Somerset West hard-to-treat homes

A grant programme to fund improvements to old and cold rural properties

Project duration: October 2010 to March 2012

The Somerset West Hard to Treat scheme was a pilot project which ran in the West Somerset, Sedgemoor and Taunton Deane council areas, funded by the local authorities and managed by the Centre for Sustainable Energy.

The grant helped owner-occupiers make their ‘hard-to-treat’ homes warmer and cheaper to heat. A hard-to-treat home is defined as one where you are unable to improve energy efficiency with lower-cost measures – such as cavity wall insulation – due to the age of the property or nature of its construction. They may also be ‘off-gas,’ relying on expensive heating fuels. For these reasons hard-to-treat homes are often difficult and costly to heat to a comfortable level.


Update | September 2012
You can download a report of this project, written by CSE for the funders, here


The grant was available on a first come, first served basis to cover the cost of 25% of eligible insulation works, up to a maximum of £2,500 per property. Low income households were able to apply for a low cost Home Improvement Loan for the remaining 75% of costs.

The grant may be claimed for:

  • Solid wall insulation (internal or external)
  • Floor insulation
  • Complex roof insulation (e.g. beneath rafters, flat roof etc)

The aim of the scheme was to be as flexible as possible in terms of how and by whom people were able to get the work done. However, in order to ensure only quality installations were funded through the scheme there were some restrictions.

For example, if people were interested in complex roof insulation they were expected to use somebody who was a member of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors, the National Insulation Association or the Federation of Master Builders. Alternatively, if people felt confident at tackling roof, floor or internal wall insulation themselves on a DIY basis, they were able to claim the grant for 25% of the cost of materials.

People getting in touch with the scheme were sent an information pack which contained all the information they needed to know about the grant, the various measures and where to find approved installers.

The scheme paid out its last claim on the project in September 2012.


CSE also managed Freedom from Fuel Poverty, another solid-wall insulation project in Bath & North East Somerset.

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