Can I get a free boiler under the Green Deal?

UPDATE: As of 30 March 2016, the government has stopped funding and the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is closed to new applications. You can read about it here

Can I get a free boiler through the Green Deal scheme?

We get this question at almost every Green Deal assessment, so we thought it was worth giving you a proper answer here.

Let’s put it this way – there’s good news and bad news…

The bad news is that a free boiler is pretty much a thing of the past. You used to be able to get a boiler grant under the ECO scheme, but that money has all but dried up now, since the energy companies have already met their energy saving obligations. The good news is that under the Green Deal, pretty much anyone with a decent credit rating can get finance towards a boiler.

That’s right, it’s finance and not a grant unfortunately. The loan itself is 6.96%, but is fixed for the lifetime of the loan (normally 12 years), although you can repay early with no early repayment fees. This is obviously not for everyone, but the fact is the loan is paid via the energy savings makes it much easier to swallow! In fact we get plenty of people who fancy going for this green deal finance option during our assessments.

Partial finance on a new boiler under the Green Deal

What we have found really frustrating is that most properties save £50-150 per year by switching to a new boiler. Under the golden rule that governs the Green Deal, that equates to a loan of a few hundred to about a thousand pounds. That means you can get some help towards the costs, but end up paying most of the costs up front, especially when you factor in the set up fees of the loan.

This can be really frustrating for our customers, who at the end of the day want the assessment because they can’t afford that upfront cost. Let me just explain how the calculation works. The assessment itself works out how much money you are going to save by switching to a more efficient boiler. The larger your property, the more you will save, because you are going to be spending proportionally more to heat it. Further, the older your boiler, the lower its efficiency, and the more you will save by upgrading it. A 1 bed flat with a 10 year old conventional boiler with an efficiency of 80% will only produce savings of £50 or so typically. Whereas a 5 bed Victorian house with a 30 year old floor mounted boiler is going to produce savings of £300 a year perhaps.

If the property has no heating system at all (not even a broken boiler on the wall), you are going to see the biggest savings of all. Even a small flat will produce savings of £500 or more. This is because the EPC will assume that the property is being heated by portable electric heaters when there is no main heating system in the property.

If the assessor turns up to the property and there is no boiler then this is how you can maximise funding and in many cases get a new boiler installed.

How does this equate to funding? The table below should provide a rough idea of the finance you will get to pay towards the boiler install costs, relative to the savings on the Green Deal report.

Saving (£/yr) Maximum Finance
£50 £390
£100 £780
£200 £1560
£300 £2340
£500 £3900

What about heating controls?

The way the funding works, you can combine the funding with the funding for heating controls, like TRV’s and thermostats. Make sure you get your assessor to recommend new heating controls, as this will bump your savings up – sometimes by £50/yr or more.

So you can get some funding for your boiler, but it is really dependent on what you have installed already, and the size and efficiency of your property. It is really worth discussing this with your assessor organisation before you go ahead with your assessment, to ensure you get the funding you need.

Installing a new boiler

Are you thinking about getting a new boiler? We have scoured the country for the best tradespeople, so that we can make sure we only recommend those we really trust.

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