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
A Government scheme which aims to tackle fuel poverty in vulnerable and low income households, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) will work in conjunction with the Green Deal.
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 100% grant you will need to be in receipt of certain benefits, including:
- Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (on an income of £15,860 or less)
- Working Tax Credit (again, your income must be £15,860 or less)
- Income Support
- Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
In the case of Working Tax Credit, Income Support or Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance 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
Scotland - Energy Assistance Scheme
The Energy Saving Trust manages delivery of the Energy Assistance Scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Introduced in April 2013, the Energy Assistance Scheme replaces the Energy Assistance Package and is designed to help reduce fuel bills and improve the energy efficiency of homes. The scheme is split in to four stages, with stages one and two offering free expert energy saving advice and advice on benefits, tax credit checks and low cost energy tariffs respectively.
Stage three provides a package of standard insulation measures (cavity wall and loft insulation), to older households and those on one of a range of qualifying benefits, whilst stage four offers a package of enhanced energy efficiency measures to those who are most vulnerable to fuel poverty.
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 - Warm Homes Scheme
Under the Warm Homes Scheme, the Government offers two types of grants, Warm Homes and Warm Homes Plus.
These grants for homeowners or tenants of private landlords are intended to pay for home insulation or central heating improvements, ranging from loft insulation and cavity wall insulation to hot water tank jackets.
The scheme is administered by H&A Mechanical Services Ltd and Bryson Charitable Group, and is funded by the Department for Social Development.
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.