Want to make your UK home more energy efficient? There are plenty of grants available to help with the cost.
Many of the energy efficiency grant schemes have been set up to help people who are in fuel poverty or at risk of fuel poverty, so you might find that you have to meet certain criteria to get a grant. Grants are widely available so do you research.
Read on to find out more about energy efficiency grants, to find out if you are eligible and how to apply. If you're currently eligible for a grant but haven't applied you could be missing out on a lot of financial assistance.
Are there any grants available for home insulation?
The short answer is yes, but it really depends on your personal circumstances.
Up until December 2012, the CERT (Carbon Emissions Reduction Target) scheme meant most people were entitled to insulation grants. The CERT scheme was mainly funded by gas and electricity suppliers and consequently by levies on consumer energy bills.
The CERT scheme has now been replaced by the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO), however consumers must meet certain criteria to qualify for either a free boiler or free or discounted insulation.
Energy suppliers offer very different benefits and it is worth checking with yours to see what you may be eligible for. Most information about the ECO scheme is available on your supplier’s website.
British Gas: http://www.britishgas.co.uk/products-and-services/energy-saving/home-insulation/free-insulation.html
EDF Energy: http://www.edfenergy.com/products-services/for-your-home/home-energy-saving-improvements/ECO.shtml#
Many insulation measures are manageable as a DIY project. In order of increasing costs and complexity these are draft proofing, loft insulation, floor insulation and even internal insulation of solid walls. However, before doing your own work, make sure you do your research.
Green Deal (UK)
The Green Deal launched in January of 2013, just as the government ended the Warm Front scheme. (If you already applied for or have a Warm Front issue such as equipment problems, you can call the Government’s Warm Front Care and Repair line on 0800 408 1437).
The Green Deal is available to any household in the UK, and there is no eligibility criteria to meet such as income level. The Green Deal is open to everyone.
Instead, the Green Deal is a loan to those who wish to make energy-efficient upgrades to their home, including new boilers, insulation or double-glazed windows.
The loan is paid back over time through the borrower’s energy bills. The golden rule of the Green Deal is that the cost of the upgrades cannot exceed the money saved due to the upgrades.
To learn more about the Green Deal, including debunking Green Deal myths, how renters can benefit from the Green Deal and how to apply, head to our dedicated Green Deal section.
Home Energy Scotland
The Home Energy Scotland scheme is available for Scottish residential homes (including mobile homes), and aims to help make heating more affordable by making homes more energy efficient.
The Scottish Executive project makes it possible for qualified households to acquire grants for up £6,500 in energy-efficient upgrades such as:
- Installing and/or repairing a central heating system or boiler
- Draught proofing around doors and windows
- Insulation, including cavity walls, internal and external walls and lofts
- Providing room thermostats and heating controls
- Insulating hot and cold water tanks and pipes
To qualify, applicants must:
- Have been in their home for one year or longer
- Be 60 years or older and have no central heating system
- Be a homeowner or a tenant of a private-sector landlord
To see the full list of eligibility criteria and for more information, call 0808 808 2282 or visit the Energy Saving Trust’s dedicated page.
Nest Fuel Poverty scheme (Wales)
Nest is the Welsh Assembly Government's new fuel poverty scheme that offers grants to low-income households who may be in fuel poverty.
The scheme aims to make homes warmer and reduce bills, therefore reducing the number of homes living in fuel poverty. It is available to every home in Wales, with some eligibility requirements.
Nest replaces the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (HEES). If you have applied for a grant under HEES but haven't had a decision yet, or if the work hasn't yet started, your application will be treated as if it had been made under Nest.
The Nest programme takes a 'whole house' approach to determining what energy improvement work would be most suitable. There are a variety of options you can take, but some examples include:
- Loft and cavity wall insulation
- Solid wall insulation
- Draught proofing
- Boiler replacement
To be eligible for a Nest assessment and potential energy improvement work, you must:
- Be receiving a means-tested benefit (such as Child Tax Credit, housing benefit, Pension Credit, etc.)
- Own or be privately renting your home
- If you live in a shared property, the home must be F or G rated for energy
How to apply for Wales’s Nest energy efficiency programme:
- Email your interest in Nest using firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call 0800 512 012 free from a landline, or 0300 456 2655 free from a mobile phone
Renewable Heat Incentive — Phase 2 Domestic scheme (England, Wales, Scotland)
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government financial support scheme designed to provide incentive to homes with renewable heat sources (i.e., off the gas grid) set to be made available Spring 2014.
Once the scheme has gone live, Ofgem will provide guidance on how to apply. You can find out more by visiting the Ofgem website.
Much of the details on criteria are still be reviewed, but it looks like the following types of alternative renewable heating will be eligible under this scheme:
To find out more about the Renewable Heat Incentive, visit the Energy Saving Trust’s dedicated page.