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Can You Get Free Insulation If Not On Benefits?

Benefits are a quick and easy way for those assessing the eligibility of free insulation scheme applicants. A means tested benefit is only given to those who require it because of their low income. However, you don’t necessarily have to be receiving means tested benefits to qualify for free insulation measures for your home.  

How can I get free insulation for my home?

Before we look at the eligibility criteria of the different insulation grants to determine whether or not you can qualify without receiving benefits, let’s first look at the grants that offer access to free insulation measures in the first place.

Whilst both offer insulation funding, you might not necessarily qualify for a grant large enough to cover the full cost of your insulation, but this will depend on your circumstances. Many households will qualify for full funding to install loft insulation, whereas some other types of insulation, such as insulating cavity walls or external wall insulation, are generally more expensive, so you may need to make a contribution to the installation costs. The costs will be explained to you from the outset.

What types of insulation are available on free grants?

Even if you are not on benefits, you could be eligible for free grants for one of the following types of insulation funding:

  • Loft insulation grants
  • Roof insulation grants
  • Roof room insulation grants
  • Cavity wall insulation grants
  • External wall insulation grants
  • Internal solid wall insulation grants

A free loft insulation grant is the most commonly awarded, since insulating a loft is usually the least expensive insulation option and this allows the available funding to stretch much further to help as many households as possible. That said, it is still possible to get funding, such as a cavity wall insulation grant or a grant for installing external wall insulation, which may cover a percentage of the costs of the installation.

Does GBIS require people to be on benefits to qualify?

The Great British Insulation Scheme supports low income households living in homes that emit the most carbon into the atmosphere because of their low EPC rating and poor thermal efficiency. In order to qualify for support you’ll need to meet the following criteria: 

Household income below £31,000If your household has a combined annual income below £31,000 then you may be eligible.
EPC rating below DSo long as your house’s EPC rating is D-G then you may qualify as this is a key sign that its thermal efficiency is not up to scratch.
Live in council tax band A-E in Great Britain You’ll need to live in Council Tax Band A-E in Scotland and Wales, or A-D in England specifically.
Landlord permission / HomeownerIf you own your own property then you can move ahead without worry, but if you rent your property you’ll need your landlord’s permission to proceed.

As you can see, there’s actually no mention of means tested benefits with GBIS. The focus here is solely on household income and your property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating and thermal efficiency performance. 

If you meet the criteria above and you aren’t on benefits, then you could qualify for grants for free insulation to make your home more energy efficient.

Does ECO4 require people to be on benefits to qualify for funding?

ECO4 is slightly different to GBIS because being on a means-tested benefit is actually one of the criteria that must be met in order to qualify for free insulation (or reduced price insulation, depending on the amount you qualify for). To qualify you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

Household income below £31,000You’ll need a combined annual household income under £31,000.
EPC rating below DIf your EPC rating is D-G then you may qualify for insulation support.
Receive a means-tested benefitUniversal Credit, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Income Based Jobseekers Allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Income SupportChild Benefit (with a household income below a certain amount – check if you qualify with us today) Pension Credit Guarantee Credit, Pension Credit Savings Credit
Landlord permission / HomeownerIf you’re in rented accommodation you’ll need your landlord’s permission to apply under ECO4. If you own your property then you can obviously apply.

Although ECO4 requires you to be on benefits to qualify, LA Flex (the Local Authority Flexible Eligibility Scheme) is considered part of the ECO scheme, and you might qualify via this route instead.

What is LA Flex and how might someone qualify without benefits?

LA Flex works similarly to ECO4, only it allows for greater flexibility for households when it comes to eligibility for a free insulation grant. The Local Authority targets those households in their area that require the support, even if they don’t meet the criteria for ECO4. 

Each Local Authority can choose the eligibility criteria for their area to ensure they target the people in their area that need the most support. As such, there is no specific list of eligibility criteria available to say whether or not you’ll qualify under LA Flex. However, here are some examples to give you a better understanding:

Household income below £31,000If your household income is below £31,000 each year then you could qualify. 
EPC rating below DEPC ratings of D or below are a good indicator that a household needs support.
Health related eligibilityIf you live in a home with poor thermal efficiency and have a health condition that could be made worse by living in colder conditions, then you may qualify.
Fuel povertyIf you’re considered to be living in fuel poverty because of sustained debt with your energy bills then you may be eligible.
ReferralYou may be eligible because you’ve been referred to the LA Flex scheme due to a number of reasons including:
referred by the Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme by your mortgage provider due to sustained debt with mortgage repayments because of high energy costs for your home by your energy supplier because of sustained debt and missed payments

As you can see, once again specific income related benefits are not discussed with LA Flex. That’s because the focus is less on those who receive benefits (who will qualify under ECO4 if they’re eligible) and more on those who aren’t receiving government support through benefits, but who could still benefit from free insulation measures in their home. 

These are often households considered to be living in ‘fuel poverty’ and therefore likely to struggle with the cost of heating their home. Home insulation grant funding, which is provided by the main energy suppliers, will impact on household budgets through much needed energy efficiency measures as well as reducing carbon emissions.

Can You Get Free Insulation If Not On Benefits Summary

In short, you absolutely can get free insulation if not on benefits – but you’ll need to meet other eligibility criteria in order to qualify, particularly regarding your level of income and the current energy efficiency of your home. The best way to check if you qualify for free insulation – whether you receive benefits or not – is to complete our eligibility checker today.

At Free Insulation Scheme we can help you determine which schemes you’re likely to be eligible for and help you get the new insulation your home needs from a registered insulation installer. Whether the energy saving measures are fully or part funded, you could see loft insulation installed or other insulation improvements within weeks.

In this Article

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Oliver Creevy

Ollie has been writing content in the home improvement sector for over 3 years and over the last 18 months has really specialised in Government grants, researching the different funding available to UK citizens. Ollie is well placed to provide households with access to the right advice when it comes to improving the energy efficiency of your home. With knowledge of the various grant schemes past and present, including Boiler Upgrade Scheme, ECO4, LAD Scheme, Green Homes Grant and more, his knowledge will be invaluable to those looking for ways to reduce their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint through eco home improvement measures such as solar panels, insulation & heat pumps.

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