New research from OFTEC, the trade association for the UK’s oil heating industry, has found that a boiler replacement scheme would actually be more than five times more effective at cutting CO2 emissions through domestic heating than the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.
It costs people about £5,000 in RHI repayments in order to incentivise an air source heat pump installation in a typical three-bed semi-detached property if paying it back over seven years. This scenario would see the person in question needing about £7,000 upfront to fund the installation in the first place and their annual heating bill would climb to £1,453, a rise of £564, while CO2 emissions would drop by 3.49 tonnes a year.
Conversely, for the same £5,000 initial investment 12 households could be helped to upgrade their old boilers using a £400 cashback replacement programme. The upfront cost would be around £1,600 per house, while the typical fuel bill would fall to £731, a drop of £158. And collectively, the savings for all 12 homes would be 19.56 tonnes annually.
Director general of OFTEC Jeremy Hawksley said: “The UK needs carbon reduction and energy efficiency schemes which will make a decisive change. We believe that many home owners would buy into the concept of bringing forward their boiler replacement because it would reduce their heating bills and is good for the environment.
“Unless you are very wealthy, the domestic RHI is unattractive due to the high installation costs of renewable heating technologies like heat pumps; the disruption installation often means for homes (e.g. new large radiators or underfloor heating, improved insulation) and consumers’ energy bills actually increase. A simple boiler replacement scheme would be more affordable and easier to implement for homeowners, so take up would be much higher, resulting in a far higher cumulative reduction in carbon emissions.”
The RHI is a financial incentive launched by the government to promote renewable heat sources and encourage homeowners to switch to a heating system that uses naturally replenished energy in a bid to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions. Those who decide to join the scheme and follow the rules receive payments each quarter for seven years for the amount of green renewable heat that their system produces.
The eligible heating systems for the Domestic RHI are air source heat pumps, biomass-only boilers, biomass pellet stoves, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal panels flat plate, or evacuated tube only. However, bear in mind that solar thermal panels can only provide hot water for the property to be eligible for the scheme, not space heating. To apply, you need to have an Energy Performance Certificate that is less than 24 months old and you will have to check that the make and model of your renewable heating systems meet the specific technical requirements, which you can check on the Product Eligibility List.
If you’re having problems with your boiler, get in touch with Chesterfield boiler repairs company Home Services Assistance to see how we can help.