From February 2023 you can claim free home insulation without the need to be on benefits. Read more below to see what type of fund suits your circumstances.
Grants for low income households
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO4), amongst other government backed energy efficiency schemes, provides vital funding to fuel poor households who are in receipt of qualifying benefits and are on low incomes. This funding partly or fully funds the installation of insulation, heating and renewable energy-saving measures. Schemes like ECO4, help low-income households to upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes and importantly, lower their energy bills.
What about those who aren’t in receipt of ECO4 qualifying benefits? What financial support is available for households who don’t meet the criteria, but need to reduce their energy bills and fund home insulation themselves? The good news is there is a scheme being developed, known as ECO Plus, that will do exactly that.
In our blog, find out more about ECO Plus and how the scheme will support households towards the cost of installing home insulation.
What is ECO+?
ECO Plus is the proposed energy supplier led scheme currently in development, that would provide partially subsidised energy efficiency measures, like insulation, to households not eligible for ECO4.
The most recent version of this fund has now been rebranded as The Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS).
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) provides vital support to fuel poor households, however until now there was currently no support scheme available to households in England that are classified as able to pay.
GBIS will run alongside, but separate to, ECO4, to ensure the vital support provided to fuel poor households is not impacted.
It is confirmed that there is a scheme budget of around £1 billion over the next three years for low cost (cavity wall and loft insulation) and high cost insulation measures (solid wall insulation), and that households could be expected to make a contribution.
What are the benefits to The Great British Insulation Scheme?
The UK government has committed to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. To achieve this, we need to become less reliant on fossil fuel hungry boilers and reduce carbon emissions by insulating the homes we live in.
Over the coming years, the way we heat our home will have to change. This will mean moving from a traditional boiler to a low carbon alternative such as an electric air source heat pump.
For an air source heat pump to be effective, homes need to be adequately insulated.
- Insulation is a sustainable cost-effective way to reduce your energy bills
- Subsidies through GBIS, make insulating your home more of an affordable option
- Prepare your home for low carbon heating alternatives, like air source heat pumps
- Lower your carbon footprint
- Keep warm in the winter and cooler in the summer
- Improves the EPC rating of your home, which makes it more saleable too
- Future Proofs your home for upcoming legislation changes
Why is there a need for The Great British Insulation Scheme (ECO Plus)?
We have millions of houses across the UK uninsulated and with a poor EPC rating. In fact, the worst insulated housing stock in Europe.
With the current cost of living crisis and rising energy bills which are unaffordable for most households, more needs to be done.
The government announced back in February, a package of support to help all households with rising energy bills. This package included a council tax rebate of £150 for those in bands A-D, as well as an increase in the Housing Support Fund, which each Local Authority has access to, to help the most vulnerable in our communities.
The government recognised that more needed to be done to support households with rising energy bills. That is why the government is providing a package of support worth £37 billion which includes the Energy Bills Support Scheme. Through the Scheme, domestic electricity customers in Great Britain will receive a £400 grant which will appear as a credit from energy suppliers from October 2022 onwards. This will not need to be repaid.
Although the support is welcome, improving the energy efficiency of your home is the most effective way of delivering sustained energy bill savings on a long-term basis. That’s why ECO Plus is being developed and once passed by the government, is expected to launch later this year, around Autumn.
The Connected For Warmth Scheme
This fund is open to anyone whose home falls into council tax bands A-D. The grant offers a home energy survey which could result in measures such as cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, heating controls and LED lightbulbs being installed completely free.
This is very similar to the new Great British Insulation Scheme, but it easier to to process as there’s no need to have an EPC rating below D.
You can read more about the Connected For Warmth Scheme here.