Financial Incentives and Free Insulation
Finance for Insulation Projects
Did you know that as much as 25% of heat that is wasted in an uninsulated home is actually lost up through the roof? The cost of having adequate insulation installed is far outweighed by the savings on your heating costs – the problem is how you afford it in the first place, particularly if you are on a tight budget.
Having both wall cavity and loft insulation installed could well save you up to £300 a year in reduced fuel costs. Fortunately, there are a number of finance initiatives running that could either get your insulation done for free or at a much reduced cost. There is also the option to take out a low interest loan that gets paid back through your energy savings on your electricity bill. And for landlords, there are plenty of incentives to make sure your tenant is nice, cosy and warm this winter.
How to Get Free Loft and Cavity Wall Insulation
If you are from a certain income group then you may well qualify for free wall and loft insulation provided by the energy companies themselves. The only company to actually offer an unconditional free installation is British Gas, the rest have a list of eligibility clauses such as having child tax credits or earning less that £15,860. You can also qualify if you are receiving benefits such as the pension credit. It does not apply if you live in a housing association property or are a council tenant.
Is Your Property Suitable? Not all homes can get the free deal, the main exclusions are:
- If you live in a flat but cannot get agreement from the rest of the occupiers.
- Your home is made of certain materials such as timber, metal framed, or natural stone/concrete.
- If you have any structural problems such as damp then you will need to sort these out first before you get the free insulation.
You can find out more by contacting your energy provider directly.
The Green Deal
The Green Deal is a scheme whereby you can get a low cost loan for energy improvements to your home that is then paid back through your electricity bill. The way it works is that you have to undertake a Green Deal Assessment by a registered company or individual which will give a report on your property along with an Energy Performance Certificate and a list of recommendations such as the installing of insulation in the roof and walls. You then use this to take out a Green Deal plan.
Find out more about the Green Deal for your home.
Local Authority Schemes
Local government also run their own insulation schemes as there is substantial central government funding available to help encourage a reduction in carbon emissions. Many councils work with local suppliers to offer cheaper or even free installations of things like insulation for those in most need.
Visit your local authority’s website to find out if you qualify.
Universal Home Insulation Scheme in Scotland
The Universal Home Insulation Scheme is a renewable energy incentive run by the Scottish government. The scheme is administered by local authorities in Scotland and works in the same way as the schemes implemented in the rest of the UK. The criteria for the scheme may vary depending on the local authority requirements but its primary purpose is to tackle fuel poverty and increase energy efficiency in homes.
Find out more here.
Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance Scheme
You can claim landlord's energy saving allowance for the cost and the installation of a number of renewable energy products and it could reduce your tax bill by £ 1,500. The money can be claimed when you install energy saving products in the property that you rent out, including cavity and solid wall and loft insulation, draught proofing, floor insulation and hot water system insulation.
You are also able to claim the allowance against a property that you own and rent out abroad as long as you pay tax on the profits in the UK. The maximum allowance that you may claim is £1,500 per house, flat or bedsit that you rent out.
If you have shared ownership of the property you can claim part of the allowance in two different ways.
- You may claim based on the percentage of the property you own. For example, if you own 50% of the property you can claim £750.
- You can also claim based on the amount of money you paid for the improvements. If you covered half the costs you can claim £750.
Other caveats that you need to be aware of are:
- If you install the energy saving products yourself, you can claim landlord’s energy allowance for the costs of buying the products but not for the installation of the products.
- You cannot claim the allowance if you are claiming an allowance under the rent a room scheme.
- You are currently renting the property as fully furnished holiday accommodation.
- You can claim your allowance when filling in your tax return.