Government unveils £1bn scheme to insulate the UK’s draughtiest homes
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The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) said the new Great British Insulation Scheme will help more than 300,000 families to save between £300 to £400 on their annual energy bills.
The £1bn scheme will be open to families in lower council tax bands with less energy efficient homes and will be offered upgrades such as roof, loft or cavity wall insulation.
Those eligible for support include families in council tax bands A to D in England, and A to E in Scotland and Wales, with an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of D or below.
The government already announced a £3bn package for British homeowners to make their houses more energy efficient and reduce the UK’s carbon emissions in 2020 during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But according to the Public Accounts Committee, the scheme had an unrealistic timeline, “poor design”, and “troubled implementation”. Ultimately only 47,500 of the 600,000 homes originally envisaged received upgrades and only £314m of the £1.5bn budget was spent.
Energy security secretary Claire Coutinho said: “We are determined to help families keep their homes warm through the winter months and save on their energy costs.
“Our Great British Insulation Scheme will help hundreds of thousands of people, including some of the most vulnerable in society, get the upgrades their homes need, while cutting their energy bills.”
According to the DESNZ, the energy efficiency of British homes has been improving over the past decade. In 2010, just 14 per cent of homes had an EPC rating of C or above, compared with 47 per cent in 2022.
The Great British Insulation Scheme will run alongside the existing Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, which offers free home energy efficiency improvements, such as insulation, heat pumps and solar panels to families on low incomes.
Customers will be able to use a new online checker for to find out if they are eligible for support which will then refer them to their energy supplier.
Energy efficiency minister Lord Callanan said: “Boosting the energy efficiency of homes creates the best long-term protection against fuel poverty for the most vulnerable.
“That’s why we are helping families with extra support to make their homes warmer, while saving hundreds on energy costs.”
The government launched an energy efficiency taskforce in February that is looking at how the UK can cut energy usage and lower household bills in the short term.
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