HUNDREDS of thousands of households are set to save over £300 a year on their bills through a new government scheme.
The scheme, worth £1billion, will also see vulnerable households and those with homes with an EPC rating of D or below offered help.
EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificates and is an assessment of how energy-efficient a home is.
Just over 400,000 homes in total will be able to apply for the scheme.
The scheme will run from Spring 2023 for up to three years and comes alongside an £18million public information campaign to inform households how to save on their bills.
The government said around 80% of the £1billion Eco+ scheme funding will go to households in lower council tax bands and those with an EPC rating of D or below.
So that means if you’re in a home between council tax bands A to D in England, you will be offered the home insulation.
If you live in Scotland you’ll be offered the insulation if you’re in a home between council tax bands A to E and A to C if you’re in Wales.
Around a fifth of the fund has been ringfenced for the most vulnerable, including those on means tested benefits or in fuel poverty.
Grant Shapps, business and energy secretary, said: “A new ECO scheme will enable thousands more to insulate their homes, protecting the pounds in their pockets, and creating jobs across the country.”
Who can get the support and how much will they get?
The Eco+ scheme will be open to households in two main groups – those on a low income and those in the general group.
The low income group includes those living in a household with an EPC rating band D to G.
They also must be receiving a means-tested benefit, live in social housing with poor energy efficiency or be referred by their local council because they’re deemed to be living in fuel poverty.
The general group includes all homes in council tax bands A to D in England, A to E in Scotland and A to C in Wales.
Plus, those with an EPC rating of D or below or who live in social housing and are in EPC bands E, F or G.
Around 80% of the Eco+ scheme funding will go to those in the general group.
That means they will receive grants of up to around £2,000.
You’ll be in line for various types of energy-saving insulation, including:
The measures you could get under the planned ECO+ scheme are mainly various types of insulation, including:
- Cavity wall insulation
- Solid wall insulation (both external and internal)
- Loft insulation
- Pitched roof insulation
- Flat roof insulation
- Under floor insulation
- Solid floor insulation
- Park home insulation
- Room-in-roof insulation
How can I apply?
You should be able to apply via any participating suppliers.
Ofgem currently has a list of those involved in the already running Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme on its website.
However, it’s not yet clear whether these same companies will be involved in the ECO+ scheme.
You should be able to apply through your local council too.
What other bill support can I get?
There are a number of other support packages available to households struggling with their energy bills.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Scheme offers grants to improve the energy efficiency of your home. It was launched in April 2013.
The ECO grants are given out by energy suppliers to help you replace an old boiler, add cavity wall insulation or loft insulation.
Households can help covering some, or all of the cost.
You’ll be eligible for the ECO scheme if you qualify for the Warm Home Discount scheme or you receive one of a number of benefits including:
- Child Benefit
- Pension Guarantee Credit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income Support
- Tax Credits (Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits)
- Universal Credit
- Housing benefit
- Pension credit saving credit
If you think you’re eligible, you can contact your local council to find out if they’re taking part in the scheme.
Alternatively, you can contact your energy supplier directly.
You can find contact details of suppliers who are taking part in the scheme on the Ofgem website.
Another helpful scheme is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme which offers a grant for those replacing their fossil fuel heating systems with a heat pump or biomass boiler.
Those eligible can get a partial grant to help them cover the cost.
The scheme is only open to households in England and Wales and you should check you’re eligible before you apply – for example, you must own the property you’re applying for.
Plus, you’ll just need to book a suitable contractor who must be MCS certified.
You can then book your installation after agreeing a quote with your contractor who will then apply for the grant on your behalf.
However much you receive in support will be deducted from your final bill.
Another home support scheme is the winter fuel payment scheme, where over 65s can get up to £600 to offset the cost of keeping their homes warm.
Most payments will be made automatically in November and December.
If you’ve not received a payment by January 13, 2023, you should get in touch with the Department for Work and Pensions.
Another scheme recently launched to help people pay their energy bills is the National Grid Scheme.
Under the scheme, some energy suppliers are offering customers £100 if they turn off their appliances during peak hours.
The scheme is designed to reduce the amount households are using energy during colder days, when more energy is used across the UK.
However, only customers with smart meters will be able to take part and not all suppliers have signed up to the scheme.
You can see which suppliers are offering the £100 here.
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