Affectionately dubbed Boris Boilers, a new £2.6m boiler scrappage scheme launched by the Mayor will offer up to 6,500 owner-occupiers and accredited private landlords £400 cash back for the replacement of a working but inefficient boiler (rated at 70% efficient or less) with a new ‘A-rated’ model or renewable heating system.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “This scheme will help London homes become more energy efficient and cut annual bills. As well as saving hard earned cash, upgrading an old boiler gives the environment a huge boost by lowering carbon emissions and making our air sweeter. I encourage everyone harbouring ancient boiler artifacts to sign up now and benefit from a new cost effective heating system.”
Tim Pollard, head of sustainability for Plumb Center, described the scheme as a welcome boost for the heating industry: “A mild winter and continuing economic uncertainty has led to many homeowners stalling on plans to update their heating systems and with the majority of boilers being manufactured in the UK, this has created an unwelcome situation throughout the supply chain. So although this is a London-centric scheme, the benefits of the investment will be felt far beyond the M25."
Paul Hardy, managing director for Baxi agreed, saying: “No doubt the scheme will be welcome news for Londoners, with some able to save as much as £340 a year, but with research showing that there are currently over 2.3m fuel poor homes in England, we hope to see other cities across the UK follow suit.”
Mr Hardy noted that, by replacing old and inefficient boilers with new low carbon heat technology or renewable energy systems, the scheme will not only help to reduce carbon emissions in London but, as the replacement must be installed by a Gas Safe registered installer, will also play a significant role in once again highlighting to consumers the importance of choosing an accredited installer for any gas boiler work.
Stewart Clements, director of HHIC said: “It is refreshing to see that Gas Safe Registered installers will be able to undertake the installation work without being forced to gain additional and costly accreditations. The Mayor and his team have clearly done their homework and I hope that MPs are watching closely so that once the benefits are clearly demonstrated it can be rolled out across their constituencies.”
As with a similar scheme in 2010, the Builders’ Merchant Federation (BMF) was involved in formulating the scheme and helped City Hall staff, along with other heating industry partners, to devise workable arrangements and decide on eligibility and practicalities.
Brett Amphlett, BMF policy and public affairs’ manager said: “We know from the Green Deal Cashback offer and Green Deal Home Improvement Fund that most of those vouchers went towards the cost of replacing boilers. It would be better to have a compelling vision to encourage residents to do the right thing to make homes warmer, cut bills and save money. However, in the absence of a proper, long-term national policy, it is not surprising that residents respond to a cash incentive”.