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  • FIRST POST
    • C_Ronaldo
    • By C_Ronaldo 2nd Jul 06, 9:23 PM
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    C_Ronaldo
    Grants for new boiler
    • #1
    • 2nd Jul 06, 9:23 PM
    Grants for new boiler 2nd Jul 06 at 9:23 PM
    Im trying to find info for someone regarding grants for a new boiler, anyone had any experiences about the grants

    Last edited by Former MSE Natasha; 14-11-2006 at 7:28 PM.
Page 2
    • margaretclare
    • By margaretclare 9th Jul 06, 10:29 AM
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    margaretclare
    Hi lilac_lady

    The good news is that in Scotland it appears to be totally age-related, no benefits of any kind are involved, so as long as she's over 60 she'll qualify. Good for her, worked hard all her days - but the same applies to many of us in England. DH and I have over a century at work between us - he'd be a lot better off today but for 2 expensive divorces, I'd be a lot better off but for...numerous factors, some of which were outside my control. Still, we're definitely not poor although not rich either, the fact that we're still able to save out of retirement income shows that!

    Good luck to your aunt.

    Margaret Clare
    • margaretclare
    • By margaretclare 9th Jul 06, 10:32 AM
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    margaretclare
    Hi Lilac_lady (again)

    The only thing to be aware of is this:

    Your existing central heating system must be completely broken and beyond repair. You must agree to the complete package of measures being installed in your home where appropriate and must accept that the final decision on the type of heating to be installed in the property will be made by the Managing Agent, Eaga Partnership.
    which someone else quoted. Although you say the boiler is 35 years old, it may still be working - there may be a bit of argument about that. Make sure it ISN'T working when the assessor comes round to see it!!

    Best wishes

    Margaret Clare
  • lilac_lady
    Thanks for the advice. The boiler doesn't heat her water any more. Someone advised me to call out Scottish Gas because they haven't a clue about mending old boilers because they're so keen to sell you a new one.!!!
    " The greatest wealth is to live content with little."

    Plato


    • margaretclare
    • By margaretclare 11th Jul 06, 9:20 AM
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    margaretclare
    Hi lilac_lady

    If the boiler doesn't heat your aunt's water then it can be defined as 'not working' because that's what boilers are supposed to do - heat water!

    Perhaps after 35 years there are no longer the parts available to repair it, even if ScottishGas wanted to!

    We think we probably won't get our boiler replaced under the WarmFront scheme. It's only 14 years old and there are probably parts still available. We're not too worried though - if the thermostat gets replaced so that we can reduce the water temperature AND we get a new cylinder jacket, then that will reduce the costs of heating. If they do that for us this year it will help, then another year we'll go ahead with our original plans, replace with a modern boiler and pay for it ourselves.

    Good luck to you and your aunt

    Margaret Clare
    • flossy_splodge
    • By flossy_splodge 16th Jul 06, 11:24 PM
    • 2,388 Posts
    • 1,404 Thanks
    flossy_splodge
    Who what and how??
    Hey Margaret clare. Is there somewhere that I can get an overview of what grants link to what benefits? DFo not claim anything although on an extremely low income as I find the DHSS disgusting to deal with and would almost rather starve than ever have to set foot in their offices again however... I have problems with my roof and also with my boiler. I was just going to take a deep breath and hope to get through another winter and so on to next year but if i thought there was some real help available I could kick myself into doing what was necessary. Just do not want to get into conversation with moronic superior judgemental *****!*!@!'s at the DWP if there is unlikely to be a satisfactory outcome. All help appreciated.x

    "Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
    ― John Wooden
    • mleonard79
    • By mleonard79 17th Jul 06, 3:46 PM
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    mleonard79
    Just to let people know re the Central Heating Programme by Eaga in Scotland - I've just phoned them and they're not accepting any more applicants now as they've reached a limit:-( Apparently the criteria is changing too and the new scheme won't be up and running until October so the assistant couldn't even tell me if my dad would be eligible.

    He's in his 80s and I recently found and applied for the Heatcare Scheme run by the EEAC which gives you a 500 grant and 2000 Interest free loan to be paid back over 3 years. I didn't even think to look for council schemes as he doesn't get any benefits other than state pension so I just assumed he wouldn't be eligible. So annoyed to find this now and see that age is the only eligibility criteria when I've already set the ball rolling on the Heatcare loan! I'm really not sure that the boiler can last out until October though and of course if I do cancel the other scheme and wait on this one there's no guarantee the criteria won't change and make him ineligible but it would be a saving of 2400!! Just wish I'd seen this sooner. Oh well.... Think we'll just need to chalk it down. Hope anyone else that's applied for it got in in time.

