The old boiler “scrappage” scheme unfolds

If you have an old gas boiler one of the very oldest you may benefit from a new boiler “scrappage” scheme launched yesterday, which starts on 18th January. The scheme allows you to claim £400 rebate off the price of a new boiler installation from the government. There are a number of conditions that you must satisfy first:-

  1. The boiler must have G rating. This means that it is likely to be more than 15 years old if it is a gas boiler or more than 25 years old if it is oil fired boiler.
  2. You apply to the Energy Savings Trust BEFORE you sign any installation contract, providing them with the quote you have obtained and filling out a detailed form.
  3. The EST will send you a voucher for £400.
  4. You have the work done and pay the installer in full.
  5. You send the EST the documents proving the work has been done and the voucher.
  6. Five or so weeks later the EST send you £400.
  7. You can apply if you are a householder or a landlord.
  8. If you are under 60 years old you can only apply (for a reason that i cannot quite fathom) if you can prove your existing boiler has not broken down and is in working order.

There are some three and a half million homes with G rated boilers but there is only enough money in the scheme for 125,000 rebates – £50 million.

The scheme is being heralded as costing the Government £50 million but in truth it will hardly cost a fraction of that sum. The average boiler cost of replacement (if you buy a quality long lasting and efficient product) will be around £4,000, because it is likely that in most places you will be advised to replace your hot water cylinder as well. The value added tax on a bill of around £4,000 will be more than the amount that the Government has “given” you.

Do not go for combi boilers; they are always less efficient that system condensing boilers and in the long run will cost you more energy.

The Government expects that the average saving per new installation will be around 1.15 tonnes a year; I think that figure is on the optimistic side, but nevertheless there will be a good carbon savings over the lifetime of the boiler.

Go for a boiler with a very long guarantee; you need the boiler to be not only efficient but long lasting. There are unlikely to be any significant improvements in boiler technology, now condensing boilers have been introduced, so long lasting with a long guarantee and easy maintenance should be your motto. It helps if you source an installer that is used to installing different brands of boiler, so you can benefit from his or her experience, rather than going for your energy supplier’s proffered option. Go for the very best boiler you can afford.

If you are replacing your boiler and cylinder it is also a good time to fit a solar water heating system; the fitting costs will be less and you will benefit from combined financial and carbon savings that are very worthwhile, as well as the additional £400 solar system grant.