UK Government Boiler Upgrade Scheme: Eligibility, Savings and More

Photo Courtesy: Minerva Studio/iStock

The UK government is proactive in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and curbing climate change. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a way to make it more financially feasible for people to install new, energy-efficient, low-carbon home heating. The scheme incentivizes homeowners to install heat pumps that significantly reduce their carbon footprint. 

Eligible homeowners can get up to £6,000 off installation and equipment costs. But how exactly does this program work? This article will provide a rundown of all the must-know basics.

What Is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

The UK Government Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a program that offers homeowners financial assistance for upgrading to a more energy-efficient boiler. The initiative seeks to promote the use of low-carbon heating systems such as biomass boilers and heat pumps in households. The program provides grants to homeowners through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) to install these technologies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Eligible homeowners can receive up to £6,000 towards the cost of their new boiler, making it easier and more affordable to upgrade to a newer, more energy-efficient model.

Formerly known as the Clean Heat Grant, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme replaced the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in April 2022. The RHI awarded payments to technologies that generate renewable heat. According to the Institute for Government, heating your home contributes to 14% of carbon emissions in the UK. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a critical factor in reducing such emissions. Furthermore, it’s a step in the right direction for the UK to reach a net-zero target by 2050. Notably, homeowners switching to low-carbon heating systems tend to experience a significant reduction in their energy bills.

What Systems Are Eligible?

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme provides grants for the installation of biomass boilers, air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps. For heating systems, your installer will advise on the appropriate one for your home. Notwithstanding, it should:

  • Be installed and inspected by your installer on or after April 1, 2022
  • Satisfy your home’s demand for heat and hot water requirements
  • Meet the minimum technical standards your installer advises
  • Replace your home’s electric, gas or oil heating system

Hybrid heat pump systems are not eligible for the program. An example is a combination of air source heat and an electric boiler. Another example is a photovoltaic thermal system which combines solar thermal collectors and solar electric panels.

For biomass boilers, you can only apply for grants for boiler replacement if your property is not connected to a gas line or is located in a rural setting with fewer than 10,000 people. Alternatively, you can provide a boiler emissions certificate showing low emission levels. If your property is self-built, you may not be eligible for a grant to install a biomass boiler.

How Does the Boiler Upgrade Scheme Work?

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme makes it affordable for you as a homeowner in Wales or England to install low-carbon heating systems. Since the cost of low carbon heating technologies is hefty, the government provides grants to homeowners as follows:

  • £6,000 less on the price and installation of a ground source heat pump
  • £5,000 less on the price and installation of an air source heat pump
  • £5,000 less on the price and installation of a biomass boiler

How Can You Apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

The application process consists of the application, approval and installation. In all stages, your installer leads the process and does most of the work for you.


The first step in the application process is to find an accredited MSC installer in your area via Ofgem. MSC creates and maintains standards in the UK for certification of installers, products and their installations. An accredited installer has extensive boiler operations training and can advise whether your home qualifies for a grant under the scheme.

Next, your installer will provide a quote that includes the grant amount as a deduction. It is advisable to get quotes from various installers for price comparison. Once you agree on the quote, it becomes a legal document, and your installer can proceed with the application.

Your installer will then go through eligibility checks and apply for a voucher on your behalf. At this point, your installer will provide information on the type of technology, your contact details and your property’s address.


After a while, Ofgem will contact you regarding your application to confirm whether the installer is acting on your behalf. If your application meets all eligibility checks, Ofgem can issue a voucher to your installer.


Your installer will redeem the grant voucher and provide proof of installation and completed works. Ofgem will then assess the voucher, and once satisfied, they issue payment to your installer.

Once you receive your voucher, it is advisable to utilize it as soon as possible. For air source heat pumps and biomass boilers, the voucher’s validity is three months. Ground source heat pump vouchers are valid for six months.

Who Is Eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme grant is open to all landlords, whether private or small, residing in Wales and England. Also, you will need to have an Energy Performance Certificate that is less than 10 years old. Furthermore, your home should have an installed capacity of up to 45kWth.

If your EPC certificate has a cavity wall or loft insulation recommendation, you may not be eligible for the scheme. You can become eligible after insulating your home. If your EPC has an insulation exemption, you can proceed with your grant application.

You may not qualify for the scheme if you have a new building or your property is part of social housing. Additionally, you cannot apply for a replacement of low-carbon heating systems under the scheme. Homeowners wishing to get rid of their existing fossil fuel systems are eligible to apply.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for an Installer?

Installers under the boiler replacement scheme for homeowners should be MCS certified. Furthermore, the installer should be a Consumer Code member. This can either be RECC, HIES or GGF.

Your installer should benefit from their MCS certification during the application and redeeming voucher stages. If the installer changes the application or installation, they should duly inform Ofgem.

Self-built structures are eligible. However, they have to meet the following criteria. The building should not have been under ownership by an organization or business. You need to provide proof of self-build such as title deed copies, and the building should have been constructed using resources and inputs from the first owner.