    Michelle
    • Poppycat
    • By Poppycat 17th Jul 06, 5:34 PM
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    Poppycat
    What a shame that the new scheme doesnt start until October mleonard79

    If thats the case its a great shame as now is the time one should be thinking of getting your heating/hot water sorted in prepration of this coming Winter.

    We got our new boiler last February with Ega as we are unfortunately on a low income and have a disabled daugher (not that, that made any difference in getting a new boiler any quicker, despite her prone to the cold).

    I hope you guys who are waiting dont have long to wait
    • mleonard79
    • By mleonard79 17th Jul 06, 5:43 PM
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    mleonard79
    Hi Poppycat,
    Yeah it does seem strange timing as summer is obviously the best time to get this sort of thing done. I'm just annoyed I didn't see it sooner and get on that list instead of the heatcare one although got to be grateful he's getting a 500 grant and 2000 loan. I think I'll just need to go with that now but will be annoying if it turns out he is still eligible in October. How did you get on when you tried lilac-lady? Hope you got in in the nick of time.

    Michelle
    • margaretclare
    • By margaretclare 28th Jul 06, 3:43 PM
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    margaretclare
    Hi all, just an update

    As explained in previous posts, we had the WarmFront assessor's visit 4 weeks ago come Monday. He was very thorough, has put us down for: heating repair, hot water tank jacket, and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

    Only we have been having a think about this in light of escalating gas charges. We now pay 58 a month for gas, that's 30 a month more than at the start of this year, plus 28.50 a month electricity, 8.50 a month more, 38.50 a month more for gas and electricity, a whopping 86.50 a month! The only other cost that compares is council tax at 99 a month. Anyway...

    I phoned WarmFront today to ask what progress was being made about our application, where we were in the pipeline. To be told that the installer had been contacted, and 2 days ago had confirmed that they were 'willing to accept the work and would contact us when they're able to fit us in'.

    Given that the assessor told us that we'd done the right thing starting the ball rolling in summer when they weren't busy - they ain't speedy, these people, are they? The Geordie lass I spoke to seemed surprised that I wondered why it had taken 4 weeks for 'the installer to accept the work'! I pointed out that the assessor had told us that we need a heating engineer to come round and agree what's to be done with us. Sounds to me like they've decided already and 'will write to us and tell us when they're coming to do it'!

    Only that may not be convenient to us. We're away on holiday the last week in August and DH is going for more knee surgery on 21st September.

    We have been discussing this, and we think that - for the sake of 2,700 - we may be better arranging it all ourselves. That way we'd know who the installer is - we have a plumbing and heating engineer lives just at the back of us - we'd be able to arrange convenient times, and most important of all, we'd be able to express an opinion about what we want.

    You see, we may not want the present boiler replaced and a hot water tank jacket provided, not if we go ahead an replace the boiler completely. We want a Vaillant combi boiler and we want it in the loft. We know that to have that, we need better lighting in the loft and proper flooring where the boiler is to go. We can arrange all that - our local plumber/heating engineer lives along the road from the general builder who has done work for us before, and they can liaise with each other. We don't want the WarmFront appointed installer coming along and saying 'oh no, you can't have that, you've got to have it this way....' When w were getting quotes about this work last year (been thinking about it a while, you see!) we kicked one heating engineer into touch because he wanted to hang a boiler on the kitchen wall and mess up all my picture tiles.

    Michelle, is the Heatcare interest-free loan a nation-wide scheme or does it only apply to Scotland? I'll have a 'google' for it anyway.

    Best wishes

    Margaret Clare
    • margaretclare
    • By margaretclare 28th Jul 06, 4:07 PM
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    margaretclare
    Hi all, me again

    I contacted the Energy Advice people in Essex and it appears that in England there is no such thing as an interest-free loan. Lucky old Scotland again - or far-sighted Scotland....

    'If you've been accepted by the WarmFront scheme you should really go along with that'. So we're still in the air as to what will be suggested for us to have done, when, how, etc etc....

    Margaret Clare
    • mleonard79
    • By mleonard79 28th Jul 06, 4:18 PM
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    mleonard79
    Hi Margaret Claire,

    Just seen your post, yeah it is only a Scottish scheme I'm afraid. I don't know why the system seems to be so different in England. You'd think there would be some provision. It might be best to seek out some quotes from the engineer and builder you know and then when the warm front do come compare what they suggest with what the others suggested and if its totally not what you want you can always go with your own quote.

