Can You Sell Your Home with a Broken Boiler?

Can-you-sell-a-house-with-a-broken-boiler

In England, there are many rules that need to be met in order to sell a property including meeting lending criteria if a mortgage is required, organising an Energy Performance Certificate and complying with anti-money laundering, but is the condition of a boiler an issue when you are trying to sell your property?

This article will cover what you need to know about the legal position of selling a a property with a broken boiler.

What are the Rules Regarding Selling a Property with a Condemned Boiler?

There is actually no legal requirement that stipulates that a boiler must be in working condition when a property is sold, however a condemned boiler must be declared to the buyers.

In such a scenario buyers will likely reduce their offer price for the property in order to account for the cost of replacing the boiler themselves.

Often homeowners may choose to repair or replace a boiler that is not working in order to attract potential buyers by portraying that the property has been kept in a good state of repair.

In addition, a new modern boiler may help improve the energy efficiency rating of the property which will also be attractive to potential buyers. Let’s progress to discussing further what an Energy Performance Certificate is.

Energy Performance Certificates or EPC’S

An Energy Performance Certificate is a document that confirms the energy status and therefore environmental impact of a property.

Properties are accessed by qualified professionals who rate each property on a scale of A – G, where an A rating equates to the highest level of energy efficiency.

The certificates guide new property habitants regarding the condition of the property in relation to insulation and overall energy efficiency which also impacts household energy bills.

Legislation was brought in requiring all domestic properties with four or more bedrooms that were to be sold, to require an EPC as part of their home information pack or HIP, in August 2007.

This legislation was altered over time to remove the HIP requirement however the requirement for an EPC remained as well as extending the size of the property that requires an EPC in order to be sold.

Typically, new builds will have the best energy performance whereas older properties tend to have lower ratings due to being less energy efficient in both construction and insulation.

EPC’s last for a duration of ten years, however should significant changes be made to the property including the installation of any eco-friendly measures or heating systems, it would be advisable to arrange a re-assessment to ensure that the latest grading reflects the improvements made.

Does the Boiler Service Need to be up to Date Before Selling the Property?

Getting the boiler serviced on an annual basis can help with monitoring the condition of the internal parts of the boiler, provides an annual safety check as well as ensuring that the boiler runs as efficiently as possible.

In addition, these annual safety checks are a legal requirement for properties that are rented out, however when selling a property, the status of the boiler’s service is not a legal matter and will not prevent the sale completing.

Potential buyers may enquire about the last boiler service when touring the property or later on during the sale however and ensuring that the boiler service is up to date will again illustrate that the property has been well maintained.

Will a Surveyor Check on the Boiler?

A surveyor is likely to request details regarding the condition of the boiler and the date of the late service, however they are not tasked with testing the boiler out themselves.

If the last boiler service was a while ago, the surveyor may report that it would be advisable for the potential buyers to arrange a boiler service themselves before completing with the purchase of the property.

Please note that boiler services should only be undertaken by Gas Safe registered heating engineers.

Should a Boiler be Replaced Before Selling a Property?

As we have discussed, ensuring that the boiler is in full working order before selling a property is not a legal requirement, however if the boiler is broken or condemned, it will likely put off potential buyers as they will see further costs needed in order to make the property habitable.

In addition, a broken boiler may also ring alarm bells for some, questioning what other elements will not be functioning such as plumbing or electrics.

However, there is not a set answer as to whether or not a homeowner should invest in a new boiler before selling a property.

For example, if the property was due to be renovated or developed for flats for example, a property developer is unlikely to be concerned regarding the status of the boiler in situ.

Whichever option the current homeowner decides, the important element is to be transparent with any potential buyers regarding the condition of the property and boiler in order to protect from the new owners making a compensation claim following the completion of the sale.

How Much Will a New Boiler Cost?

New boilers will vary in cost depending on the type of fuel that the boiler operates on, the size of the boiler and the location of the property as there are slight differences in costs nationwide.

As a rough example, a new combination boiler will cost between £650 and £2,150, whereas conventional boilers that require a water tank are often priced between £500 and £1600.

Summary

We have explored the legal requirements for selling a property in relation to boilers, and the considerations that a homeowner may factor when deciding whether to replace a boiler prior to selling; including the final price that potential owners will be willing to pay and the effect on the EPC.

