Written by Debbie Talbot
My mum and I were recently discussing the circumstances 4 years ago when she had the back boiler removed and replaced it with a combination boiler.
There was so much to consider. My mum wanted to find a solution that was cost effective but not compromise on quality and reliability. She also wanted the boiler to look nice as it would be in her kitchen. After much deliberating, she opted for a Worcester boiler. This was approximately 4 years ago. My mum and dad are now in their early 70’s and would love to update their boiler again at some stage. I therefore decided to read up about things to consider and their options, particularly what’s out there for people of pension age thinking of swapping their boiler. As someone who is on a low income myself, I was also interested in whether there are any schemes out there which help people who are on certain benefits or on a low income update their central heating system.
I found some very useful information from Hassle Free Boilers with a recommendation from Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis.
What particularly interested me here was reading that the big six utility companies are offering free of charge boilers to people on certain benefits. I try to live my life as frugally as possible, so was delighted to read that a new, energy efficient boiler can save a householder as much as £100-£350 per year. Do bear in mind that if a free boiler is fitted, the householder would be given free fitting but charged for any extra engineering costs. That said, I think it’s a wonderful deal. I really feel for the elderly during the winter months. It could even be that the extra efficiency allows an elderly person to have their boiler on for more hours a day, therefore staying warmer.
Eligibility information is on the link above, so I suggest you do read up on whether your current circumstances meet the criteria. That link is really useful as it even gives details of a cold weather payment available to pensioners and those on certain benefits, plus free wall and loft insulation. Please do note that the free boiler and free well and loft insulation offers are not available to those people living in a housing association property or council house.
I then went on to look specifically at boiler deals for pensioners or older people.
Living on a tight budget is common these days, but I know first-hand how devastating unexpected emergencies can be. For an older person, I can imagine it would be even harder. I was not aware of the ECO scheme until reading up about it on the link above. Basically, the UK’s largest utility companies fund this scheme to help reduce carbon emissions, eradicate fuel poverty and provide grants to those households on a low income. I think this is great. Myself and the little people in my life have grown up very aware of global warming etc. There are certain criteria you have to meet which are clearly laid out on the link above. My mum and dad have only had their boiler for 4 years or so, so wouldn’t qualify until it is 10 year’s old. I think that’s really fair.
The last thing I wanted to have a look at was how affordable boilers are if you need to buy one. If someone didn’t meet the criteria of the various schemes, they may want an option to pay monthly for their new boiler.
Hassle Free Boilers.com offer a scheme where you can pay monthly to spread the cost of installing, maintaining and servicing a brand new Vaillant, Worcester or Ideal boiler. You can choose to pay off your new boiler over a period of 3-12 years.
Like any child, I do worry about my parents managing in their pension aged years and I was happy and relieved to see that there are several great options available to them when they want to replace their current boiler.
I hope to buy my own home at some point and I think that these options would be great for me too when that time comes.