    I'm still a bit peeved that the EAGE scheme isn't running til October as my dad would have been eligible under the old rules but we're all set up with this loan now and at least we do get a say in what's being done this way. I'm not entirely sure with the new eligibility criteria that my dad would still be eligible anyway - perhaps Scotland will be becoming more stringent in its criteria after all! We're now just waiting on a date from the installer's to come and do the job.

    Good luck with your boiler whatever you decide margaret claire - it is quite a task arranging it all!

    Regards

    Michelle
    Last edited by mleonard79; 28-07-2006 at 4:21 PM.
    • margaretclare
    • By margaretclare 29th Jul 06, 2:35 PM
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    margaretclare
    Hi Michelle

    Thanks for your response. It now seems to me that the idea of an interest-free loan, which you've arranged for your Dad, would have been the best option for us. Of course we could take on an ordinary loan - even as wrinklies DH and I are incredibly credit-worthy (LOL) - but we really didn't want to. The more I think about it, the more I think that the WarmFront grant will be a case of THEM telling US what they think we should have and the maximum they're prepared to do. For example, we've been put down to receive a hot-water-tank jacket. Big deal - these things cost a fiver. Also some 'compact fluorescent light-bulbs' - we have these throughout the house anyway. Again - big deal!

    It seems ironic that WarmFront are sending an installer whom we don't know, maybe from a distance, just because they have their list of approved installers. Where we live we're surrounded by craftsmen! Our recent roofing job was carried out by a roofing contractor recommended by Dave the builder who lives 2 doors up. DH has just had discussions with Darren the builder 2 doors down and he'll come and give an estimate for putting down more flooring in the loft and also an industrial-type fluorescent light - to have a boiler in the loft, which we want, there are certain pre-requirements: adequate lighting, adequate flooring for where the boiler is to go, and a proper loft-ladder. Darren fitted the loft-ladder for us last year, he's been in our loft and knows what needs doing - he just has to do some more measuring-up. We want a Vaillant combi boiler and the plumbing/heating engineer, Richard, lives just at the back of Darren!

    So really, it's just a question of scraping all the money together that comes in from all sources over the next couple of months or so. It will be a bit tight this year, but not impossible, and the most important thing - it will save us a shedload of money in heating costs over time.

    We are a lot more fortunate than many people of our age-group - just goes to show, having a little bit of spare money can't buy you happiness but it can add choice, convenience, you having the say in what's done, when, how, by whom etc.

    Margaret Clare
    • margaretclare
    • By margaretclare 29th Jul 06, 5:33 PM
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    margaretclare
    Further to the above, I'm almost persuading DH for us to go for a loan from smile. 6.9%, 12 months £172.77 a month, £2,073.22 in total, to pay it off earlier it's 1 month's interest. We could probably pay it off in half that time.

    DH insists on 'thinking about it'. To me it's a no-brainer! What's to think about? We've been thinking about it for ages!

    Still, I'd rather have him like this than the type of DH that unthinkingly 'sticks it on the plastic'. It takes him ages to come to a decision, but once he does, that's it.

    Margaret Clare
    • mleonard79
    • By mleonard79 31st Jul 06, 1:31 PM
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    mleonard79
    Hi Margaret Claire,

    Yeah I think you're right about the warm front grants - the more I think about it the more I think my dad probably wouldn't even be eligible but if he was they'd be sending whoever they choose and be making all the decisions which is a scenario I don't like either especially when it comes to our heating. My main concern is getting the cost of heating down and I think a combi boiler like you're talking about will do that job - of course we also want a good working heating system! I have a nasty feeling although these people will fit decent working systems they'll probably go for the cheapest available too since they're paying for it. It is a shame the interest free grants aren't around down south, I think its a very good idea. Although the EEAC did recommend some contractors to us we are able to use anyone we want so long as they comply with corgi standards etc and we wouldn't exactly be looking for someone who didn't so you have a lot of choice.

    I actually decided to go with one of the recommended installers in the end though as I found their quote and manner very good. I find it quite hard picking tradesmen as I'm not as fortunate as you with tradesmen on the doorstep who you can trust!! I'm very envious of that! We've had nightmare after nightmare over the years with unscrupulous tradesmen doing bad jobs and charging fortunes for the priviledge. My mum's been trying to get a joiner to fit a little cupboard in our kitchen for 2 years and no joy, we got a new bathroom less than 2 years ago and it was fitted badly, our windows were fitted wrongly and we had to get someone out just this week to adjust them - God the list goes on. That's great to have trustworthy people on your doorstep - I'd pay a premium for that! Let me know how it goes with the loan and the boiler.

