Wolseley Plumb Centre to refund all CHMM price increases

Wolseley Plumb Centre has pledged to refund the price increases on boilers that were caused as a result of the Clean Heat Market Mechanism (CHMM) introduction announcement.

The government confirmed plans for the Clean Heat Market Mechanism at the start of the year, which was due to launch in April 2024.

The aim of the CHMM is to “incentivise the UK’s heating industry to invest in making heat pumps an increasingly attractive and affordable choice for families and businesses.”

The controversial initiative was set to fine gas and oil boiler manufacturers if they do not sell a percentage of heat pumps compared to their boiler sales.

As a result, some boiler manufacturers put a levy on boiler sales to merchants, which made boiler prices more expensive for installers to buy.

In March 2024, the Government announced plans to adjust the Clean Heat Market Mechanism launch from 1 April 2024 to 1 April 2025, but many boilers sold at the start of the year, would have had the levy imposed.

Wolseley Plumb Centre has now announced plans to refund the difference, and it will be interesting to see if other merchants and suppliers follow suit.

In an open letter, John Hancock, Wolseley Group Chief Operating Officer said:

Dear Valued Customer

We are refunding all CHMM price increases.

We have been the UK’s plumbing and heating merchant of choice for generations of tradespeople, who have trusted our expertise and relied on us to do the right thing every day. We recently relaunched the Plumb Centre brand to celebrate that. There is lots of change going on in our industry – with the cost of living crisis and transition to net zero significantly impacting how we heat our homes – but we continue to be here to help you through.

At the end of last year, the government launched the Clean Heat Market Mechanism (“CHMM”). It intended to impose fines on boiler manufacturers not meeting certain targets for the sale of air source heat pumps, to support the move to low carbon heating in the UK. In anticipation of not meeting these fines, several manufacturers increased their prices from 1 January. This has been called a CHMM levy by some and reported as a “boiler tax” in the press. We have always resisted these increases or levies, and have always stated an intention to be transparent with you.

We are pleased to confirm that we have reversed these CHMM price increases. You can also expect to receive a refund for any CHMM related price increases on Worcester Bosch, Baxi, Vaillant and Ideal boilers incurred from 1 January. We are hopeful that this will enable you to recompense your customer, as the CHMM was never intended to impact consumers and we do not seek to profit from its application.

As the market leader, we have an important role to play in our transition to net zero, and will continue to engage with the government on any consultation in relation to home heating technology, installation, training or otherwise. We also recognise our responsibility to you, our customer, to ensure you are well represented and have what you need to run your business and service your customers at a fair price. It is something we have always taken pride in – always have, always will.

Yours faithfully
John Hancock
Chief Operating Officer
Wolseley Group