News that the Scottish Government’s recently announced ‘Green Homes Cashback Fund’ is to allow householders to upgrade their oil boilers has been welcomed by OFTEC, the Oil Firing Technical Association.
The move is in contradiction to the stance taken for England and Wales where a similar Green Deal Home Improvement Fund announced earlier this month excludes properties using heating oil from taking advantage of the scheme to upgrade their boiler as it applies to gas-fired types only. Both schemes go live on 1 June and will result in a startling disparity between the regions.
Commenting, Jeremy Hawksley of OFTEC says, “It seems even more unjust that oil-heated households in England and Wales are discriminated against, whereas those in Scotland are able to take advantage of the grants on offer.”
Mr. Hawksley adds, “We’ve been informed that Ministers at the Department of Energy and Climate Change were advised that the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) launched in April must be the only option for rural homeowners on oil in England and Wales, although gas homeowners have a choice.”
OFTEC has actively voiced its concerns about the domestic RHI scheme since its inception, arguing that the considerable upfront investment required by homeowners to install renewable technologies makes the scheme fit for only the wealthy few. Typical installations cost between £8,000 and £19,000, including the need for replacement radiators or underfloor heating.
Oil condensing boilers are included in the Green Homes Cashback scheme in Scotland, provided the condensing boiler is recommended on the Green Deal Assessment. There may be other eligibility criteria that a householder will need to satisfy for the scheme.