Grants for energy improvements

Energy & Housing, Info, News

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How can I get financial help?

fact-There are a range of grants available to help cover the costs of home energy improvements, and new schemes are being launched all the time. But it can be a bit of a puzzle navigating the eligibility criteria, deadlines and application procedures.

The graphic below gives a summary of what’s on offer and the eligibility criteria for each scheme:

There’s more details below, including information on how to apply.

Note that all the schemes require an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).  You can check if your home has an EPC here.  If not, you’ll need to get an assessor around to carry out an EPC survey.  This costs between £60-£120, but is fairly straightforward.

If you’d like some help in making sense of all of this, come along to the Home Energy Helpdesk. It offers free advice sessions at the monthly Repair Café, and also via phone or Zoom if you sign up online.

 

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Boiler Upgrade Scheme

This was launched in 2022 and is a UK Government initiative to encourage more people in England and Wales to install low carbon heating systems, such as heat pumps and biomass boilers.  It was made more generous in October 2023 so now gives a really good incentive to upgrade your home heating system. 

The scheme covers three low carbon heating systems:

  • Air sourced heat pumps (£7500 grant)
  • Ground sourced heat pumps (£7500 grant)
  • Biomass boilers (£5000 grant*)

Other key aspects:

  • It runs until 2025.
  • You need to have a valid Energy Performance Certificate – but unlike other grant schemes it doesn’t matter what your EPC rating is.
  • Your property needs to be well insulated first. Your EPC must not have any outstanding recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation.
  • Your installer will apply for the grant on your behalf – so they deal with the paperwork.
  • So you need to choose an installer first.

You can find out more from the Energy Saving Trust website and here’s a useful article from Which.

 

eco4 logo

ECO4 Grants – Energy Company Obligation

ECO4 is the latest version of the Government’s Energy Company Obligation Grant Scheme. It is designed to improve the least energy efficient housing stock occupied by low income and vulnerable households. It is overseen by OFGEM and runs until March 2026.  Here’s a helpful blog explaining how it works, and here’s an article from Money Saving Expert website.

You might be eligible for help if you live in private housing and get one of the following benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Guarantee Credit
  • Pension Savings Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Child Benefit
  • Housing Benefit

Here’s further information from the gov.uk website.

If you own your house, it must have an EPC energy efficiency rating of D, E, F or G to be eligible.

If you rent from a private landlord, the house must have an EPC energy efficiency rating of E, F or G to be eligible. And you must have the owner’s permission to do the work.

It covers a wide range of improvements including boiler upgrades, insulation, biomass boilers and PV panels.

Those who are interested should contact the Citizen’s Advice Bureau special energy advice line (10 – 4 Monday to Friday) on 01243 974063. 

You can apply for the scheme via your existing energy supplier, provided they are registered with the scheme.  All the big players are, including:  British Gas, Bulb, EDF, Eon, Ecotricity, Ovo, and Scottish Power.  You can find a full list and contact details of where to apply here.

How it works:  The energy company will get in touch with you.  You’ll then be taken through a telephone assessment, which will include answering questions about various things, including your income, whether you receive certain benefits, and your property’s energy efficiency rating.  One of their appointed installers will then arrange a date to visit your home and confirm whether it’s suitable for the grant.  The grant is paid direct to the installer so you don’t have to pay a thing.

 

Great British Insulation Scheme  

This scheme was launched in autumn 2023 and has a £1 Billion pot to allocate.  It targets people who:

  • live in homes in council tax bands A to D;
  • or are on certain benefits
  • and have an EPC rating of D or below.

It will be open to 400,000 additional homes, compared to the ECO4 Scheme, according to this helpful article on the Money Saving Expert site.

It will focus mainly on installing low-cost insulation measures including cavity wall insulation, external and internal solid wall insulation and loft insulation.

You don’t get money in your hand to buy the insulation yourself. It’s all managed by your energy company.  You may be required to pay a contribution towards the cost but this will not be known until after the initial assessment of your home and will depend on the group you fall into.

Firstly, check you’re eligible by using a new online tool. You’ll be asked a series of questions, including where you live, the name of your energy supplier, the type of house you have and existing levels of insulation.  If you’re not sure if you’re eligible, you can also contact your energy supplier to find out.

If you’re eligible, your energy supplier will contact you within 10 working days to ask for additional information and to arrange an assessment of your property.  They will decide what sort of insulation you need and give you additional energy saving advice while they’re with you.

If you’re a tenant and the property you rent qualifies for funding under the scheme, you will be eligible as long as you’ve got your landlord’s permission. The same applies to social housing tenants.

 

warmer homes logoWarmer Homes Scheme

This scheme was launched in June 2022, but has been adjusted in April 2023 so it is now focussing only on homes that are not on the gas grid.  Here’s the highlights:

  • It is aimed at lower income households (with an annual income below £31,000, or on means-tested benefits).
  • It is generous –  and offers grants of up to £38,000 for off grid houses.
  • It is targeted at the least energy efficient homes with EPC ratings of D, E, F or G.  (You can find out the latest EPC rating of your property here.)
  • It is broad ranging and covers all kinds of insulation, solar PV, air source heat pumps, heating controls and more.
  • You get a detailed energy assessment of your home to see what measures are most appropriate.
  • The work is carried out by pre-vetted installers, so you should be in safe hands.
  • It’s backed by Horsham District Council, as part of a scheme involving over 20 local councils.
  • It is only available until November 2024.  So you need to get going soon to take advantage of it.

You can find out more and apply here.

 

Disabled Facilities Grant

If you are disabled you may be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant to help you make changes to your own home.   Home lighting and heating systems and controls can be provided or upgraded under this scheme.  This can be a good route for someone who needs disabled adaptations that have been specified by a council approved Occupational Therapist.

Find out more about it from the West Sussex County Council website.

 

Other useful links

West Sussex Affordable Energy page on heating and insulation grants

Horsham District Council’s advice page on saving money on energy bills