The Home Energy Upgrade

Insulating the south west with ECO funding

Project duration: January 2014 to March 2016

The Home Energy Upgrade is an insulation scheme managed by CSE, designed to help people access and use Energy Company Obligation grants to install cavity wall and loft insulation. We've worked with Scottish and Southern Energy and Domestic and General Insulation to make use of all three strands of ECO - including the recent changes that allow anybody to receive funding for simpler insulation measures through the CERO strand.

Making all the types of ECO funding accessible

The scheme has covered all three strands of funding:

1. Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO)

Originally designed to fund insulation for solid walls and hard-to-treat properties, CERO is soon to be expanded to include cavity wall and loft insulation to any householder. We are working with Domestic and General on this aspect of the project - using ECO funding, they are able to offer a standard rate of £99 for cavity wall insulation to any customer, with loft insulation thrown in for another £99 (both subject to survey - there might be a few additional costs depending on the materials used or the size of the house). Some more vulnerable customers can take advantage of an even larger discount.

2. Carbon Saving Communities obligation (CSCo) *This part of the scheme is currently closed to applications*

We are using the scheme to let people who live in CSCo areas know about the grants that are available to them. The CSCo element of the Energy Company Obligation is designed to fund energy saving improvements for people living in low income areas that are particularly prone to fuel poverty.

We are encouraging people in these areas to apply for loft and cavity wall insulation (including hard-to-treat cavity wall insulation), which in many cases can be funded in full by an ECO grant.

3. Affordable Warmth (HHCRO) *This part of the scheme is currently closed to applications*

We are also targetting householders who are eligible for grants under the Affordable Warmth part of ECO. This is another low income group, made up of people who privately rent or own their homes and are in receipt of certain benefits - through the Home Energy Upgrade they can receive grants for loft and cavity wall insulation.

How we'll help

Our Home Energy Team will bring it all together, explaining the scheme to householders and helping people with their application if they need extra assistance.

To access ECO grants, householders need to have a Green Deal Assessment carried out first - this is included free as part of the scheme.

Who's eligible?

Currently, people living in Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, Taunton Deane, Mendip, North Somerset, West Somerset, South Somerset, Sedgemoor, South Gloucestershire and Devon can take advantage of the heavily subsidised prices for cavity wall and loft insulation.

All offers are subject to survey and funding. Interested householders should call the Home Energy Team to check which grants they're eligible for.

Why have we run this project?

CSE's Paul Winney says: "For households struggling to stay warm, the energy bill savings achieved through insulation can make a huge difference. But getting help can be complicated. This project is a great way to help people take advantage of the ECO funding that's available to them, and guide them through the process.”

This programme is another opportunity for us to understand the complexities of ECO, and to make householders more familiar with the Green Deal process. Have a look at our Green Deal blog for more on our development of projects like this.


Image: iStock.com/zoomstudio

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