Leftover government cash for boiler upgrades won’t be carried over

The government’s BUS budget is likely to be underspent by millions for the financial year ending 31st March

Unspent money for the government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) this year will not be reallocated to next year, the Energy Minister has confirmed.

The scheme offers vouchers of up to £6,000 to encourage more households to replace their gas boilers with heat pumps or biomass boilers.

The BUS budget is £450 million, split over three financial years (2022-2025).

A few months ago, data released by Ofgem shows a slow pace on the rollout of the government‘s flagship scheme to decarbonise home heating.

In November, statistics suggested the scheme has only spent nearly 13% of its total £150 million budget.

The government aims to give out 30,000 vouchers annually but according to official data only managed 9,888 between the scheme’s launch in May and the end of the year.

Energy Minister Graham Stuart said: “Budget remains available for use in year one of the scheme, however, we do not expect this to be fully utilised based on latest forecasts.

“We have explored options to carry over unused budget from year one of the scheme, but due to the accounting rules for capital spending schemes we do not expect this to be possible.”

In response to the news, Mike Foster, Chief Executive of Energy and Utilities Alliance, said: “This policy has always been flawed. Part subsiding a heat pump installation with a £5,000 bung leaves the remaining costs, average of an extra £8,000 to be met by the consumer.

“Only the well-off need apply, which in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis with fuel poverty levels rocketing, is entirely the wrong priority.

“With energy bills set to climb by another 20% in April, pumping money into the hands of those who wish to go green, rather than helping those who are forced to choose between heating and eating, is immoral.”

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