Trade in your old boiler

Last updated: Feb 15th, 2010
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The government says 44% of vouchers for the boiler scrappage scheme have been claimed, meaning some 70,000 people could still take advantage of this £400 discount.

The new boiler scrappage scheme was launched in January, aimed at helping 125,000 households trade in their old boilers in exchange for a £400 discount off a new model.

The purpose of the scheme, which was announced in the pre-Budget report in December, is to reduce CO2 emissions and help households cut their energy bills by around £235 a year.

There are currently around three-and-a-half million homes in England with the very least efficient type of boiler (G-rated or worse), according to the Energy Saving Trust.

Eligible households will be able to upgrade to a high efficiency A-rated boiler, or renewable heating technology.

British Gas has already announced that it intends to match the £400 discount – meaning customers can claim £800 back once they’ve installed their new boiler.

Do I qualify?

The scheme is available to households with a working G-rated boiler or worse. If your boiler is gas-fired and more than 15 years old, or it has a permanent pilot light, then it is likely to be G-rated. Oil-fired boilers more than 25 years old are also likely to be eligible.

Alternatively you can ask your nominated installer what your boiler’s rating is, or check the model on the Energy Saving Trust website.

Your boiler must be in working order, and be the main boiler used to heat your home. Only householders and landlords who privately own and rent dwellings in England are eligible to apply for the discount. Households in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are not eligible.

How to apply

If you are eligible, then the next step is to get a quote for a new boiler from a qualified installer. The installer must be registered with a competent person's scheme (such as GasSafe or OFTEC), and qualified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.

You can only receive a discount against a boiler that is A-rated, or equivalent gas, oil or LPG boilers; boilers with a Passive Flue Heat Recovery Device; Micro CHP units; or Microgeneration Certification Scheme-registered biomass boilers and heat pumps. Solar Thermal is also eligible if combined with an eligible boiler replacement, but electric boilers are not eligible.

Once you have a quote, you can register an interest in the scheme.

You can do this by calling the Energy Saving Trust’s ACT ON CO2 helpline (0800 512 012).

You will need to provide the following information...
Your full name

The address of the property you wish to claim the voucher for

The make and name of the boiler being scrapped

The company name, address and contact details of the installer carrying out the work

The type of replacement boiler to be installed (e.g. gas, biomass)

Confirmation that you have received a quote or visit from the installer to carry out the work

What next?

If you are approved for the scheme, then you can expect your £400 voucher to be issued after 18 January 2010. As a rough guide, Energy Saving Trust says households should receive their voucher approximately 10 days after applying.

The discount vouchers is only valid for 12 weeks from date of issue, so if it is not redeemed within this time, it will be cancelled and reallocated. While the policy is only one voucher per household, if your voucher expires then you can reapply for another. However, bear in mind that funds may no longer be available.

Whatever you do, don’t arrange for your new boiler to be installed before you receive your voucher, as this will invalidate your claim.

Installation and rebates

The scheme works by offering you a rebate of £400 – so you will need to pay for the new boiler and installation upfront.

The cost of this will vary. According to the Energy Saving Trust, you should expect to pay in the region of £700 for a good gas boiler, plus the cost of installation.

When you first look for a quote, it’s well worth shopping around a range of installers, manufacturers and energy companies to find the most competitive deal.

Keep an eye open for deals, such as British Gas’ promise to match the £400 discount.

However, Tom Lyon, energy expert at uSwitch.com, says: “Consumers should still get quotes from a number of different sources, including independent plumbers, to ensure they are getting the most competitive price.

"Consumers should also never be tempted to risk their safety by going with a plumber who is not Gas Safe registered even if they are offering a lower price."

Once you’ve installed your boiler, you can claim back the £400 by sending the voucher and invoice to the Energy Saving Trust, which aims to issue rebates within 25 working days of receipt of the voucher and invoice.