Boiler Upgrade Scheme explained

9 April 2024

The UK government wants the country to end its reliance on fossil fuels such as gas and oil for heating and hot water in homes. To help householders make the switch from gas and oil boilers to low-carbon, efficient heat pumps it is offering financial help to make the move more affordable, in the form of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. This is a critical part of our goal to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

The national press has covered the issue of home heating systems extensively, which has caused some confusion and concern about dates and how the changeover is going to work.

There are two important dates to bear in mind: First, from 2025, housebuilders will not be able to fit gas boilers in new-build properties. This means that if you purchase a new property from that date, you’re likely to have a heat pump heating system already installed.

The second key deadline is 2035. From this date, you won’t be able to replace a gas boiler with another one. It doesn’t mean that you have to remove your working gas boiler. But if it breaks down beyond repair, you’ll have to install a heat pump or other alternative heating system.

Although 2035 may seem like a long way in the future, most domestic gas boilers last ten to fifteen years before performance starts to decline. As a result, many householders are wondering if now is the time to switch away from gas (or oil).

There are some good reasons to consider this option now. First, the fluctuations in gas and oil prices we’ve experienced in the past couple of years are likely to continue as the global trend toward renewable energy generation continues.

In the UK, the government intends to change the energy pricing system to reduce electricity prices, reflecting our increased use of wind generation and nuclear energy*. This means that gas central heating (and oil) will almost certainly become a rising cost for households.

The second important reason to think about switching to heat pump heating is that there are grants available to help homeowners pay for the installation of a new system.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) operates across England and Wales*. It provides £7,500 towards the cost and installation of an air source heat pump. The grant is available to anyone who owns their home (or it can be a small business property).

There are a few criteria for eligibility. You must have a current Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property. These are valid up to ten years from the date of issue. If you don’t have one, you can find an accredited EPC assessor on the GOV.UK website. They can carry out an assessment of your property and issue a modern, digital EPC.

It’s important to note that when the Boiler Upgrade Scheme was first introduced, any insulation recommendations on an EPC had to be carried out before the grant was approved. However, from May 2024, you will still be eligible for a BUS grant even if there are outstanding insulation recommendations on the EPC.

The second requirement is that you are replacing a fossil fuel heating system such as gas, oil or LPG. You can also replace a direct electric heating system (storage heating).

If you have a self-build property, it’s eligible as long as you or the original owner built it or paid a builder to construct it. It must also never have been owned by a business or organisation.

New-build properties where the developer is still building aren’t eligible, but if you move into a completed new-build with a gas central heating system, for example, you may be able to get a grant under the BUS.

Applying for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is done through your installer, who must be a member of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).

Your installer will be able to tell you if your home is eligible for the BUS, discuss the best technical options for your heating and hot water needs, and agree on a quote. The installer will then apply for the grant through the Ofgem website. The value of the grant (£7,500) is simply taken off the amount you pay for installation.

Installers play an important role in delivering the BUS, so it’s important to work closely with them to make the best decisions for your home. However, not all heat pumps or heating systems are eligible for the grant so it’s an important factor to bear in mind

For example, the Alpha Hydro and Magis M air source heat pump ranges are both eligible under the scheme. They are supplied with the latest in control technology to keep the system operating at its most efficient and effective.

With major changes ahead for the UK’s home heating market, householders are faced with important decisions ahead. With the Boiler Upgrade Scheme providing significant financial support, now could be a great time to switch to a modern heat pump system.


* The BUS is operating across England and Wales. Scotland is operating similar scheme, known as the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan scheme. Details on current grants related to home heating in Northern Ireland can be found through the Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme.