Thu 27th Mar 2014

Government Heating Grants Explained

Published: Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Man Catching Money in a Net ImageIt’s a well known fact that today’s government doesn’t hand out freebies very often however they do have a relatively good scheme to help some households with their central heating and boiler needs. A few hundred pounds off or some other kind of incentive is a great way to provide a helping hand. There are three separate government heating grants available to apply for, these being:

• The central heating grant,
• The cavity wall insulation grant
• The loft insulation grant

With the economy being the way it is any help to those in need is a welcomed gift and it doesn’t hurt that replacing an old boier for a more energy efficient one is also kinder to the environment.

The main grant is the central heating grant and the particulars are covered by the Warm Front Scheme. This grant can pay up to £2700 for central heating installation and boiler replacement however there are some quite strict criteria for applicants to meet. For example, to get a free grant your household has to have either a person of 60+ years, a child under the age of 16 or a pregnant woman with a valid maternity certificate. In addition, the household also has to receive at least one of the following benefits:
• Income support,
• Housing benefit,
• Council Tax benefit but not single person occupancy,
• Pension credit,
• Job seekers allowance.

The Warm Front Scheme recently re-opened in April 2011and aims to help 90,000 of the most fuel poor households in the UK. It will help homes that do not have central heating and are poorly insulated.

Other householders that don’t meet the above criteria can still apply for the central heating grant however they have to be in receipt of one of these benefits:
• Working tax credit,
• Child tax credit,
• Attendance allowance,
• Housing benefit,
• Income support,
• Council tax benefit.

All of the benefits have conditions attached and it may be that you receive them but still don’t qualify for the grant. Saying that it doesn’t cost anything to apply and you can do it easily online, plus you might be awarded a partial grant even if you don’t get the full amount. People who don’t receive any of the mentioned benefits can also apply and they can often get up to £300 to help with central heating costs. The grant is awarded to the property and so if a previous owner has already applied for and been awarded a grant then you won’t be eligible for another one.

The other two government grants – the cavity wall insulation and the loft insulation grants – have the same kind of restrictions if you want the full amount however even those people who don’t receive benefits can claim between 40-70% of the total cost of installation from the government. This is well worth doing as 35% of your home’s heat is lost through the walls and another 25% disappears through the roof. If you can get a 70% grant then you personally will only have to pay around £100 to insulate your house – an amount which will easily be saved in the first year alone on heating bills.

You will not have to pay anything unless the work exceeds the grant given to you. As well as cavity and loft insulation the grant can also be used for draught proofing, hot water tank insulation and glass coverings for open fires.

The government have made it easy to apply for the various Heating grants and there are numerous websites available that will actually apply for you. All you need to do is fill in some details and let them do the rest. Even if you don’t think you qualify it’s worth a few minutes to fill in a form as you never know what the person at the other end will decide.

The Green Deal

The Green Deal is another government intitiative which is supported by a conglomerate of some of the UK’s largest companies, including, British Gas and JP Morgan, it will be called the The Green Deal Finance Company. It is set to begin in 2012 and aims to reduce the cost of green energy production for domestic and commercial users. The scheme will hopefully enable people and companies to purchase on finance and install and produce cleaner energy as well as save money on bills at the same time.

Guest Article by Clare Lynock

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