The cost of a new boiler in the UK can range between a few hundred pounds to around £4000, depending on the brand and functionality. On top of this cost, you will also be charged for installation and any extra features that may be added to your boiler system.
In order to combat this, both the government and individual energy companies have introduced schemes for certain eligible groups that can alleviate the financial burden of replacing an oil boiler. In this article, we will explain why the efficiency of your oil boiler matters, and what kind of help could be available to you.
Is my oil boiler efficient?
Whilst oil boilers are less common than gas boilers, they are an easy and fuss-free way to heat your home. They also work in similar ways to gas boilers, by heating oil in a combustion chamber which then heats up water to heat your home.
Oil boilers should be able to reach the same level of efficiency as their gas counterparts – UK regulations state that they must have an energy rating of at least 86%, though most boilers will be upwards of 90% efficient.
Apart from when a boiler breaks completely, many people also choose to replace their boiler if it is no longer working efficiently and is causing their heating bills to increase. Efficiency levels in boilers drop as they get older, so it is worth replacing them whenever you notice you are needing to turn the heating on higher, or if you are paying unusually high rates for your heating bills.
Who is eligible for a boiler grant?
Most of the grants that are offered in the UK are available to low-income households only. Generally, to be eligible, you will need to own your home and currently be on any of the following Government benefits:
- Child tax credit
- Working tax credit
- Pension credit
- Income-related ESA
- Income-related JSA
- Universal credit
In order to qualify for a free replacement boiler, your current boiler should also be over 7 years old. If your boiler is needing replacing and it is newer than 7 years old, then it is worth checking the warranty of the boiler and checking the terms of your boiler’s insurance. Some boiler cover policies will replace broken boilers free of charge – though it will have to be broken beyond repair for you to claim, rather than just inefficient.
Types of boiler grants available
There are a few grants available to you if you live in the UK and meet the above criteria.
Government Eco Scheme
This scheme is commonly referred to as the Energy Companies Obligations Scheme. This is the most common Government initiated eco scheme which allows specific homeowners and private tenants to replace old or inefficient boilers for free. This scheme was originally set up to aid low-income families by improving their home’s insulation and reducing their heating bills.
Because the Government funding for this initiative is limited, the eligibility criteria are very strict. As mentioned above, you will need to receive at least one benefit from the Government already, as well as having a household income of less than 20k a year. If you don’t own your home, you will need your landlord’s permission, and the boiler must be over 7 years old.
The UK Government stresses that big energy companies have a responsibility to help low-income families and ensure that everyone has access to hot water and a warm home. The companies involved in this scheme include big names like British Gas, EDF, and Npower etc.
Usually, your energy supplier will contact you if they believe that you are eligible for this support – but if you haven’t been contacted and think you meet the criteria then definitely get in touch, as this can save you a remarkable amount of money on your heating bills in the long run.
Affordable Warmth Obligation (previously called Warm Front)
Similar to the above grant, this Government scheme could benefit you if you are on low income and have an inefficient boiler. With this scheme, you can even apply if you live in social housing, as long as your home has an energy rating of either E, F, or G.
As well as getting help with the cost of replacing or repairing your boiler, you could get the financial assistance that covers insulation work in the loft or cavity walls, as well as any other upgrades to your heating.
Other boiler grants
As well as these grants that cover the cost of new boilers or updates to the insulation in your home, there are a number of financial schemes that have been set up to help those who may qualify.
Some of these include the Warm Home Discount which helps those on certain benefits with a £140 grant on their electricity bills in the winter, and likewise, the Winter Fuel Payments are paid out to those above 65 years old to ease the financial burden of heating. These are automatically paid out, so if you think you should be eligible and have not received any assistance, then get in touch with your energy company.
Rent a boiler scheme
Another scheme to consider is the rent a boiler initiative that many energy companies are now offering. Whilst it will not technically save you any money – and could eventually cost up to £2k more in interest – it can be a great option for those who are unable to replace their boiler upfront and do not qualify for any of the Government schemes.
Boiler grant conclusion
These schemes can be a great way to get help with the cost of replacing or upgrading your boiler. This will not only save you money upfront but also in the long term with more efficient energy use resulting in cheaper heating bills.
Whether your boiler is completely broken, or just not as efficient as it used to be, it is worth checking with your supplier if you think you are eligible for financial support.