Londoners have been quick off the mark to take advantage of £400 off their new boiler installation. The London Boiler Cashback Scheme, launched just two weeks ago on 2 February, has received nearly 2,000 applications – and 800 people have completed already, helping hard-pressed homeowners to update their ageing heating appliances.
The ‘Boris Boilers’ London-wide scheme enables homeowners and accredited private residential landlords to get £400 cashback when they replace an old, inefficient boiler with a new model, or eligible low-carbon heating technology.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson says: “This scorching scheme will help 6,500 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 artefacts to sign up to my Boiler Cashback Scheme now and benefit from a brand new, cost-effective heating system.”
The £2.6 million scheme is being administered by the Energy Saving Trust, which managed the national boiler scrappage scheme in 2010. However, one major difference from the hugely successful 2010 plan is that only the homeowner or private landlord can apply for the £400 voucher: this means that the 6,500 vouchers that have been made available by the Greater London Authority go directly to applicants, and can’t be snapped up by big companies. Nor is the cashback scheme available to social landlords.
“We wanted a fair system; one that didn’t want to distort the market,” says James Hardy, the Greater London Authority’s Programme Manager – Energy Efficiency. “Delivery is steady, with about 100 applications being made each day, on average.”
More people have heard about the scheme from gas engineers than anywhere else, he adds.
The heating industry has been quick to praise the Boiler Cashback Scheme, with several manufacturers adding incentives of their own to encourage take-up.
Worcester Bosch has pledged an additional £100 off cashback to successful applicants when they fit one of its Greenstar models under the London scheme. The company’s head of external affairs Neil Schofield says: “We believe the London Boiler Cashback Scheme is such a good idea that we’ve decided to enhance the standard offer with an additional £100 cashback for every one of our boilers installed. As a manufacturer, it is vitally important that we do all we can to make simple and effective incentives work, and we hope to see as many London homeowners as possible take up the offer.”
Viessmann, too, is giving away a Vitotrol controller worth £190 with any Vitodens 100-W boiler sold under the scheme. Marketing director Darren McMahon says: “The London Scrappage Scheme is a fantastic way to encourage an overhaul of London’s outdated boiler stock that will, through the installation of modern, energy-efficient boilers, make a real impact on the capital’s carbon footprint.
Vaillant commercial director Gregg Cole says: “We are supporting our loyal Advance installers with marketing materials that can be used to explain this incentive quickly and easily to homeowners.”
British Gas, meanwhile, is offering £400 off for homeowners who trade in their old boiler until 31 March 2016.