9:57 AM, 28th February 2023, About A year ago 5
The UK Government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme ‘is failing to deliver’ – and many landlords and agents are unaware of it.
The House of Lords’ Built Environment Committee Inquiry has found public awareness of low-carbon heating systems is very limited, and promotion of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme has been ‘inadequate’.
The scheme provides grants to cover part of the cost of replacing fossil fuel heating systems with landlords able to apply for £5,000 towards an air source heat pump, £6,000 towards a ground source heat pump, or £5,000 towards a biomass boiler.
In its evidence to the committee, Propertymark said that 48% of its members were unaware of the scheme’s existence.
Landlords and letting agents who were aware of the scheme felt the amount of funding available per house compared to the overall cost of retrofitting was too low.
Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns for Propertymark, said: “It’s not surprising that the House of Lords Built Environment Committee Inquiry has recognised many of the issues our members have highlighted, such as the upfront costs of installing heat-pumps and very low public awareness of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
“Upfront costs are too high for many households, even with the help of the grant, making it impossible for low-income households to benefit from the scheme.”
Installing heat pumps can be extremely expensive and difficult to install in some areas. Properties in coastal areas can be the most problematic as there is less room to retrofit flats this way and the salty air from the coast can cause erosion in heat pumps.
The committee’s recommendations include urging the government to provide greater clarity to professionals and consumers on practical options for low-carbon home heating through a consistent policy framework, public communications and householder advice.
Mr Douglas continued: “Agents, landlords and homeowners require significantly more information and financial support to cover heating upgrades and retrofitting costs, which are a significant barrier to improving energy efficiency.”
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