Propertymark cold shoulders government’s boiler upgrade scheme

The UK Government’s three-year Boiler Upgrade Scheme began on 1st April, offering £5,000 grants to property owners in England and Wales towards the cost of an air source heat pump, £6,000 for a ground source heat pump, and £5,000 for a biomass boiler for properties in rural locations and those not connected to the gas grid.

The scheme is being introduced alongside the new 0% VAT rate on selected energy efficiency materials and grants available to low-income households through some local authorities.

But Propertymark says that a national retrofitting programme backed up by longer-term funding is needed to drive forward plans to make UK homes more energy efficient.

Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns for Propertymark, said:

“The UK’s housing stock is amongst the least energy efficient in Europe so the challenge to retrofit is huge.

“Pockets of funding are starting to emerge but are a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed.

“The property sector needs a national retrofitting programme that’s linked to realistic and achievable targets and dedicated, long-term grants that take into account the age, condition, and size of properties.

“Unless landlords and homeowners are given sustained financial incentives, it is unlikely any real progress will be made in helping them to cut carbon emissions and reduce energy bills.”


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  1. undercover agent

    I’ve never had one myself, but I’ve heard bad things from people who have had, or still have heat pumps. From fans that eventually become noisy, to the efficiency saving not being what was hoped for. I would recommend that anyone considering a heat pump do their own research and not assume that the government grant is in any way an endorsement from a suitably qualified person on the suitability of heat pumps.

  2. northernlandlord

    Heat pumps run on electricity. All the time that electricity is many times the cost of gas they will never be cost effective especially as the maximum hot water (and radiator) temperature you can get is around 45C so you need huge radiators and super insulation to get any benefit (or you need to convert to under floor heating) and you will need an immersion heater to top up the hot water temperature to a more reasonable 55C or so.
     As for the Government offering financial incentives this will never happen, the Government cannot afford to upgrade everybody.  I see Octopus energy is to start dishing out electric blankets to hard up customers. Perhaps Michelin Man style thermal plug in suits will be the answer. 100W is more than enough to keep an insulated person warm for pennies an hour. Perhaps you could have a battery pack so you could temporarily unplug yourself to make a cup of tea or go to the loo (beware of short circuits)!

    1. undercover agent

      I think Solar Panels are starting to make sense now. Apparently they take 16 years to pay back in the UK, which isn’t a terrible ROI, but Heat Pumps don’t seem to be there yet, and might never be.
      I wonder if, instead of the makers of Heat Pumps learning to make a better product, it was just easier for them to learn how to lobby government?
      Counterintuitively; grants can hold back an industry, as the parameters of the grant can stifle creativity and invention, or prop up bad companies at the expense of better ones. Unfortunately it’s hard to get people to campaign for “No more Grants”   


      1. Otro

        The fact that many solar panel makes leave a property unmortgageable is unfortunately a terrible ROI.


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