Five government rebates you can claim to make your home more energy efficient

While there are many quick fixes out there to reduce your energy bills in the short term, finding more long lasting ways to make your home more energy efficient could save you money both now, and in the future.

Dan Whittaker, Personal Finance Expert at CashLady.com has shared some of the government grants and rebates available to homeowners that can help improve the energy rating of your home.

“The government has several schemes in place that can help homeowners improve essential parts of their home. They exist to improve the overall energy rating of homes in the UK, and aren’t necessarily shouted about, but could save you thousands of pounds.”

  1. The Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

“The Energy Company Obligation is a government initiative that makes energy companies responsible for helping customers heat their homes. This applies to those customers who are vulnerable, fuel poor or on low incomes. Each energy company has a target to meet according to their share of the energy market; so bigger companies will be able to offer more help than smaller companies.”“The ways in which the energy companies will help vary from loft insulations to upgrading heating systems. You must be a homeowner and be in receipt of at least one of the qualifying benefits. If you think that this applies to you, then call your energy company and ask them about ECO.” (Source: ofgem)

  1. Free Cavity Wall Insulation

“Cavity wall insulation can cost around £500 to £600 and can save each household roughly £145 per year. Uninsulated walls let heat out, which means some of the money you spend on your heating is completely going to waste. As part of the ECO, energy companies can fund cavity wall insulation for private homeowners or anyone renting and currently living in the property. Not all homes can have cavity wall insulation and so a survey will need to be carried out first. This can be arranged free of charge so there is no cost to find out if you are eligible for the grant and if your home is suitable.” (Source: freeinsulation)

  1. Free Loft Insulation

“As with all of the grants available under the ECO scheme, being accepted for a free loft insulation grant will depend on your current energy supplier. So, in the first instance, always give them a call to check. You can also apply online in most cases. As much as 25% of your home’s heat can escape through the roof, which is why loft insulation can make such a difference. To install loft insulation you could expect to pay approximately £500. Getting it installed for free is a big initial saving and could then reduce your energy bills by as much as £150 per year.” (Source: freeinsulation)

  1. Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS)

“The government has set aside £450 billion for the boiler upgrade scheme. The aim is for UK homes to reduce their carbon output in line with environmental initiatives. This means the boiler upgrade scheme does not apply to typical gas boilers, but can be used if you want to install alternative heating sources, such as heat pumps or biomass boilers.”“Depending on the type of heating system you want, you could get up to £6,000 using the boiler upgrade scheme. You won’t get the amount yourself, but a registered installer can apply for it on your behalf. These new heating systems are designed to be more environmentally friendly, and cost less as they don’t rely on expensive gas supplies.” (Source: ofgem)

  1. Green Deal Loans

“A green deal loan can help you pay for things like draught proofing, double glazing or heating systems. In its early form, it was a loan from the government but is now a loan from The Green Deal Finance Company. You can only use contractors approved by the Green Deal Finance Company if you do take out a loan for energy improvements, but it does mean you can spread the cost of these improvements over as long as 25 years. You then pay it back through your electricity bill. The idea is that the upgrades in your home will save you money on your electricity bill and these savings then pay for the loan. It’s not as attractive an option as the grants but may be worth considering for those who don’t qualify for the other types of rebates.” (Sources: which? and comparethemarket)