Want to reduce your energy bills?
Improving your insulation is one of the best ways to achieve this, but what government grants are currently available to assist? Read on to find out more….
The cost of living is at its highest level in a decade, and home energy bills are one of the biggest contributors.
Approximately 22 million people saw their energy bills rise on April 1, 2022 after Ofgem announced a price cap increase of 54%. Some customers' bills have risen by £708 to more than £2,000 per year.
In October 2022, the price cap will be raised again, further compounding the problems.
If you want to lower your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint, installing insulation and draught proofing are the most effective measures that will reduce heat loss and therefore save you money.
Grants are available to access finance for installing insulation across the UK, depending on your location and circumstances. Read our handy guide to find out what grants are available in your area.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Insulation Grants
ECO is the main national scheme for supporting energy efficiency improvements in low income and vulnerable households.
ECO is not a government grant; it’s an obligation placed on the large energy suppliers to assist in the installation of energy efficient measures such as improved insulation and more efficient heating.
There are many improvements that can help energy companies achieve their ECO goals, but in practice, most companies focus on cavity wall and loft insulation. It is also possible to get financial help when replacing an inefficient boiler or other heating system.
A list of measures can be seen below:
Cavity Wall Insulation
Upgrade from Single to Double Glazed Windows
To qualify for ECO if you need to be eligible for benefits and meet specific requirements. However there are some specific situations where can access an ECO grant even if you are not claiming benefits.
To find out complete and submit this form
For full details of the scheme visit www.gov.uk/energy-company-obligation
The Energy Saving Trust has lots of useful information including energy saving tips.
UK insulation grants are constantly changing and new ones are likely to appear in the next few months as the government attempts to tackle the cost of living crisis. For an up-to-date source of information the UK government website is worth checking out before starting any energy saving projects.
The Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme
As well as national grants there are lots of local insulation grants available to access in England depending on your postcode.
Local authorities will provide homeowners, tenants and people in social housing with up to £10,000 in wall and attic insulation incentives if the home has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or below and there is an annual combined gross income of less than £30,000 and have less than £16,000 in savings.
You may also be eligible if you do not have a current EPC or earn more than £30,000 a year but receive certain benefits.
To find out what grants are available in your area, for your circumstances, click here and enter your postcode.
If you and your property are eligible, the following energy efficient measures can be covered by the grants:
Insulation (solid wall insulation, loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, room in roof insulation and underfloor insulation)
Renewable heating technologies (air source heat pumps, solar PV and Solar thermal)
Energy efficient external doors and window upgrades (single glazed to double glazed)
If your house is currently heated by Gas Central Heating it is not eligible for the scheme so an application would be rejected.
Warmer Homes Scotland
Warmer Homes Scotland is designed for low-income families and disadvantaged people to access grants for insulation, renewable technology and other energy efficient home improvements.
Attic and wall insulation is one of the main improvements available under the Scottish Government scheme.
Potential improvements include:
Central heating (inc. new gas boilers)
To be eligible you must:
Be homeowners or the tenants of a private-sector landlord
Live in the home as their main residence
Have lived there for at least 12 months (unless in receipt of a DS1500 certificate)
Live in home with an energy rating of 72 or lower and which is not more than 230 square metres in floor size
Live in a home that meets the tolerable living standard set out in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 or, where the home does not meet the tolerable living standards, this will not impact on the effectiveness of the measures recommended for installation under the scheme
Householders must not have received support for energy efficiency improvements through Warmer Homes Scotland funding in the last five years.
And meet one of the following conditions:
Be of pensionable age, have no working heating system and be in receipt of a passport benefit
Be aged over 75 and in receipt of a passport benefit
Pregnant and/or have a child under 16 and in receipt of a passport benefit
Have a disability and be in receipt of any level of Personal Independent Payment (PIP)
Have a disability and be in receipt of high rate Disability Living Allowance (DLA) (care or mobility component)
Have a disability and be in receipt of low/medium rate Disability Living Allowance (DLA) (care or mobility component) and be in receipt of an income related benefit
Be a carer in receipt of Carers Allowance
Have been injured or disabled serving in the Armed Forces and be in receipt of Armed Forces Independence Payment/War Disablement Pension
Have an injury or disability from an accident or disease caused by work and be in receipt of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
More information can be found at www.homeenergyscotland.org/find-funding-grants-and-loans/warmer-homes-scotland/
Northern Ireland Affordable Warmth Scheme
The Northern Ireland Affordable Warmth Scheme is available for fully funding energy efficiency measures in your home including insulation grants. Successful applicants can receive up to £7,500 for standard energy efficient measure or up to £10,000 if your home is a solid wall construction and it needs insulating.
The actual grant paid will depend on the measures recommended by a Technical Officer.
The scheme is available to Northern Ireland residents who:
- own and occupy your property as your main home
- have your day / life interest in the house
- rent from a private landlord, and
- have a total annual gross income of less than £23,000
If you qualify for assistance the following measures are eligible in order of priority:
Priority 1- Insulation / Ventilation / Draught-proofing
a. Topping up loft insulation to 300mm
b. Loft/Eaves ventilation
c. Cavity wall insulation
d. Water cylinder insulation
e. Draught-proofing windows and doors
f. Removal and replacement of cavity wall insulation
Priority 2 – Upgrade from solid fuel, LPG or Economy 7 to gas or oil central heating
a. Converting Economy 7 to high efficiency electrical storage system where oil/gas are
b. Boiler replacement/upgrade
c. Has a child in receipt of child benefit or Kinship payments
d. Receives disability living allowance (DLA) / Personal Independence Payment (PIP) /
Attendance Allowance/Industrial Injuries Benefit Draught-proofing windows and doors
Priority 3 – Windows
a. Upgrade single glazed windows to double glazed
Priority 4 – Solid Wall Insulation
a. Add solid wall insulation if appropriate
You can find out more about the scheme, eligibility and next steps here
NEST is a scheme for low-income households in Wales to access funding for energy efficiency improvements such as loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, new boilers, or upgrades to renewable energy technologies.
The scheme is available to people who claim benefits and also suffer with health conditions.
To apply click here
No Grants Available?
If you cannot find any suitable insulation grants in your area, it is possible to install loft insulation and draught-proofing measures yourself. Both are relatively inexpensive projects and will provide immediate significant energy saving benefits.
Both projects will pay for themselves in a short amount of time.
For more information on installing loft insulation see our blog here. And the costs involved here.
Loft Insulation and Storage
If you manage to get an insulation grant, or you decide to fund the installation yourself, and it includes fitting loft insulation make sure once it’s installed you do not compress it.
Compressing insulation squeezes the air from the system and can reduce its thermal performance by up to 50%. The last thing you want to do is spend money insulating your loft to then reduce its effectiveness.
If you want to use, or continue to use, your loft for storage then adding Loft Legs will allow a storage platform to be created above the insulation.
Loft Legs simply screw into the ceiling joists or roof trusses enabling a raised boarded area to be created.
Find out more on creating storage in a loft above insulation here.
For more loft insulation and storage advice visit us at www.loftleg.com/blog