larne homeowners are being encouraged to see if they are eligible to benefit from a new £12 million boiler replacement scheme, which could make a real difference to their energy costs.
Just launched by Minister for Social Development, Nelson McCausland, the scheme - provided by funding from the Northern Ireland Executive - offers owner occupiers a grant of up to £1,000 to replace inefficient boilers, with energy efficient condensing oil or gas boilers; switching from oil to gas; or switching to a wood pellet boiler.
It is available to those who earn less than £40,000 a year with an inefficient boiler of at least 15 years and is dependent on total gross income.
East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson said: Sammy Wilson he was delighted the DSD Minister has been able to extend the boiler replacement scheme.
“This scheme can make a real difference to people by helping them to reduce their fuel bills through newer, more energy efficient boilers,” said Mr Wilson.
“Replacing an old non-condensing boiler with a new condensing boiler can save more than £2,700 over 10 years for householders living in an average three-bedroom house. This is yet another step towards reducing the unacceptably high level of fuel poverty in Northern Ireland which is the worst in the UK.”
DUP party colleague, Alastair Ross MLA, added: “This scheme is also good news for local installers who will get additional work as a direct result of the scheme. I was able to speak to several installers who work in the East Antrim area and are excited about opportunities for householders and local installers from the scheme.”
Encouraging homeowners who think they may be eligible for the scheme to apply, Minister McCausland 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 per cent 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.”
Those who think they may be eligible can call now on 0300 200 7874 or register by email at email@example.com. Additional information is available at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/boiler-replacement-allowance.htm.
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.
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.
“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.”