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Who Qualifies For The Free Insulation Grant

What Is The Free Insulation Grant?

As it currently stands insulation grants are available through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. This is a government scheme to help tackle fuel poverty across the UK which is funded by the largest utility companies in the UK. 

The insulation grants available through the ECO scheme were created to help low income households in England, Scotland and Wales make their homes more energy efficient and lower their heating bills. Not every household can apply and there are certain criteria that have to be met to qualify for the scheme. Eligible households can then apply for an insulation grant and upon successful completion a registered insulation installer will install the insulation of your property. This is a grant so it does not have to be repaid and you will not be expected to have to pay the insulation installer. 

The ECO scheme offers grants available for a number of different types of insulation. Homeowners can be eligible for more than one grant.

  • Loft
  • Internal wall cavity
  • External wall cavity
  • Room in roof

You may be offered enough to fund 100% of the cost of the installation but some home owners will only obtain some of the money and will therefore need to contribute to the costs.

Under the ECO scheme the ‘Big Six’ utility companies are obliged to provide funding to households that have to improve the efficiency of their homes. This is in part to achieve the government’s goal of being net carbon neutral by 2050 but as a main aim of tackling fuel poverty across the UK. 

Am I Eligible For Free Insulation?

To be eligible for a free loft insulation a homeowner will have two main considerations to determine if they are likely to qualify for an insulation grant and whether their property is suitable to have insulation installed. 

If a homeowner is in receipt of a qualifying benefit the government could provide the funding needed to insulate their property. Grants are available to cover the entire cost of the process and are available to homeowners who are receiving income related benefits, disability related benefits or tax credits. The property must be owned or be rented from a private landlord and must not be a council/house association.

Who Qualifies For An Insulation Grant?

Under the ECO scheme cavity wall and loft insulation are generally covered by 100% of the grant and are free of charge to anyone in receipt of a qualifying income/disability benefit or tax credit. 

Internal wall insulation and roof room are also free to people receiving income/disability benefits or tax credits as long as the property does not have mains gas. If the property is on the gas network a grant of up to 75% is available with a 25% contribution towards the cost of the insulation made by the homeowner. 

In the case of installing external wall insulation, homeowners can claim a grant of up to 25% of the cost, regardless of income or benefits. 

At the time of the survey, the property must be privately owned or rented from a private landlord and occupied. There must also be a gas or electricity bill in the occupiers name.

Insulation Grant Criteria

For a household to qualify for free cavity, internal wall, loft or roof room insulation, someone living in the property needs to be in receipt of at least one of the benefits listed below:

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child Benefit *
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-Related Employment Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Pension Guarantee Credit
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • War Pensions Mobility Supplement
  • Working Tax Credit

If a homeowner is in receipt of one of these qualifying benefits (excluding child benefits) they will be eligible regardless of their household income, therefore no means testing will be required for applications.

If an applicant is using child benefit as the qualifying benefit for the insulation grant then their income from all sources (after tax) must not exceed the limits shown below. The amount of income varies depending on whether you the applicant is a single claimant or part of a couple and the number of children they are responsible for.

Child Benefit Income Limits

Child Benefit Claim Type

Income

Single & 1 Child

£18,500

Single & 2 Children

£23,000

Single & 3 Children

£27,500

Single & 4+ Children

£32,000

Couple & 1 Child

£25,500

Couple & 2 Children

£30,000

Couple & 3 Children

£34,500

Couple & 4+ Children

£39,000

If an applicant is using child benefit as the qualifying benefit for the insulation grant then their income from all sources (after tax) must not exceed the limits shown below. The amount of income varies depending on whether you the applicant is a single claimant or part of a couple and the number of children they are responsible for.

Cavity Wall Insulation Grants

The most popular type of insulation obtained through the ECO grant is cavity wall insulation. Most houses built after 1920 have a cavity between the walls. This cavity between the walls is filled with an insulating material to improve the efficiency of the house exponentially.

Cavity wall insulation does tend to be the most expensive efficiency measure to install but this makes it more attractive to the energy suppliers as they are able to meet their targets quicker. Therefore it makes cavity wall insulation easier to obtain than other forms of insulation. 

Flats can have cavity wall insulation installed but permission must be sought by all of the adjoining properties that share the cavity walls. If your property suffers from damp problems then this will need to be resolved before any insulation work takes place. 

In most cases, timber framed, metal clad and stone properties are not suitable for cavity wall insulation. In all cases a survey is carried out prior to installation thus it gives the surveyor the opportunity to bring up any cases where the installation may be a problem. 

Solid Wall Insulation Grants

Properties that have a solid brick external wall or solid stone external wall which have no insulation may qualify for a solid wall insulation grant.

Both internal wall and external wall insulation grants are available from the ECO scheme. It is worth noting that if a property has feature stone external walls and a homeowner wishes to preserve the character of the property, internal wall insulation would be recommended.

Internal Wall Insulation Grants

The internal wall insulation grant consists of installing rigid insulation boards to the inside of the external walls of your home. 

Alternatively, a stud wall can be constructed and filled with insulation material such as mineral wool fibre. 

External Wall Insulation Grants

The external wall insulation grant involves fixing a layer of insulation material to the external surface of a property’s walls.

This is then covered with a special type of render or cladding. The finished surface can be smooth, textured, painted, tiled, panelled, pebble-dashed, or finished with brick slips.

Loft Insulation Grants

Under the Energy Companies Obligation free loft insulation can be installed into a property. The applications processed through the ECO scheme may be subjected to technical surveys and other eligibility criteria. 

ECO funding covers the loft insulation material and installation. If a property has no loft insulation at all, or less than 100mm thickness of loft insulation then a homeowner may be entitled to free loft insulation.

Under Floor Insulation Grants

If your property has suspended wooden floors rather than concrete floors then you may qualify for an under floor insulation grant. This will insulate the space below the flooring. Under the new Dual Measures ECO grant if you qualify for an under floor insulation grant you may also qualify for a grant to replace your broken gas boiler.

What if you don't qualify?

If you find that you do not qualify for a cavity wall, loft, internal wall or external wall insulation grant then Warma UK can still arrange for you to receive a free, no obligation survey and quote from an approved local installer. A grant of up to 25% can also be claimed towards the cost of external wall insulation.