More of us are aware of the importance of insulating our homes and using energy-efficient ways to limit carbon emissions. With 80% of energy used in homes for heating, installing good insulation, turning down your thermostat and getting a more efficient boiler can help cut your fuel bills and your carbon emissions. With winter well on its way, we focus on the financial support available to make your home more energy efficient.
If you have a disability, or you are a homeowner or a private tenant, you may be able to claim help towards making improvements, repairs, or adaptations to your home.
Help from energy suppliers
You may be eligible for energy saving offers from energy companies. You can take up offers from any of the companies making the offers, regardless of who supplies your gas and electricity. Find out exactly what support you could receive by looking at the 'energy saving offers: do you qualify?" section of the energy saving trust website at: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
Landlord's Energy Saving Allowance
If you're a landlord and make energy saving improvements to your property, you could claim the Landlord's Energy Savings Allowance (LESA) and lower your tax bill. For more information visit: www.directgov.co.uk
Financial help to make your home energy efficient
You can get financial help if you're planning on making energy saving improvements – like installing insulation or getting a new boiler to your home. Currently, a scheme which may help you is called Warm front.
If you're on certain benefits, you may be eligible for a Warm Front grant (only available in England). You could get help worth up to £3,500 to improve the central heating or insulation in your home through this scheme if your house is poorly insulated and does not have a working central heating system.
Grants are available for improvements such as:
- Loft insulation
- Cavity wall insulation
- Hot water tank insulation
- Gas, electric, liquid petroleum gas or oil heating
- Glass-fronted fire
Who can apply?
Owner occupiers, leaseholders or tenants who rent from a private landlord who must obtain their landlords agreement before any work is carried out on the property.
Am I Eligible?
An applicant must be in receipt of a qualifying benefit. Other eligibility requirements apply. The property must have a SAP rating of 63 or under - which will be assessed by Warm Front early on in the application process.
Maximum value of grant
£3,500 or £6,000 where oil fired central heating or other alternative technologies are necessary.
Insulation – Keep the heat in and save money
- Ideally, loft insulation should be around 270mm thick. It could save you up to £200 per year*
- Houses built from 1920 onwards usually have a gap between the inner and outer wall – these are called cavity walls. Cavity wall insulation fills that gap and it can save up to £135 a year*
- If you have an older building, you might have solid walls. These can be more expensive than cavity walls to insulate but could give you a saving of up to £475 a year
Boiler Upgrades – as your boiler can account for around 60% of your energy costs* it makes sense to make sure it's as efficient as possible
Appliances - buying a energy efficient appliance should save energy and money in the long run
- Before you purchase a new appliance, check its energy efficiency by lookingout for the energy labels. These give each appliance an energy efficient rating on a scale from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).Where you can, go for 'A' rated appliances.
**Source: Energy Saving Trust
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.