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Can You Get a Free Boiler With a Government Boiler Grant in 2024?

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A new boiler can save you hundreds in energy costs every year, and there are many boiler grants available to help you pay for it. 

Boiler grants include: The Boiler Upgrade Scheme, ECO4, Affordable Warmth Scheme (for NI only), LA Flex Scheme, Green Deal and more. 

  • New boiler grants might pay the full cost of the boiler and installation, depending on your income situation. 
  • If you don’t qualify for a free boiler, you may qualify for partial coverage or a subsidized cost. 
  • If you receive benefits from the government, you will likely qualify for some sort of boiler grant. 
  • Boilers account for up to 60% of total home energy usage, and upgrading to an A rated boiler could save £580 per year on energy costs.  

So let’s take a look at all the government and private boiler grants, and other ways to fund a boiler purchase available in 2024.

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The Boiler Upgrade Scheme 

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a UK government program that provides financial assistance for energy efficiency upgrades, specifically for upgrading to a more energy efficient condensing boiler. It is available to homeowner in in England and Wales and is part of a wider government initiative to help homeowners transition from existing heating systems that rely on fossil fuels (such as gas boilers), to low-carbon alternatives (such as electric heat pumps and biomass boilers).

Furthermore the boiler upgrade scheme is also intended to help make low carbon heating schemes more financially accessible for low income homeowners. 

It is important to note that the boiler upgrade scheme has budget of £450 million over three years, and was started in May of 2022. You can continue to submit grant applications for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme up until March 31st, 2025.

What is the eligibility criteria for the boiler upgrade scheme, in terms of property requirements? 

  • You must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) that has been issued by a qualified energy assessor. An EPC is valid for 10 years.
  • The EPC will also consider your home´s insulation standards, including cavity wall insulation and air tightness to prevent draughts. 

In terms of the technology requirements: 

  • The Boiler Upgrade Scheme allow homeowners and small business owners to upgrade their gas boiler to different types of low carbon heating technologies, including air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, and biomass boilers. 
  • If you choose to upgrade to a biomass boilers, the property must adhere to high emissions standards. Additionally, you will need to show that your home or business has the power capability to facilitate the installation of 45kWth or kilowatt thermal. This is to ensure that biomass boilers do not negatively affect local air quality. 
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The exact funding amount for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme will vary depending on the chosen technology and the type of home. However, you may be eligible for a grant of up to £6,000, which is available to eligible homeowners.

To apply for the boiler upgrade scheme, you will first need to contact an MCS-accredited installer. The installer will perform an eligibility assessment, provide a quote, and apply for the grant on your behalf. 

Boiler Grants via ECO4

The ECO Scheme was introduced in 2013 as a way for the UK Government to meet the set carbon emission target. The grant helps poor homes lower their energy bills and become more energy efficient. Qualifying households, if they meet the criteria, should be eligible for a grant to cover most of the costs, including installation.

In some cases, however, homeowners may be required to pay some contribution towards the new boiler. 

The ECO4 Scheme is the fourth in a series of boiler grants from the UK government. This latest scheme covers the period from 2022 to 2026. The primary goals of this scheme are to: 

  • Improve the energy efficiency of UK homes
  • Reduce fuel poverty
  • Make energy more affordable

The main eligibility requirement for the ECO4 Scheme is that you must be actively receiving a government benefit, such as: 

  • Income-based jobseekers allowance or JSA
  • Income Related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Pension Credit Guarantee
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit Savings

If you are receiving one of these government benefits, your application success will depend on your energy performance certificate (EPC) rating. This certificate and rating evaluates your household’s energy needs and average costs and discusses how your energy use could be lowered. It is important to note that to be eligible for the ECO4 scheme, your property must have an EPC grade of D, E, F, or G.

You can check if you are eligible for this ECO4 Scheme here. 

Affordable Warmth Scheme for Northern Ireland

The Affordable Warmth Scheme has been implemented in order to address the effects of fuel poverty and energy inefficiency for low income households in Northern Ireland. 

The scheme may be available to you if you:

  • live in Northern Ireland
  • own and occupy your property as your main home
  • have your day / life interest in the house
  • rent from a private landlord, and
  • have a total annual gross income of less than £23,000

It is important to note that this scheme is NOT available for tenants living in social housing. Thus, you will not be able to apply for this grant if you are a Housing Executive or housing association tenant. 