Whether or not a homeowner decides to replace a boiler ahead of the sale, the condition of the boiler should always be clear to potential buyers to protect from any compensation claims following completion of the sale.

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Boiler Not Registered with Gas Safe

Boiler-not-registered-with-gas-safe

If you have recently purchased or moved into a new property you may be wondering about the condition or history of the boiler in situ, including if it is safe to use.

Many online articles regarding boilers often speak about the Gas Safe register and Gas Safe registered heating engineers, but if you have not heard of Gas Safe, don’t worry, we will be discussing what Gas Safe is as well as the steps to take should you discover that your boiler is not Gas Safe registered. We will also discuss who is responsible for maintaining the boiler and covering the annual costs of obtaining gas safety certificates.

What is Gas Safe?

Gas Safe is the official gas registration body that keeps accurate records of authentic gas businesses that have proven that they and their qualified heating engineers have the required skill set and up to date knowledge in order to safely and legally undertake work on gas appliances.

Gas Safe covers all gas businesses and qualified heating engineers operating within the United Kingdom, Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey and is run in connection with the local Health and Safety Authority within each region. In addition to the body’s monitoring and compliance responsibilities, Gas Safe is also responsible for investigating any illegal gas works undertaken by unregistered businesses.

Should Every Boiler be Registered with Gas Safe?

Every boiler installed within the regions listed above should be registered upon installation with Gas Safe, as well as continued to be inspected each year thereafter by a qualified Gas Safe registered heating engineer to ensure that the necessary paperwork is kept up to date.

Operating a gas device without the required documentation is illegal and therefore homeowners and landlords must ensure that annual gas safety checks are undertaken.

The law requiring all gas devices to be assessed annually is to protect the property’s residents from the dangers associated with gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning, and therefore annual monitoring of the condition of gas devices is essential. There is also further legislation for landlords to pass copies of the annual safety checks to tenants.

How Can I Find Out If My Boiler is Registered with Gas Safe?

The standard process when a new boiler is installed is that the Gas Safe registered heating engineer should register the boiler with the manufacturer in order to commence the boiler’s warranty, meanwhile simultaneously registering the new installation with Gas Safe.

In order to check the registration has been completed successfully (where the necessary paperwork hasn’t been received for example), a homeowner or landlord must obtain the seven digit licence number from the identification card of the Gas Safe registered heating engineer and then contact Gas Safe directly.

What to do If Your Boiler isn’t Registered with Gas Safe

Where the original installers details are known, please contact them directly and explain that the paperwork must be completed in order to register the installation.

However, where the original installer is unknown, please contact another Gas Registered heating engineer company and explain the situation, requesting that they visit the property, undertake the necessary checks to ensure that the original installation is safe and retrospectively register the installation. Not all companies may be willing to do this therefore it may take some ringing around.

Is a Gas Safety Certificate Needed to Sell a Property?

There is not a consistent nationwide set process regarding the requirements of Gas Safe documentation to sell a property.

However, within England and Wales, Building Regulations state that local authorities must be informed when a new heat-producing appliance is installed, which will subsequently trigger a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate to be issued. This is a separate process to Gas Safe registration but should be passed on to the new owners of the property to demonstrate compliance.

A boiler service document can also be shared with potential buyers of the property or passed into the new owners, declaring the condition of the boiler and its components for safety purposes as well as budgeting when a replacement boiler may be required.

Homeowners seeking to sell their property may find that by supplying as much information as possible in order to be transparent regarding the condition of the property, it may sell faster.

Who Must Cover the Cost of Gas Safety Certificates?

Homeowners must of course cover the costs of gas safety certificates. Landlords too must also foot the bill for such documentation following the implementation of the Tenant Fees Act legislation.

This legislation came into force in June 2020, capping and restricting which costs could be charged to tenants with assured short hold tenancies or student lettings within specific educational institutions.

If you are a tenant, please note that it is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the boiler, ensuring the system is in good working order and is safe.

Gas safety certificates only last one year and therefore they are renewable every twelve months, although a Gas Registered heating engineer can be called any time within the window of ten to twelve months following the last certificate.

If the gas safety certificate for the boiler within your rental property has expired, please contact your landlord or letting agent in the first instance, to chase up this legal requirement.

