Timeline blog: 2022 – 2023 – Russia invades Ukraine and the Boiler Upgrade Scheme launches

04 Jul 2024

A review of 2022 and 2023 brings us almost up to date. 2022 saw two major World events: the death of Queen Elizabeth II and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which resulted in a 54% rise in the energy price cap. These events, along with the knock-on effects of COVID, have put the UK into a cost-of-living crisis, with the costs of food and heating bills rocketing.

To encourage homeowners in England and Wales to embrace renewable heating sources, the Government launched the Boiler Upgrade Scheme on 1 April 2022. Recognising that low-carbon heating options such as heat pumps are considerably more expensive than a fossil fuel boiler replacement, the scheme was designed to reduce consumer costs and thereby hopefully increase the uptake of green heating alternatives.

Initially, the initiative offered eligible homeowners a fixed grant of £5,000 to replace their fossil fuel boiler with an air source heat pump, and £6,000 for a ground source heat pump. 

In October 2023, the fund was increased to £450 million, and the grants were raised to £7,500 for all heat pumps and a grant of £5,000 was introduced for the installation of a biomass boiler. Although the grants remain the same this May, other changes have been made to the scheme, which can be viewed here.

Inclusivity Charter

In April 2022, LCL Awards launched its Inclusivity Charter, the first such initiative to be set up by an Awarding Body, to encourage women and other under-represented groups into building services engineering. The charter, which was developed with Hattie Hasan MBE, founder of an all-female plumbing company, Stopcocks Women Plumbers, promotes respectful behaviour towards all candidates trained in LCL Awards’ approved centres as well as flexible course delivery to help more people access training. 

In October 2022, LCL Awards won an award at HVR’s awards for the Charter, where Director, Mark Krull, said: 

“I’m delighted to accept the Training Initiative of the Year Award. Special thanks go to LCL Awards’ Quality Assurance and relationship manager, Tracy Harker, who helped get the Inclusivity Charter off the ground, and Hattie Hasan MBE, whose expert knowledge and first-hand experience of getting ahead in what is traditionally a male-dominated field, has been invaluable. 

“The Inclusivity Charter is a really important initiative that aims to help more people access training in the building services sector by breaking down barriers – prejudices and also logistical challenges. 

“Overall, the BSE sector is experiencing a skills shortage. We need more people if we are going to meet the demand presented by a low-carbon future. Varied viewpoints and life experiences will also progress our industry for the better.”  

Hydrogen scrapped


Plans to test the use of hydrogen to heat homes in Whitby in Cheshire and Redcar in Yorkshire were abandoned after months of strong opposition from concerned residents. Insufficient local hydrogen production was also a concern for the schemes designed replace the residential gas supplies with a low-carbon alternative.

There was better news for heat pumps as on March 2nd 2023, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) announced its next round of funding to accelerate the heat pump roll out, including the Heat Training Grant, which enabled training providers to offer grants of up to £500 to candidates undertaking heat pump training courses.

2023 saw a significant rise in the popularity of heat pumps, with the MCS announcing that 35,000 certified heat pump installations had been registered across the UK in that twelve-month period, bringing the total number of heat pump installations since to 2008, to over 200,000. 

In June 2023, Tracy Harker said a fond farewell to LCL Awards after the annual Forum which was held at Aerospace Bristol, and Aaron Grell was appointed to the role of Quality Assurance Manager. He brought with him much experience in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and will present an update to the Inclusivity Charter at this year’s Annual Forum. 

Another significant appointment at LCL Awards in 2023 was when Neill Ovenden was appointed Operations Director as Steve Mulvaney stepped back to cover Neill’s previous role as Operations Manager.