Photograph of Jeremy Hawksley
The new boiler scrappage scheme announced by Boris Johnson, which will help Greater London residents reduce CO2 emissions from heating should be rolled out across the country to help meet the UK’s ambitious carbon reduction targets. That’s the opinion of OFTEC – the trade association for the oil heating industry.
OFTEC warmly welcomes the scheme which will provide a £400 cash back subsidy to households and landlords who upgrade a standard 70% efficiency oil or gas boiler to an A rated 90% efficiency model.
OFTEC has long championed the idea of boiler scrappage which can help the average three bedroom home using oil reduce fuel consumption by 23% (-528 litres p.a.) and cut CO2 emissions by 1,629kg p.a. With an estimated 600,000 older standard efficiency oil boilers still in use across the UK, in addition to millions of low efficiency gas boilers, the potential for carbon savings via this simple, affordable route is huge.
Jeremy Hawksley, OFTEC’s current Director General says, “The introduction of a boiler scrappage scheme in Greater London which includes oil is to be celebrated. It demonstrates what we have been saying all along – that boiler scrappage is an ideal way to help UK households reduce carbon emissions from heating in a practical, affordable way.
“With an estimated 4.5 million UK homes still classed as fuel poor, and cost remaining a major motivator for most consumers, our country urgently needs carbon reduction schemes that don’t cost the earth and actually work.”
Similar boiler scrappage schemes have already been tried and tested. In Great Britain 120,000 old, inefficient boilers were replaced in 2010 and, in Northern Ireland, 15,540 oil boilers were upgraded between April 2012 and September 2015. Both schemes had positive effects on the environment, in terms of reduced carbon emissions, and on fuel bills.
Around 12,700 households in Greater London currently use oil for heating and an estimated 60% of these still have standard efficiency boilers in need of replacement. As a predominately urban area, Greater London has one of the lowest percentages of oil households in the country. But if the scrappage scheme were to be extended to help the rest of the UK’s 1.4 million oil using households, the resulting carbon savings would be much higher.
Jeremy Hawksley continues, “A simple, UK-wide boiler scrappage scheme is a realistic to carbon reduction which appeals to the majority of homeowners. If the Government can achieve mass consumer support, the fall in greenhouse gas emissions from heating would be enormous.”