Will you support the Reheat Britain campaign?

Liberal Democrat MP Richard Younger-Ross has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) to support the Reheat Britain campaign for a boiler scrappage scheme. An unlikely coalition of plumbers and builders’ merchants have teamed up with environmentalists to form the Reheat Britain campaign – just about the most brilliant piece of joined up thinking this side of the last Liberal government.

The campaign was started by Mick Williams, who runs a chain of plumbers’ merchants in the South of England. Inspired by the government’s car scrappage scheme, Mick saw that the building and plumbing industries also needed help from a similar scheme. With plumbers and builders largely being small businesses based in the UK, his idea would do much more to help the economy and the environment than the car scheme.

The Boiler Scrappage Scheme makes sense on many different levels. It is a great way of stimulating demand in these tough economic times, saving jobs and creating new ones. From an environmental point of view, every old boilers replaced will help the country meet its carbon reduction targets. Saving households £200 year on their heating bill will help fight fuel poverty.

You can sign Reheat’s petition here http://reheatbritain.org.uk. Martin Horwood MP, LibDem Shadow Environment Minister has already signed the petition along with Green Party and Labour Party politicians. Please get your MP to sign Richard’s EDM.

* David Cox is a Lib Dem councillor in Devon.

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  • Martin Land 19th Oct '09 - 3:15pm

    A laudable idea. Just one problem though. Like so many schemes designed to help reduce fuel bills and help the very poorest, this doesn’t. Unfortunately it’s not joined up at all.

    You see those who often suffer the most from fuel poverty are not the middle-class homeowners who would be able to take advantage of this scheme but people in buy to let homes, Council properties and Housing Association homes. There, the Council’s squeezed by the Government, the Buy to Let sector which is not concerned so long as they can still fill their houses and Housing Associations rapidly turning into little Rackhamite empires, are either not in a position to or not interested in, such a scheme.

    Until this addresses the needs of these tenants, it’s just another middle-class rip-off!

  • I wonder if some insentive can be given to landlords to replace old boilers under this scheme in partiuclar. If you are a private landlord you have no incentive to improve the energy efficiency in your property as it is the tennant who is picking up the bills.

  • This campaign is getting coverage in the trade press for the heating industry. I hope Richard gets some credit for the EDM.
    I feel happier giving a subsidy of a couple of hundred pounds (eg a VAT refund) for boiler replacement, rather than £2000 for someone to buy a new four by four.
    Old boilers are around 60% efficient with the latest ones at around 90% efficient. In addition old boilers usually spend more time running when they are not needed because of poor internal controls. Bills should be reduced by about one third.
    Landlords can get full and immediate tax relief on energy efficiency measures. The Reheat Britain could be brought into the existing scheme. The Energy Performance Certificates should allow a prospective tenants to compare likely heating costs of properties- if they understand how what to look for.

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