Alan Ball: passionate about kick starting heating sales.

Boiler scrappage scheme gains momentum

Published:  24 September, 2009

UK: Worcester Bosch Group lead the charge for a nationwide boiler scrappage scheme in the wake of the introduction of the Government's car scrappage scheme. Now, many others have joined the call to kick start sales.

Carl Arntzen, director, Bosch Thermotechnology, believes that a similar scheme for the replacement of older boilers with high-efficiency, Band A, condensing technology would be even more successful.

"I am personally convinced that a scrappage scheme for old, Band G gas boilers would be even more successful in terms of injecting money into the economy and helping the Government to achieve its climate change targets."

"There is an increasing recognition amongst manufacturers that we cannot ask the Government to provide all of the incentive for a scheme such as this, which would provide an enormous boost to the heating sector, while we take all of the potential financial upside."

"The combination of a high-efficiency condensing boiler for heating with hot water provided by solar power is a very attractive proposition.

"We believe there is an opportunity to bundle boilers with other technologies and funding mechanisms to create an attractive affordable package for the homeowner.

"We would need a clear cut-off date which should probably be no later than April 1st 2011 when the Renewable Heat Incentive comes into play"

PTS managing director Alan Ball, moved the campaign for a boiler scrappage scheme ahead by appearing on BBC2 and appealing directly to the Prime Minister Gordon Brown and chancellor Alistair Darling.

After announcing his support for the scheme on behalf of the leading merchant and from his position on the board of the Builders' Merchants Federation, Mr Ball said: "I'm passionate about the scheme as it has potential to benefit everyone - manufacturers, homeowners and most importantly for our industry, installers. The scheme would help to invigorate the industry by boosting the amount of boiler sales and as a result the number of installations taking place across the UK, not to mention the positive environmental impacts.

"The letters I have sent to the Houses of Parliament suggest that if everyone in the UK converted to high efficiency boilers, enough energy would be saved to heat 3.4 million homes, saving over 13 million tonnes of carbon.

"The scheme would also secure employment in UK manufacturing and the distribution industry, whilst increasing the amount and value of work available to installers."

Mark Kelly, chief executive officer of Baxi Group UK & Ireland, along with the rest of Baxi Group's UK board of executives have added their names to a petition to urge the Prime Minister to create a scheme.

Mr Kelly said: "There are approximately 16 million standard efficiency boilers operating in UK homes today. Of these, 4.2 million, according to Home Heating Information Council, are Sedbuk Band G boilers.

"Replacing these boilers with high efficiency boilers will help to reduce carbon emissions and annual fuel bills for homeowners. Any support that can be provided to accelerate the replacement of these older boilers would be of benefit to the homeowner and the wider economy."

Plumbers' merchant Mick Williams has already started a scheme. With 14 branches of Williams and Co in the South of England, on his website he explains why he started the campaign. "Replacing these old boilers with modern condensing gas boilers and controls could save millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide pouring into our atmosphere each year.

"The construction industry has also been particularly badly hit in this recession and there have been many redundancies in manufacturing, distribution, builders and installation companies. This is a double whammy for the Government as every redundancy could mean less tax collected and more benefits to pay out.

"This scheme would stimulate demand for gas boilers and help manufacturers, plumbers' merchants and Gas Safe heating engineers.

"Millions of these old boilers could be replaced by modern boilers which are more than 90% efficient and, with proper controls on the system, annual savings of more than £200 could be saved on the household gas bill, according figures released by the Energy Saving Trust."


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