Boiler, Central Heating and Insulation Grants
What grants are available in England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland?
Insulating your house, buying a new boiler, or updating your central heating system can be incredibly expensive. All of these home improvement measures can be seen as an investment that should save you money on your heating and hot water bills in the long run, however the initial cost can still seem high.
There are various schemes available in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which offer heating and insulation improvement grants.
England – Energy Company Obligation
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a Government scheme which aims to tackle fuel poverty in vulnerable and low income households.
Energy companies have a legal obligation to help households become more energy efficient; specifically low income households who are in receipt of a range of qualifying benefits. Eligible homeowners or tenants who live in privately rented accommodation (and have permission from their landlord) may be entitled to free loft and cavity wall insulation, have their boiler repaired or fit a free replacement boiler with a boiler grant.
To qualify for a grant you will need to be in receipt of certain benefits, including:
- Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (with an income of £16,010 or less)
- Working Tax Credit (with an income of £16,010 or less)
- Income Support
- Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance
- Universal Credit with a monthly earned income of £1,250 or less in any assessment period in the last 12 months
In the case of Income Support, Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance, Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit you must also meet one of the following criteria:
- You have a child under 16
- You have a child under 20 in full-time education (but not university)
- You get Child Tax Credit including a disability element
- You get a Disabled Child Premium
- You get a Disability Premium
- You have a Pensioner Premium
- You get disability living allowance, Personal Independence Payment or have limited capability for work and/or work-related activity (this only applies if you have Universal Credit)
Scotland - Home Energy Efficiency Programmes
Under the HEEPS scheme, the Scottish Government offers homeowners interest free loans and grants to help cut bills and keep their homes warm.
The scheme is split into four parts; HEEPS Cashback, HEEPS loans, HEEPS Area Based Schemes and the Energy Assistance Scheme (which is now closed). The Energy Saving Trust manages the delivery of these programmes through the Home Energy Scotland hotline, and also offer advice on a range of topics around energy efficiency for homeowners.
Wales - Nest Fuel Poverty Scheme
As of 1 April 2011, a new Welsh Assembly fuel poverty scheme called Nest was launched.
It aims to help reduce the number of households in fuel poverty and make Welsh homes warmer and more fuel-efficient places to live. Nest offers lots of free and impartial energy saving advice.
Nest's friendly advisors can also tell you if you're eligible to receive home improvements to help keep your home warmer and reduce your energy bills.
Northern Ireland - Affordable Warmth and Boiler Replacement Grants
There are two main government run schemes available in Northern Ireland; Affordable Warmth and Boiler Replacement Grants.
The Affordable Warmth grant helps households with an income of less than £20,000 to install energy efficiency measures like heating and insulation. This scheme is targeted by local councils to help the most fuel poor areas.
Homeowners with an income of less than £40,000 who have inefficient boilers could qualify for a grant through the Boiler Replacement Grants scheme.
There are also some schemes funded by energy suppliers under the Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme, you can find further information about these here.
For more information about heating grants in general, or if you're worried about keeping warm and paying your heating bills, you can call the Home Heat Helpline for free on 0800 336699. The helpline provides free advice to vulnerable energy consumers and people on a low income.