OFTEC calls on Government to rethink Green Deal

9th November, 2013

OFTEC (Oil Firing Technical Association) is urging the Government to rethink the Green Deal programme to encourage greater take-up of high efficiency boilers to help meet the UK's challenging climate change targets.

New oil boiler sales have reached their highest levels for five years and according to figures from OFTEC, total boiler sales for September this year were 26.2% higher than in September 2012. Total sales for the year to date also increased by 14.6% compared to last year.

However, despite the rise in demand for new oil boilers, to date only 5,560 households have taken advantage of the cash-back option to upgrade their boiler under the Green Deal and the majority of these are gas users.

OFTEC suggests that a simple boiler scrappage scheme, similar to the one running successfully in Northern Ireland, would be far more effective in encouraging people to upgrade to an energy efficient boiler and save energy.

Director General of OFTEC, Jeremy Hawksley, said: "We saw an initial upsurge in sales of 28% between January and April 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, the highest figures for five years. This was largely attributed to the very cold winter but sales have continued to exceed 2012 levels for the rest of the year to date.

"Clearly there is a latent demand and many consumers are choosing to upgrade to a new condensing boiler which can greatly reduce carbon emissions and save up to 20% on fuel bills."

He continued: "However, relatively few households have chosen to upgrade their oil boiler through the Green Deal... A further issue is that most homeowners only consider replacing their existing boiler when it is beyond repair. However, in these distress purchase situations, the householder is unlikely to have the time or be in the right frame of mind to go through the Green Deal's complex application process, they just want their heating back on."

Mr Hawksley concluded: "With many thousands of standard efficiency boilers in need of upgrade, the Government should be making it as easy as possible for homeowners to install modern condensing boilers by making the process simple and worth consumers' time in terms of both cost and effort."

"A straightforward and more generous scrappage scheme, similar to Northern Ireland's initiative, would be far more effective in getting people to take the first steps towards reducing the UK's carbon footprint, and hopefully, once they are on board, lead to greater strides."

Source: Heating and Ventilating

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