Ministers today added £1.5 billion to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), promoting electric pumps as gas’ low carbon replacements for warmth.
In helping homes replace gas heating with electric devices, the government says boosting the BUS grant to £7,500 over the summer has led to a 57% rise in BUS applications. Today’s moves are intended to accelerate that drive still further.
From green devices standards body the MCS Foundation, the response was positive. Campaigns manager Dr Richard Hauxwell-Baldwin said; “This additional funding is hugely welcome, and follows our campaign to get more government support for the energy transition.
“Heat pumps are the only viable option for decarbonising home heating at scale“, the MCS spokesman asserted. “£1.5bn more announced today will fund an additional 200,000 heat pump installations over four years”.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt claimed in last month’s Autumn Statement that Conservatives are supporting Britain’s worst insulated homes with support measures totalling £ 6 billion.
Around 200,000 poorer households will benefit most, D-ESNZ claimed today, among a wider one million homes set to share the ministry’s claimed total investment.
Besides £1.5 billion more for boiler scrappage, the ministry’s breakdown includes the following sums for helping homes and businesses:
- £1.25 billion more for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, supporting retrofitted insulation in 140,000 social homes
- granting £500 million to a new local authority retrofit scheme, allocated to support up to 60,000 low-income and cold homes, including those off the gas grid,
- £485 million added to the Green Heat Network Fund, allocated to help 60,000 homes and buildings tap into affordable, low carbon heating through new heat networks
- allocating £45 million to the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme, upping the performance of around 100 existing heat networks
- £225 million more for the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund
- Launching in 2025 a new £400 million energy efficiency grant targetting better insulation
Hunt commented today: “Investing in energy efficiency combined with energy security is the only way to stop ourselves being at the mercy of international gas prices, one of the main drivers of inflation”.
Energy secretary Claire Coutinho echoed the Chancellor. “Cutting energy bills is my top priority. Today’s funding will help those who are most in need and keep around a million more families warm during winter.
“Everyone deserves to live in a warm, energy efficient home. We have already made excellent progress with nearly 50% of properties in England now having an Energy Performance Certificate of C – up from just 14% in 2010.
“This funding will help us go even further and improve 200,000 cold, low income and social homes”.
Mark Sommerfeld, the REA’s Deputy Director of policy welcomed more BUS funding.
“Since the grant level was raised this year, as called for by the REA, it is positive that the scheme has become a more attractive offer that actively enables households to invest in heat pumps, helping to decarbonise their properties. This will drive up deployment rates, which remain well behind what is needed to keep the UK aligned to heat decarbonisation targets.