Posted: 25 September, 2023. Written by Virginia Graham
Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister, has announced that the grants available under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) will increase to £7,500 from 23 October. The increased grants will be available for air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps.
RECC welcomes the added incentive the increased grants will provide for homeowners who wish to replace their existing boilers with heat pumps.
However, RECC regrets that grants available for biomass boilers, available for off-grid properties for which heat pumps are unsuited, will remain at £5,000. RECC considers that they should have been increased in line with those for heat pumps.
RECC also considers that Government should have announced stricter conditions for energy efficiency measures in homes at the same time. Currently homeowners are obliged to install cavity wall and loft insulation, if these are specified on the Energy Performance Certificate, but they are not obliged to install solid wall insulation. This means that heat pumps will not operate optimally in older, less insulated properties.
Virginia Graham, RECC Chief Executive, said today:
"Homeowners tell us that they find the cost of installing a heat pump daunting, even with a grant. If Government is serious about making the change from gas boilers to heat pumps it is essential that they make it as easy as possible for homeowners. We welcome the increased level of grants availlable. But we call on Government to ensure that properties are also fully insulated so that heat pumps are as effective as possible.
“RECC calls on Government to ensure that consumer protection standards are as robust as possible in the sector. It is essential that homeowners are not pressurised into making an unsuitable purchase or misled as to the likely running costs and performance of the heat pump or biomass boiler they wish to install. Only by ensuring that installers are members of an approved Consumer Code will this protection for homeowners be effective.”