£15,00 Insulation grants for middle class earners

Middle-income households are to be eligible for grants worth up to £15,000 to make their homes more energy efficient says Grant Shapps, the business secretary.

Shapps is to announce the plans next week to help households fund loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and smart heating controls.

The new scheme will be called “eco plus”, and is to be targeted at those families in the middle income band who are unable to pay for measure that would cut their energy consumption and heating bills.

Energy saving campaigning

Meanwhile the Government is to launch a £25m publicity campaign originally killed off by Liz Truss, to encourage households to save energy this winter.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak has now given the go-ahead to fund a UK-wide public information campaign to encourage people to save energy using simple measures including turning down their central heating boilers and switching off all electrical devices when not needed and during the day time.

The campaign is likely to come before Christmas. The exact format is yet to be decided, but it will be designed to encourage people to use less energy. This comes at this time when prices are escalated by the Ukraine war and the government is subsidising costs to the tune of tens of billions of pounds to cap energy prices.

The Government is worried that the energy situation could get far worse depending on what Putin does next.

There is currently a cap of £2,500 a per until the end of March 2023, after which the cap will move to £3,000, thereby limiting the price of energy for households and businesses for another period.

The insulation scheme

The government has allocated £1 billion in funding from its existing budgets over the next three years to provide house insulation grants for those unable to afford insulation upgrades. The money will be made available for households falling into Council Tax bands A to D.

The grants will meet 75 per cent of the cost of upgrades. And are estimated to be available for over 70,000 homes and to save hundreds of pounds a year. This follows on the heals of a green homes grant which was pulled last year after a disastrous start, consequently this time it will be administered by the energy suppliers.

It has been estimated that the upgrades provided by this scheme have the potential to save significant amounts of energy and save householders considerable amounts on their energy bills.

For example, installing loft insulation can costs in the region of £1,000 plus but can save up to £600 per year. Cavity wall insulation costs more at around £2,500 but can potentially £500 per year. Thermostat valves on radiators and other advanced heating system controls costing around £800 can also save in the region of £500 per year.

The Government’s aim is to reduced the average household energy consumption by 15 per cent this winter as the country grapples with the Russian led energy crisis which could escalate further. Jeremy Hunt the Chancellor has said that people will be joining a “national mission” to reduce “energy dependency on what Putin chooses to do”.

Anything for landlords?

So far there is no indication of whether or not this scheme will apply to rental properties, though various scheme have been made available for tenants by county councils across the country.

Insulation Grants are available to the occupiers of privately rented properties as it is they who pay the fuel bills.

For tenants aged 70 or over, or for those on a state pension, or if they receive a qualifying tax credit or benefit, tenants are not likely to have to pay towards the cost of insulation.

If tenants qualify for a partial grant, it is they who should contribute the remainder. However, landlords may feel that the improvement to their property and the resale value will justify them paying the difference, whilst taking advantage of the fact that their current tenants qualify their property for the grant.

As a private landlord or property management company, your requirement is to give written permission prior to works being carried out.

Where flats are concerned it is unlikely they will be able to have cavity wall insulation installed unless all flats in the block, above and below and either side, also agree to have it fitted.

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