BMF welcomes Mayor’s boiler initiative

BMF welcomes Mayor’s boiler initiative

The Builders Merchants’ Federation (BMF) has welcomed the Mayor of London’s initiative to encourage London’s SMEs to replace their old, inefficient boilers with modern, energy-efficient models.

Sadiq Khan has launched his £10 million Cleaner Heat Cashback scheme to help London’s smaller companies save money on their energy bills and improve the capital’s air quality. The scheme will run until 31 March 2020 or until the £10 million fund has been allocated.

The BMF was involved in discussions prior to the announcement with City Hall staff and other heating industry partners to consider working arrangements such as eligibility and practicalities.

Shirley Rodrigues, London Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, said:“Businesses could save hundreds of pounds a year on energy bills by switching from an older, inefficient boiler or heating system – and this is exactly the kind of initiative that will help us achieve the Mayor’s ambition of making London a zero-carbon city by 2050.

“Tackling London’s filthy air is one of the Mayor’s top priorities and this is just the latest in a package of measures that he has introduced to improve the quality of the air we breathe.”

Commenting on the Mayor’s launch, John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, added: “We welcome and support this announcement that builds on earlier residential schemes by successive Mayors. The fact that Cleaner Heat is now aimed at commercial premises signals not only a political determination to tackle poor air quality, but seeks to change the thinking of SME owners towards their day-to-day running costs.

“Significant savings can be made in business costs by upgrading to a modern heating system that BMF members make and supply. The 30% rate is generous and ought to entice companies to act. Although his offer is confined to the capital, the Mayor has moved to help London firms to cut bills, reduce emissions, improve air quality and encourage further investment.”

The offer will be for SMEs based in London with old, inefficient heating systems, who will be to apply for between 30% to 40% cashback towards a modern, cleaner heating system. It is described as a first-come, first-serve offer which will be available to building owners and tenants responsible for property maintenance, or tenants who receive permission from landlords to change heating systems.

John also 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. However, in the absence of proper, long-term national policy, he said it is not surprising that cities like have London decided to use the powers available to them to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions.

This Cleaner Heat Cashback offer will follow:

  • The current Mayor’s Better Boilers scheme which replaced and repaired inefficient and broken boilers in nearly 500 fuel-poor households
  • The previous Mayor’s Boiler Cashback Scheme that succeeded because nearly 40% of owner-occupiers and private residential landlords heard of the offer via their installer which was the single most effective communication route.

The BMF has campaigned for boiler scrappage as part of the solution to air pollution. In recent years, it said that central and local government have failed to bring down air pollution to within legal limits. Diesel emissions from transport are reported as the main cause but emissions from home heating are also involved. In its representations to Whitehall and the city councils affected, the BMF has been making the case for boiler scrappage scheme(s) and hope they will become city-wide or better still, a fully-financed national scheme from Whitehall.

To learn more and apply, click here.

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