As the UK commits to having net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, a range of policy measures have been initiated to get Britain onto a greener energy journey. The government has invested significantly in schemes designed to heat homes more efficiently, which cuts costs and saves energy.
Home users grants provide financial aid to help boost energy efficiency in your home, so that you can heat your house for less money. The government has invested £12 billion into Help To Heat Schemes across the UK, which is delivered via installers, local authorities, and energy companies.
There are a range of grants and support measures available to home users, particularly if they reside in an area with poor fuel efficiency or are a low-income household. These grants help ensure that everyone has access to more renewable energy, helping both themselves and the environment.
In this article, Tariff will explore the different grants and schemes available to domestic energy customers, to help you beat the heating blues. We’ll provide information on how these grants work, what they are for, and how to find out if you’re eligible. Equipped with this information, you’ll be better able to make energy choices for a greener home and planet
Before we delve into the details of what types of grants are available to domestic energy users, it’s beneficial to know some of the key terminology we will be using throughout the article and debunk some of these, so that you know exactly what support is available and how to get it.
Fuel Efficiency – this refers to how effective a fuel or system is based on the heat it produced.
Low-Income Household – this refers to a household that has an income so low that they may struggle to afford their bills, food, and other essential items. The DWP defines this as any household earning less than 60% of the national median pay.
Energy Crisis – this relates to any significant shortage in energy supply to a country or region.
EPC Certificate – this stands for ‘Energy Performance Certificate’. This provides an efficiency rating from A (most efficient) and G (least efficient). An EPC is valid for 10 years.
Ofgem – stands for The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets. This is the government regulator for the electricity and natural gas market in Great Britain.
Prepayment Meter – this is a type of energy meter that requires users to pay for energy before using it.
DS1500 or BASRiS Certificate – these certificates are filled out by clinicians for those who have a severe disability or terminal illness, used to provide faster and easier access to certain benefits in Scotland.
To help with the cost of living and energy crisis, the government has provided a range of financial assistance for home users to increase their energy efficiency, along with continued support for households receiving benefits. Significant funds are accessible to enhance your home’s energy efficiency or assist with energy bill payments, with hundreds of millions of pounds allocated for this purpose.
Help To Heat Schemes are one way that the government aims to help households. This includes the following grants:
The crucial factor is being well-informed about where to find these resources, as the funding for these is done via installers, local authorities, energy companies- not directly via the government.
In the following section, we will provide more in-depth information about each type of grant, what it’s for, and how to find out if you are eligible to receive funding.
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme provides grants to property owners for them to install more carbon efficient heating systems, such as heat pumps or biomass heating systems. Under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, you could receive a grant to cover part of the costs involved in replacing your fossil fuel heating system. Fossil fuel heating systems include oil, gas or electric.
If you are eligible, you can receive one grant per property. The amount available is:
To qualify for a grant for a heat pump, you must meet the following criteria:
To qualify for a grant for a biomass boiler, the following must apply:
Your boiler has an emissions certificate which shoes that polluting emissions are kept to a minimum. The system you choose to install must meet various standards, such as a minimum efficiency level. Your system should have a maximum capacity below 45kWh, as anything over this is not eligible for funding. Your installer will provide you with this information so that you meet the criteria.
The upgrade scheme is only open to households in England and Wales. However, houses in Scotland may be able to receive a similar grant to make your home more energy efficient. For those living in Northern Ireland, grant funding is available to replace inefficient boilers.
There is no funding available to replace your fossil fuel heating system with a hybrid heat pump system, for example, a combination of a gas boiler and air source heat pump.
You cannot receive grants for:
If you are eligible for the grant, your local council will arrange a home survey to see how your house can increase its energy efficiency. They will suggest improvements such as:
These improvements will be organised and paid for by your local council, so you will not have to pay anything. To be eligible for the Home Upgrade Grant, you will:
You can check if you are eligible and apply for homes in England here. Your local council will then be in touch, usually within 10 working days, to get more information and arrange a home survey.
The Sustainable Warmth Competition awards funding to local authorities in England to assist with increasing energy efficiency in low income households. The way that this is delivered depends on your local authority, but you can check with your local council to see if you are eligible. A full list of councils part of the scheme is available here.
The competition focuses on upgrading the worst insulated, prioritising homes with a low Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of E, F, or G.
To be eligible for funding under the Sustainable Warmth Competition you must:
To get the funding, you must meet one of the eligibility criteria and be part of local council in the scheme. For any questions you should contact your local council.
Low-income households who own their home can get upgrades fully funded and do not need to contribute to the cost. If a low-income household is rented, the landlord of the property must contribute at least a third of the upgrade cost.
The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund provides funding to improve the energy efficiency of social homes in England.
The second wave of this fund awards a total of £80 million for decarbonising social homes. The funding began rolling out in April 2023 and will continue over the next two years. The funding covers several upgrades to heating, such as:
If your property is eligible, your social housing provider will inform you. All social housing in England is eligible for funding, whether your property is on or off the gas grid.
The Energy Company Obligation requires energy suppliers to help households cut their heating costs by installing energy-saving measures. This government scheme aims to tackle fuel poverty and help reduce the UK’s carbon emissions. Obligated supplies must promote measures to improve the ability of low-income households to heat their homes.
