McCausland launches new Ballymoney Scheme

Minister for Social Development, Nelson McCausland, has launched a new £12million boiler replacement scheme for homeowners in Ballymoney.

The scheme, provided by funding from the Northern Ireland Executive, offers owner occupiers a grant of up to £1,000 to replace inefficient boilers, with energy efficient condensing oil or gas boilers; switching from oil to gas; or switching to a wood pellet boiler.

It is available to those who earn less than £40,000 a year with an inefficient boiler of at least 15 years and is dependent on total gross income.

Encouraging homeowners who think they may be eligible for the scheme to apply, Minister McCausland said: “This scheme that I am launching can make a real difference financially to 16,000 home owners throughout Northern Ireland. By replacing an old non-condensing boiler with a new condensing boiler, householders in an average three bedroom semi-detached house can save in excess of £2,700 over 10 years. This figure increases the older the boiler being replaced.

“During last year’s pilot scheme almost 1,700 boilers were replaced in homes throughout Northern Ireland with some delivering a 30% increase in fuel efficiency. This money saved will make a real difference to the most vulnerable in our community.

“Northern Ireland suffers from the highest level of fuel poverty in the United Kingdom with households here spending significantly more of their disposable income on energy costs. This scheme further underlines my Department’s commitment to supporting people in reducing their energy costs and maximising the energy efficiency of their homes.”

The scheme, administered by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, is targeted at householders who do not qualify for other Government energy efficient improvement schemes making them vulnerable to fuel poverty.

The Minister added: “I would encourage homeowners who think that they meet the criteria to register now. They can also begin to make enquiries about the type of new boiler they would like to have installed and book ahead with a local installer, so that they can get the work done as quickly as possible.

“This scheme will also be welcomed by local businesses. Last year some 640 installers and suppliers were involved in carrying out the work and I hope as this scheme progresses the use of these companies will continue to give a boost to the local economy.”

Meanwhile Sinn Fein Councillor Margaret Ann McKillop also urged people to register.

The Glens representative explained: “The scheme is to be administered by the Housing Executives Grants Department and is targeted at owner occupiers whose total gross income is less than £40,000 and is to help with the cost of replacing a boiler that is fifteen years old or over, with a new boiler.

“The grant entitlement will depend on your total income. Those earning less than £20,000 are entitled to receive £700.Those earning £20,000 or more but less than £40 000, are entitled to receive £400 for replacing their boiler.

“I am encouraging anyone who thinks they may be eligible to register now with the Housing Executive. Grants department staff will then get in contact when the scheme commences in September.”

Those who think they may be eligible can call now on 0300 200 7874 or register by email at boiler-replacement@nihe.gov.uk. Additional information is available at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/boiler-replacement-allowance.htm.