How to get help with energy-saving home improvements

Could you be eligible for money off your home improvements?

Someone painting a wall

Making your home energy efficient can save you money in long run. But if you’re worried about the initial expense, you could explore the different ways to get help and funding. The UK has a number of energy-saving schemes that could help you get started.

 

Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

The government is offering money to homeowners who switch to renewable heat sources. This is to help the UK reach a renewable heat source target.

So, if you plan on installing anything like biomass boilers, solar water heating or particular kinds of heat pumps you could get money back for doing it. The government offer reimbursement four times a year to offset your costs of installing and running these renewable systems.

Even if you’ve already installed your renewable heat sources, you can still apply - as long as it’s within 12 months of first switching on or commissioning your equipment.

Are you eligible?

To be eligible for the RHI Incentive you need to:

  • Be a home owner
  • Or be a private or social landlord.

Unfortunately the scheme is not available to residents in Northern Ireland, and some new-build properties are exempt.

Find more details on the government website. Or if you’re ready to go, Ofgem can help you start an application

Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS)

The government is offering up to 75% off the cost of buying and installing an EV charge point at your home. This is capped at £500. But that’s still a great deal. You can apply for two EVHS grants per home, as long as you are planning to install two or more charge points.

Are you eligible?

To be eligible for the EVHS Incentive you need to:

  • Prove that you have off-street parking
  • Be installing new smart charge points
  • And apply within four months of installation.

Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)

If you’re on the road to renewable energy for your home, you might be interested in an incentive that pays you for any extra that you create. That’s what the SEG is. If your electricity is produced by solar panels, wind, anaerobic digestion or hydro-micro combined heat and power then you could sell your excess energy back to the national grid.

Make sure you sign up to the SEG tariff to receive payment, otherwise your energy will go back into the grid and you won’t get paid for it.

Warmer Homes Scotland

Whether you’re a private tenant or have your own home, if you’ve lived there for more than 12 months you could be eligible for the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme. So you could get help to insulate your walls and loft, to draught-proof and other energy-saving home improvements.

In many cases all costs are covered by the Scottish government, but you’ll have to meet certain criteria. And if there’s a lot of work to be done, you may need to contribute.

Home Energy Scotland Loan (HES)

If you don’t meet the criteria for Warmer Homes Scotland, or are a landlord, then the HES loan could be an option. It’s an interest-free loan to help you make energy-saving home improvements. The amount you can borrow will depend on what changes you wish to make.

The Energy Saving Trust website can tell you if you’re eligible and how to apply.

Nest Scheme Wales

Nest is a portal full of useful information and advice on how to save energy, energy tariffs and benefit entitlements. It’s a Welsh government scheme designed to help Wales become more energy-efficient. And all of it is free.

If you or someone in your household receives means tested benefits, you could be eligible for free home improvements.

Find out more about Nest >

Affordable Warmth Scheme Northern Ireland

The Affordable Warmth Scheme in Northern Ireland offers help to cover the costs of insulation, double glazed windows and heating updates. If you’re eligible you could get a grant of up to £7,500.

It’s open to both homeowners and renters with an income of less than £20,000.

Boiler Replacement Scheme Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland you can apply for a grant of up to £1,000 to help replace your boiler.

You may be eligible if:

  • Your boiler is 15 years old or older
  • Your household income is less than £40,000 a year.

Energy Company Obligation Scheme (ECO)

It’s possible to get support for home improvements through your energy company. If your supplier is signed up to the ECO Scheme they could cover the costs of wall insulation, loft insulation, or give you a discount on a new boiler.

Check if your supplier is part of the ECO Scheme and get in contact with them using Ofgem’s supplier contact details.

To be eligible you may need to show that:

  • You own or privately rent your property
  • Your home has an energy rating on A to E
  • You qualify for Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Child Benefits or another UK benefit allowance.

Your energy supplier should be able to supply a full list of qualifying benefits. You only need to qualify for one type of support to apply for the scheme.

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