13 December 2017
Highland firm tackles fuel poverty with government boiler scheme
An Inverness-based plumbing and heating company has been approved to offer free or reduced price new boilers to people on low incomes across the Highlands, as part of a Government energy saving grant scheme.
McInnes Group Ltd is now an approved installer under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, of new gas, LPG and oil boilers, which aims to provide economical, environmentally-friendly boilers to those who face, or are deemed most at risk of fuel poverty.
The ECO scheme is part of the Government’s commitment to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty by 2021. To qualify for a free, or reduced price boiler, A-Grade energy efficient boiler, households must be private rented or owner occupied properties, and in recipient of low-income benefits.
Launched in 2011, McInnes Group is a heating, plumbing and renewable energy solutions firm based in Inverness. The award-winning company, which employs a team of 11 staff and three apprentices, offers full service plumbing and heating installation, as well as a number of renewable energy solutions for domestic or commercial properties and works across the whole of Scotland.
Scott Murray, commercial director for McInnes, said: “A new gas boiler can cost over £2,000 but the Government’s boiler grant scheme means that those struggling with their fuel bills, including pensioners and those on limited incomes, can save a substantial amount of money and be able to keep their houses cosy over the winter.
“Our qualified engineers are very experienced in helping customers reduce their energy bills, and we can offer advice on keeping the heat in when we visit.
“A new, efficient boiler will make a big difference to heating bills. A-grade boilers operate at 90% efficiency, and can save a lot of money in the long term, as well as being far more reliable than older boilers. In fact, replacing a G-rated boiler with a new A-grade model, can save hundreds of pounds per year. Having a more efficient boiler will help you do your bit for the environment too as A-grade boilers use technology to reduce the amount of heat lost, and thereby reducing CO2 emissions.
“The Government has invested over £1billion to help keep homes warm, so anyone who thinks they may qualify for a new boiler should contact the McInnes Group and we can quickly advise if they are eligible.”
Fuel poverty is defined as households who need to spend more than 10% of its income on fuel, and it is particularly prevalent in rural areas where more than half of households find it costly to heat their homes. Furthermore, a third of rural households are classed as being in extreme fuel poverty, spending more than 20% of household income on energy.*
The ECO scheme will be available until September 2018 and is funded by the country’s largest utility companies. However, in some cases, householders may be asked to make a contribution towards the cost of the boiler installation.