Page last updated at 21:32 GMT, Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Call for boiler scrappage scheme

Generic picture of a boiler
Replacing old boilers could help cut carbon emissions

The Scottish government is coming under pressure to commit funds to upgrading old central heating boilers, similar to the scheme announced for England.

The boiler "scrappage" scheme was announced by Chancellor Alistair Darling in his pre-Budget report.

The Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland said extending the scheme to Scotland would boost the economy and help cut pollution.

Scottish Labour said Scotland was being frozen out of the scheme.

The chancellor announced grants in England and Wales of up to £400 for 125,000 households to replace old boilers with modern energy-efficient models.

'Greener boiler'

In Scotland, that meant £2m was added to Holyrood's block grant next year, for distribution through its budget.

The Scottish government is facing demands from the FSB, green campaigners and Labour to apply the money to boiler replacement.

Andy Willox, Scottish policy convener for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "The 'greener boiler' incentive is good news for the environment and the householder but it also has the scope to provide work for local businesses, whether as prime or subcontractors."

A Scottish government spokesman said: "It is for Scottish ministers to determine how to use the consequentials available to them from the pre-Budget report, and we will make further announcements in due course.

"We are currently consulting on an energy-efficiency action plan for Scotland, and welcome views on any Scottish energy-saving scheme, including potential incentives to replace inefficient boilers."

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