Summary

We have been taking a look at the legal position regarding registration of Gas boilers, both from the perspective of homeowners as well as landlords and tenants.

We have covered what Gas Safe is and the body’s role, the processes involved with boiler registration, checking the status of a boiler and the importance of annual safety checks.

Should you have any further queries regarding the safety of your current boiler, or the boiler within a property that you are about to move in, please seek the advice of a Gas Registered heating engineer should you own the property or are seeking to own the property.

Where the property is rented, please refer to the landlord or letting agent who is responsible for the safety, condition and maintenance of the boiler.

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How Much Gas does a Boiler Use?

How-much-gas-does-a-boiler-use

As UK households face the unfolding energy crisis resulting in spiralling bills, homeowners may start wondering how efficient their boiler is and how much gas does the boiler actually use.

We will be discussing the factors that impact a boiler’s efficiency, the typical costs of running a gas boiler as well covering some reasons why a boiler looses efficiency and therefore uses more gas.

In addition, we will also cover a few tips in order to save household energy.

Calculating Gas Usage and Monthly Bills

Calculating the cost of energy is a tricky business, not only due to the fact that each household’s actual usage will fluctuate.

The following data shows that the typical average household usage as follows:

  • Low-energy consuming household – 8,000 kWh
  •  Medium household consumption- 12,000 kWh
  •  High-energy consuming household- 17,000 kWh

On this basis, a medium energy consumption household would roughly use approximately 1,000 kWh per month, however this is not broken down between devices within the home and therefore calculating the usage of a boiler is not that straight forward.

Another calculation using average household usage can be undertaken as follows:

The average household boiler is 35 kWh output, which if this boiler was running for 5 hours a day, the approximate energy consumption per day would be 175 kWh.

In order to calculate the accurate cost of 175 kWh, refer to the current cost of a kWh unit on a recent statement issued by your energy provider.

Please note that there is often a daily standing charge applied which should also be factored into any calculations. The current average standing charge is currently £98.97 per year.

There are also differences between tariff prices and in circumstances where a fixed price tariff agreements come to an end, the household will move to a basic variable tariff or SVR.

What Factors Impact Household Energy Costs?

There are a wide range of factors that will impact the household energy usage and therefore, the monthly costs including:

  • The number of household habitants – according to Ofgem, the average household has 2.4 people residing with in it, however this may vary depending on the living arrangements such as shared parental responsibilities or students moving between home and universities for example.
  •  Seasonal differences of household usage – obviously, the colder months will require additional gas usage to heat homes.
  • Subtle differences between daily usage habits and household demand
  • The location of the property – there are price differences between various locations nationwide
  •  Current actual energy prices and tariffs – currently an average unit cost of gas is 4.65 pence per kilowatt hour
  •  The age, condition and efficiency of the boiler
  •  The size of the property
  •  The amount of insulation within the property as well as any draught-proofing measures in place

Costs of Running Gas Central Heating

As we have briefly discussed, the current average kilowatt-hour price of gas is 4.65 pence per kilowatt hour, which when estimating the hourly cost of running a typical 35 kWh boiler, would total £1.63 per hour.

As the wholesale gas prices have risen by 250% over the past year, households may start to wonder how many hours per day to put the heating on in order to manage bills.

There is no easy answer to the recommended number of hours to run a gas heating system as the benefits will depend on how efficient the boiler is as well as how well insulated the property is in order to keep the heat inside.

Typically, the average UK property is heated for 8.7 hours per day during the winter months between October and March, however this will vary wildly depending on the location of the property and condition of the boiler and property.

Meanwhile, the sky rocketing price of energy is not restricted to gas and electric, Other types of central heating may work out more expensive such as heating oil, as price rises in kerosene heating oil have also risen sharply to a high of 60p per litre.

Why is the Boiler Using More Gas?

