Long-running boiler replacement scheme to be closed due to budget constraints

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Over the last decade the scheme helped thousands of households

By Rebecca Black (PA)

The long-running boiler replacement scheme is to be axed due to budget constraints.

It had been running since 2012, assisting home owners to replace older inefficient boilers, aged over 15 years, to heat their properties.

Over the last decade the scheme delivered 48,926 grants to households with an income of less than £40,000 a year, amounting to some £32.9 million.

The Department for Communities said they are having to close the scheme due to budgetary constraints and applications will no longer be accepted.

The move comes as all Stormont departments are having to make cuts due to a tough Budget set by Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris in the absence of locally elected ministers.

Stormont remains effectively collapsed amid DUP protest action over post-Brexit trading arrangements.

In a statement, the Department for Communities said it will continue to fund the Affordable Warmth Scheme to help those on lower incomes with the costs of energy efficiency measures.

“The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) will continue to replace boilers for those customers who have already received formal approval. Customers whose applications cannot be processed will be contacted by NIHE,” they said.

“Free comprehensive advice and support on how to save energy in the home and eligibility for help to improve energy efficiency on assistance is available from the NI Energy Advice Line Service on 0800 111 44 55.”

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