Today’s announcement by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to encourage Londoners to replace their old, inefficient boilers with modern, energy-efficient models has been welcomed by the Builders Merchants’ Federation (BMF).
The Mayor launched his London Boiler Cashback Scheme to provide 6,500 owner-occupiers and private residential landlords with a £400 voucher if they replace a working 70% or less efficient boiler with a new 90% efficient or higher-rated boiler or low carbon heating system.
The BMF was involved in formulating the scheme and helped City Hall staff and other heating industry partners to devise workable arrangements and decide on eligibility and practicalities. Commenting on the Mayor’s launch of the scheme, Brett Amphlett, BMF Policy & Public Affairs’ Manager, said: “We welcome and support this initiative by Boris Johnson that will doubtless be forever known as Boris Boilers. Londoners can make significant savings to heating costs by upgrading their home with a modern condensing boiler. Although his offer is confined to the capital, the Mayor has acted to help Londoners to cut bills, reduce emissions and boost our trade.”
Brett noted that in an ideal world, it would be better to have a coherent, fabric-first approach to improve the thermal and energy performance of homes and workplaces. But until the Bonfield Review is completed, BMF members are left in the dark as to what will replace the Green Deal.
He continued: “We know from the Green Deal Cashback offer and Green Deal Home Improvement Fund that most of those vouchers went towards the cost of replacing boilers. It would be better to have a compelling vision to encourage residents to do the right thing to make homes warmer, cut bills and save money. But in the absence of a proper, long-term national policy, it is not surprising that residents respond to a cash incentive.”
The BMF also wants to see this new scheme encourage people to have advanced heating controls, thermostatic radiator valves and magnetic filters installed at the same time.
The London Boiler Cashback Scheme is a carbon-copy of the UK Government’s Boiler Scrappage Scheme introduced by the Labour Party in January 2010. Then, as now, the BMF was involved at an early stage to guide Whitehall in how best to design and implement that scheme. Many in the industry believe that its simplicity was the prime reason it was so successful in replacing over 118,000 old boilers and the BMF reports that the insight gained five years’ ago on how (and how not) to “formulate a scheme that works for everyone” helped to shape the arrangements announced today by the London Mayor.
As far back as May 2009, the BMF has campaigned for an end-of-life scheme for boilers. During the Coalition Government, the BMF repeatedly asked Chris Huhne MP, Energy & Climate Change Secretary, and other ministers to re-introduce a further scheme.
For Plumb Center’s response click here
For Worcester, Bosch Group and Baxi’s comments click here
For more information on the London Boiler Cashback Scheme, visit the website www.london.gov.uk/boilers
For more from the BMF, visit www.bmf.org.uk