If a household finds that their monthly energy costs are increasing during a time when the cost of a unit of the kilowatt charge is not increase, the following circumstances may be at play:

  • An ageing boiler – Over time, a boilers efficiency decreases, which over an extended period can have a significant impact, for example a ten year old boiler is estimated to be 30% less efficient, which would therefore increase the costs of wasted gas.
  •  Faults within the boiler programme or thermostat – When a boiler’s programme or thermostat are working correctly, the boiler should turn off when either not scheduled to be running, or when it has reached the desired temperature, however if the controls malfunction the boiler may operate non-stop and therefore wasting energy. In order to prevent this scenario occurring, ensure annual servicing of the boiler is undertaken, as well as monitoring that the boiler does actually switch off when not programmed to run. If any issues are noted, contact a gas registered heating engineer to investigate further.
  •  Part failures – Other parts within the boiler can also fail and cause a reduction of efficiency, therefore it is important to get the boiler serviced each each so that a qualified, gas safe heating engineer can monitor the condition of the internal boiler parts and make recommendations of when elements need replacing.
  •  A pilot light – Older boiler models utilise a pilot light in order to start the main burner however it remains lit, firing continuously whereas newer models use an electronic ignition process which is not continuous. Should a household still be running an older boiler with a pilot light, they should consider upgrading to a modern, more energy efficient boiler.

Summary

During this piece we have discussed the current cost of a unit of gas as well as the factors that impact the overall cost of running gas central heating. We have also explored the reasons why a boiler may use more gas and the steps to take to avoid this.

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Have an Oil, or LPG boiler? You can now apply for the free boiler scheme.

The ECO scheme has seen some rather rocky times in recent weeks. Tweaks and changes to the whole system have seen installing companies shift their attention away from homes who are on a mains gas supplies, and begin focussing on vulnerable properties in off gas areas.

How, and why?

Up until very recently, properties with Oil, LPG or electric heating systems were not able to claim funding through the scheme and take advantage of a grant. However, due to recent positive changes they now can, but why? ECO is built on a carbon reduction target based system, after a recent consultation the scheme operators have come to the conclusion that homes on mains gas supplies were being allocated too much of the available funding which meant that the targets were being (too) easily hit. By switching their focus on to properties who are not on a mains gas supply, the targets are going to be much harder to hit, but they believe that many more fuel poor homes in rural/semi-rural areas will not be able to get the help which they need.

Do you have an Oil, or LPG heating system?

If you currently have a home which is not connected to a mains gas supply, and you meet the benefits related criteria (i.e you claim tax credits, income support, ESA, JSA etc) you can now apply to get your old boiler replaced, with a brand new one through the government scheme. To see if you qualify, visit http://www.boilergrants.org.uk/postcode.php

Don’t qualify for a grant?

If you don’t claim any benefits, but you require a new boiler. Head over to heatable.co.uk and complete the quick online form. You’ll get a fixed online price for a new replacement boiler and they can even install it within as little as 24 hours. Finance is available, and they are also able to help those with poorer credit.

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Boiler Grants FAQ’s

Applying for a grant to replace your old boiler may sound like a long winded and complicated process, but it really isn’t. Since 2013, we’ve helped over 60,000 happy customers to access government funding and throughout that time we’ve learnt a great deal about the process.

To keep things simple, here’s a breakdown of the most frequently asked questions to help you along your way;

  1. How long does the process take?
    Once you’ve completed your online application, you’ll be contacted within 48 hours by a government approved installer who will be able to assist you further with your enquiry. One everything has been agreed, they’ll then book a survey of your property and schedule a time for installation. Typically you should expect to wait around 2-4 weeks from point of application, to the actual boiler getting installed.
  2. What brand of boiler will be installed?
    There’s no specific brand of boiler which is installed through the ECO scheme. Each installer will have their own preference as all manufacturers offer varying warranties and deals. All boilers which are installed via a grant will be A-rated, condensing and 90%+ efficient. The boilers are also new, they are not re-conditioned.
  3. Can I get my local plumber to carry out the work?
    Unfortunately not. According to My Plumber Professionals, all boiler grant installations must be carried by government approved companies who have passed various quality control standards and carry certain certifications. Because of this, you can rest assured knowing that the install will be carried out to the highest standards.
  4. Are all of the ECO boiler installations 100% free?
    In most cases, the boiler installations will be free of charge and all works covered by the funding which is available through the grant system. However, if your property is very efficient, or if it requires extra work in order to complete the replacement (such as extra pipework, boiler relocation etc) you may be asked to contribute a small amount. Once the survey is completed of your home, you will be quoted the contribution and it is entirely up to you if you wish to proceed or not.
  5. Is the survey free?
    Yes, once you have made your application online one of our approved installers will contact you to book a free energy survey of your home. They will need to look at things like your current insulation levels, your current heating system and also check all of your benefits paperwork. You should not be charged for this survey.
  6. Will I need to complete lots of paperwork in order to claim a boiler grant?
    In short, no. You will need gather all of your benefits information (such as tax credit award letters etc), and proof of ownership, or tenancy if the property is privately rented. You will only need to sign to say that you are happy for the work to go ahead, and sign off the work once it has bee completed.
  7. Can I get a grant if there is no mains gas to my property?
    Unfortunately not through our website. We only have a network of installers who are qualified to replace boilers with mains gas supplies in place.
  8. I have no central heating at all, can I get a grant?
    No, grants are only available for those on mains gas supplies and who already have a boiler/heating system in place. There is not enough funding available to cover the full costs of installing a brand new heating system.
  9. Can I get any help if I don’t claim benefits?
    If you do not claim benefits, or if you do not meet the criteria, your best bet would be look in to getting a new boiler through a competitive finance option. You should be presented with this option upon applying for a grant, or you can visit our partner website for help with getting a new boiler on finance.

