Financial support for heat pumps and biomass boilers
This page summarises key information about the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) for property owners.
For full scheme details, we encourage you to read the BUS property owner guidance.
Acting on your behalf, an accredited heating installer can claim:
£5000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump
£5000 off the cost and installation of a biomass boiler
£6000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump, including water source heat pumps
If you want to know which of these technologies is right for your property, speak to a heating installer or learn about low-carbon heating options on the Simple Energy Advice website.
Help with VAT
From 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2027, there is 0% VAT on the installation of energy-saving materials including heat pumps and biomass boilers.
How the scheme works.
The scheme is designed to minimise the amount of work property owners need to do. It is ‘installer-led’, which means your chosen installer will:
make a BUS application on your behalf
liaise with Ofgem on most matters related to the scheme
tell Ofgem when they’ve installed your heating system
claim the money from Ofgem at the end of the project
The grant value should be deducted from your quote upfront, and installers are responsible for passing on the discount that the BUS grant provides to you, the property owner.
Choosing an installer
For a heating system to be eligible under BUS, it must be installed by an installer certified by the Microgeneration Certification Service (MCS).
As with all home improvements we recommend that you obtain quotes from multiple installers.
You can find an installer in your area on the MCS website.
Giving your consent
After your chosen installer has submitted an application for your property, we’ll contact you to confirm that:
you have consented to the installer making the application on your behalf
you meet the relevant eligibility criteria for the scheme
If we do not receive your confirmations of the above within 14 calendar days, we may reject the application.
If we need more information from you to progress the application, we will contact you directly.
What confirming your consent means?
It’s important to remember that you’re only confirming you have consented to an installer making an application on your behalf. This is to provide us with assurance that the application is being made in good faith.
It does not mean you’ve committed to working with a particular installer. That’s something that needs to be handled separately through any contractual arrangement you make with your installer.
Multiple applications for the same property
In situations where more than one installer has submitted a BUS application on your behalf, you can only confirm your consent to one of them. After this, we’ll reject any applications from other installers.
Where we identify a fraudulent confirmation of consent, we may reject the application and contact you and the installer regarding the application. If needed, we may refer the case of fraud to the police.
Completing the project
After you’ve confirmed your consent, your installer has three months from the moment the application is approved to complete the installation in line with industry standards and scheme requirements (six months for ground source heat pumps).
Depending on your property, you may need to install insulation before the work is completed on your heating system to be eligible. If this applies to you, we will contact both you and the installer about this.
When the new system has been installed and fully checked, your installer can claim the grant amount from Ofgem.
If the installer does not complete the work within the time limits set out above, they will have to submit a new application for the installation, and you will need to confirm your consent for them to do this on your behalf again.
Checks that Ofgem needs to do
To ensure that the scheme’s public money is being used correctly, Ofgem has the legal authority to carry out routine checks on grant applications at any point in the process, including after payment has been made.
This may involve a site audit where we visit your property.
Eligibility for a grant.
Installers need to be certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).
they are technically competent
the products they use in their installations meet the correct standards
The scheme is open to domestic and small non-domestic properties in England and Wales.
New build properties are not eligible for the scheme, except for certain ‘self-builds’.
To be eligible, a self-build must:
have been built mainly using the labour or resources of the first owner
never have been owned by a business or organisation
Grants are not available for:
social housing – that is, any rental or owned accommodation that’s provided at lower than market value to people that could not have afforded it otherwise (including arrangements like shared ownership)
properties that have already received government funding or support for a heat pump or biomass boiler
BUS grants are only available for air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps (including water source heat pumps and those on shared ground loops) and biomass boilers.
Hybrid heat pump systems, for example a combination of a fossil fuel boiler and air source heat pump, are not eligible.
The new heating system must:
have been commissioned (that is, installed and fully checked by your installer) on or after 1 April 2022
be capable of meeting the full space heating and hot water requirements of your property
replace an existing fossil fuel or electric heating system
not replace an existing low-carbon heating system
meet certain technical standards, such as minimum efficiency requirements (your installer can advise you on these, or you can learn about them yourself in chapter 2 of BUS: installer guidance)
In addition, biomass boilers:
can only be installed in rural properties
can only be installed in properties with no connection to the gas grid
cannot be installed in eligible self-builds
An energy performance certificate (EPC) gives information about a property’s energy use, with recommendations on how to reduce energy demand and save money. It’s required every time you buy, sell, or rent a property.
Before we approve any grant application, we check that a property’s EPC:
was issued within the last 10 years
has no recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation
You can check your property’s EPC report.
We do not check EPC reports for eligible self-builds.
If your property has recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation
One of the following must happen for your property to be eligible:
Your installer can still apply, but some insulation may need to be installed. A new EPC with no recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulations must be generated, by the time the installer claims the grant at the end of the project.
You do not need to fix the insulation problems if:
your property is affected by atypical local environment conditions, such as regular exposure to driving rain
it is not feasible to install loft or cavity wall insulation due to the structure of the property, for example the house has a steel or timber frame
installing loft or cavity wall insulation would harm protected wildlife
your property is in a conservation area
your property is a listed building
installing loft or cavity wall insulation would be unlawful
In these situations, you will need to give evidence to your installer so that they can submit your application.
Evidence templates for EPC exemptions
Rejecting grants due to problems with an EPC
If we must reject a grant claim because of an issue with an EPC relating to the insulation of your property, the installer may seek to recover the cost of the grant from you.
For further information please contact us.