We are in the 4th rollout of the scheme, ECO4, which will help an additional 450,000 homes by cutting an average of £300 off their energy bills. This will prevent 15.08 megatons of carbon emissions over the total lifetime of the measures.
This varies across different energy suppliers, so they will offer different types of improvements. You can check if you are eligible with your energy supplier.
The Energy Company Obligation applies to suppliers in England, Scotland, and Wales. Only suppliers with over 150,000 customers are obligated, whilst smaller suppliers are exempt.
Below, Tariff has outlined some of the other key grants and funding available to home users that are not part of the Help To Heat Scheme.
The Warm Home Discount Scheme is a one-off discount applied to your electricity bill between October 2023 and March 2024. If you are eligible, the discount will be automatically applied. You do not need to apply unless you are on a low income in Scotland, where you will need to contact your energy supplier to apply.
The Winter Home Discount Scheme is available to people living in England, Wales, and Scotland. It is not available to homes in Northern Ireland, but you may be able to get similar help under the Affordable Warmth Scheme.
If you are eligible for the discount, you will receive a letter by January 2024. If you do not receive this, but think you are eligible, you must contact the Warm Home Discount Scheme before the 29th February 2024.
The scheme offers £150 off your electricity bill, or on your gas bill if your supplier provides you with both.
You are eligible for the discount in England and Wales if:
You are eligible for the discount in Scotland if:
Scottish homes can also apply for Warmer Homes Scotland, which is designed to help lower energy bills while providing grants for home improvements. Your property will be assessed and potential improvements will be identified, including:
All home improvements carried out under the scheme must be delivered by Warmworks– approved installers. The Scottish Government will cover all costs in most cases, but a customer contribution may be required in some cases.
To be eligible for the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme you must:
The Nest Scheme is a scheme by the Welsh Government set up to provide funding for energy efficiency improvements for low-income households in Wales. This includes free installation of boilers, central heating systems, and insulation.
You may be eligible for the Nest Scheme if:
If you think you are eligible for the Nest Scheme and live in Wales, you can apply online or request a call back.
The Winter Fuel Payment is a payment of £250 – £600, to help you pay your heating bills. To be eligible for the payment, you must be born before the 25th September 1957.
The amount you’ll receive will include a ‘Pensioner Cost of Living Payment’- an extra amount of £150 – £300, which will be paid in Winter 2023-2024. If you are eligible, you will receive a letter in October or November, detailing the amount you’ll receive.
If you think you are eligible but do not receive a letter, you can make a claim.
The Cold Weather Payment is paid if the average temperature for your area is recorded or forecasted at zero degrees Celsius or below for a period of 7 consecutive days.
This applies between 1st November 2023 and the 31st March 2024. You’ll receive a payment of £25 for each 7-day period. If you are eligible, you will receive these payments automatically and do not need to apply.
To be eligible, you will need to be receiving one of the following benefits:
You can check if you are due a payment by entering your postcode on the government website.
If you live in Scotland, you cannot receive the Cold Weather Payment. You might get an annual £50 Winter Heating Payment instead. You can easily check if you qualify for this using the Winter Heating Payment checker, which will ask you about where you live, who you live with, and what benefits you receive. You qualify for the payment if you receive any of the following:
Between April 2023 and March 2024, local councils in England have access to £1 billion in funding to help vulnerable households. This provides financial aid to help cover the costs of:
There is no set criteria, as it is up to each local council to decide. To see if you can get help, you should check with your local council.
If you need emergency support to help pay your energy bills, there is help available. All providers offer some form of help, so you should contact them in the first instance to see what support they can offer. They may offer repayment plans, discounts, or a cap on how much you pay.
If you are on a pre-payment plan, your supplier may be able to offer you emergency credit. You also might be able to access a hardship fund, which is usually allocated on a case-by-case basis from your supplier. This is why it’s best to contact them directly if you are starting to struggle.
Under rules set out by Ofgem, your supplier legally must help you if you are struggling to pay your energy bills. Prepayment meters cannot be installed for vulnerable customers, which includes:
Tariff is an energy switching service, helping businesses cut their energy costs and become more sustainable. We help businesses embark on their green energy journey by taking the stress out of switching to one of our trusted providers, providing a range of heating solutions to make the most from your energy.
As part of our service, Tariff can conduct a free solar review of your business and present our findings and professional guidance as part of our solar panel installation. We will provide details about costs, carbon saving, potential grants you could receive, and recommend the best PV system for your business.
Our team of experts will help find the best heating system for you, whether that’s Air Source and Ground Source Heat Pumps, Biomass Boilers, or CHP Systems. We’ll help you reach the net-zero carbon emissions target and identify what funding could be available in addition to sourcing the best energy deal for your business needs.
Tariff provides advice, guidance, and a comprehensive package to help UK businesses switch energy, to save on your long-term costs and make your business heating more efficient. For a free, no-obligation quote, contact our friendly Tariff team today.
At Tariff, we’ve made a firm commitment to helping businesses from all sectors adjust their energy usage habits. We have extensive experience in securing businesses the best possible deal on their gas and electricity, as well as preparing them for the looming 2050 deadline for net-zero emissions.
Whether you’re uncertain of your business’ future in energy, or you’re ready to make the move to a cleaner and brighter future, get in touch with our knowledgeable team today to find out how Tariff can help your business begin its green journey.