The Boiler Upgrade Scheme – What installers need to know

Neil Hope, Head of Technical at NIBE Energy Systems, take a look at the upcoming Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), and how installers can prepare:

The Government’s new £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is now offering upfront capital grants to install heat pumps. Replacing the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (DRHI), the BUS will drive forward heat pump installations across the UK for the next three years. Whilst there has been some discontent from the industry in regard to the gap between the schemes with the voucher application opening on 23rd May 2022, homeowners and small businesses can access the BUS grant for installations completed from 1st April 2022, meaning minimal impact from a consumer perspective. Further to that end, the ability to commission a system, create an account and have the new system verified before the voucher application date should make applying for the vouchers smoother and more process efficient.

By shifting the focus away from the back payments of the DRHI, more households will be incentivised to make the move towards low carbon heating as those without the upfront capital to invest in a heat pump will more readily be able to afford the transition. This increased demand will bring its own rewards for your company – and for the wider Net Zero agenda.

The market must be prepared for the surge in interest in heat pumps that the scheme could bring. It falls upon the shoulders of installers and manufacturers alike to achieve wide-scale deployment, but there are some key things that you should be aware of before the BUS kicks into gear.

1. The scheme will allow 90,000 homes from across England and Wales to take advantage of the funding.

Over the next three years, the pot of £450m will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to customers looking to install technologies like air and ground source heat pumps.

2. Although the official launch date for voucher applications is the 23rd of May, any installation commissioned from the 1st of April can apply for funding.

Further guidance will be published ahead of the scheme’s launch on the week commencing 2nd May, with a webinar launch event focused on scheme application scheduled two weeks later on 16th May.

3. You can create an account on the BUS platform from 11th April and are strongly encouraged to do so.

Ofgem are also hosting an installer workshop on the same day, you can register here.

4. You will have to apply for the grant on behalf of your customer, a decision that aims to simplify the consumer journey.

Unlike the short-lived Green Homes Grant Scheme, it will not be the customer’s responsibility to secure a £5,000 voucher for an ASHP install, or a £6,000 voucher for a GSHP install. After you receive the voucher, you will have three months to install an air source heat pump or biomass boiler and six months for a ground source heat pump. After the installation is finished, you can redeem the voucher.

NIBE strongly supports any initiative that enables heat pumps to become more accessible for everyone, and recently welcomed the Chancellor’s promise of a green tax cut for energy efficiency solutions within the Spring Statement this March. VAT will be zero rated for energy saving materials including heat pumps for the next 5 years. You can be assured that our team will support you throughout the duration of the BUS scheme and any other future incentives, and our experts will be on hand to answer any of your questions. If you are an installer looking to receive training in heat pumps and other such low carbon technologies, I urge you to look at our NIBE Pro installer partnership scheme.

Installers can register their interest in NIBE Pro here: https://www.nibe.eu/en-gb/nibe-pro-installers/why-join-nibe-pro

For more information on the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, click here.