Boiler Upgrade Scheme: how does it work?

What is it?
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is the government’s latest incentive to encourage homeowners to fit low-carbon heating systems such as heat pumps. It’s a grant payable in England and Wales for installations in domestic and some non-domestic properties, targeting up to 90,000 homes over three years.

The scheme, worth £450 million, is administered by Ofgem and is due to run until 2025. Low-carbon heating systems commissioned on or after 1 April 2022 are eligible, subject to the conditions below. Voucher applications open on 23 May 2022 but installers can open an account with Ofgem now.

Note: installers have to apply for the grant on behalf of the customer; your customer can’t apply for it.

How much?
• £5,000 off the supply and installation cost of an air source heat pump
• £5,000 off the supply and installation cost of a biomass boiler*
• £6,000 off the supply and installation cost of a ground source heat pump.
*Only in properties not currently connected to the gas grid.

What is eligible?
• Homes and small non-domestic properties in England and Wales are eligible. The maximum installation capacity is up to 45kW and with a minimum CoP of 2.8
• The low-carbon heating system must fully replace an existing fossil fuel system such as oil, gas or direct electric
• The new installation must meet the property’s full heating and hot water requirements
• Installed products must meet approved standards
• The property must have a valid EPC with no outstanding recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation, unless it is exempt*
• The commissioning date must be on or after 1 April 2022.
*Applications may be made as long as insulation is installed before the voucher is redeemed.

What is not eligible?
• Social housing and new-build properties, except for self-build
• Hybrid heating systems
• Biomass boilers where the property is already connected to the gas grid
• Replacing an existing low-carbon heating system
• Property that has received funding previously for RHI, Green Homes Grant or any other government subsidy for low-carbon heating.

What should gas engineers do?
Installer must create a BUS account with Ofgem, which will verify their ID and eligibility
• Installer must receive instructions from the homeowner to carry out the installation and apply for the grant
• Apply for the voucher, including information about the type of low-carbon heating system and the customer’s contact details
• Once Ofgem has assessed the application and contacted the homeowner to confirm their consent, a voucher is issued to the installer
• When the installation is complete, installers must provide evidence of the installation to Ofgem in order for Ofgem to assess the redemption voucher
• Ofgem will pay the grant to the installer within a week of notification that the application has been successful.

How is the grant paid?
When quoting for the work, the installer must give the homeowner the discounted cost at quote stage, and will need to provide details of their quotation to Ofgem. Ofgem will then seek consent to the application directly from the property owner, who will be shown details of the quote submitted to Ofgem.

The BUS voucher application and redemption application must be made by the installer, and the installer will be reimbursed. Ofgem will not make payments directly to property owners.

Additional requirements
• Installers must be both MCS certified and a member of a Consumer Code
• Installers must provide evidence of MCS certification opening their Ofgem account and submit MCS certificates when the voucher is redeemed
• Installers must keep all information for six years.

• Find an MCS-certified installer
• Agree a quote
• Confirm that the installer is working on their behalf when contacted by Ofgem.

Ofgem webinar offers extra BUS guidance
Ofgem is hosting an online event to provide guidance to heating engineers on the Boiler Upgrade Scheme as well as an overview of the voucher and application process.

The event takes place at 10.00am on 19 May 2022. It will also include a question-and-answer session, information about Ofgem’s audit and compliance approach, and an address by BEIS minister Lord Callanan.

The free event is open to gas engineers and other industry stakeholders. You can register here.

Ofgem has also published further guidance for installers here.

You can find out more from Ofgem here.


Related Articles