Government grant Groundhog Day

Joe Sharpe
Head of Content - Installer

Joe Sharpe, Head of Content at Installer, looks at the latest report from the Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee that the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is “failing to deliver”.

 I really didn’t want to write this article about another failing government grant but here we are.

The news broke last week that a letter was sent to Lord Callanan, warning that if the current take-up rate continues, only half of the allocated Boiler Upgrade Scheme budget will be used.

Limited public awareness and “a shortage of heat-pump installers” were mentioned as two of the biggest challenges.

It reminds me so much of Green Deal, which suffered from a similar lack of awareness, and proves (again) that government can’t just throw money at something and expect it to work.

The infrastructure needs to be there, and that infrastructure looks like it needs to start with installer training and customer education.

While the energy price cap is being raised again, it seems crazy that the public would pass up on grants and incentives, but those initiatives need to be right.

Talking to Richard Burrows from Mid Wales Plumbing and Heating Supplies at InstallerSHOW last year, he had a good idea. Why not spend money on a heat loss calculation for every property in the UK? It would let everyone know what improvements they would need (or not) to heat their homes more efficiently, and give them a route map to do so.

In his column that will be published this Friday, heating engineer Andy Gibbs argues that the money would be better spent on heat pump training for installers. There is a pot already available, but should it cover time off the tools? Should it be rolled out more widely?

I hope this isn’t the end for the BUS as on paper it looked like a promising scheme, which addressed some of the failings of previous ones.

But we do seem to keep bumping up against the same solution. Get the installers on board first, and the rest will follow. 

Top 5 most-read articles on www.installeronline.co.uk in Feb 2022

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