Boiler, Central Heating and Insulation Grants
Are you putting off home improvements because of the costs involved? When it comes to replacing a central heating system or improving insulation, getting the upfront funds together can be a challenge for many people.
What you may not realise is that there are government heating grants that could help you make those much needed improvements to your home. In other words, free money to help you make your home more energy efficient and reduce your heating bills.
What grants are available in England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland?
While it’s true that improving or replacing a central heating system can be costly, it’s also true that they’re both real investments that will save you money on your energy bills in the long run. The good news is that there are various schemes available in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which offer central heating grants and insulation grants. These grants are designed to help people access the funds they need to improve their home’s efficiency at either a reduced cost or, in some cases, at no cost at all.
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.
The biggest 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. How do they do this? They provide the funding for the ECO insulation and heating grants.
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 and / or to have their boiler repaired or replaced.
To qualify for a grant you will need to be in receipt of certain benefits, including:
- Child Tax Credit + Annual household income is below a certain threshold (determined by how many people live in the property)
- Working Tax Credit + Annual household income is below a certain threshold (determined by how many people live in the property)
- Universal Credit + Monthly earned income is below a certain threshold (determined by how many people live in the property)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income-based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
- Income Support
- Pension Credit (Both Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit or Guarantee Credit Only)
Scotland – Home Energy Efficiency Programmes
Under the HEEPS scheme, the Scottish Government offers homeowners interest free loans and grants to help reduce energy bills and keep their homes warm.
The scheme is split into parts: HEEPS Loans, HEEPS Area Based Schemes, and the HEEPS Cashback & Energy Assistance Schemes (which are 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 also 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.