Funding for The London Boiler Scrappage scheme has still not been snapped up 12 months after its launch – prompting one leading boiler manufacturer to ask the question why.
In line with plans to reduce emissions in the capital by 60% before 2025, the ‘Boris Boiler’ scheme was introduced in January 2016, promising residents of the capital £400 cash back to replace their older gas appliances with newer, cleaner models.
With the then Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, stating that the scheme could offer potential savings of around £340 a year and reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions by 9,750 tonnes, it was assumed that the £2.6 million set aside would have been rapidly taken up by savvy homeowners. Yet, 12 months down the line, the scheme has still not exhausted this funding.
Neil Schofield, head of external affairs at Worcester, Bosch Group, believes the slow take-up could be down to the scheme’s ‘overcomplicated’ criteria, which state that any boilers being replaced must be Band G or below.
“We can only presume that there is still money left in the pot because homeowners are struggling to work out if their boiler is eligible,” he said.
“There aren’t too many people around who can identify a Band G boiler, especially given that SEDBUK ratings weren’t even in operation when manufacturers were allowed to make Band G appliances.”
Neil argues that changes would be needed should other councils wish to adopt similar incentives.
“It is extremely encouraging to see that boiler scrappage is back on the agenda and the administrative simplicity of the scheme must be praised as homeowners only needed to sign up for a voucher on the scheme’s website which would be filled out by their chosen installer.
“That said, it must be made equally simple for a homeowner to firstly identify an eligible boiler. Opening the scheme up to any appliance that still has a pilot light or an open flue, for example, would have eliminated the complications.”