England 'needs boiler replacement scheme'

Published:  25 February, 2016

Industry bodies have united to call on Chancellor George Osborne to introduce an England-wide boiler replacement scheme in next month's Budget.

The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC), the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS), the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) and the UK LPG Association (UKLPG) believe this could be a key measure to help consumers cut carbon emissions and reduce their fuel bills.

Earlier this month the organisations welcomed the introduction of the London Boiler Cashback Scheme. In a recent letter to the Chancellor, they outlined the case for a similar initiative to be rolled out across England, which they said would encourage the replacement of millions of ageing, standard efficiency oil, gas, and LPG boilers.

With over 800,000 homes in England heated by oil; 18.9 million by gas and a further 200,000 by LPG, and an estimated 60% of these boilers (11.9 million) in need of replacement, the potential for carbon savings via this route is huge.

OFTEC's chairman Nick Hawkins said: "Boiler replacement is an approach that OFTEC has championed for a long time and one which we know works following similar schemes previously run in the UK and still running in Northern Ireland.

"We believe Boris Johnson's London initiative will be fully subscribed well before the April closing date, especially with manufacturers offering to support the scheme by offering similar price reductions, which demonstrates strong consumer demand for this simple, cost-effective idea."

FPS managing director Mark Askew continued: "With so many households still living in fuel poverty and with cost remaining a major motivator for most consumers, our country urgently needs carbon reduction schemes that don't cost the earth – and help people further reduce their energy bills. The case for a universal boiler replacement scheme is very strong when you consider the estimated 4.5 million UK homes which are still classed as fuel poor, meaning they can't afford to adequately heat their homes."

UKLPG chief executive Rob Shuttleworth added: "We hope government will now follow London's lead and adopt a practical approach to low carbon heat that actually works. The current DECC scheme to provide £25m to install new boilers in fuel poor households is excellent news but needs to go further."

HHIC director Stewart Clements concluded: "A universal boiler replacement scheme would make a significant contribution to tackling three difficult problems simultaneously: making domestic heating more climate friendly; cutting fuel bills; and reducing the number of cold-related health issues which contribute to the unacceptable level of excess winter deaths occurring each year, especially amongst the elderly."

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