Boiler Upgrade Scheme misses target

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Scheme to replace gas boilers with low carbon heating only halfway towards 30,000 annual target

The government’s flagship heat pump scheme barely met half of its target in its first year, according to official statistics. Only 16,052 vouchers were awarded to support the installation of low carbon heating technologies by the end of May 2023, according to the latest Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) monthly progress report, published on 29 June. Of the vouchers awarded, 96% were for installing heat pumps. 

The figures mark the end of the first year of operation of the BUS, which was launched in May 2022 and is meant to support the installation of 30,000 low carbon heating devices per year from 2022 to 2025. Its shortfall in delivery means the government will claw back nearly half of the £150m budget for the first year of the scheme, which offers grants to households that replace fossil fuel boilers with low carbon alternatives.

Earlier this year, the House of Lords environment and climate change committee described uptake of the BUS as ‘disappointingly low’, and said the scheme had been bedevilled by uncertainty over the direction of government policy on future home heating.