Energy Efficiency Grants in Shetland
Do you live in Shetland? Are you currently struggling with the burden of soaring energy costs? The fuel poverty crisis is a big problem in the UK, affecting millions of households across the nation. If you find yourself choosing to keep your heating switched off due to the inability to afford the bills, you may very well be in the clutches of fuel poverty.
However, there is hope in the form of energy efficiency grants that can help you reduce your energy expenses without reducing your comfort. Let's explore how you can free yourself from fuel poverty and take advantage of the free improvements offered via the various energy saving grant schemes.
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 scheme?
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme is a government-backed energy efficiency initiative in the UK. Its goal is to encourage energy companies to improve the energy efficiency of homes throughout the country.
Here's a breakdown of its key components:
Purpose: The core objective of the ECO4 scheme is to tackle fuel poverty by making energy improvements and also reduce carbon emissions.
How it Works: UK energy firms are responsible for improving energy efficiency in UK homes. They determine who they partner with, with grants allocated to installers rather than homeowners directly.
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 focuses on homes that are the least energy-efficient and which cost more to heat. The scheme is specifically focused on homes with an EPC rating of D-G.
Improvement Goals: Energy upgrades aim to increase homes in Shetland from EPC bands D and E to at least band C. Properties in bands F and G aim to achieve at least band D.
Types of Improvements: ECO4 provides an extensive range of upgrades, including enhanced insulation, central heating improvements, and even solar panel installations.
In a nutshell, ECO4 aims to encourage energy suppliers to enhance energy efficiency in households, with a particular focus on low-income and vulnerable homes that lack efficiency.
What Energy-Saving Measures Are Available?
For Shetland residents, there is a range of energy-saving measures available under the scheme. They include:
● 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
Is Fuel Poverty Affecting You?
If you find it challenging to cover the costs of heating your home, you may be one of the millions in the UK living in fuel poverty. Fuel poverty occurs when the expenses required to keep your home adequately warm become unmanageable. You might be facing difficult decisions, like choosing between heating your home and putting food on the table. You're not facing this issue alone and help is available.
One big factor contributing to fuel poverty in Shetland is that many homes aren’t connected to the mains gas grid. Consequently, these households rely on more expensive fuel sources like LPG, electricity, oil, or coal. Additionally, a substantial number of properties in the region are constructed from stone, which unfortunately is not energy efficient and therefore it can be expensive to keep these properties warm.
How ECO4 Energy Saving Grants Can Help
There are many reasons why homeowners, landlords and tenants should apply for ECO4 funding. They include:
Financial Savings: Improving the energy efficiency of your home leads to more affordable heating costs. This is excellent news, especially for homeowners who are currently facing challenges when it comes to keeping their homes warm.
Enhanced Comfort: Energy-efficient upgrades, such as insulation, can significantly enhance the comfort of your home, eliminating cold drafts and making it a more pleasant living space.
Environmental Impact: By increasing the energy efficiency of your home, you're not only saving money but also reducing your carbon footprint, helping to protect the environment.
Increase Property Value: Investing in energy-efficient improvements for your home can also boost its market value. Prospective buyers are often attracted to properties that are not only comfortable but also cost-effective to run.
Support For Vulnerable People: The ECO4 scheme primarily aims to assist homeowners struggling to pay their bills, vulnerable people, and low-income households. Even if you're not currently receiving benefits, there could be alternative routes to funding.
Health Benefits: Living in cold and damp conditions can make health issues such as arthritis, respiratory conditions, and mobility challenges worse. Energy efficiency improvements can significantly improve these situations.
A Choice of Options: The ECO4 funding scheme provides a wide range of solutions customised to meet the unique needs of your home.
No or Low Upfront Cost: A significant number of energy improvements can be installed with little to no initial costs, making them more accessible to homeowners.
Government-Backed: The ECO scheme is backed by the UK government, providing homeowners with assurance that all work carried out under the program complies with regulations and standards.
Local Authority Flexibility (LA Flex): Local Authority Flexibility (LA Flex) gives local councils the freedom to broaden the eligibility criteria of the scheme, enabling them to support a greater number of vulnerable individuals within their communities.
Our experts can provide further details about this initiative and how you can qualify, even if you aren't receiving benefits.
Am I Eligible For ECO4 Energy Efficiency Grants in Shetland?
Most homes in Shetland that are not connected to the mains gas network, may be eligible to receive an 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
● Housing Benefit
● Universal Credit
● 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?
If you're not receiving benefits, there might be an alternative path to qualify for the Energy Company Obligation scheme known as LA Flex. This option is open to homeowners, landlords, and tenants in Shetland, particularly for homes without a mains gas connection, households with an annual income below £31,000, or where a resident has a long-term health condition.
Although LA Flex isn't funded directly by the council, the council plays a role in determining eligibility, making it more accessible for residents to access the support they need. 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 Shetland
Use our Eligibility Grant Checker to determine if you qualify for the Energy Company Obligation scheme. One of our energy advisors will review your eligibility and provide more information about the available improvements. Keep in mind that if you're already receiving benefits, you can skip some of the additional council criteria, streamlining the process.
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 work with Trustmark accredited installers. This is your guarantee of quality no matter which energy saving improvements you have fitted. All energy saving measures installed via the Government grant scheme are supplied with an insurance-backed guarantee of up to 25 years, depending on the specific improvement carried out.
We're proud to have supported numerous Shetland residents over the years, including those in Lerwick, Scalloway, Brae, and Hillswick. Many are now reaping the benefits of cost-effective insulation, renewable heating, and solar panels. If you're a Shetland resident and want to explore energy-saving opportunities, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. We're here to help you discover the potential benefits of the Energy Company Obligation scheme or any other funding schemes that you may be eligible for.
Apply Today to Unlock Energy Savings for Your Home
If you're struggling with high energy bills or facing fuel poverty in Shetland and need assistance, our team of energy advisors is here to guide you. We'll provide information on available energy efficiency grants, explain the eligibility criteria, and assist you with the application process. 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.