Need help making your UK home more energy efficient? There are plenty of grants available to assist with the cost.
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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; read on to find out more about these schemes, including how to find out if you are eligible and how to apply.
Which grants or financial assistance are available?
Thanks to the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) programme, households that meet certain criteria can qualify for either a free boiler or free or discounted insulation.
The ECO scheme requires that larger energy suppliers (those with 250,000 customers or more) must provide assistance to their vulnerable customers so they can reduce the cost of heating their homes.
What's available varies by energy supplier — it is worth checking with yours to see what you may be eligible for:
It's worth noting that many insulation measures are manageable as a DIY project. Draft proofing, loft insulation, floor insulation and even internal insulation of solid walls can be achieved even if you don't qualify for a grant. Read more here.
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 (England, Wales, Scotland)
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government financial support scheme designed to provide incentive to homes that switch to renewable heat systems.
Participants receive quarterly payments from the government for seven years, based on the amount of renewable heat it's estimated is generated by their heating source of choice.
Here are some examples of the types of alternative renewable heating eligible for payment under the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme:
To find out more about the Renewable Heat Incentive, or to apply, visit Ofgem's dedicated page.