The Affordable Warmth Scheme provides grant aid to improve energy efficiency measures within your home. Furthermore, it is important to note that the property must not be a

  • Holiday home
  • Bed & breakfast
  • Commercial establishment

Grant money for the Affordable Warmth Scheme are subject to the availability of funding.

To apply for the Affordable Warmth Scheme, potential beneficiaries should contact The NI Energy Advice Service (NIEAS) by:

LA Flex Scheme 

For homeowners in the UK who are not eligible for an ECO4 grant because they are not actively receiving a government benefit, the LA Flex Scheme might be an opportunity to receive a discount on a boiler upgrade.

The LA Flex Scheme is designed to offer a discounted boiler to those who do not meet the initial ECO4 qualification requirements but who equally are on a tight budget for sustainable home improvements. 

To be declared eligible for this program, a privates homeowner must be low income or in a declared fuel poverty situation. Furthermore, the household needs to show special vulnerability to the consequences of living in the cold (for example, living with small children, living with elderly people, or having asthma or other respiratory conditions). 

The basic requirements for LA FLEX eligibility include:

  • Your household income is less than £30,000. 
  • You are in a situation of fuel poverty wherein your entire household spends 10% of its net income or more on heating. 
  • You meet other household and net earnings requirements, such as individuals with disabilities. 

To apply for the LA Flex Scheme you first have to contact your local authority to discover what measures are available and whether you are eligible. You will also most likely have to provide information related to your income, energy bills, and the energy efficiency of your property. 

Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme (NISEP)

Residents of Northern Ireland can rely on the Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme instead of the ECO scheme. NISEP offers grants for full funding to qualified households whose current boilers are over 15 years old. These grants are mostly directed towards the full funding of centralized natural gas heating systems and improved cavity wall insulation. The current list of Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programmes that are in operation from April 2023 to March 2024 can be found here.

Green Deal

If you choose to install renewable heating, you may qualify for a Green Deal Grant, which will subsidise the cost of your installation. Green Deal exists to incentivize the installation of low-carbon emission heating and energy, meaning that they reward you for lowering your carbon footprint.

The Green Deal helps homeowners make energy-saving improvements to their home and to find the best ways to pay for them. The Green Deal funding can be directed towards: 

  • Solid wall, cavity wall or loft insulation
  • Home heating
  • Draught-proofing
  • Double glazing
  • Renewable energy generation, such as solar panels or heat pumps

However, the loans you get through the Green Deal for sustainable home improvements will almost always need to be paid back. If you live in England or Wales, you can find more information about energy-saving improvements through the Green Deal by calling: 

  • Telephone: 0800 098 7950
  • Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
  • Saturday, 9am to 12pm

In Scotland, call Home Energy Scotland: 

  • Home Energy Scotland
  • Telephone: 0808 808 2282

Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm.
Saturday, 9am to 5pm.

Other Ways to Cover the Costs of a New Boiler

While there are very few boiler grants available in the UK, you can still try to get a good deal or even assistance on your boiler replacement or installation.

British Gas’ 5-year interest free credit

British Gas offers 5-years interest-free credit (0% APR) for low carbon heating systems, including energy efficient condensing boilers and biomass boiler systems. 

Heat Pump Grants 

Today, there are several heat pump grants available to UK homeowners. Your installer may be able to help you apply for a heat pump grant of up to £7,500 towards the cost of your heat pump if:

  • You own your property 
  • You’re replacing an older and energy inefficient fossil fuel or electric heating system with a renewable heating system such as a heat pump
  • Your home or property has a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with no outstanding recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation

Boiler Installer Grants

In some cases, boiler installation companies will offer free replacement boilers as part of an energy efficiency program. For example, British Gas installed nearly 20,000 free boilers in 2016 as part of an energy efficiency scheme. Unfortunately, these come and go and may only be open for a short period.

Housing Association Grants

Your housing association may be responsible for replacing your boiler if your old one is broken. However, it is up to them whether they choose to make a repair or to replace the boiler.

Council Property

Council tenants can access local council schemes designed to replace broken heating. Bring proof of your boiler being broken or extremely inefficient to your council to request replacement or repair.

