Tidy earner.

Who will really benefit from boiler scrappage?

Published:  08 January, 2010

LONDON: Boiler manufacturers, plumbers and merchants are in line for a £300m boost if the boiler scrappage scheme is successful – with the Government also set to make a tidy profit.

The state incentive package offers homeowners £400 to scrap an old boiler in exchange for a new energy-efficient model.

Revenues of about £313m could be brought into the sector if the £50m funding pot is taken up, with the average price of buying and installing a boiler £2500, according to the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC).

This would allow the Government to raise £4.69m through the programme from VAT of £437.50 on each boiler sale and installation.

Some in the industry yesterday dismissed the Government's plan as a "drop in a bucket" and "half-hearted", because it will offer support for only 125 000 households in England out of an estimated 4.5 million in the UK with the eligible G-rated boiler.

Mark Kelly, the UK chief executive of Baxi, said the scheme offered a "real opportunity" for the industry, while Carl Arntzen, director of Bosch Thermotechnology, stated he was "extremely pleased" by how quickly the scheme had been launched after its announcement in the pre-Budget report.

As well as boiler manufacturers, merchants and installers are also in line for a major windfall. Roger Webb, director of the HHIC, said he would look for talks with the Government about extending the scheme if demand proved to be strong.

Charlie Mullins, founder of Pimlico Plumbers, said the programme was a "media, spin operation".

"The scheme will only be helping those that could afford it in the first place and not those from the poorest of backgrounds who it should be helping," he said.

"As far as the environment is concerned it is just a drop in a bucket to cutting CO2 emissions and a half-hearted attempt at doing anything significant."

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