Energy Saving Grants | Government Grants for Energy Efficiency

A Comprehensive Guide on Back Boiler Replacement Grants

Back boiler removal grants are proving to be a game-changer for homeowners in the UK. Once a mainstay in British homes, back boilers, typically installed behind living room fireplaces, are now being phased out in favor of more energy-efficient heating systems.

The UK government has introduced a fully-funded back boiler removal grant recognizing the need for an upgrade from these older models. This grant is available to homeowners across England, Scotland, and Wales and aims to ease the financial burden of replacing outdated back boilers.

In this article, we’ll delve into the details of this generous opportunity, exploring how it can help you transition to a modern, efficient heating system while potentially saving on costs.

What Is A Back Boiler?

A back boiler is an older boiler style typically installed behind an open fireplace instead of being housed in its own dedicated cupboard or enclosed space.

Although many of these boilers were replaced following regulatory changes in 2005, many remain present in UK homes. While they might have been a more affordable option than standard boilers several decades ago, the cost of maintaining them has recently become considerably higher.

Why Did Houses Have Back Boilers In The Past?

Back boilers were initially popular due to their affordability and compact size, aligning well with the standards when they were first introduced.

Their ability to be discreetly installed behind fireplaces made them a convenient option for smaller residences. Despite their high durability and simple design, these boilers were notably inefficient.

The Necessity of Back Boiler Replacement

Eventually, the need for back boiler replacement becomes inevitable. Repairing these boilers is often impractical, and even if they are currently functioning, the high cost and scarcity of essential parts make repairs almost as expensive as purchasing a new boiler. Moreover, the only feasible solution is to enhance their efficiency by completely removing the back boiler.

The Back Boiler Upgrade Scheme

The government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which includes the Back Boiler Replacement Grant, offers a financial incentive for homeowners to switch from their outdated boilers to new, energy-efficient models. This grant forms an integral part of the wider effort to reduce carbon emissions and assist households in saving on heating costs.

By opting for a back boiler replacement, homeowners not only enhance their home’s energy efficiency but also significantly reduce their carbon footprint. Through this grant, installing a new boiler can lead to substantial savings, potentially amounting to several hundred pounds per year on heating costs while providing support with gas and electric bills.

Back Boiler Removal Grant And The Energy Company Obligation

Under the government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, energy providers must offer financial aid to qualified households to enhance energy efficiency.

This includes free cavity wall insulation, back boiler replacements, and back boiler removals. Property owners can benefit from a boiler grant under this scheme, which helps cover the costs of replacing boilers or upgrading heating systems.

However, it’s important to note that not all central heating upgrades may align with the ECO4 requirements.

The ECO Scheme is a key governmental initiative to support low-income households and those struggling with fuel poverty. It includes a range of support measures, including grants for installing new boilers, boiler removal grants, unrestricted grants for low-income families, etc. It is focused on home energy efficiency improvements, subject to specific eligibility criteria.

Options for Back Boiler Replacement with Back Boiler Removal Grants

When considering the removal of your back boiler, exploring energy-efficient alternatives that align with your home’s needs is crucial. Here are some popular choices:

  1. Combi Boilers: These boilers are a space-saving, energy-efficient solution providing hot water and central heating. Ideal for homeowners aiming to maximize space utilization and cut down on energy bills, combi boilers are a practical choice for those using a back boiler removal grant.
  2. Biomass Boilers: Using wood pellets or chips, biomass boilers offer an environmentally friendly heating option. They are especially suitable for those seeking a renewable energy source and have consistent access to biomass fuel. This option aligns well with the ethos of back boiler replacement initiatives.
  3. Air Source Heat Pumps: These pumps extract heat from the outside air to warm your home, offering an energy-efficient and eco-friendly alternative to conventional boilers. They are an excellent choice for those looking to leverage a back boiler removal grant for a greener heating solution.

How To Apply For A Back Boiler Replacement Grant?

To initiate your journey towards back boiler replacement using a back boiler removal grant, determining your eligibility is the first step.

  • Factors influencing your eligibility include your household income, the age of your existing boiler, and your property type.
  • Utilize our complimentary grant checker tool to verify your eligibility and proceed with your application.
  • Accelerate your application by providing photographs of your current back boiler. Be responsive to communications from the registered installer, who may have additional queries.
  • If your property meets the criteria, the installer will manage both the removal of your old back boiler and the new heating system installation.
  • Post-installation, they will provide all necessary guarantees and warranties, ensuring you enjoy an A-rated heating system with reduced energy costs.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for a free boiler grant might be influenced by certain benefits like child benefits, tax credits, pension credits, universal credit, or other means-tested benefits. Below is a list of benefits that could qualify you for the government grant:

Tax Credits:

  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Pension Credit Savings Credit
  • Universal Credit (UC)


  • Child Benefits
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)


In summary, the back boiler removal grant and other initiatives like the boiler upgrade grant and free boiler grants represent significant efforts by the UK government to assist homeowners in transitioning from old, inefficient heating systems to more energy-efficient alternatives.

Switching to a contemporary heating system helps cut down energy costs and contributes positively to climate change mitigation through reduced carbon emissions.

To benefit from these government-funded programs, verifying your eligibility and engaging with a certified installer who can guide you to the most suitable heating solution for your home is essential.

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