A range of government initiatives exist to improve your home’s energy efficiency at an affordable price
Ensuring your home is as energy efficient as possible requires checking and upgrading numerous aspects of the property. When the areas for improvement have been identified actually getting the work arranged and carried out can be costly, often making you wonder if it’s really worth such an expense.
In the long term the money saved on bills and the reduced amount of energy being wasted means it definitely is. To help out there are a number of government grants and subsidised costs for improving your home’s energy efficiency available.
Most grants and subsidies are dependent on a number of factors based on your property, age and financial situation. Find out what you qualify for under the government’s Green Deal by using the Energy Grants Calculator. You must be claiming some sort of benefits to qualify for certain grants but a lot are assessed on your property’s current value and facilities.
Boilers are a vital component in heating properties but older models are far less efficient. The government’s boiler scrappage scheme, introduced to upgrade people relying on old boilers, has now ended but a few energy companies are still offering money-off vouchers when purchasing a new model through them. The government’s ECO scheme does now provide free and heavily subsidised boilers for those which are broken or faulty and for boilers over eight years old, providing other qualifying criteria is met.
Most people over 63-years-old are eligible to receive a tax-free Winter Fuel Payment from the government that goes towards paying heating bills. Normally between £100 and £300 can be claimed which is paid in November or December. Households receiving qualifying benefits (of all ages) and located in particular areas where it is forecast to be 0°C or below for seven or more days in a row can claim Cold Weather Payments. This is applicable between November 1 and March 31.
Cavity wall insulation can chop between £100 and £250 off energy bills every year, while loft insulation saves up to £240 a year on top. The government’s Carbon Emission Reduction Target (Cert) provided free or discounted insulation but ended in December 2012. However, millions of homes are still eligible to receive both loft and cavity wall insulation for free or at a huge reduction through the ECO (Energy Company Obligation) scheme.
This was brought in to make the big six energy companies help households reduce their carbon emissions and energy bills. Eligibility is usually based on the area you live in and property type and is applicable whether you’re the homeowner or tenant. An assessment survey for suitability is required first before insulation can be installed.
Free solar panels can be hard to come by but the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) introduced by the government offers a huge incentive for installing them on your roof. For every kWh of energy the solar panels produce the government pays you a small amount. The tariff is constantly being revised and changing but in general around 13p per kWh is paid. The rate is guaranteed for 20 years and solar panels will reduce your overall electricity bill too.
All these energy improvements are subject to meeting particular qualifying and assessment criteria. If you’re looking to reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint, having your property inspected will be well worth the effort.