For support call: 0330 100 3143
Return to homeowner

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme: Explained

Latest update - May 2024

As of 8th May the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) requirements have been updated as follows:

  • To make the BUS grant more accessible to homeowners, the Government has now removed the requirement for loft or cavity wall insulation. A valid EPC that has been generated within the last 10 years is still a requirement.
  • Shared Ground Loop Capacity has been increased from 45kW to 300kW to be eligible for funding under the scheme.
  • Biomass boilers are now included with a cooking function and are eligible for a grant of up to £5,000.

What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is a Government financial support scheme for low carbon technologies, available to property owners in England and Wales expected to run until 2028.

To support the UK’s legal obligation to reach net zero by 2050, it is imperative we reduce our emissions from home heating. The BUS incentive net zero emissions target and as an incentive for homeowners can provide up to £7,500 towards the cost of a heat pump when installed by an MCS registered heat pump installer.

Please note: For those living in Scotland, there is a different type of funding option. For Scotland, you can learn more about the Home Energy Scotland (HES) grant. In Northern Ireland, there may be alternative funding available.

How does it work?

To qualify for the BUS, you must be a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) registered installer.

As the installer, you apply for the BUS on the homeowner’s behalf via Ofgem, the homeowner will then confirm their consent for the application and a voucher will be issued. The heat pump can be installed after the voucher has been approved or prior to the application, within 120 days of commissioning the heat pump. You can then redeem the voucher and the amount be deducted from your customer’s bill.

The validity period of this voucher is dependent on the low carbon technology that has been installed.

What funding is available through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

Through the BUS, homeowner’s can access a grant of up to £7,500 to reduce the upfront installation cost of your customer’s chosen heat pump technology. You can apply for the grant on behalf of your customer, and it should be discounted from the total cost of the installation within your quote.

Dependent on your customers eligibility, they may be able to claim the following:

  • £7,500 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump.
  • £7,500 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump.
  • £5,000 off the cost and installation of a biomass boiler and includes biomass boilers with a cooking function.

It should be noted that for any heat pump to be eligible for the grant, it must have a seasonal coefficient of performance (SCOP) of at least 2.8.

The Government has also included water source heat pumps to be within the same category as ground source heat pumps.

Biomass boilers and biomass boilers with a cooking function are only eligible for this scheme in very limited circumstances, such as if your customer lives in a rural location and in a property that is not connected to the gas grid (heat pumps are eligible either on or off the gas grid).

Eligibility Criteria:

Your customer must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Live in England or Wales.
  • Own the property (whether this is a home or a small non-domestic property).
  • Properties must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) (ie no more than 10 years old) unless they meet the definition of an eligible self-build*.

Properties such as churches and park homes may be eligible if an EPC can be issued on the basis that it is a property and all other eligibility requirements are met.

*Eligible self-builds are new builds that were built using either the resources or labour of an individual. This includes buildings where a builder is contracted by an individual to create a ‘custom-build’ or where a private individual builds it as a DIY ‘self-build’ project. The eligibility requirements for a self-build property are as follows:

  • The building was built principally with the use of the labour or resources of the first owner (including where the resource was a loan which the first owner was liable to repay).
  • The new building has not, while the building was built or at any subsequent time, been owned wholly or partly by a person who is not an individual.
  • The date the new building was first occupied must be on or after the first commissioning date of the heat pump.

For further advice on property eligibility, check Ofgem’s Installer guidance.

Technology eligibility

Air source heat pumps, biomass boilers, and ground source heat pumps (including water source heat pumps and shared ground loops) are the eligible technologies under BUS and they must meet the requirements of the latest MCS standards.

For the customer’s low carbon technology to be eligible for BUS, it must:

  • Be commissioned within the last 120 days. Commissioning occurs when the installer has tested and signed off on the installed low carbon heating system (Ofgem will accept the commissioning date stated on the MCS installation certificate.)
  • Have installation capacity of no more than 45kW.
  • For ground loop systems, the maximum permitted capacity of the whole system is 300kW.
  • Distribute heat using a liquid (usually through underfloor heating or radiators) to meet the full space heating and hot water demands* of the property.
  • The new low carbon heating system will need to completely replace an existing fossil fuel heating system (such as oil, gas or direct electric) which does not include a heat pump.

*Hot water needs of the property refers to the hot water intended for the personal use of the individuals who use or occupy the eligible property. It is permitted for the heat pump or biomass boiler to also provide hot water for the purposes of heating a swimming pool or carrying out a process, but these needs do not have to be met for the technology to be eligible.

Unfortunately, conventional hybrid systems that use a fossil fuel source are not included in the eligibility for this scheme, and neither are solar thermal heating systems.

For further eligibility information, please review the BUS scheme eligibility requirements.

What are you responsible for?

As an installer, your responsibilities with regards to this scheme are as follows:

  • Be MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certified.
  • Submitting voucher applications and voucher redemption applications on behalf of the property owner.
  • Providing accurate information in relation to the application and informing Ofgem of any incorrect information.
  • Retaining copies of all information related to the submission of the voucher application and voucher redemption application for 6 years.
  • Providing any further information relating to the application upon request by Ofgem.
  • Engaging with any audit and compliance process upon request by Ofgem.

Apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme