For around 86% of properties in the UK, the primary source of fuel for heating and cooking is delivered by the mains gas supply.
That leaves many thousands of homes and businesses, most often in rural areas, that are termed off-gas and which use other systems such as oil, LPG and electricity as well as more eco-friendly options like new biofuel heaters and heat pumps.
As with properties that are fuelled by gas, not only can an energy-efficient system save these homeowners money but incorporating other measures such as good insulation also makes a difference to fuel bills. For low-income families, however, managing this can still be challenging.
The good news is that government grants for off-gas properties help provide insulation for properties as long as individuals are receiving qualifying benefits or their fuel costs are high compared to their overall household income.
Here we look at how homes on low incomes, particularly those experiencing fuel poverty, can access insulation grants through the ECO scheme.
- Can I get a grant for insulation for my property?
- What types of insulation are available?
- Who is eligible for the grant?
- How do I apply for a grant?
Can I get a grant for insulation for my property?
The government is not only committed to converting the UK to a low-carbon economy, moving away from fossil fuels but want to help those households who are either on low incomes and receiving benefits or who currently live with the challenge of fuel poverty.
Off-gas solutions to heating are often more expensive than natural gas and old, inefficient systems or lack of good insulation can have additional impacts. It often means people in areas who cannot access a gas main are paying more to keep themselves warm.
If you aren’t sure whether your property is connected to mains gas or whether there is gas in your area you can lookup your property against central records. The centre for sustainable energy website have published a complete list of postcodes that aren’t connected to mains gas. You can see if your postcode appears on the list at CSE. You can also go to findmysupplier.energy to check whether there is gas in your area or in surrounding areas and see key gas information about properties in the UK.
If your home is in an off-gas area you are likely to be reliant upon more expensive forms of heating and so the Government has provided funding to help you make your home more energy-efficient.
The government’s ECO scheme was introduced to force utility companies to offer eco-friendly options to householders and deliver reductions in fuel poverty. These include a host of different measures from providing subsidised heating to putting in better insulation, all with funding provided through government grants.
What types of insulation are available?
Some of the most common forms of insulation available under the ECO scheme include:
- Cavity Wall Insulation
- External Wall Insulation
- Internal Wall Insulation
- Loft Insulation
- Roof or Room in Roof Insulation
- Underfloor Insulation
There are a range of factors that determine whether your property is suitable for insulation including the age and construction of the property. Always check with your installer which insulation options is suitable for your home. Usually they will carry out a free survey and let you know what benefits you could expect to see from each measure.
Who is eligible for the grant?
Those receiving certain benefits are eligible to access a grant for insulation through the ECO scheme, including:
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Child Benefit*
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Pension Guarantee Credit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income Support
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Mobility Supplement
- Personal Independence Payment
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Tax Credits (Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits)
- Universal Credit
*If you only receive Child Benefit, you might be eligible for a grant but you’ll need to meet the income rules that are detailed on the Ofgem site here.
Those who may not be on benefits but whose income does not cover the cost of fuel bills might also qualify for insulation grants so it is worth getting in touch even if you don’t claim benefits.
How do I apply for a grant?
The grants are available for eligible households in England, Scotland and Wales and are provided by installers who have signed up to the ECO scheme. These installers will assess your property, often for free, and then make recommendations about what insulation you need to help reduce your heating bills.
The grant is generally paid directly to the installer rather than the homeowner but there is no limit to the number of measures that they can receive support for, although they can’t apply for the same measure twice.
In most cases, the grant will cover 100% of your insulation if you meet the eligibility requirements.
We can help you through every stage of the application process and assess your home and eligibility for the grant before installing what is needed. If you’d like to find out more, fill in our easy application form today.
Our friendly and professional team will get back to you quickly to explain what we can do to update your off-gas insulation.