Since the beginning of 2013 a new grant, The Energy Company Obligation (ECO), has been launched to replace existing grants. ECO is a £1.4 billion money pot to be used to support a whole range of property owners from the poorest to property owners with hard-to-treat properties. Therefore, almost everyone can benefit from ECO and receive free insulation.
Who qualifies for free insulation?
If your house is a hard to treat property because it is solid wall construction (pre-1930) or thin cavity walls (pre-1950) you could be eligible for external wall insulation, internal solid wall insulation, heating systems and loft insulation up to 100% funded so you don’t need to pay a penny. This is available to everyone, you do not need to be on specific benefits to qualify for this funding, all you need is a solid wall or hard to treat cavity property.
The other group of people who qualify for free insulation no matter their property type are low income and vulnerable households are the ‘Affordable Warmth Group’. People within this group can be eligible to any funding that enables them to make heating savings, such as, replacing a boiler.
To be eligible for the Affordable Warmth ECO you must either own or privately rent your property (you must have permission to do the work from your landlord) and receive one of the following benefits:
- Pension Credit Child Tax Credit (and your income is £15,860 or less,
- Working Tax Credit (and your income is £15,860 or less) – plus one of the extra conditions below,
- Income Support – plus one of the extra conditions below,
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance – plus one of the extra conditions below and
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance – plus the support or work related element, or one of the extra conditions below.
- Your responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they’re in education or training)
- You get Disabled Child Premium
- You get Disability Premium
- You get Pensioner Premium
- You’re 60 or over (only if you get Working Tax Credit)
If you meet the above benefits and criteria you could get loft insulation, a boiler and other energy efficient measures completely free!
Why do you need insulation?
If you qualify for the free home insulation it is important that you take full advantage because insulation is a good way of improving your home’s energy efficiency. Wall insulation prevents heat from escaping into the outside air. About 30 % of your heat will be lost through your walls; installing wall insulation will help to reduce this by increasing your walls’ thermal resistance. Loft insulation works in the same way by stopping the rising heat in your home from escaping through your roof. If your loft isn’t insulated you will be losing over 25% of your heat through your roof because heat flows to cooler spaces. Therefore, if you heat your bedroom the heat will rise into the loft where it is colder, thus making your heating system work harder to get your bedroom up to temperature. By installing loft insulation you will be increasing the thermal resistance of your loft so the flow of hot air into the loft space will decrease.
Naomi Stevens writes for Green Deal Upgrade, your local Green Deal assessor for homes throughout the UK. Green Deal Upgrade aims to help homes throughout the UK improve their property’s energy-efficiency and reduce the nation’s carbon dioxide output.