OFTEC, which represents the oil heating and cooking industry in Scotland and the rest of Great Britain and Ireland, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s introduction of the Home Energy Scotland Loan that is available to oil households.

The scheme is designed to help householders improve the efficiency of their home heating source, enable money-saving improvements for their properties and also protect the environment.

The Home Energy Scotland Loans Scheme is currently open for applicants, with a total of £34 million in funding available in interest-free loans for measures including the installation of high efficiency boilers.

The policy also sets aside selected funds in grants, giving homeowners the opportunity to receive up to 25% of their loan in cashback for a limited time only. There is available funding for up to £32,500 per home, both for owner occupiers and registered private sector landlords in Scotland.

The updated scheme has been created by combining two separate and existing programmes, the Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland Loans Scheme and the Home Energy Scotland Renewable Loan Scheme. It provides substantial savings in both the cost of upgrading a boiler and on-going fuel costs.

OFTEC Manager David Blevings said: “Approximately 135,000 households in Scotland use heating oil as their primary heating source and we estimate that over 60% are still being heated by older, inefficient boilers. The Home Energy Scotland Loan Scheme is an excellent initiative and this is great news for local householders as they will be able to reap the benefits and save money.

“Many houses in Scotland are heated by older, less modern boilers and this scheme will give the opportunity for people to install a new oil condensing boiler. These boilers improve energy efficiency by up to 25% and that can mean an annual saving of up to £273 on your oil bill every year thereafter. We are urging consumers to take advantage of the grants while they are still available to reduce energy costs and improve energy efficiency. Installers must be OFTEC registered which is good as it safeguards consumers.”