Boiler Flues

VAT Reduction Demanded on New Boiler Installations

We are fully supporting the growing industry campaign seeking to persuade the government to cut the rate of VAT charged on high-efficiency boiler installations.

Boilers in the UK are subject to the full 20 per cent rate but other energy-saving equipment, such as controls, insulation, combined heat and power systems, biomass boilers, heat pumps and solar panels attract a 5 per cent rate.

The reduced rate applies to energy-saving installations in all residential properties and commercial buildings used by charities. Installations of these systems in new properties are zero VAT rated.

Leading figures are calling for this to be extended to boilers and passive flue heat recovery systems.

Last year’s boiler scrappage scheme saw sales of domestic boilers rise by 5.3 per cent in the final quarter of last year, according to the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council. However, the market has fallen back again since the start of 2011.

Peter Thom, chair of the Heating Strategy Group of the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes, has petitioned Chancellor George Osborne but was still awaiting a reply.

The HVCA is also backing the campaign. Its head of sustainability David Frise said cutting the VAT could be a well-timed move.

The campaign is to support the letter sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the 28th February 2011 requesting the reduction of VAT to 5% on professionally installed domestic central heating boilers and passive flue heat recovery.

At the moment there is an anomaly as professionally installed heating controls, insulation and solar panels are at the lower rate of 5% but the boiler is at the higher rate of 20%, even though this will save the most amount of energy and carbon. The latest innovation, flue heat recovery, is also blighted with this higher rate.

The Coalition aspirations for saving energy are relying on the Green Deal which will not be available until late 2012 or even later due the complex legislation required. It would therefore be suggested that this proposed reduction in VAT is for a limited period to be introduced immediately for 2 years and then reviewed if and when when the Green Deal is introduced.

To find out about and sign the Cut the VAT campaign, visit


Do It Yourself Gas Boiler Installation – Don’t Pay With Your Life

Trying to save money by attempting to work on a gas boiler yourself can endagers lives.

With the recession still very much in everyones minds, and saving money high on many peoples lists, surveys have found 1 in 3 people would attempt to fit or service a gas appliance in the hope of saving as little as £60
The Gas Safe Register, the official list and authority of gas engineers claim Three out of four people (75%) admit they would rather attempt fitting a gas boiler than leave it to the professionals, but worryingly only 23% said they were any good at it.

By UK Law, Only Gas Safe registered engineers can work on gas in your home – it’s the law and will keep you and your family safe.

Other factors around general DIY also come into play when working around gas appliances such as boilers or fires.

Always use a Gas Safe Registered Engineer
Always use a Gas Safe Registered Engineer

Doing DIY? Follow these top tips to stay gas safe:

  • Never DIY with gas appliances. Fitting a gas fire or cooker may look like a simple job but it’s not.
  • Always use a Gas Safe registered engineer and check their Gas Safe ID card to make sure they are qualified to do the work you want them to do.
  • Never block or cover air vents and flues. This could cause a build up of deadly gas fumes.
  • Never attempt to remove back boilers and fires* yourself. This could leave pipes and gas flues exposed.
  • Don’t cover up gas pipes without treating them with wrapping tape or paint first as this could cause them to rot and leak gas.
  • Know where your gas pipes are located so you don’t accidentally hammer or drill into them. Pipe detectors are available from most DIY shops.
  • If you’re doing general building or having a shed, extension or conservatory built make sure your boiler’s flue isn’t blocked.

Jamie Cooper from Gas Safe Register, warns people about dangerous DIY gas work:

“While the most capable of do-it-yourselfers might like to tackle things such as plumbing and tiling, when it comes to gas it’s not worth taking the risk. I’ve seen the aftermath of gas jobs that have gone wrong and it’s frightening what can happen. And it’s not just DIY gas work that is dangerous. Accidentally covering or blocking up air vents, or drilling into gas pipes by mistake can have serious consequences for you and your family.”

“For most gas jobs, the costs to call in a legal gas engineer are very modest. On average Gas Safe registered engineers charge £113 for fitting a new gas fire and £61 for a gas cooker. So why take the risk? It will cost you more money to put a DIY job right. But more frightening is the fact that badly fitted gas appliances can lead to fires, explosions, gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning. These incidents killed 18 people in the UK last year and hospitalised a further 310. I would urge anyone considering gas DIY to leave it to the professionals.”

There are around 123,000 engineers on the Gas Safe Register to assist in fitting a gas boiler or fire. To find one in your area and check their identity and qualifications, visit the Gas Safe website or call their free helpline.