Boiler Upgrade Scheme – It’s time to commit
23rd November 2022
The last time I wrote about the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) in August, I looked back over the scheme’s slow start in its first three months and shared my hopes for a bigger commitment in the future.
At the time, £4.5 million in grants had been paid to installers of the £150 million set aside for this year. The paper-based application form was placing a big administrative burden on installers, and the scheme was subject to politics, with both Prime Ministerial candidates (at the time) declaring their intention to redivert BUS funding to other energy efficiency measures.
Despite that initial uncertainty, the number of heat pumps installed under the BUS has consistently increased month-on-month. As the first six months of the scheme draw to a close, Ofgem has published the latest monthly stats up until the end of October. These figures show that the number of applications has almost tripled since the end of July.
According to the latest Ofgem report, there have been 8,904 applications, 6,755 vouchers issued, and 4,097 vouchers redeemed. That means just shy of £34 million worth of vouchers have been issued in total and more than £20 million in grants has already landed in bank accounts.
In last week’s Autumn Statement, the Chancellor stated that ’cheap, low carbon, reliable energy must sit at the heart of any modern economy’. In doing so, he underpinned the need to act radically to ensure the UK’s energy independence. The Treasury is now in the process of assembling an Energy Efficiency Taskforce to oversee the allocation of energy funding. It is promising to see that the Government has doubled down on its commitment to clean, green energy and heating.
A simple online application
Next week, Ofgem will launch its long-awaited online portal providing quick and easy BUS voucher application, alongside a dashboard to that will enable contractors to track the progress of applications. This tool should remove the barrier which the current, paper-based application process causes for smaller installers who don’t have dedicated administrative support.
With the Government seemingly reaffirming its commitment to the BUS and the process becoming faster and simpler for installers, now is the right time to invest our collective energies in supporting the scheme.
A committed Government, a contractor base supported by the scheme administrator and consumers with an easy route to finding the installers they need will be the three keys to unlock the success of the BUS.
Here at MCS, we will be updating our online Find a Contractor tool to allow homeowners to identify contractors registered for the BUS in a single click. We will provide more details on this soon.
Remember: contractors that wish to submit applications for BUS grants need to register with Ofgem. You can find more information and be the first to learn about the Ofgem portal when it launches on the MCS website: mcscertified.com/boiler-upgrade-scheme/