The Difference between the Renewable Heat Incentive and the Boiler Upgrade Scheme

As the weather becomes more unpredictable and environments are becoming less and less habitable for wildlife all over the globe, families & businesses are conscious of minimising their carbon emissions more than ever. When you switch to renewable heating, you can reduce your carbon footprint by 2.5 tons annually

In 2014, the government introduced the (Domestic) Renewable Heat Incentive, a government financial incentive to promote the use of renewable heat, to help the UK meet their net-zero targets. This scheme closed to new applications on the 31st of March 2022. In its place – the Boiler Upgrade scheme was introduced. Through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, you could get a grant to cover part of the cost of replacing fossil fuel heating systems with a heat pump or biomass boiler.’

What is the difference between the original Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, and the new Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

As an applicant of the DRHI, you’d receive quarterly payments over seven years. The funding amount that you could receive was based on how much clean, green energy your heat systems were estimated to produce. When approved for the boiler upgrade scheme, you’ll receive an upfront grant of £7,500 for either a ground source heat pump installation or an air source heat pump installation, or £5,000 toward a biomass boiler.

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive was open to all households who have installed a renewable heating system. When applying for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which is currently for homes and non-domestic buildings in England and Wales, specific eligibility criteria apply, for example, the EPC Rating and property type, whereas with the application process for the DRHI, there were 0 income limits or EPC requirements.

Finally, there are different options available to choose from when replacing your current energy source in line with the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and the discontinued Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive – DRHI supports various heating systems, like solar thermal, biomass boilers and heat pumps. BUS focuses on air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps and biomass boilers.

Existing RHI participants will continue to receive payments however those who decide on installations past March 2022 are unable to apply. You can find out more about the Boiler Upgrade Scheme on the government website. Changing to renewable energy has a positive impact on your finances – moving to a renewable energy source will result in lower bills over time due to traditional energy sources, including gas, oil and coal, are limited materials that are expected to be depleted by 2060, so prices will just keep on rising. 

Whilst the Renewable Heat Incentive and Boiler Upgrade Scheme differ in approach, both serve vital roles in the UK’s journey towards greener heating solutions. 

Government support plays an invaluable role when overcoming the initial starting costs for a new renewable energy source. These government incentives are a great way of providing people with an option to implement renewable energy into their homes, offering financial benefits and energy independence.

One major advantage of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is the convenience for the person having the heat pump installed. It is the responsibility of the installer to apply for the BUS grant on your behalf and share their design so you know your new heating system has undergone a thorough design process. Once approved the BUS scheme will pay the installer direct so there is no need for the customer to pay out money and wait for a refund to come through.

Overall, the choice of whether to partake in the Boiler Upgrade Scheme will depend on you and your family’s specific circumstances. You can find out more on the government website, or if you’re looking to learn more about renewable energy alternatives check our website or contact us today.

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