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Chancellor announces boiler scrappage scheme

A boiler scrappage scheme – as called for by builders and plumbers merchants and heating manufacturers – was announced today by the chancellor, Alistair Darling.

Chancellor announces boiler scrappage scheme

In his final Pre Budget Report before the General Election, Darling predicted that the economy would shrink 4.75% in 2009 and also announced spending cuts of £340m on regeneration and housing growth to pay for health and education spending commitments.

The Greener Boiler Scheme will offer £400 for up to 125,000 households to upgrade their old boilers to the latest efficient models.

Darling said: “Today I can announce an additional £200m, from April, to help with energy efficiency. An extra 75,000 households will benefit from an extension of the Warm Front scheme.

“This will go alongside further requirements from the energy companies, up to £300m overall, to provide discounts on energy bills to another 1m low-income households.

“Mr Speaker, each inefficient boiler adds over £200 to household bills and one tonne of carbon to the atmosphere a year.

“Building on our successful car scrappage scheme, I will help up to 125,000 homes replace the most inefficient boilers with new models, saving households around £230 a year in energy bills;

Other key points for the construction industry include:

  • The end of stamp-duty relief on homes costing less than £175,000

  • A commitment to introduce four pilot carbon More help for young unemployed

  • A £500m capital growth fund to support small businesses

  • A commitment to fund Crossrail and continue with the rail electrification programme

  • Tax rebates for electric cars and wind turbines

  • No change to VAT for residential refurbishment

    Mick Williams, the Hampshire plumbers merchant whose Downing Street petition kick-started the campaign, has today been interviewed by BBC radio and Meridian TV about the scheme.

    In response to the boiler scrappage scheme a spokesperson for Construction Products Association said: “We welcome measures to help improve the energy efficiency of the built environment and in particular the widely trailed Boiler Scrappage Scheme, which is a small step in the right direction.

    “Although tackling 125,000 boilers is a welcome start, there are nearly five million boilers currently in use with a permanent pilot light. So if the government is to live up to its ambition to maintain leadership in the low-carbon sector, the scale of the problem that needs to be addressed remains considerable.”

    Editor’s blog

    To read more information about the scheme, take a look at our new boiler scrappage scheme pages.

  • About Fiona Russell-Horne

    Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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