New Boiler Upgrade Scheme Regulations: Experts Reveal What You Need to Know

Horizontal ground source heat pump system for heating home with geothermal energy. 3D rendered illustration.

From today, heat pumps will be cheaper and easier to install, as the UK government’s latest change in regulations for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme grant comes into effect.

The Eco Experts reveal what these regulation changes mean for UK homeowners hoping to apply for the government grant. 

What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme allows homeowners and small business owners in England and Wales to receive grants of up to £7,500 towards the cost of a boiler replacement system.

The scheme’s new regulation means families will no longer need to install cavity wall or loft insulation to use the government scheme. This could potentially reduce the costs associated with installing a heat pump on a semi-detached property by approximately £2,500. 

What do the new regulations mean for UK homeowners?

The Eco Experts’ Senior Writer, Tamara Birch, explains: 

By removing the requirement to install cavity wall or loft insulation, families are given greater choice on how they improve their home. The government said by doing this, households will be able to spread out the costs of changes at a pace that works for them, but warns properties should still be well-insulated to keep costs down.”

In the latest episode of The Eco Experts’ Positive Energy podcast, What the hell is a Heat Pump?, Bean Beanland, Director for Growth & External Affairs at The Heat Pump Federation, explains that insulation is still important, and that “we should all be reducing our energy demand by insulating. But, what’s now recognised is that insulation is not a prerequisite for successful heat pump deployment”. 

Since its launch in 2022, the scheme has had 36,741 applications and has now paid out close to £127 million in vouchers to customers. The number of applications for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme increased by 75% in February 2024, compared to February 2023, according to recent government data

Other schemes available:

The Eco Experts’ Senior Writer, Tamara Birch, comments:

Homeowners can also get support to improve their energy efficiency through the Great British Insulation Scheme and Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which are set to help up to 700,000 families install home improvements, such as insulation by March 2026.

Why switch to heat pumps?

An air source heat pump will typically save you £4,891 over its lifetime, compared to a gas boiler – which means you can actually cut your costs by going green.

This is down to a combination of rising gas prices, the government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme, the increasing efficiency of heat pumps, and the need to replace a boiler after 10 years – unlike an air source heat pump, which generally lasts 20 years.

Water source heat pumps can potentially save you even more money on your energy bills, as they’re typically 4.5 times more efficient than gas boilers – and 1.5 times more efficient than air and ground source heat pumps.