BUS: Time to put this ‘sick dog’ of a policy down 

Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), a leading energy trade group, has today called for the end of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), likening it to a sick dog that needs to be put down.   

EUA’s chief executive, Mike Foster, made this call following another poor take up of subsidised heat pumps in January and after parliament was told that any underspend on the scheme cannot be rolled forward to the following year but will instead be clawed back by the treasury. 

Mike Foster said: “This policy has always been flawed. Part subsidising a heat pump installation with a £5000 bung leaves the remaining costs, average of an extra £8000, to be met by the consumer. Only the well-off need apply, which in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis with fuel poverty levels rocketing, is entirely the wrong priority.” 

“With energy bills set to climb by another 20 per cent in April, pumping money into the hands of those who wish to go green, rather than helping those who are forced to choose between heating and eating, is immoral.” 

Subsidies like this drive up costs

“The idea that subsidising 30,000 UK heat pumps would drive down the cost of a global product, with 2 million sold across the EU last year, is frankly for the birds. Subsidies like this tend to drive up costs; it is technology that slashes them.” 

“The BUS is failing to meet its targets, falling way short. It should be paying out 2,500 vouchers a month; in January it paid out just 920. And because the money is tied up in the scheme, it can’t be used to fund sensible measures like insulation that permanently reduce bills and carbon emissions. Insulation can also be targeted at the least well-off, making it a fairer policy too.” 

“BUS is like a sick dog; it is best for everyone concerned if it is put down. And when they are ready to consider alternatives, we are more than happy to help devise a scheme that actually works and delivers lower bills and carbon emission reductions.”