Pre-Budget delivers welcome message for heating sector

Published:  09 December, 2009

LONDON: More than 100 000 boilers will be scrapped and exchanged for newer, more energy-efficient models, under £50m plans unveiled by the Chancellor today.

The Green Boiler Initiative will offer grants worth up to £400 for 125 000 households with old, inefficient boiler models to replace them with new, energy-saving equipment. Around 4.5 million households could apply for this.

By replacing an older boiler with an A-rated condensing boiler and better controls, household bills could be cut by up to a quarter, according to the Energy Saving Trust. For the average home, that could mean a saving of £235 a year.

The scheme will be open to households with G-rated boilers, which are less than 70% efficient, if they replace them with an A-rated boiler.

The programme is also expected to deliver a boost for British industry, a report in the Times said. About 60% of boilers used in the UK are manufactured in this country and 120 000 boiler engineers are expected to benefit.

However, as Paul Hardy, managing director of Baxi's Commercial Division stated today: "The scheme will have only a limited impact on the market for boiler replacement. About 600 000 new condensing boilers are already installed every year in the UK without government support."

In addition, the pre-Budget report stated that £200m will be provided to Warm Front to improve energy-efficiency and tackle fuel poverty. This will partly be used to fund the boiler scrappage scheme.

The Chancellor also announced Warm Front grants to provide 75 000 of the most vulnerable households with heating and insulation. For the latest on the report, visit the Government website.

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