Confused by grant schemes and their eligibility rules? Or are you repeatedly being turned down for energy efficiency help such as home insulation grants, even when you feel you could most definitely warrant the assistance? If this applies to you, then there is good news in the form of the Great British Insulation Scheme which opens up insulation grant funding for many more households.
What is the Great British Insulation Scheme?
Previously known as the ECO+ scheme, the £1 billion funded Great British Insulation Scheme aims to help eligible households in England, Wales and Scotland to insulate their homes so they can reduce their energy consumption and save on their heating bills. As the name suggests, the funding is intended strictly for the purpose of helping households through home insulation measures, such as loft insulation and wall insulation, in an attempt to reduce the amount they are spending on heating their home.
What is different with this scheme is that the eligibility criteria potentially opens it up to many more households, including many that may have previously been ineligible under the various iterations of the ECO scheme. Whereas ECO provided support largely to low-income, the GB Insulation scheme extends it to energy-inefficient households in lower Council Tax bands.
What are some of the main features of the Great British Insulation Scheme?
- Started in April 2023 and runs to March 2026
- Is expected to benefit up to 70,000 homes
- Grants are funded by the main energy companies (with at least 150,000 customers)
- Insulation grants of up to £1,500 are available to households for a range of insulation measures
- Aimed at helping households not currently benefiting from government support for home ECO measures
- 80% of the funding available for households considered some of the least energy-efficient in the country (includes those with an EPC rating of D or below or in the lower Council Tax bands.
- 20% of the funding aims to help the most vulnerable households, including those on benefits or those classed as in ‘fuel poverty’.
Who is the Great British Insulation Scheme intended to help?
GB Insulation Scheme funding is aimed at helping low-income households, as well as extending support to homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or below. You can find out the EPC rating of your home through the EPC register.
It will also assist those in the lowest low council tax bands, with the criteria differing across the nations, and being relevant to the following council tax bands:
If you are not sure, you can find out your Council Tax band here.
Funding is available to households who haven’t previously received government funding energy efficiency home improvements.
Where does funding for the GB Insulation Scheme come from?
The main energy suppliers are obligated to help households become more energy efficient through measures such as loft insulation and wall insulation in an attempt to help them reduce their heating bills. The cost of the insulation measures may be covered in full through the scheme, or you may be expected to make a contribution. All grant funding is free and does not have to be re- paid.
What types of insulation is available under the Great British Insulation Scheme?
Since the scheme aims to help as many households as possible, the focus will largely be on less expensive insulation measures such as loft/roof insulation and cavity wall insulation. However, funding or part-funding could be provided under the GB Insulation Scheme or the ECO4 scheme.
The full range of insulation measures that could potentially be covered by the scheme include:
- Loft insulation
- Solid wall insulation (internal and external)
- Room-in-roof insulation
- Underfloor insulation
- Solid floor insulation
- Pitched roof insulation
- Flat roof insulation
- Park home insulation
- Secondary heating controls
Most homes built since the 1920s are likely to have a cavity wall space, meaning there is a gap between their internal and external walls, which can be filled with cavity wall insulation to prevent heat loss and improve thermal efficiency. Some properties may never have had these cavities filled, while in other others, the insulation may have failed over time.
Perhaps the most cost-effective way in minimising heat loss is through loft insulation, which is the least expensive to install, yet can reduce heat loss in the home by as much as 25%. If you are eligible for funding then you will usually receive one single insulation measure.
How much could you save with a Great British Insulation Scheme grant?
As the intention of the scheme is to help households reduce their energy bills through home insulation measures, you will inevitably be wondering how much you potentially could save with the installation of these types of energy efficiency measures.
When the UK Government first announced the scheme, it was suggested that the average household could save around £310 annually on their energy bills with new insulation. Your savings will depend on a number of different factors, including the type of insulation being installed, as well as matters relating to your property and current energy prices.
As the most common insulation measures under the scheme are likely to be loft insulation and cavity walls insulation, we’ve dug out some potential savings figures from the Energy Saving Trust relating to bills and CO2 savings for both of these types:
|Insulation type||Typical installation cost (without grant support)||Energy bill savings (£/year)||Carbon dioxide savings (kgCO2/year)|
|Cavity Wall insulation||£2,700||£300||650kg|
|Loft insulation (adding 270mm of insulation to a previously uninsulated loft)||£930||£285||620kg|
Insulation installation costs, savings & carbon dioxide savings relating to a gas-heated semi-detached property (based on fuel prices as of July 2023)
Loft or roof insulation is clearly the most cost-effective way of insulating a home and can be done relatively cheaply, even more so if you are successful with a grant application. As around 25% of heat loss in an uninsulated home is through the roof space, loft insulation can make a massive difference to heating bills.
As with any type of insulation, the benefits are enjoyed year after year. A Great British Insulation Scheme Grant could not only see the cost of your insulation fully or partly covered, but will also bring you long-term savings for decades.
Will I have to pay anything toward the cost of the insulation?
After applying, you’ll be informed of the grant amount that you will receive. In some cases this will cover the entire cost of your insulation, including installation. This will likely be the case with a straightforward install of loft insulation. For some other types of insulation, or where the installation is more complex, you will be expected to make a contribution towards some of the costs.
Can landlords benefit from the Great British Insulation Scheme?
Yes, it is possible for funding to be awarded to insulate privately rented and social housing properties, but only in instances where the tenants meet the criteria. Since many homes in the private rental sector have low EPC ratings of D or lower, it could be that many landlords could benefit in terms of seeing their properties insulated, either for free or at subsidised cost. The tenants, on the other hand, will benefit in the form of lower energy bills.
How long will the Great British Insulation Scheme last?
The GB Insulation Scheme started in April 2023 and is expected to run for 3 years. With carbon neutral targets to meet in future, it is possible that the scheme may be extended, or at least replaced by something of a similar nature.
How to apply for the Great British Insulation scheme?
You can submit an application for Great British Insulation Scheme funding via our application form and we’ll put you in contact with a top-rated certified installer for the scheme.
Whereas most income-related benefits will tick the qualifying benefits requirement for the ECO4 scheme that covers home energy efficiency measures as a whole, those that don’t qualify for ECO funding may have better success with the GB Insulation Scheme. If you are eligible, you will then be contacted about arranging a survey at your home, after which a date will be agreed to carry out your new insulation measures.
Where does the funding for the scheme come from?
The main energy companies and energy suppliers, who service at least 150,000 domestic customers, are obliged to provide funding for the scheme as part of a drive to reduce energy bills for customers and reduce their carbon footprints. While it is not the energy companies themselves installing the insulation, they are nonetheless responsible for providing the funding that will help low-income and low energy efficiency homes boost their insulation.
Don’t miss out on GB Insulation funding
If you meet the criteria outlined above, and you haven’t previously benefited from funding for energy-efficiency measures, there is a good chance that you’ll be able to get funding under the Great British Insulation Scheme. Funding will allow your home to be properly insulated, minimise heat loss, boost energy efficiency, lower carbon emissions, and impact on your heating bills. With the funding being free (whether your insulation is full or part-funded), there’s no reason not to apply today.