The MLA for East Belfast said the move is another positive step towards reducing fuel poverty.
Launched by Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland this week, the £12 million scheme – funded by the Northern Ireland Executive – offers owner occupiers a grant of up to £1,000 to replace inefficient boilers. It is available to those who earn less than £40,000 a year with an inefficient boiler of at least 15 years and dependent on total gross income.
Judith Cochrane MLA said: “This scheme is welcome news for Northern Ireland. While it is long overdue, I am glad to see the Minister finally taking the necessary steps to target fuel poverty in a proactive way.
“This new scheme will target owner occupiers who normally fall through the net of other assistant schemes, giving many the opportunities to improve their daily standard of life.
“Fuel poverty has been on the increase in Northern Ireland for over five years, with many struggling with poorly maintained and poorly controlled heating systems.
“In these challenging economic times, this boiler replacement scheme will go a long way in helping individual households save money. Reducing energy costs and maximising the energy efficiency of homes will be on the minds of many in the coming winter months.
“I would urge anyone who believes they may be eligible for this scheme to register now.”