13 December 2016
Back in April 2016, we announced the encouraging news that the London Boiler Cashback Scheme, championed by then-Mayor Boris Johnson, had been launched.
Because the UK needs to reduce its carbon emissions by 20% by 2020, we hoped this scheme would be very positive and would encourage other authorities around the country to adopt a similar policy.
The basic premise was that if you lived in one of the 33 London boroughs and had a boiler operating at 70% efficiency or less, then you were entitled to a £400 voucher towards a new boiler.
£2.6 million was set aside for this project and it was hoped that Londoners would jump on this opportunity to upgrade their inefficient boilers at a discounted rate and benefit from a potential saving of £340 per year.
However, recent information has come to light that suggests the scheme has not been as successful as was first hoped with some suggesting that the qualifying criteria is too complicated and people simply aren't sure if they qualify or not.
As with most things, if something isn't easy to understand then people will take no action, which probably explains why the funding for this scheme has not yet been used up.
The main area for confusion is with people identifying whether their boilers are operating at less than 70% efficiency. These types of boiler are known as 'zombie' or G rated boilers. However, when the G rated boilers were manufactured and sold, the efficiency ratings system had not been introduced, so there is nothing on these old, inefficient boilers that would suggest to a homeowner that they are G rated.
Although a Gas Safe-registered installer can carry out the administrative process of getting and applying the £400 voucher, the homeowner obviously needs to instigate the process by actually realising that their boiler operates at less than 70%. As this is not clear, this would account for why many people have not yet taken advantage of the offer.
There have been calls to make the criteria for the scheme to be easier to understand by simply saying that the boiler must be of a certain age, have a pilot light or an open flue.
The complications and a lack of take up means that other areas around the country may be reluctant to open up boiler cashback or scrappage schemes themselves.
If you do think you have an old, inefficient boiler that is G rated, we encourage you to contact your local qualified heating engineer to come and take a look and they will be able to advise you further.
Full details on the London Boiler Cashback Scheme can be found at http://www.london.gov.uk/boilers
Article by Benjamin Clarke
• The London Boiler Cashback Scheme Launched 8th Apr 2016
• Encouraging the replacement of old, inefficient boilers 22nd Jun 2016
• Why it's time to upgrade your radiators if they're over 15 years old 13th Aug 2015