled to receive a grant.  

11th April 2022 

From this date installers can create an account with the scheme. Once installers have a verified account, they will not need to apply again.  

23rd May 2022 

Installers can apply for the grant vouchers from this date.  

Who is eligible for the scheme? 

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is ideal for homeowners in England and Wales who are looking to lower their carbon emissions and turn to more sustainable forms of heating. It will especially benefit people who live in well-insulated properties but may have old or inefficient boilers. 

The grant will be offered for air source or ground source heat pumps (and in some cases biomass boilers) with a capacity of up to 45kWh. Any systems commissioned after 1st April 2022 and fitted by MCS certified installers will be eligible.

How to get your home ready for a heat pump 

Another eligibility requirement for a heat pump is having a valid EPC certificate with no recommendations to install loft or cavity insulation. Exceptions may be made if the insulation is installed before the grant voucher is redeemed.  

Having a well-insulated home is important for maximising the efficiency of any heating system, as it reduces the amount of heat lost through the walls or the roof.  

How Caplor can help you 

We work with Caplor Energy who are an MCS certified installer and will apply for the grant on your behalf, so you don’t have the stress of paperwork or deadlines.  

As well as applying for the grant, Caplor will work with you to decide on the best heat pump system for your home.