    Regards

    Michelle
    • margaretclare
    • By margaretclare 1st Aug 06, 7:33 AM
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    margaretclare
    Hi Michelle

    When looking for someone to do a job, ask around, other people round about may have had work done and can recommend good workers who charge a fair price.

    Unfortunately, as people get older there are people out there who can only be described as rip-off merchants. The local paper is always full of horror stories. Above all, never accept a 'cut-price' offer by someone canvassing door-to-door - 'just in the area today, mister, got some spare left over from a council job'. 'Can offer you a good deal/a discount but only if you sign up for it/pay a deposit right now'.

    I've learned a lot from my DH, from the way he goes about things following his decades in business. He never pays a deposit, for a start. He won't pay up-front 'I've got to get the materials, mister'. The most he'll do is to pay for materials to be delivered on site and on production of invoice. That way, he isn't paying for materials to go into the builder's stock.

    Some good friends of ours recently had their drive block-paved by a local, reputable company. But they'd paid a 20% deposit and then were fobbed off about when the job was actually going to start! First it was this week, then it was next week...eventually an excellent job was done, they're very pleased with it, but there was incredible hassle before any of the team arrived, THEN they had to wait for the materials to be delivered!!

    We've been pretty lucky. Our roofing contractor is always busy although he never advertises. We were assuming a couple of months from when we first agreed his estimate. However, one Saturday morning he phoned and said 2 jobs had been delayed and his lads would be sitting around - would we like them to start on the Tuesday morning? Of course we said 'yes'. 4 of them were here before 8 am on the Tuesday and they worked like Trojans. DH paid for the tiles when they were delivered on the Thursday, paid cash on production of invoice (not so easy to get £1400 in cash - all sorts of questions are asked, suspicions of money-laundering etc!) then paid by cheque for the rest of the job when it was completed.

    Darren the builder did some work for us last year when we were doing the bedroom - I wanted the light fitting moved to the centre instead of near the window, which was a stupid old-fashioned idea. He re-boarded and skimmed the ceiling for us and fitted the loft ladder - again, he'd been delayed on another job and arrived at 8 am one morning saying 'did we mind?' Of course we were delighted. He's another one who never advertises but is always busy, so it's word-of-mouth recommendation.

    We've now decided not to apply for the Smile loan - DH is right, we don't want to get into debt again, not even for the shortest period. With savings we have and money that will be coming in over the next few weeks, we think we'll have the £3K or so scraped together, without too much difficulty, by about the end of the year, and we'll go for the combi boiler in the loft. Darren will do an industrial light-fitting in the loft space for us, plus floor-boarding where the boiler is to go, but to do all that he'll have to liaise with the heating installer Richard, when the system is drained and the pipes are removed. The more I think about it, it makes no sense to have a 40-gallon tank of water sitting up there and having to be kept hot 24/7. It would make sense if we were a family with children, washing always on, baths etc, but we shower every morning and apart from a bit of washing-up and washing maybe twice a week, that's it.

    But we are lucky - I know that. I'm lucky having DH with his background - he's so used to acting as project co-ordinator and getting a good deal, he does it almost instinctively nowadays. We're lucky because we have a decent income and not living on state pension alone - I can hardly imagine what that must be like. And yet we're not rich enough to have to worry about IHT - I think we're in the best possible 'happy medium'.

    Best wishes

    Margaret Clare
    Last edited by margaretclare; 01-08-2006 at 7:36 AM.
  • Jake'sGran
    Bear in mind that there are criteria - she needs to be on some form of means-tested or disability benefit.

    'If the gas engineer can get the part'.....this sounds as if the boiler is a bit ancient? In that case it may not be working very efficiently (ours isn't, it's 14 years old) and it might be as well to apply for a WarmFront grant - fuel efficiency is important what with the escalating cost of gas, as well as the effects on the environment.

    Margaret Clare
    by margaretclare
    My benefit is not means tested and last year we had a new boiler fitted. I think it would have been repaired except that there was a faint gas smell and the gas engineer from Transco condemned it. As far as I know, we can also have cavity wall insulation and loft insulation but have not brought ourselves
    round to facing the disruption yet. It is worth remembering that if a person has a new boiler it has to be a condensing one. They do not last as long as the one they took out and which we had had for 30 years but still, very nice to have except for the racket in the morning and the unsightly pipe work.
    • margaretclare
    • By margaretclare 2nd Aug 06, 4:07 AM
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    margaretclare
    My benefit is not means tested and last year we had a new boiler fitted. I think it would have been repaired except that there was a faint gas smell and the gas engineer from Transco condemned it. As far as I know, we can also have cavity wall insulation and loft insulation but have not brought ourselves round to facing the disruption yet. It is worth remembering that if a person has a new boiler it has to be a condensing one. They do not last as long as the one they took out and which we had had for 30 years but still, very nice to have except for the racket in the morning and the unsightly pipe work.
    by Jake'sGran
    Hi Jake's Gran

    You're likely to live in Scotland where they offer these things on age and not on means-tested or disability-related benefits - is that right?

