In spite of cuts, cuts and more cuts dominating headlines, there are some good news items to be found without too much scouring – like the Scottish government just announcing the allocation of a further £1.5million to the boiler scrappage scheme.
There’s no small print to it – as before, the scheme offers £400 towards the cost of new, Energy Saving Trust Recommended boiler. Only now there’s 60% more scrappage funds in the kitty, meaning the potential to reach a further 3,600 households.
6,000 Scottish homes are already reaping the rewards after ditching their old systems in favour of cleaner, more efficient and cheaper-to-run boilers – and this follows the runaway success of the English scheme last year, which saw our vouchers fly out the door in double-quick time.
With all this in mind, the extension of the scrappage scheme in Scotland offers a great opportunity for people to cut back on their bills and emissions, and all with a bit of a government leg-up.
And it’s not just private householders that can benefit – landlords are a particular target of the program, with each property they rent out eligible for a good old voucher-backed scrapping.
The private-rented sector is notoriously tough to reach with energy saving measures, so we hope this will help the effects of green financial initiatives to be felt in harder to reach, lower income people that are in – or at risk of falling into – fuel poverty.
Boiler scrappage is one of those clear-cut, simple initiatives with few – if any – drawbacks. The only thing standing in the way is the competition for such funding, as the money available is by no means a bottomless pit of cheaper heating joy. We’d advise those with boilers on the blink to give it serious thought – and those renting to aim some nudges towards their landlords…
Current estimates suggest nearly 250,000 Scottish homes are running boilers that are less than 70% efficient – conditions that qualify them for financial support from the scheme. Whilst the new funding will barely begin to thaw the colossal iceberg, it remains a positive indication of some form of commitment to encourage cheaper, cleaner energy amongst the population, as well as a genuine effort to help those most threatened by recent hikes in prices.
As the macro economy is threatening to eclipse all other concerns, this increase in funding represents a small but significant victory on the home front.