 

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5 Things You Need to Know About Free Boiler Grants

The Governments ‘Free Boiler Scheme‘ has been around for some time now, thousands and thousands of boilers have been installed completely free of charge in to homes all over the UK and its proven to be a huge success. As with anything which is subsidised by a grant, there is only a limited pot of money which is physically available, there are also many changes which take place to the criteria as it is tweaked throughout its duration.

The first part of the free boiler scheme, ‘ECO1’, ended at the start of this financial year and the utility companies who control the funds had done a great job of achieving their carbon reduction targets. Because of its success, new targets were set, which now means the scheme has been extended until at least 2017.

As mentioned above, many things have changed in the schemes criteria, so we’ve outlined five of the most important things you must know before applying for a free boiler grant in 2015;

  1. Funding is Limited
    If you are looking to apply for a grant to replace your old boiler. it is crucial that you act fast. Grants are going to be available for a limited time only, so once the money has ran out, it has ran out. It is as simple as that. Even though it is summer time and it may not be a priority, we would encourage you to plan ahead before the weather starts to turn and your boiler becomes a matter of importance.
  2. Replacing Condensing Boilers for FreeUp until recently, condensing boilers were not allowed to replaced on the Governments free boiler scheme. This is because it was thoughts that an already A, or B rated boiler was more economical to replace, rather than repair. However, the criteria has now changed which means that if you have a condensing boiler, as long as it is broken beyond repair, it can still be replace via a grant.
  3. Claim a Free Boiler if You Claim Universal CreditIf you are currently in receipt of Universal Credit, you could now qualify for a grant to replace your in-efficient, or broken boiler. You must have earned less than £1,250 in any month within the past 12 months, and meet another criteria such as have a child under 16, be in receipt of DLA, a PIP etc. You can check if you qualify here.
  4. Income Limit Raised to £16,010, from £15,860
    Amongst the many changes which have taken place, the income limit which effects your application if you receive Child Tax Credits, or Working Tax Credits, has now been increased up to £16,010. This means that if you receive one of the previously mentioned benefits, and your income is below the latter income, you could qualify for a grant towards replacing your boiler in 2015.
  5. Free Boiler Scheme, Not Free Boiler Scam
    The free boiler scheme has been given a bit of a bad name due to the amount of scammers, and cold-callers who operated within the industry in recent times. Thousands of boilers have been installed with no, or little cost to the customer all over the UK and we’re proud to say that we’ve help a huge majority of those people. If you get a random phone call, from a company who you do not even know, we would recommend that your ere on the side of caution, especially if they ask for any money up front.

If you would like to know if you qualify for a grant to replace your boiler, you can simple apply online and a government approved installers will contact you to assist you further. Remember, there is no obligation to proceed, and we do not charge for using our service.

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Can I get a Free Boiler?

This is a question which gets asked day in day out… “Can I get a free Boiler”? Well, here you will find out if you qualify for free boiler.

The price of gas and utility bills are forever increasing and if you have an old or in-efficient boiler which isn’t operating correctly it could be costing you a fairly large amount of money. Not only is it going to be costing you more to keep your home warm because of its lack of efficiency, but it will also be costing you more in maintenance as parts are harder and more costly to find for old boilers.

