Boiler upgrade drive for rented homes is failing, warn Lords

A House of Lords committee says urgent changes are needed to improve take-up of the Government's low-carbon boiler initiative.

gas boiler heat pump landlords

The Government’s boiler upgrade scheme is a failure so far and needs urgent changes, a House of Lords committee has insisted.

A disappointing ‘poor take up of grants’ is undermining the scheme despite grants for both landlords and home owners, the lords say, and at this rate only half of the available cash will be spent.

Installers and manufacturers may also not be geared up to deliver the low-carbon initiative, the Environment and Climate Change Committee warns.

Therefore, the Government’s 2028 target of 600,000 installations per year is very unlikely to be met, the committee says in a letter sent to Lord Callanan, the minister for Energy Security and Net Zero.

Problems with the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), launched in May 2022, the committee says, include public awareness of low-carbon heating systems is very limited,

Upfront costs are too high for many households, even with the help of the grant.

While heat pump running costs are becoming competitive with gas boilers, progress is urgently needed through electricity market reform to ensure running costs are affordable.

Baroness Parminter, Chair, Environment and Climate Change Committee

Baroness Parminter, chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee, says: “The transition to low-carbon heat is fundamental in the path to Net Zero, given that 17% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from our homes.

It is vital they do so if we are going to meet our Net Zero ambitions.”

“The Government must quickly address the barriers we have identified to a successful take-up of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme in order to help grow the take up of low-carbon heating systems.

“It is vital they do so if we are going to meet our Net Zero ambitions.”

Nearly 10,000 vouchers have been issued worth a total value of £49.7 million, with 7,641 vouchers redeemed. £150 million has been allocated for each year of the scheme, and £450 million is available in total.

Net Zero target out of reach without financial help, say industry leaders

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