Calls to Bring Back the Boiler Scrappage Scheme

23rd Mar 2012

Boiler scrappage schemes are a great way to encourage homeowners to trade in their old boiler for a new energy efficient replacement. But whilst Scottish residents are able to benefit from such a scheme, energy customers in England and Wales are being overlooked.

Back in November, the Heating and Hot water Industry Council (HHIC) instigated a push within the industry, with calls for the government to relaunch the scheme. But any such efforts have so far fallen on deaf ears.

The Boiler Scrappage Scheme was a government funded scheme designed to support homeowners who wanted to replace their old and inefficient boilers. Introduced more than two years ago, the scheme saw vouchers given to householders, offering £400 towards the cost of a new boiler.

Spectacularly successful, it became a victim of its own success, to use a standard cliché, primarily because the government had only set aside a limited budget towards raising awareness of the need for people to replace their old boilers and think more about energy efficiency in their homes. Some 133,976 vouchers were allocated, representing a total of 118,249 boiler replacements and a considerable saving on carbon emissions was made. Then the money ran out, which brought an end to the scheme.

Domestic central heating boilers use a large amount of household energy. There are numerous estimates of just how much, but it is pretty accurate to say that over half of the energy we use in our homes is for heating and hot water. This meant that any government seriously committed to reducing the nation’s carbon emissions was going to have to deal with this problem, primarily by attempting to encourage householders to replace their old boilers. There were a few conditions attached for eligibility for the scheme. To begin with you had to have the least efficient boiler installed. Secondly, if you were under 60 the boiler had to be working, but if you were over 60 the boiler could either be working or defunct.

The scheme has been sadly missed in England and Wales, but has since been reintroduced in Scotland. This is because, according to the Energy Saving Trust, the Scottish Government has embarked on one of the most stringent carbon emission reduction targets in the world and the boiler scrappage scheme has been revived with the aid of £2 million worth of Scottish government funding. One of the main concerns of the Scottish government is the large amount of people living in fuel poverty, with a recent survey revealing  41 percent of householders in Dumfries and Galloway were classed as fuel poor.

If only the Westminster government were to follow their example.