People living in homes across Leicestershire without mains gas central heating are being encouraged to apply for free installation of energy efficiency improvements, which will reduce energy costs as well as making households warmer and greener.
Leicestershire County Council’s Warm Homes service, in partnership with district authorities, was last year awarded £6.8 million by the government to support the installation of energy efficiency improvements.
A previous scheme known as the Home Energy Grant last year saw 252 properties get a total of 276 energy-efficient upgrades, with measures including external wall insulation, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and solar panels – which equates to a saving of 326 tons of carbon every year.
Craig, whose home in Loughborough benefited from the HUG scheme, received loft insulation and solar PV panels, which improved his Energy Performance Certificate rating by 11 points. He said: "We were pleased with the professionalism of the people who came to fit the upgrades - they were helpful and gave some great advice.
"Our home is warmer upstairs than it was before and our concerns about the energy bill have reduced. The grant has enabled us to implement energy saving measure we would have never done without it."
Now residents who are eligible for the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) are being encouraged to apply to the scheme to take advantage of the energy-saving and cost cutting measures – especially as the energy price cap rose by an average of five per cent from the beginning of the year.
The Home Upgrade Grant funding is available to homes without mains gas as their main heating type, in priority neighbourhood postcodes, and more widely where the annual household income is below £31,000, or where a member of the household receives certain means-tested benefits.
The HUG scheme aims to improve the energy efficiency of owner-occupier and private rental households most in need of support, reduce energy bills and tackle climate change. It follows on from previous successful funding bids delivered through the Warm Homes service and Green Living Leicestershire partnership, including the Green Homes Grant, Warm Homes Fund and Sustainable Warmth Competition.
The Home Upgrade Grant is delivered through Green Living Leicestershire, a partnership between Leicestershire authorities who work collectively to deliver projects supporting sustainability and net zero across the county.
The partnership is delivering the funding on behalf of Blaby District Council, Charnwood Borough Council, Harborough District Council, Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, Melton Borough Council and North West Leicestershire District Council.
Under the latest Home Upgrade Grant funding, eligible county residents will benefit from an expert assessment that recommends the improvements best suited to their property, which may include external wall insulation, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, solar panels and clean heating measures such as heat pumps.
Funding is targeted at homes where the main source of heating is something other than mains gas, such as electric, heating oil, LPG, or solid fuel. Households that only use gas for cooking or secondary room heating can still apply.
The funding will also identify opportunities to support the Swift Action for Swifts project, which offers bird boxes and bird callers to suitable homes which receive energy efficiency measures.
Low-income households and those living in identified priority neighbourhoods with energy inefficient homes will be prioritised. Funding is available to homeowners and private tenants of landlords with small property portfolios.
The Home Upgrade Grant scheme not only helps residents with the cost of living by reducing their fuel bills, but also cuts carbon emissions, as well as protecting people from the health risks associated with cold and damp homes.
With the energy price cap rising by an average of five per cent, it’s the perfect time for residents to get these improvements which will help people to keep warm and could save them hundreds of pounds on their energy bills.
I would urge all Leicestershire residents who think they might be eligible to visit the website and find out more about these essential and sustainable home improvements.Person:Councillor Louise Richardson, cabinet member for health and wellbeing
For more information on the grants, including the full eligibility criteria, eligible postcode areas or to apply, visit our Home Upgrade Grant website, or call YES Energy Solutions on 03309 126 199.
The installation of the measures will be carried out by E.ON Energy Solutions.