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Over-60s in boiler scrappage plan

10 February 10 12:14 GMT

People in Wales aged 60 or over are set to benefit from a new boiler scrappage scheme, the assembly government says.

The new £2.5m scheme, targeted at those more vulnerable to fuel poverty, will come into force on 1 April this year.

Eligible applicants with an inefficient (G rated) boiler will receive £500 towards the costs of a new boiler.

Conservative AM Angela Burns criticised the scheme as being three months late and ineffective for "many thousands of people struggling to pay their bills".

Announcing the launch to AMs, Environment, Sustainability and Housing Minister Jane Davidson said £2.5m had been allocated to the scheme for 2010/11.

Up to 5,000 Welsh households were expected to benefit as a result.

"We are also investing an additional £1.4m to tackle fuel poverty through our Home Energy Efficiency Scheme during the next financial year," said Ms Davidson.

To date the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme has assisted over 100,000 households across Wales with heating and insulation measures as a result of an £100m investment in the programme, she explained.

Ms Davidson added: "This additional funding underlines the assembly government's ongoing commitment to tackling fuel poverty and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Wales. "

Replacing a G-rated boiler with an A-rated boiler could save households up to £235 per year in energy costs, as well as significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the assembly government said.

Details of the of the delivery mechanism and application process for the scheme were currently being finalised and would be announced shortly.

No waiting list would be operated in advance of the launch date.

Ms Burns, Conservative AM for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, commented: "I remain to be convinced as to how effective this scheme will be in helping the many thousands of people struggling to pay their bills.

"The Welsh scheme is also far more narrowly focused than that in England, meaning far fewer people will qualify."

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