New £2.6m ‘Boris Boilers’ Cashback Scheme to help London homes reduce energy bills

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson today launched London’s first Boiler Cashback Scheme, which will offer £400 to help home owners and landlords replace their old boilers with new high energy efficient models.

Heating homes accounts for more than half of what the average household spends on energy bills every year and thousands of Londoners will be eligible for the new replacement boilers, which will provide savings of around £340 on annual bills.

Old, inefficient boilers can emit high levels of carbon emissions and waste energy resulting in higher bills. Each new boiler replacement through the Cashback Scheme will save around 1.5 tonnes of carbon each year – equivalent to the emissions from a return flight from London to San Francisco.

To qualify for the scheme boilers must be the main source of heating in the house, in full working order and running at 70 per cent or less efficiency.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “This scorching scheme will help 6,500 London homes become more energy efficient and cut annual bills. As well as saving hard earned cash, upgrading an old boiler gives the environment a huge boost by lowering carbon emissions and making our air sweeter. I encourage everyone harbouring ancient boiler artefacts to sign up to my Boiler Cashback Scheme now and benefit from a brand new cost effective heating system.”

The London Boiler Cashback Scheme has support from independent charity, National Energy Action, which seeks to help those who are less able to heat their homes, working with central and local government, housing providers, consumer groups and voluntary organisations.

Jenny Saunders OBE, Chief Executive of charity National Energy Action (NEA) said: “We welcome the Mayor’s much needed investment in domestic energy efficiency. Replacing an old and inefficient boiler can reduce the cost of keeping warm and in some instances the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. I hope many Londoners will be able to benefit from the scheme, especially those in the private rented sector.”

The scheme also has the full support of the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC), a member organisation committed to effectively driving, supporting and promoting the sustained growth of the UK domestic heating and hot water industry.

Stewart Clements, Director of HHIC said: “This is a great scheme that will benefit thousands of home owners. These inefficient boilers use more energy, creating more carbon emissions and are more expensive to run than their modern day counterparts. The Mayor and his team have clearly done their homework and are pulling out all of the stops to deliver a first class programme. I hope that MPs are watching closely so that once the benefits are clearly demonstrated it can be rolled out across their constituencies.”

Home owners and London Rental Standard-accredited private landlords with qualifying boilers are being urged to seek at least three quotes from accredited installers at the earliest opportunity. The applicant can then complete an online application form in order to receive the cashback voucher.

Vouchers will be valid for 12 weeks and installation work needs to be completed in this time in order to qualify for the cashback. Once the new A rated boiler has been installed, the voucher must be sent back along with the invoice no later than ten working days after the voucher expiry date to receive the £400.

A spokesperson for the UK’s leading manufacturer of heating and hot water technologies has praised the launch of the London Boiler Cashback Scheme, which offers £400 cash back for replacing an inefficient boiler with a newer, cleaner model.

In line with plans to reduce emissions in the capital by 60 per cent before 2025, the scheme from the Greater London Authority aims to encourage the city’s homeowners and private landlords to upgrade their heating systems by installing a new 90% efficient boiler or other low carbon solution.

With the potential to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by up to 9,750 tonnes, and potential savings of around £340 a year achievable for those investing in a high efficiency system, Neil Schofield, Head of External Affairs at Worcester, Bosch Group believes this is a scheme the industry has been crying out for.

He commented: “It is extremely encouraging to see that boiler scrappage is back on the agenda. Where previous industry incentives have involved too much red tape, the London Boiler Cashback Scheme does away with the complications and makes things as simple as possible for both the installer and the householder.

“This is a simple policy with clear benefits for everyone involved, and the Greater London Authority should be praised for adopting a common sense approach to heating efficiency.”

Such was the success of the Government’s previous boiler scrappage scheme, run by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) in 2010, Neil hopes that a positive reaction will even lead to an extension of the scheme beyond the country’s capital.

