If you were hoping for help from Warm Front to insulate your home, you may be disappointed. The announcement this week that the grant programme is being suspended will leave many people unable to afford insulation. However, there are alternatives that may help, if you know where to look.
Plenty of people need to take them. Less than half of the country’s 26 million homes are properly insulated, meaning households are wasting an estimated £2 billion on energy bills each year. But the suspension of Warm Front grants means many people will simply be unable to afford the installation. [more]
Research by Confused.com, the comparison website, shows that, of the 26.5 million homes in Britain, only 13 million have loft insulation and only 10 million have cavity wall insulation, which can offer annual savings of £145 and £110 respectively. So many households will be paying more than they need to this winter.
If you are unsure if you would benefit from additional insulation, Lisa Greenfield, Confused.com’s energy analyst, said a simple look at your roof would be telling.
She said: “All this snow means now is the perfect time for households to assess their homes and check if they need better insulation. A quick look at the roof will give them a clue: if the snow has melted then heat is needlessly escaping.”If you need help paying for the installation of insulation, we look at the alternatives to Warm Front currently on offer.
1. YOUR ENERGY SUPPLIER
If you are interested in improving the energy efficiency of your home, you may be able to get a discount on loft or cavity wall insulation from your energy supplier, as they are required by the Government to help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from homes.
The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) came into effect in April 2008, and means that energy suppliers will provide grants and offers to help you pay for energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies for your home.
The key thing to note here is that you can take up grants and offers from any energy company, regardless of whether they supply your gas and electricity.
For instance, EDF and British Gas are both offering loft and cavity wall insulation starting at £199.
Some energy providers will even offer this type of insulation for free to those aged over 70 or those in receipt of certain benefits. To check if you qualify, call the Energy Savings Trust on 0800 512 012.
2. LOCAL AUTHORITY
Most Local authorities provide grants and offers for local residents to install certain energy efficiency measures in their home; if you are a pensioner or on certain benefits you may qualify for financial assistance.
Miss Greenfield said: “It is worth getting in touch with the local council to check eligibility for grants. These things only need to be done once, and can pay for themselves within a couple of years.”
To check if you are eligible, start with the Government’s Energy Saving Trust (www.energysavingtrust.org.uk), which lists most of these grants in one place and has a handy grants and discounts database.
3. SELF HELP
You may even find that buying your own loft insulation and having it installed may be a more affordable option. For instance, DIY retailers such as Wickes, Homebase and B&Q often offer insulation offers and discounts on materials.