The Department of Energy and Climate Change announced yesterday 54,578 vouchers under the Boiler Scrappage Scheme had been issued to households within the first six weeks of the project. In total, 125,000 vouchers were made available under the scheme, which is ultimately designed to reduce carbon emissions caused by the energy inefficient G-rated boilers thought to be installed throughout many households in the UK. Therefore, a little over 70,000 vouchers remain available under the Boiler Scrappage Scheme, which is worth around £28 million.
The level of interest attracted from households interested in availing of the scheme had initially surprised the Energy Saving Trust, which is responsible for administering the scheme. It was reported several weeks ago that the scheme’s popularity was such that thousands of applicants were forced to endure lengthy delays as a result of strained operations and limited resources at the Energy Saving Trust, which claimed to have received an average of 5,000 calls a day – almost 400,000 in total – at each of its regional advice centres. Clearly, the volume of interest in the Boiler Scrappage Scheme far outweighs its capacity to accommodate all potential applicants, however, the Energy Saving Trust has since doubled its staff numbers to more effectively cope with viable candidates. Ultimately, the news that over a third of all vouchers have been issued to households within the scheme’s first 6 weeks will be seen as a measure of its success.
Director of the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council, Roger Webb, agreed that: “The boiler scrappage scheme has injected new life into the domestic heating market. Installers are thrilled both existing and new customers are realising the benefits of this scheme and actually acting on the chance to replace their G-rated boilers. Normally a boiler purchase is a distress buy but customers are receiving their voucher and actually scheduling in an installation”. One reason for the unexpectedly high popularity of the Boiler Scrappage Scheme (at least at this early stage) is that all of the leading energy companies have moved to match the £400 on offer under the scheme, so total savings towards a more energy efficient boiler are now as high as £800.