Lack of government publicity causing BUS failure, research finds


A major lack of publicity has contributed to the government’s “failed Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS)”, according to new data discovered by The Eco Experts.

The new data has indicated that this lack of public awareness around the scheme has resulted in thousands of UK households missing out on a £5,000 government grant, the potential for reduced energy bill costs, and an upgraded eco-friendly boiler, it said. According to a statement, they could have saved 50% of the cost of an average air source heat pump.

According to Google Trends data collated by The Eco Experts, there was keen public interest around ‘air source heat pumps’ in 2022, with UK searches for the term hitting peak popularity of 100 from 11-17 December 2022.

Yet interest around the ‘Boiler Upgrade Scheme’ during the same year was significantly low, with searches for the scheme peaking at 15 from the 3-9 April 2022. The term ‘heat pump grant’ also experienced a low search volume in 2022. Its highest search score reached just 28 from the 27 March – 2 April.

In 2022, search popularity for the ‘boiler upgrade scheme’ and ‘heat pump grant’ reached their highest scores before the government scheme had even launched, yet searches for ‘air source heat pumps’ peaked several months later, it found.

The UK government launched BUS in May 2022 to help households cut the cost of their energy bills, while encouraging sustainable living to help Britain achieve its net-zero ambitions.

Josh Jackman, the Eco Experts’ writer and researcher, said: “The government has failed the public and the planet by refusing to publicise its own BUS in a year when consumer interest around air source heat pumps has reached peak popularity. This new data highlights the government’s two-faced approach to its climate targets: introduce a grant to tick a box, then neglect it completely.

“After ending the plug-in grant and Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive in 2022, this deliberate abandonment of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme takes the government’s record on providing UK households with energy-saving and affordable technology to a new low”.

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