Boiler scrappage scheme closes

11 May 2010

All the vouchers for the government’s boiler scrappage scheme have been sent out, but less than half have been redeemed so far, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

The boiler scrappage scheme was announced in the Pre-Budget Report last year. People replacing old boilers with an energy efficient replacement could apply for a £400 voucher from the Energy Saving Trust. They then had 12 weeks to shop around for a new boiler and get the work completed. Homeowners had to pay for the work up-front and then cash in their voucher to receive the £400.

But there were only 125,000 vouchers available and these were all claimed by 26 March this year. Of these, 97,283 have had the work completed and have sent in details to the Energy Saving Trust. The English scheme is now closed to new applications.

However, a similar scheme is operating in Wales for those aged over 60, and one will start in Scotland on 24 May with 5,000 £400 vouchers up for grabs.

Energy minister Lord Hunt says: “The scheme’s been a great success and is already helping people cut down on their fuel bills. An ‘A-rated’ energy efficient boiler can help save around £200 a year off fuel bills and reduce emissions.”

Other ways to cash in on your old boiler

However, in England for those who missed out on the scheme, there are still ways to get money off a new boiler.

From 1 April, British Gas has been offering a £200 discount off a new boiler plus one year’s free HomeCare 200 boiler insurance worth £204. Purchases made prior to 30 May 2010 will also be offered interest free credit for a year.

Npower is also still running a boiler scrappage scheme, which offers £400 discount on the cost of a new boiler. To be eligible your boiler has to be more than 10 years old.

However, before you sign up for one of the schemes it’s a good idea to do the sums. Having a new boiler installed can cost up to about £2,000 so it’s a good idea to get quotes from several plumbers before committing to anything.

In some cases you might find a cheaper alternative to British Gas or npower even with the scrappage discounts taken into account.

Some people will also be able to get financial help from the government’s Warm Front scheme, which provides a package of insulation and heating improvements up to the value of £3,500 (or £6,000 where oil, low carbon or renewable technologies are installed). This can include a new combination boiler.

However, to be eligible householders – either owners or tenants - need to be on certain benefits.

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