Brown launches £50m boiler scrappage scheme

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The Independent Online

Gordon Brown yesterday launched a Government scheme offering families a discount to trade in their old boilers for new ones, in a bid to cut emissions and reduce bills.

The move to offer a £400 incentive to encourage households to update inefficient boilers – similar to the 'cash-for-bangers' scrappage scheme for the motor industry – was announced last month by Chancellor Alistair Darling in the pre-Budget report. Visiting a British Gas training depot in Kent, the Prime Minister claimed the move would "slash household energy bills and carbon emissions while providing an important boost for the British heating industry". He hopes the scheme will secure 250,000 jobs at small and medium companies across Britain which make, sell and install boilers.

The £50m boiler scrappage scheme will enable up to 125,000 homes to replace their old G-rated boilers, which are mostly about 15 years old, with more efficient A-rated models. The Government said a new boiler would cut household energy bills by up to £235 a year, and save the same amount of carbon as taking 45,000 cars off the road. Heating currently makes up about 14 per cent of the UK's total emissions. British Gas and Npower will match the Government's voucher, giving homeowners £800 off a new boiler.