In order to ascertain if you qualify for a free boiler, or boiler grant, answer the following questions;

Do you receive benefits?

In order to qualify for a free boiler grant, you need to meet the income-related benefits criteria. The ECO grants have been set up t help low-income households and those who are in fuel poverty. You may still work, but because your household income is very low you may be able to claim certain means tested benefits. Do you receive any of the following;

  • Child Tax Credits (Household income must be below £15,860)
  • Working Tax Credits (Household income must be below £15,860)
  • Pension Credits (a top up to your standard state pension).
  • Income-Related ESA
  • Income-Related JSA
  • Income Support

 

If you do, then there is a high chance you may qualify for a free boiler grant on the Governments ECO scheme in 2015. See the following to further check the criteria;

Is your current boiler over 8 years old?

In order to qualify for a free boiler grant on the boiler replacement scheme, your current boiler must be over 8 years old (not condensing). If it is less than 8 years old, then it will not qualify for funding as the ECO scheme in 2015 will deem your current boiler as being too efficient and it is more cost effective to have it repaired, rather than replaced.

Are you the home owner, landlord or private tenant?

Only home owners, landlords and private tenants can apply for a free boiler via the boiler replacement scheme. Housing associations are not covered.

How can I apply for a free boiler?

If you have answered yes to the above, you could qualify to have your boiler replaced via the eco grant scheme. Grants are still available in 2015, and to see if you qualify, you can check here.

 

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Are Free Gas Central Heating Systems Available?

Right now, there is a scheme called ECO which has been introduced by the UK Government to help those in very low-income homes to access things like free home insulation and free gas boilers. At the start of the scheme, funding was readily available for installers throughout the UK and they were, in some cases able to install new heating systems in to peoples home because the rates which they were receiving were enough to cover the full cost.

Over time, the funding levels have dropped and been re-aligned which has meant that it is now extremely difficult to get extras such as new radiators, boiler relations etc fully funded.

Can I get a Free Gas Central Heating System?

Because of the downturn in the amount of funding which is available, there would not be enough to install fresh central heating systems, or extra radiators in to peoples home for free. The amount of funding which can be allocated to you/your home is calculated by how efficient it already is. By installing a new boiler in to your property, you will save ‘x’ amount of Carbon Tonnes. The amount of boiler funding is calculated by the amount of tonnes replacing the boiler would save, by the current rates which the installers can claim. In the early days of the grant scheme the rates were high, now, they are not which means less can be financially viable.

In most cases, you will be able to contribute to the job if you would like extras such as further heating controls, or the relocation of radiators etc.

Can you claim a Free Boiler?

If you claim a certain combination of benefits and your current boiler is over 8 years old you could qualify for a free replacement boiler. Apply for a free boiler.

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Pensioner? You could get a free boiler replacement.

Pensioner Free Boiler

If your current boiler has stopped working, or its on the blink, then as a Pensioner you may well struggle to stomach the cost of a brand new one. A new boiler installation can range from anywhere between £1000, right up to £5000 depending on the company which you are instruct and the complexity of the job. This is a lot of money and thanks to the ECO scheme, qualifying Pensioners may now be eligible to access funding for a free replacement.

Pension Credit

It is important to remember that Pension credit is an income-related benefit, it is not to be confused with your state pension. State pension alone will not qualify you for a free boiler replacement. Pension Credit is made up of two parts which are Guarantee Credit, and Savings Credit. If you are single and your weekly income is lower than £148.35 then you are able to get it topped up with Pension Credit. If you are a couple and your income is below £226.50, again, you will qualify for Pension Credit.

If you do receive Pension Credit, you will automatically qualify for a boiler grant. This will cover all, if not the majority of the cost of replacing your old boiler and you do not have to re-pay it back at any time. The grants are provided by the Big 6 energy suppliers, and they are funded by the tax payer, something which you may have been all of your life.

In order to have a successful application, you’re current boiler which is in your property must not be condensing (A/B Rated) and broken/or faulty. You will also need to be the home owner, or private tenant.

Learn more about Pension Credit – https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit/overview

Where can I apply?

Apply for a free boiler here

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