Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS)
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme offers households £7,500 towards the installation of a renewable heating system under the £450 million scheme. This follows from the Government’s proposed target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, aiming the scheme at households both on and off the gas grid.
The Government will seek to work with industries to match the cost of heat pumps to fossil fuel boilers by 2030, to allow homeowners to make conscious decisions to switch to low carbon without the burden of a hefty price tag. The scheme is expected to help fund 90,000 homes install heat pumps – far fewer than the target of 600,000 a year as the Prime Minister announced in 2020.
The aim is for all newly installed heating systems to be low carbon by 2035, although families are reassured that they will not be forced to part with their existing fossil fuel boilers. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme will encourage households to go green and to contribute to a cleaner country but no restrictions or mandatory acts have been passed for existing heating systems. However, new build homes will have to have low-carbon heating installed by 2025 as a regulatory standard.
The options for low-carbon heating include Hydrogen, Local heat networks and Heat Pumps. Hydrogen could work similarly in existing boilers as it burns without producing carbon dioxide, but gas networks would need to be reconfigured to be Hydrogen appropriate. Local heat networks are largely used in Northern Europe, such as Scandinavia, where homes are connected to a network of underground hot water pipes, or by burning zero carbon fuels.
Heat Pumps work like reverse fridges; extracting either warmth from underground or air outside and converting it into heating for your home. This works when the compressor increases pressure in turn increasing the temperature of a refrigerant inside the system which is then transferred to the heating and hot-water circuits in your home.