As our world becomes increasingly aware of the urgent need for sustainable practices, efforts to encourage energy efficiency have become paramount. One such method is the utilisation of energy-efficient grants and schemes. The North West of England is no exception, with a range of energy efficient grants now accessible to its residents. In this article, we will delve into the benefits of such grants, highlighting some of the key schemes available to the public. These are some of the best ways to make your home more energy efficient on a budget.
Energy efficiency: Why it matters
Energy efficiency not only reduces individual household costs, but also significantly contributes to national efforts to combat climate change. The UK government, acknowledging the necessity of this shift, has introduced various schemes to encourage households to become more energy efficient. The UK housing stock, some of the oldest and least energy efficient in Europe, is the target of these initiatives, with the aim to mitigate the impact of skyrocketing energy bills and lessen our dependence on fossil fuels.
Energy efficient grants in North West England
The North West of England has been a significant beneficiary of these energy efficient grants. Several schemes have been launched to support households in the UK that are available in this region to reduce their energy consumption and, consequently, their carbon footprint.
As of 2023, an array of energy-efficiency grants are being made available to residents and businesses in the North West of England. These initiatives are designed with the purpose of creating warmer, more affordable, and environmentally-conscious living and working environments. The funding for these grants comes indirectly from the government via various channels such as installers, local authorities, energy companies, and other bodies. Those seeking specific information should reach out directly to their local council or energy company.
Boiler Upgrade Scheme
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme provides homeowners and businesses with financial assistance to install low-carbon heating systems like heat pumps. This initiative is part of the government’s larger effort to create a more sustainable and energy-efficient living environment across the country. The funding is allocated via the network of approved installers. Prospective applicants can find more information and apply directly for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme . However, in order to be eligible, you must have a valid EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) in place.
Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund
The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) is a grant program designed to improve energy efficiency in social housing properties currently falling below the EPC D rating. The SHDF’s Wave 2.1 has allocated £778 million to be used between 2022/23 and 2024/25. The fund is available to local authorities, combined authorities, registered social housing providers, and registered charities that own social housing. The goal is to facilitate the installation of energy efficiency upgrades in properties that are currently below an EPC D rating.
Energy Company Obligation 4 (ECO4)
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) is the final stage of the ongoing government initiative. The ECO4 scheme offers support to eligible individuals who are homeowners, private tenants, or landlords with tenants receiving qualifying benefits. The eligibility for this program is primarily established via a check by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), confirming the benefit status of the individual.
This assistance aims to improve a home’s energy efficiency through the installation of measures like electric storage heaters, free cavity wall insulation, or loft insulation grants. It also tackles household issues like damp, mould, and mildew that may lead to health problems. Loft, walls, and floor insulation measures provided by this scheme create an insulating barrier that prevents heat from escaping, thereby increasing energy efficiency in homes.
The Help to Heat Schemes
One of the key initiatives is the Help to Heat schemes. The government has allocated £12 billion towards ensuring homes are warmer and cheaper to heat. These schemes include the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, the Home Upgrade Grant, the Sustainable Warmth Competition, the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).
These schemes are designed to be inclusive and wide-ranging, aiming to cover various aspects of energy consumption. For instance, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme provides grants to install low carbon heating systems, while the Home Upgrade Grant provides energy efficiency measures and low carbon heating for low-income households living in off-gas grid homes.
Additional support and funding
Beyond these energy-efficient grants, there is a range of additional support and funding schemes available across the UK, including the North West of England. These include the BEIS Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator, the Clean Growth Fund, Gigabit vouchers, and the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund. These schemes provide funds and support to businesses and households to implement green initiatives and low carbon technologies.
Local authorities and energy suppliers
Local authorities and energy suppliers play an essential role in the distribution and administration of these energy efficient grants. Therefore, if you’re a resident of North West England interested in accessing these grants, it’s advised to contact your local council or energy supplier to find out your eligibility and the available opportunities.
Can you make your home more energy efficient on a budget?
If you don’t qualify for any of the schemes and grants available, you may want to know whether you can improve your home’s energy efficiency cheaply? The best way to enhance your home’s energy efficiency for both budgetary and environmental benefits, consider monitoring your energy consumption with tech tools. Upgrade to smart thermostats like Nest that automatically adjust temperatures when you’re away. Utilise cost-effective insulation methods for heat retention. Switch to LED lighting, make optimal use of natural light, and turn off unused lights. Be mindful of how you use appliances and unplug them when not needed. Invest in water-saving appliances and monitor your ventilation efficiency. Finally, manage your heating and cooling wisely using tips such as utilising ceiling fans and controlling window shades based on weather.
The drive towards energy efficiency is a collective responsibility that offers numerous benefits – from cost savings for households to a reduction in our carbon footprint. The energy efficient grants in North West England provide a valuable opportunity for households to participate in this change. As we look towards a greener future, it’s heartening to know that support is available to facilitate this necessary transition.