Energy Efficiency Grants in the Highlands
For residents in the Highlands worried about rising energy bills, help is at hand. Fuel poverty is a huge problem in the UK. If you are choosing to keep your heating off because you can’t afford to heat your home, you’re one of the millions of households that are affected.
The good news is that there are home energy efficiency grants that could help you keep your home warm for less and escape fuel poverty for good. Let’s explore energy efficiency funding further, and more specifically, ECO4 energy saving grants.
At Energy Saving Grants, we help homeowners, landlords, and tenants to access the latest energy efficiency grants available. You could be eligible for FREE heating upgrades, insulation, solar panels and more. Use our grant checker form below to see if you qualify and a member of our grants team will be in touch.
What is the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme?
The ECO4 scheme is a government-backed UK energy efficiency scheme that aims to encourage energy companies to improve the efficiency of homes across the UK. Here’s more detail about what the scheme involves:
Aim: The purpose of the ECO4 scheme is to help combat fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions.
How it Works: The UK’s energy companies have a duty to improve energy efficiency in homes in England, Scotland, and Wales. They decide who to partner with and which projects to fund. The grant is given directly to installers carrying out improvements.
Duration: The ECO4 scheme started on 1 April 2022 and will end on 31 March 2026, or earlier if the funding has been fully allocated prior to this date.
Target Homes: ECO4 is aimed at homes that are not very energy efficient at all and which cost more to heat as a result. The scheme is specifically designed to target homes with an EPC rating of D-G.
Improvement Goals: Improvements are designed to raise homes in the Highlands in D EPC bands D and E to at least a band C. Homes in bands F and G should reach at least band D.
Types of Improvements: ECO4 offers a wide selection of home improvements, including insulation, renewable heating, and solar panel installation.
Put simply, the ECO4 scheme is all about getting energy suppliers to make a difference in homes that are not energy efficient. The focus is on vulnerable and low-income households.
What Energy-Saving Measures Are Available?
For residents in the Highlands, there is a range of energy-saving measures available under the scheme.
● Electric Storage Heaters: High heat retention storage heaters utilise cheap off-peak electricity to charge overnight and the heaters then release the heat slowly throughout the day. Storage heaters can be a much more energy efficient and cost effective way of heating a property as opposed to electric convector heaters.
● External Wall Insulation – EWI involves installing insulation boards on the outside walls of the property and rendering over the top. EWI is a great way of insulating a solid wall property. However, it is not suitable if the property is a listed building or in a conservation area.
● Loft Insulation: Adds or upgrades insulation in the attic to retain heat within the habitable rooms in the property.
● Internal Wall Insulation: This work involves installing insulation and plasterboard on the inside walls of the property. This is a very effective way of insulating older properties that are constructed with solid brick or solid stone walls.
● Cavity Wall Insulation: Polystyrene beads are inserted within the cavity between the external and internal walls to reduce heat loss via the walls. Not all properties are suitable for cavity wall insulation and so a survey would need to be carried out to determine if your property was suitable.
● Gas Central Heating: If there are currently no radiators in your property and the property has an existing gas meter, then funding may be available to install a boiler and radiators to supply hot water and heat.
● Air Source Heat Pump: An ASHP harnesses heat from the external environment to provide hot water and central heating for your home. This can be a very effective way of heating a home, especially if used in conjunction with solar panels, which would provide free electricity to run the heat pump.
● Solar PV: Renewable technology that converts sunlight into electricity, to provide free electric for your home every day of the year.
● Room In Roof Insulation: Used to insulate a loft that has been converted into a habitable room.
Are You Impacted By Fuel Poverty?
If you’re regularly keeping the heating low or off because you can’t afford the cost, you could be affected by fuel poverty. The crisis is affecting millions of UK residents and it shows no signs of stopping.
One of the biggest causes of fuel poverty is the structural make-up of many homes in the Highlands. Many are stone-built houses and cottages that are very cold and draughty. This in turn makes them a challenge and more costly to heat. Also, many don’t have a connection to the mains gas network. They often rely on expensive fuels like LPG, coal, oil, and electricity.
