The government has launched the £1bn drive to help those most in need heat their home for less, through the Great British Insulation Scheme.
Families in lower council tax bands with less energy-efficient homes will be offered vital upgrades – such as roof, loft or cavity wall insulation – which could cut their annual energy bill by an average of between £300 to £400.
The scheme will boost help for those on the lowest incomes as well as extend support to a wider range of households compared to other existing government-funded schemes. Those eligible for support under the Great British Insulation Scheme include families in council tax bands A-D in England, A-E in Scotland and Wales, with an Energy Performance Certificate rating of D or below.
The 300,000 set to benefit come on top of the 2.4 million homes that have so far benefited from new energy efficiency measures under existing support schemes, as part of government’s ongoing efforts to protect the most vulnerable across the country.
These customers will, from today, be able to find out if they can get support to make their homes more energy efficient by using a new online checker tool.
Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho said: “We are determined to help families keep their homes warm through the winter months and save on their energy costs.
“Our Great British Insulation Scheme will help hundreds of thousands of people, including some of the most vulnerable in society, get the upgrades their homes need, while cutting their energy bills.”
The scheme will help build on the government’s progress in improving energy efficiency in the country’s homes – in 2010, just 14 per cent of homes had an EPC rating of C or above, compared to 47 per cent in 2022.
This support will run alongside the existing Energy Company Obligation scheme, which offers free home energy efficiency improvements, such as insulation, heat pumps and solar panels to families on low incomes.
Customers will be able to use a new online checker for the Great British Insulation Scheme, launched today, to find out if they are eligible. The tool will ask a series of questions – including how they heat their home, whether their home has solid or cavity walls, and if they are receiving any benefits.
A separate checker has also been launched for the Home Upgrade Grant, which could help as many as 25,000 off-the-gas-grid homes that have an EPC rating of D to G. People can find out if they qualify for energy efficiency support – ranging from insulation and draft proofing to new windows and doors, as well as heat pumps and solar panels.
Customers using the online tools will then be referred to either their energy supplier, for support from the ECO programme and Great British Insulation Scheme, or their local council for the Home Upgrade Grant, to take the next step in making their home more energy efficient.
Mike Thornton, Chief Executive, Energy Saving Trust said: “Improving the energy efficiency of our homes is a vital part of addressing both the energy crisis and climate emergency.
“By reducing demand for fossil fuels it provides a triple win long-term solution for cutting energy bills, decreasing carbon emissions and improving energy security.
“The launch of the Great British Insulation Scheme is therefore a welcome development as it will mean more households are eligible for financial support for insulation measures and comes at a crucial time as we approach the colder winter months.”