Old boilers leak energy and waste money. A 15-year-old boiler might only reach 60% efficiency, which effectively means that 40% of the money you spend heating your home is unnecessary. If you need to leave the pilot light in your boiler on 24/7, this might cost you up to £50 a year alone.
On the other hand, modern combi boilers are over 90% efficient, with some boasting energy efficiency levels of more than 100% through innovations that enable them to extract heat energy from incoming air.
Therefore, a boiler replacement could easily save you and your family hundreds of pounds every year - money that would be better spent on a holiday, a party or pretty much anything other than wasteful energy use.
However, you might be reluctant to replace your boiler because of the initial expense involved - as they say, you've got to spend money to make money, and as many people's budgets have been under pressure for years, you might not be able to find the cash you need to make these money-saving home improvements.
There are a number of different grants and loans available that may enable you to save money on the cost of replacing a gas boiler, or some that may even enable you to install the boiler for free.
The Green Deal cashback scheme provides people with a grant of up to £310, which can be used to pay for the cost of a new boiler. Qualifying recipients may need to install additional energy efficiency measures, such as insulation, and may have to take out a loan to finance these improvements.
Energy efficiency upgrades can also be funded through Green Deal loans - recipients arrange a Green Deal finance plan, and repay the cost of upgrades through their gas and electricity bills. Repayment charges should not be higher than the savings participants make on their energy bills.
Energy suppliers are also obliged to help customers save money and reduce their utility bills through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Energy Company Obligation (ECO). This initiative runs alongside the Green Deal and provides households - particularly those containing vulnerable residents - with additional energy-efficiency support.
The Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation aspect of the ECO states that energy suppliers should provide low-income and vulnerable people with measures to improve their home, which includes boiler replacements and repairs.
Boiler breakdown cover specialists 247 Home Rescue offer up to £200 to people with a membership, to put towards the cost of a new boiler. This grant is only available to people whose boilers are less than eight years old, and only when the boiler has broken down and is deemed to be beyond economical repair.
Local authorities also operate a range of boiler replacement schemes. Contact your local authority today to find out what they have to offer you. A lot of council's projects will be constrained by time or money, so it is best to make an enquiry the moment you realise you need a replacement boiler.
This blog on money-saving energy-efficiency tips was written by Kevin Burke on behalf of boiler breakdown cover specialists 247 Home Rescue.
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