Using a Payment Plan

If you don’t qualify for a free boiler, you can likely get a payment plan from your installer, rent, or otherwise greatly reduce the amount you pay per month. In most cases, you can arrange this directly with your installer, and create a payment plan that works for both parties. As we mentioned above, British Gas is currently offering a 5-year zero interest finance plan for replacing older boilers, and other energy companies may follow suit. 

Boiler Grants FAQ

Trying to find that right boiler grant for your particular situation is never going to be easy given the different programs, eligibility requirements, etc. This Boiler Grant FAQ answers your most frequently asked questions.

Can I get a boiler grant if I live in a flat?

Yes, providing it is privately owned and you have permission.

Can I get a boiler grant if I rent my home?

Usually yes, although it should be privately owned. If you are a tenant, it is important that you have written permission from your landlord before applying for a boiler grant. Vacation homes and rental properties may be ineligible for certain boiler replacement grants. 

What’s the process to getting a boiler grant like?

You will typically follow a simple process which looks like this:
– Collect the necessary information about your old boiler
– Contact an OFTEC or Gas Safe installer to request an inspection and a quote
– Wait for your application to be approved. If approved, wait for your voucher to arrive (10 days)
– Contract the installer and have them install your new boiler within 12 weeks. The work must be completed and the voucher returned within 12 weeks of receiving the voucher, so try to handle everything as soon as you receive the boiler.
– Return the voucher and your invoice to the Energy Savings Trust
– Wait 25 days to receive your refund.
In some cases, the Energy Savings Trust may ask to review your income, your home, and the energy efficiency of your home. In this case, you may have to wait for someone to survey your home.

How long does the survey take?

In most cases, a survey should only take about 30 minutes.

Why do energy companies pay for free boilers?

The ECO tax is set aside by energy companies to provide funds for boiler grants. This allows them to meet carbon reduction targets by offering grants and incentives, allowing them to avoid fines.

What costs should I be aware of?

Your boiler may not be completely free, especially if you earn more than the minimum income. However, you can often get a heavily subsidised boiler, even if you don’t qualify for a free grant. Even if you are not eligible for a boiler grant, you may apply for special funding or zero interest finance. 

Does boiler replacement include fixtures?

When new fixtures and controls are necessary to save heat and energy, the boiler grant will typically include them. Otherwise, you will pay these costs out of pocket.

Do I have to go through my current provider?

No. There is no obligation or incentive to use your current energy provider.

How long does it take to get a grant?

In most cases, you can have a new boiler in as little as 3 weeks. The application process typically takes 10 days, after which your boiler will typically be installed within 2 weeks of the surveyor visiting your home. However, this differs with the different programs and schemes we outlined above. 

Saving on Boiler Installation Costs

While over 2.5 million households in the UK qualify for boiler grants, not everyone does. If you don’t qualify for a free or heavily subsidised boiler, you can still work to greatly reduce costs by taking the time to research, compare your options, and getting a good idea of what you want and need before contacting an installer. In most cases, the “payback period” for upgrading to a more energy efficient boiler will be within 5-10 years. 

Compare Your Options – Boiler installation is a highly competitive industry, meaning that you can often get greatly discounted rates by simply comparing your options. Just comparing quotes from 3 or more installers can save you on installation costs.

Know What You’re Buying – It’s important to buy for quality rather than affordability. Choosing a quality boiler with a 5-10-year warranty will ensure that your boiler lasts long enough to pay itself off, so that you benefit from your new boiler even if you have to pay for it yourself.

Do Your Research – Managing your research in advance so that you know what you need and what you’re looking for can help you to negotiate a better price with your installation.

Installing a new boiler can save you hundreds every year on your energy bills, especially if your current boiler is older than 15 years. If your current boiler is G-rated, you could be losing 45 pence for every £1 of energy you put into it.  Replacing your old boiler will most likely save you money. However, it is important that you check to see if you qualify for subsidies, new boiler grants, or to see if you can reduce the cost of installing a boiler yourself.

If you’re ready to start looking for a new boiler with a grant, use our free comparison tool to find and compare the top three installers in your area.

Written By

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Ollie Smith

Ollie is the director of Ecopreneurist, with a string of successful publishing brands under his belt, he aims to make the world a better place by showcasing only the best, unbiased and reliable content on the web!

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