Last reviewed 4 November 2021

Responding to an earlier consultation on future support for low carbon heat, the Government has set out its policy for a Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) to provide grants to support the installation of low carbon heating systems in homes across England and Wales.

The proposals — available here — have not been well received however, with the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) arguing that the Government has failed to provide the ambitious blueprint for action that is needed to deliver a greener Britain.

FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry said: “Grants for heat pumps is a step in the right direction so we begin to reduce our reliance on polluting and volatile fossil fuels, but incentives are also needed to make our existing homes better insulated”.

The Government appears to be only listening to one half of the story, he went on. It must take account of the megatonnes of carbon lost through the leaky walls and roofs of homes or it will have failed and the benefits of installing heat pumps will be at risk of being lost.

A leading construction workers’ union has also criticised the scheme saying that the proposed £5000 installation grant will not be enough to bridge the cost gap between gas boilers and heat pumps.

The GMB has also drawn attention to a warning by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), available here, that there are not enough heat pump installers to meet the Government’s targets.

Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said: “Heat pumps are unsuitable for many homes and we need to invest far more in realistic clean alternatives like hydrogen. Ministers are letting down customers who will see their bills rocket and the skilled gas workforce who will see their jobs go to the wall”.