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I need solid wall insulation in my home. Are there any grants to help me fund it?

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 14 July 2014 at 9:43 am

Q. I need to install solid wall insulation in my home. Are there any grants to help me pay for it?

A. If solid wall insulation has been recommended on an energy performance certificate then you could be eligible for the Green Dean Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF). This fund provides up to £6000 help towards paying for solid wall insulation.

(NB as of 23 July 2014 the amount available for solid wall insulation has dropped to £4000)

To qualify for the fund, you have to have had the insulation recommended on an energy performance certificate that is less than two years old and you must have the work done within six months of the recommendation by a registered green deal installer or provider. You can find a local registered installer or provider here.

The GDHIF is a government scheme which pays you post-installation - ie you have to pay for the installation, and then you get the money back.

The fund will cover up to 75 per cent of the cost of installation which means that you’ll have to fund 25 per cent of it yourself.

If you don't have access to the upfront cash, or if you’d like help paying the 25 per cent balance, you could look into take out a green deal plan. This is a loan which you repay through your electricity bill. The idea of the green deal loan is that your repayments should never exceed the amount you are saving on your energy bills so you shouldn’t see an increase in your monthly outgoings.

There are lots of different companies who are offering green deal loans (they are known as green deal providers) so have a chat to a few to see which one has the best plan for you. Find a list of your local providers on the green deal oversight and registration body (GD-ORB) website. To qualify for a green deal loan, you need to have a green deal assessment done and the insulation must be recommended on the subsequent green deal advice report. Click here to read more about the green deal.

Be aware though that with interest rates ranging from 7.9% APR to 10.3% APR, a green deal loan can be a fairly expensive way of financing your work. If it's an option for you, a personal loan or an extension to your mortgage could well provide better rates than the green deal. 

If you are in receipt of benefits, or if your home is in a designated low income area, you may find you qualify for free insulation through the energy company obligation (ECO). This is a government scheme that obliges the big energy companies to fund energy saving measures for hard up households. The conditions under which you are eligible are complex and you may find it useful to make the government-funded energy saving advice service (0300 123 1234) your first port of call. Click here to read more about accessing funding from the energy company obligation on YouGen.

It is worth noting that you cannot get money for the same installation from both ECO and GDHIF although either of these schemes can be accessed alongside a green deal loan.

Confused? I don’t blame you! For an easy life, there are some green deal providers who are able to organise everything for you from assessment to funding to installation. Many of them have access to all the different pots of cash and will be able to figure about the best combination of finance for you. Use this blog to guide you when asking about what exactly they can provide. Different providers may offer different solutions and you’d do well to shop around before settling on one particular company. Make sure you find one that is registered to provide the GDHIF though – there’s a box you can tick in the GD-ORB search site so that results only include those with access to GDHIF.

One more line of enquiry that might be worth pursuing is your local council. Sometimes they have access to funds, through ECO or elsewhere, to help their residents improve the energy efficiency of their homes. You may find they have access to a pool of funding which can help you. Alternatively you may just be referred back to their green deal team to have a green deal assessment which, depending on where you live, you may get for free.

It’s a complex combination of options you’re faced with. However, with a little bit of research and a lot of tenacity you may find that your installation can be almost entirely funded through public cash.

Photo credit: Yorkshire Housing via Compfight cc

More information

YouGen guide to the green deal

YouGen guide to the green deal home improvement fund

YouGen guide to the energy company obligation

YouGen guide to solid wall insulation

From the blog

How do I apply for the green deal home improvement fund?

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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