If you have trouble paying your heating bills and are on certain benefits, you may be able to claim some financial help to help you make energy-saving alterations to your home. The work can be carried out by a qualified company of your choice and you may be able to get all or some of the cost paid for. It’s a really useful scheme to know about, particularly if you live in an older house without insulation, or heating, or if you have an old boiler. All of these things mean that your energy bills are likely to be much higher than they could be.
Who is Eligible for the Affordable Warmth Scheme?
You must either rent your property privately and have the agreement of the owner, or own your property. You must also be in receipt of one of the following benefits. Child Tax Credit (and an income of £16,010 or less); Pension Credit; Working Tax Credit (and an income of £16,010 or less); Income Support; Income-related Employment and Support Allowance; Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit, under some circumstances. The best way to find out if you are eligible for help is to ask an expert. You should speak to the Energy Saving Advice Service, on 0300 123 1234, and they will work out if you can apply to have the payments.
What can I get money for?
You may get some or all of the cost of home improvements if you meet the criteria. This could mean money towards or to cover entirely, a new boiler. Old boilers cost a great deal more to run than the new energy efficient ones, so it could save you a lot of money on your heating bills. You may also get all or part of the cost of loft or cavity wall insulation work.
A huge amount of heat is lost through uninsulated lofts and walls. By filling in these empty spaces with insulating material, you could find your heating bills slashed further. You may be provided with a hot water tank jacket, and also be offered draught-proofing for doors and windows too. If you already have cavity wall insulation but it has become ineffective over time, you can have this removed and replaced under the scheme. You may also be offered replacement windows if they are single glazed; although not usually if you live in a listed building.
How much money is available per claim?
After you are deemed eligible for the scheme an official assessment will be made of the energy-saving measures that need to be undertaken. The grant limit is £7,500, unless you have a solid wall home, which needs more expensive solid wall insulation, in which case the grant limit will be up to £10,000. If the work exceeds this cost you will have to pay the balance.
Is it worth it?
Even with just some of the energy-saving work done, you should see a noticeable fall in your energy bill, however, so whatever you have done will undoubtedly be worth it. With energy bills being to single most worrying outgoing that people face, it makes real sense to apply for the Affordable Warmth grant, and get your home snug and warm before the winter arrives. If you are a private tenant, let your landlord know about the scheme, and give them the helpline number, so they can check if they are eligible. If you know an elderly person who might benefit from the scheme, make sure they apply. Many older people will not be aware of what they are entitled to. Most people are astonished by the difference good insulation makes to their bills, comfort and quality of life.