Following the launch of the London Boiler Cashback Scheme, Worcester, Bosch Group has pledged an additional £100 cash-back to the successful recipients of the incentive’s £400 allowance when they elect to replace their inefficient boiler with one of its high-efficiency Greenstar models.

Worcester’s pledge means those opting to install a brand new Greenstar boiler can benefit from up to £500 cash-back on top of the efficiency gains and enhanced heating and hot water performance offered by a brand new model.

Neil Schofield, Head of External Affairs at Worcester, Bosch Group said: “We believe the London Boiler Cashback Scheme is such a good idea that we’ve decided to enhance the standard offer with an additional £100 cash-back for every one of our boilers installed. As a manufacturer, it is vitally important that we do all we can to make simple and effective incentives work, and we hope to see as many London homeowners as possible take up the offer.”

Plumb Center, the UK’s leading supplier of plumbing and heating products, also welcomed the launch of the London Boiler Cashback Scheme, announced today by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.

Tim Pollard, Head of Sustainability at Plumb Center, which – with 49 branches within the M25 – is the largest distributor of heating products in London, said: “Today’s announcement is good news for London’s homeowners and private landlords. Boilers account for over half of the average household’s annual energy spend and four-fifths of a home’s carbon emissions, so an efficient boiler makes a big difference. This cashback scheme offers homeowners the opportunity to claim back around 20% of the install cost so presents a very appealing proposition.”

“Previous scrappage schemes have proved to stimulate action and we have no doubt this initiative will do likewise. Our branches are already prepared for the spike in demand with the majority of boiler brands and models in stock now for immediate collection, and our branch teams are ready to advise installers on how they can help their domestic customers to take advantage of the scheme.

“This scheme is also a welcome boost for the heating industry. A mild winter and continuing economic uncertainty has led to many homeowners stalling on plans to update their heating systems and with the majority of boilers being manufactured in the UK, this has created an unwelcome situation throughout the supply chain. So although a London-centric scheme, the benefits of the GLA’s investment will be felt far beyond the M25.”

OFTEC warmly welcomes the eight week scheme which will provide a £400 cash back subsidy to households and landlords who upgrade a standard 70% efficiency oil or gas boiler to an A rated 90% efficiency model.

OFTEC has long championed the idea of boiler scrappage which can help the average three bedroom home using oil reduce fuel consumption by 23% (-528 litres p.a.) and cut CO2 emissions by 1,629kg p.a.

With an estimated 600,000 older standard efficiency oil boilers still in use across the UK, in addition to millions of low efficiency gas boilers, the potential for carbon savings via this simple, affordable route is huge.

Jeremy Hawksley, OFTEC director general, said: “The introduction of a boiler scrappage scheme in Greater London which includes oil is to be celebrated. It demonstrates what we have been saying all along – that boiler scrappage is an ideal way to help UK households reduce carbon emissions from heating in a practical, affordable way.

“With an estimated 4.5 million UK homes still classed as fuel poor, and cost remaining a major motivator for most consumers, our country urgently needs carbon reduction schemes that don’t cost the earth and actually work.”

Similar boiler scrappage schemes have already been tried and tested. In Great Britain 120,000 old, inefficient boilers were replaced in 2010 and, in Northern Ireland, 15,540 oil boilers were upgraded between April 2012 and September 2015. Both schemes had positive effects on the environment, in terms of reduced carbon emissions, and on fuel bills.

Around 12,700 households in Greater London currently use oil for heating and an estimated 60% of these still have standard efficiency boilers in need of replacement. As a predominately urban area, Greater London has one of the lowest percentages of oil households in the country. But if the scrappage scheme were to be extended to help the rest of the UK’s 1.4 million oil using households, the resulting carbon savings would be much higher.

Hawksley added: “A simple, UK-wide boiler scrappage scheme is a realistic to carbon reduction which appeals to the majority of homeowners. If the Government can achieve mass consumer support, the fall in greenhouse gas emissions from heating would be enormous.”