27/01/2010

Boiler Scrappage Could Boost Economy

There has been a call to bring a domestic boiler scrap-and-replace initiative to NI.

The Stormont Social Development Committee Chair Simon Hamilton has suggested serious consideration be given to the future introduction of a boiler scrappage scheme.

As well as improving energy efficiency, he said that it would provide an economic stimulus for local installers and companies who manufacture boilers and renewable heating systems, thus helping the overall economy, and specifically, aid an important part of the beleaguered construction sector.

He said the introduction of boiler scrappage scheme for England - which will give people who upgrade from a G rated to an A rated boiler £400 off their purchase - that the scheme will not extend to any of the devolved regions.
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The Strangford MLA said: "Helping people to replace old, inefficient heating systems with boilers that have 90 plus energy efficiency will result in the use of less fuel and an average annual saving of £235 on energy bills.

"It will also seriously reduce CO2 emissions, with the English scheme, for example, replacing 125,000 old heating systems which will save 14,000 tonnes CO2 in a year which is the equivalent to taking 45,000 cars off the road."

He said that while devolution means that the boiler scrappage scheme does not extend to NI, given the clear advantages the scheme will bring for England, it is essential that the introduction of a similar scheme here in the future is given careful consideration.

Mr Hamilton explained that the Social Development Committee has already raised this issue and that he and DUP colleagues have tabled a motion for debate in the Assembly calling on DSD to examine the scope for the introduction at some future stage of a similar scheme.

"I am glad that already the Department for Social Development has indicated that it will consider such a scheme when it reviews its fuel poverty strategy," he said.

(BMcC/GK)

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