    Yes, we know that when we change the boiler it's got to be condensing. What we want is a condensing combi boiler which has no storage tank - the water is heated as it's required. It's making less and less sense to me to have 40 gallons of hot water sitting up there in the loft all the time. We want to put the boiler in the loft.

    Could you please explain the racket in the morning - why? And the unsightly pipe-work - why is it unsightly?

    You'd probably find that the insulation you've been offered would make a huge difference to the cost of the gas you're using. This really has to be an important consideration the way gas prices are escalating.

    We were offered cavity wall insulation only we haven't got cavity walls - this is a 1930s bungalow with single-skin brick walls, no cavities! The insulation we have in the loft already is adequate. It was one of the first things that my late husband did when we moved here in 1990. We need more floor-boards in the loft and better lighting.

    Best wishes

    Margaret Clare
  • Jake'sGran
    Hello Margaret, No we are not in Scotland. The North West actually.

    I get a small, non means tested benefit which does qualify for the Warmfront grant. The noise in the morning is when the boiler first comes on it seems to "clang" quite a bit. I probably would not notice it except that I sleep in the room next door to where it is fitted i.e. a downstairs bedroom - this is because the bathroom is downstairs. Because of where they said the boiler had to go i.e. in the kitchen above the old boiler housing, the pipes are visible above it and where it leaves the property out of the kitchen wall there is a large gauge pipe which is mandatory because of the condensing aspect of the boiler. It was white but now, after painting, it is not so unappealing to look at. It took the engineer four days to do the work. He said it would have cost a fortune if we'd paid for it. We have a new water cistern and a large double radiator in one room that was cold in winter. We were very impressed with the quality of the work.
    • margaretclare
    • By margaretclare 3rd Aug 06, 10:53 AM
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    margaretclare
    Hi Jake's Gran

    I relayed the information you gave to my DH, and here's what he says:

    If the boiler is making a noise i.e. a 'clang' there is something wrong with it, because these boilers are virtually silent in operation. We've seen the ones that the young couples on either side of us have - one has been fitted only a few weeks ago - and there's no noise at all, either when they start in the mornings or any other time. DH says you need to get back to the installer or the company, whoever it was who fitted this for you, because it shouldn't be making a 'clang'.

    'Because of where they said the boiler had to go' - I am more and more convinced that we'll be better served getting it organised ourselves, that way we might stand a chance of getting it where we want and as we want. Your engineer said 'it would cost a fortune' - we're looking at probably £2,600 - £2,800, is that a 'fortune'? Plus, we can get it done by local craftsmen that we know in the area we live in.

    We got some quotes from different installers a year ago, we were thinking of it then, and we kicked one of them into touch because he said the boiler 'had to' go on the kitchen wall. What, and mess up my picture-tiles? No way!

    DH is going into hospital for further knee surgery on 21st September. He wants to be able to 'climb up that bl***y ladder' as he said just now, meaning the loft-ladder, and that will take a month or two of recovery time. In the meantime we'll have got the money together so we'll probably look at getting it done the early part of next year.

    Best wishes

    Margaret Clare
  • Jake'sGran
    Warm fron boiler
    Hi Margaretclare, Sorry if this is late. I am so interested in this board now I have discovered it but must admit I am slow at finding my way around it.

    Oddly enough I have not heard the clang noise for a week or so. In any case, the work was inspected twice after the engineer finished the installation and there is an automatic checkup as part of the scheme twelve months later. One thing I did insist on was in retaining my airing cupboard at the top of the stairs. Another gas fitter prior to Warmfront had said I would no longer have a cistern in there. Anyway, we do have a new one with full lagging not the type in two pieces as before.

    The price you quote is reasonable. Before we discovered the Warmfront scheme we were being quoted 3000 but we would not have got as much as we now have, i.e. extra radiators. We did call them back as the radiator in our hall was the original and had been fitted sideways on due to the size of the wall. The original gas fitter said it was OK but the second said it had to be replaced and we got a very neat one, much nicer but doesn't get as hot. This just means the hall takes longer to get to the thermostat setting temp.
    I have an idea about getting round covering the pipes in the kitchen. Taking it all round we were very fortunate to get all this done for free.
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