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1 October 2020

Government energy grants for your home

Find out if you qualify for energy grants from the government and energy suppliers to help make your home more energy-efficient, cut your carbon footprint and reduce your energy bills
Cosy family home 477450
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WhichEditorial team

There are schemes available to help you pay your energy bills, while energy grants and offers can help cover the initial cost of installing energy-efficient features in your home and save you money. Read on to find out about the different schemes and whether you qualify.

The average homeowner could be wasting hundreds of pounds each year because their property isn't energy-efficient. You may also be spending more money than you need to if you’re eligible for help with paying your gas and electricity bills.

The good news is that energy grants are available to help you with the cost of making your home more efficient. A more efficient home will be cheaper to run over time, and the changes might make it more cosy too.

Cut your energy bills by following our tips on saving energy at home.

Help paying your gas and electricity bills

  • The Warm Home Discount gives £140 each year to consumers who need help with their energy bills. It's targeted at pensioners and people who receive certain benefits.
  • Fuel Direct can help you manage your energy bills if you get Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit.
  • The Winter Fuel Payment is for those aged over 63, and it pays up to £300 (if you’re aged over 80) towards your winter heating.
  • If winter is particularly cold, some households will be eligible for the Cold Weather Payment. If you’re eligible, it’s worth £25 per each week that it’s below zero degrees.

Energy-efficiency grants, discounts and freebies

Green Homes Grant

Homeowners in England can apply for £5,000 of vouchers for energy-efficient home improvements from late September 2020 until 31 March 2021.

Insulation, double glazing, energy-efficient doors and heat pumps are among the home improvements eligible for financial support from the government's Green Homes Grant scheme.

The vouchers should cover at least two-thirds of the cost of an eligible energy-saving home improvement, up to £5,000. The lowest-income households won’t pay anything and could get vouchers of up to £10,000.

However, you must install insulation, a heat pump or solar water heating to be eligible.

In addition, you can apply for vouchers for double glazing, energy-efficient doors, heating controls, hot water tank insulation and draught proofing. Vouchers for these are capped at the amount you’ll receive towards installation or low-carbon heating.

Your improvements must meet other criteria to qualify, including using an approved firm, applying through the government’s service, and getting your quote approved before work begins.

See full details of the Green Homes Grant scheme.

ECO and Affordable Warmth

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) gives out grants for energy efficiency measures such as wall insulation. However, the eligibility criteria for ECO is quite complex. 

To find out if you could qualify, check the Simple Energy Advice website or call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 and find out more in our ECO guide

As part of this, the Affordable Warmth scheme gives grants to help with making your home more energy efficient, such as insulation or a new boiler.

Free insulation and grants from energy suppliers

Some energy suppliers offer grants, including for insulation or a new boiler if yours is broken. 

How much could energy-efficiency measures save me?

There are many ways to save energy and money in your home. Some, such as draught proofing and fitting energy-saving light bulbs, are cheap and easy to do. 

Loft insulation and cavity wall insulation are relatively straightforward to install and will yield bigger savings. Solid wall insulation is more expensive, but the long-term savings can be even greater. Select your home type from the drop-down menu in the graphic below to see your estimated savings per year for different types of insulation:

If your home is already well-insulated, fitting a modern condensing boiler is pricey but replacing an old boiler with a modern one with heating controls could save you more than £200 per year (in a three-bedroom house). 

More ways to save on energy

As well as using energy-efficiency grants to help cut the amount of gas and electricity you use, you should also make sure you’re on the best-value energy tariff. 

If you’re on a standard default gas and electricity tariff with one of the Big Six energy companies, one which is close to the maximum permitted by the government's energy price cap, you could be paying over £300 more per year than you need to. That’s the difference between one of these tariffs and the cheapest deals on the market.

Find out more about the Big Six energy companies or use our independent service, Which? Switch, to compare energy prices to find the best deal for you.

Earn cash for generating renewable energy

Installing energy-generating technologies, such as solar panels, is something you should only consider after you've made your home as energy-efficient as possible. 

The upfront costs of installing generation at home can be high. But the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) helps offset the initial expense of installing renewable heating technologies. The Smart Export Guarantee can pay for electricity you generate at home.

These schemes support renewable technologies including solar panels, wind turbines and ground-source heat pumps.  

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