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The £5,000 Boiler Upgrade Scheme – Is It Worth It?

Posted by Paul Tuson on January 5th , 2022


With a £3.9bn fund to reduce the carbon footprint of UK buildings, it’s no surprise that a large portion is being channelled into boiler upgrade incentives. One carrot that is being dangled in front of businesses and homeowners is a £5,000 grant, but what is it, and is it worth it?

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Why Does The Government Want To Phase Out Gas Boilers?

There are several reasons why gas boilers are being phased out. The first is their significant contribution to the burning of fossil fuels, which must be tackled if the Paris Agreement commitments are to be met. Additionally, reliance on gas pipelines leaves households and commercial sites vulnerable to price fluctuations, as has been experienced in the UK during the latter part of 2021. As such, antiquated technologies such as gas heating are being replaced by cleaner, safer, and more economically reliable alternatives. 


What Are The Alternatives?

As environmentally protective legislative changes are rolled out globally, the quest to find the ideal energy source is intensifying. Currently, heat pumps are one of the most promising options, especially for public and commercial buildings. Although heat pumps use electricity to power the motor, they are an efficient way of moving heat from a thermal source to another area. Heat pumps are also an established technology with a reputation for reliability. Manufacturers are experienced in their design, installation, and maintenance, making them a feasible alternative to gas boilers. The pumps themselves are more expensive to install than traditional boilers, which is why the government is offering up to £5,000 to cover the difference. 


What About The Costs of a Heat Pump?

The costs of running a heat pump are one of the most controversial elements of the strategy. Currently, electricity is subject to much higher levies than gas. As such, even though running a heat pump is more carbon efficient than using a traditional boiler, the costs are roughly the same. However, this is in part due to the slow uptake of the technology. The more companies that make the switch, the more competition will emerge and the lower the costs will become. Consequently, the government conceptualises the shift to heat pumps as a long-term plan, with costs due to plummet.  


Should I Make The Switch To a Heat Pump?

If your current boiler set-up is working perfectly, then no. The aim of this agenda is to replace systems at the point that they are due for an upgrade, and recycling serviceable boilers early is environmentally counterproductive. However, boilers in residential and commercial settings that are nearing the end of their working lives should now be replaced with heat pumps wherever possible. By 2025, this will become a legal requirement, so making the shift early is likely to save money in the long term. 


Find Out More

At Lowe & Oliver, we follow developments in the energy sector closely and recognise that the phase out of gas is going to be something that affects every household and business in the coming years. For advice and guidance about the most cost effective and sustainable option for you, please have a chat with one of our electrical contractors today.

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Topics: Building Maintenance

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