Just months after APHC threw its weight behind the idea of a boiler scrappage scheme, the Chancellor announced in his Pre-Budget Report yesterday that in 2010 a boiler scrappage scheme will be implemented that will see £400 payments made to households towards upgrading old boilers.APHCs Charlotte Murray commented: "While it would have been nice to see an even more ambitious scrappage scheme, we are happy that the Chancellor has recognised the value of scrapping old, inefficient boilers. Not only will this help save 125,000 householders money in the long-term but it will also make a significant positive impact on the emission of CO2.
As far as our industry is concerned, it should provide a small but welcome boost by encouraging householders to bring forward plans to replace their old boilers. "However, rumours stating that this scheme will save 120,000 jobs in the sector are incorrect. This is likely to help approximately 16% of the industry, affecting only around 4,000 companies.
In addition, the Class G boiler is typically installed in a 20-30 year old system, which is likely to require modernisation; this cost will be between £2,000 and £3,000 pounds. The overall saving, while welcome, represents a small contribution to the decision making process. "Detail is sketchy at this early time on implementation and APHC would welcome an industry-wide approach rather than focusing on a particular scheme, manufacturer or company.
"APHC calls on the Chancellor to review the scheme early in the New Year, establishing if the project should be expanded to cover all boilers over 10 years of age and other associated products such as solar thermal or ground source heat pumps. "The Chancellor also announced tax breaks for people investing in wind turbines and solar panels who plug their excess power into the national grid. This is yet another indication of the direction in which our industry is heading and how important it is that plumbing and heating engineers keep their training and knowledge of renewable systems up to date.
"Finally, the Chancellor announced plans to extend the WarmFront scheme. We applaud the principle but urge Eaga to continue its work to iron out the current issues in the system before it takes on even more responsibility."