With the boiler scrappage scheme closed, can the Affordable Warmth Grant scheme be an alternative?

The boiler scrappage scheme encouraged people to upgrade to more efficient boilers by offering £400 towards the cost of a new boiler. We look at the closure of the scheme and the help that’s now available to households needing new boilers.

What was the boiler scrappage scheme?

The boiler scrappage scheme was launched by the government in 2010 to encourage households with old, inefficient boilers to upgrade to newer models. A £400 discount was offered to people who had a boiler that was rated G on the energy efficiency scale.

Homeowners and private tenants who fulfilled the criteria could apply to the Energy Saving Trust for a rebate in the form of a voucher, which they could use against the cost of a new A-rated gas, oil or LPG boiler. Householders had to employ a qualified gas fitter to carry out the work, so the boiler scrappage scheme provided potential additional work for gas fitters.

The end of the boiler scrappage scheme

Only a limited number of vouchers were available under the 2010 boiler scrappage scheme, and they were all claimed after a few months.

Once all 125,000 vouchers were claimed, the scheme effectively ended, although anyone who had received a voucher during that period could still use it.

The Affordable Warmth Scheme

Although the boiler scrappage scheme has now ended, some households are still eligible for financial help to replace their boilers. If you work in the gas fitting industry, it’s helpful to know about this so that you can advise your customers.

The Affordable Warmth Obligation is part of the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO). It legally obliges large energy companies to help families on low incomes make their homes more energy efficient by providing funding for measures like home insulation and boiler replacement. The scheme has now been extended to September 2018.

Do I qualify for the Affordable Warmth Scheme?

To qualify, tenants and homeowners need to meet certain conditions, such as receiving a benefit like pension credit or child tax credit, and having a household income below £20,000. Those who don’t own their home need to get permission from their landlord.

Households also need to have a boiler with an efficiency of under 86 per cent, meaning it would be rated between C and G on the efficiency scale. Boilers that are more than five years old tend to fall in this range. Boilers with A and B ratings may also qualify for replacement under ECO if they have a serious fault.

All the big British energy suppliers are involved in this scheme, including British Gas, EDF Energy and Scottish Power. Eligible households can get a grant that can cover a large chunk of the cost of boiler replacement, or the entire cost.

You can find out whether you’re eligible for the affordable warmth scheme at affordablewarmthgrants.co.uk

Have any of the government’s energy schemes brought more customers to your gas fitting business? Tell us in the comments.

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