Replacing oil boilers reduces carbon emissions by more than using renewable energy
Cash incentives to replace oil-fired boilers in homes would be five times more effective in reducing carbon emissions than the Renewable Heat Incentive according to OFTEC, the Oil Firing Technical Association. Independently verified data released by OFTEC compares the benefits of converting households with a standard-efficiency oil-fired boiler to a renewable-heat technology part funded by the RHI or a new high-efficiency condensing oil boiler.
The figures compare £5000 in RHI payments to incentivise the installation of an air-source heat pump (the cheapest technology under the RHI) with the same funding for boiler replacements.
The £5000 would cover RHI payments for an average 3-bedroom semi-detached property based on a 7-year payback. The upfront cost to the home owner would be around £7000, and average annual heating bill would increase by £564 to £1453. Carbon emissions would be reduced by 3.49 t a year.
The same £5000 funding could help 12 households upgrade old boilers via a £400 cashback boiler replacement programme. The upfront cost to each homeowner would be about £1600 — a new boiler costs about £2000. The average annual heating bill would fall by £158 to £731, based on the current average price of heating oil.
More significantly, the collective carbon savings for all 12 homes would be 19.56 t a year — a better than 5-fold improvement.
Jeremy Hawksley, director general of OFTEC, says, ‘It’s difficult to ignore the compelling argument for a national boiler-replacement scheme that our research provides. By continuing to fund the flagging RHI and ignoring boiler replacement, the Government is forfeiting the chance to save 16.07 t of emissions for every £5000 of expenditure.
‘The UK needs carbon-reduction and energy-efficiency schemes that will make a decisive change. We believe that many home owners would buy into the concept of bringing forward their boiler replacement because it would reduce their heating bills.’