Northern Ireland homeowners urged to apply for grants to fit more efficient heating

Homeowners in Northern Ireland can apply for grants of up to £1000 from today, to help fund replacements for old, inefficient boilers.

The Northern Ireland Executive is providing up to £12 million in funding for the scheme, which aims to help homeowners replace inefficient boilers with energy efficient condensing oil or gas boilers; switch from oil to gas heating; or switch to a wood pellet boiler.

Funding is available to those who earn less than £40,000 a year with an inefficient boiler at least 15 years old.

Encouraging homeowners who think they may be eligible for the scheme to apply, Nelson McCausland, minister for social development, said: “This scheme that I am launching can make a real difference financially to 16,000 home owners throughout Northern Ireland. By replacing an old non-condensing boiler with a new condensing boiler, householders in an average three bedroom semi-detached house can save in excess of £2,700 over 10 years. This figure increases the older the boiler being replaced.

“During last year’s pilot scheme almost 1,700 boilers were replaced in homes throughout Northern Ireland with some delivering a 30% increase in fuel efficiency. This money saved will make a real difference to the most vulnerable in our community”.

“Northern Ireland suffers from the highest level of fuel poverty in the United Kingdom with households here spending significantly more of their disposable income on energy costs. This scheme further underlines my Department’s commitment to supporting people in reducing their energy costs and maximising the energy efficiency of their homes.”

The scheme, administered by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, is targeted at householders who do not qualify for other Government energy efficient improvement schemes making them vulnerable to fuel poverty.

Those who think they may be eligible can call now on 0300 200 7874 or register by email at [email protected]. Additional information is available here.

The minister added: “I would encourage homeowners who think that they meet the criteria to register now. They can also begin to make enquiries about the type of new boiler they would like to have installed and book ahead with a local installer, so that they can get the work done as quickly as possible.”

The minister concluded: “This scheme will also be welcomed by local businesses. Last year some 640 installers and suppliers were involved in carrying out the work and I hope as this scheme progresses the use of these companies will continue to give a boost to the local economy.”