How ECO4 Energy Saving Grants Can Help
Applying for funding under the ECO4 scheme offers a range of benefits for homeowners, landlords, and tenants in the Highlands.
Here are some great reasons to apply for funding:
Save Money: When you improve a home with energy-efficient measures, it becomes cheaper to heat.
Enhanced Comfort: Eliminate draughts and chills with insulation, new heating systems, and more.
Environmental Impact: Reduce your carbon footprint and help to save the planet.
Increase Property Value: Energy efficiency improvements are a great way to increase property value and make your home more attractive to potential buyers.
Support For Vulnerable People: If you live in a low-income household or suffer from particular long-term health conditions, you could qualify for funding, even if you don’t receive benefits.
Health Benefits: A damp and cold home can make health problems like arthritis, respiratory conditions, and mobility issues worse. Energy-saving measures could make a huge difference.
A Choice of Options: There is a wide selection of home improvement options available under the scheme.
No or Low Upfront Cost: Many energy improvements are available with no or minimal upfront costs.
Government-Backed: The ECO scheme is government-backed, ensuring that all work is compliant and homeowners are protected.
Local Authority Flexibility (LA Flex): LA Flex allows local authorities to extend the eligibility criteria of the scheme and help more vulnerable people in their communities.
Am I Eligible For ECO4 Energy Efficiency Grants in the Highlands?
Most homes in the Highlands that are not connected to the mains gas network, may be eligible to receive a Government energy saving grant. We may be able to obtain funding if the property is privately owned or privately rented. Please note that we are unable to assist residents in social or council housing and we would advise you to contact your landlord or housing provider.
You're likely to be eligible for the scheme if you receive any of the following:
● Working Tax Credit
● Pension Credit
● Universal Credit
● Housing Benefit
● Income Support
● Income-Related Employment & Support Allowance
● Income-Based Job Seekers Allowance
● Child Tax Credits
● Child Benefits (depending on how much you earn)
Can I Get a Grant If I’m Not on Benefits?
Don’t worry if you’re not receiving benefits as there might be another way for you to qualify for ECO4 funding. It’s called the LA Flex scheme and it’s available to homeowners, landlords, and tenants in the Highlands. It’s designed for homes without a mains gas connection, where an occupant has a long-term health condition or low-income households where the total income is below £31,000 a year.
LA Flex isn’t funded by the council, but they have a say in who is eligible. Two further government schemes, the Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) and Local Authority Delivery (LAD) are also available, both aimed at improving the energy efficiency of properties that have low Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings.
How We Can Help You to Apply For Energy Efficient Grants in the Highlands
You can use our Eligibility Grant Checker to find out if you are eligible for ECO4. One of our friendly and knowledgeable energy advisors will get back to you to let you know if you qualify. Remember, if you are already receiving benefits, you bypass additional council criteria.
We offer a simple 3-step process:
Apply Online: Begin by completing our online form for a preliminary assessment. Our dedicated grants team will review your submission to see if you qualify for any government funding.
Survey: Upon a successful application, we'll coordinate a no-cost, no-obligation survey. This ensures you benefit from the maximum grant possible and introduces you to the best energy-saving products tailored for your home. Installation: Energy Saving Grants only partner with Trustmark accredited installers. This is your guarantee of quality no matter which energy saving improvements you have fitted. It means you’ll always get the highest standard installation and great service every step of the way. All installations carried out via a government grant also come with up to a 25-year guarantee, dependent on the energy saving measures installed. We’ve assisted many homeowners in the Highlands over the years, including those from Inverness, Fort William, Torrigan, and Fort Augustus. Many residents are now enjoying the cost and comfort benefits of energy improvements.
Apply Today for Funding for Energy Saving Improvements Your Home
If you live in the Highlands and you’re looking for a way to bring your energy costs down, please enter your contact details in the Grant Checker below and a grants advisor will contact you to discuss which funding schemes you may be eligible for.