Carl Arntzen: good news for installers.

Boiler scrappage scheme gets warm welcome

Published:  09 December, 2009

WORCESTER: The Government's plans for a boiler scrappage scheme have received a warm welcome from the company which first championed the idea earlier this year.

Worcester, Bosch Group, has described the move, announced in the Chancellor's pre-Budget report today, as "a very positive move" but is anxiously awaiting details of how the scheme will be implemented.

The new scrappage scheme will offer up to 125 000 homeowners a £400 incentive to replace their old Band G gas boilers with a new high-efficiency boiler, on a first-come first-served basis.

It is estimated that there are currently 4.5 million Band G gas boilers in use in the UK that are currently covered by incentives in the Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT). However, funding from CERT only amounts to approximately £50, which has not proved sufficient to entice homeowners to change.

Carl Arntzen, director of Bosch Thermotechnology, commented:  "Worcester has been lobbying for a boiler scrappage scheme, along the lines of the car scrappage scheme, for some time. Most recently, we took the opportunity to raise the issue once again with the Energy Minister Lord Hunt when he visited our head office a few weeks ago."

He continued: "Today's announcement is a very positive move for manufacturers, installers and homeowners who will benefit from reduced heating bills once equipped with a high-efficiency boiler and the Government gets 1.5 tons of carbon reduction each year per household.

"However, policy is one thing, implementation is another and the devil will be in the detail.

"We need to make sure that the incentive is easily accessible for the homeowner and is not bound up in too much red tape which makes accessing the money overly difficult.

"The Government needs to learn the lesson of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme which has proved a barrier to the uptake of renewable rather than an incentive."

Mr Arntzen also stated that the scheme is likely to be a considerable boost for registered heating and plumbing installers. "This is very good news for installers, many of whom have endured a very difficult year.

"Homeowners need to use a registered plumbing and heating professional to ensure that systems are correctly specified, installed, commissioned and maintained."

He also dismissed concerns that £400 would be insufficient to entice homeowners.  "I only have minor reservations that £400 may be perceived to be on the low side.  That would be 15-20% of the installation price of a new boiler, which is comparable to the percentage offered on the purchase price of a new compact car, which was the prime target for the car scrappage scheme. I am confident this will work if the money is easily accessible."

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