POLL – Should ‘failing’ heat pump scheme be scrapped?

What is the £5000 boiler heat pump payment?

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A House of Lords committee declared in a new report last week that the UK’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), which subsidises the installation of low-carbon heating systems including heat pumps in England and Wales, was “failing to deliver” on its objectives. So do you think it should be scrapped? Vote in our poll.

The UK Government pledged £6.6billion towards making buildings more energy efficient and decarbonising heat between 2020 and 2025. But analysis shows that a third of this funding (£2.1billion) has not been spent. 

The scheme was supposed to be worth £450million with the aim of making heat pumps affordable to households in England and Wales. The BUS offers grants of £5,000 towards the installation of heat pumps. However, the uptake across the country is falling behind European nations with some 22 million UK homes — equivalent to 85 percent — still heated using gas boilers.

Head of the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), Mike Foster, criticised the BUS and argued that the Government should scrap the “failing” subsidy scheme, and replace it with more “sensible” policies to permanently lower energy bills. Mr Foster spoke out after poor take-up of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme last month, noting the Government was falling shy of its target to pay out 2,500 vouchers of heat pump subsidies.

He said that the government was falling short of its BUS targets paying out just 290 of 2,500 available vouchers a month in January. He said: “This policy has always been flawed. Part subsidising a heat pump installation with a £5,000 bung leaves the remaining costs, an average of an extra £8,000, to be met by the consumer.”

He continued: “Only the well-off need apply, which in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis with fuel poverty levels rocketing, is entirely the wrong priority. With energy bills set to climb by another 20 percent in April, pumping money into the hands of those who wish to go green, rather than helping those who are forced to choose between heating and eating, is immoral.”

A Government spokesperson said: “Improving the energy efficiency of homes is important to tackling fuel poverty and reducing emissions, and that’s why we’ve committed £6.6billionn this parliament and a further £6billion to 2028 to make buildings more energy efficient.”

So what do YOU think? Should the UK’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme be scrapped? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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