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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Help for individuals with the costs of energy-saving products

You can get help from your energy supplier with the cost of buying and installing energy-saving products such as loft and cavity wall insulation. Find out who is eligible and how to apply.

Overview: Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT)

The six main energy suppliers (British Gas, E.ON, EDF Energy, RWE npower, Scottish Power and Scottish And Southern Energy) have a legal obligation to cut carbon emissions under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT).

One of the ways they are doing this is by providing domestic occupiers with free or low cost energy efficiency measures, most commonly loft and cavity wall insulation.

The energy suppliers are responsible for running their own schemes and these may vary from company to company.

Eligibility  

All domestic properties in Great Britain are potentially eligible for help from energy suppliers, although the most vulnerable people (for example the elderly or people on low incomes) are given priority. A limited amount of money is available and not all homes may be suitable for the measures available, so not everyone who applies will be successful.

You don't have to be an existing customer of an energy company to qualify for free or low cost energy efficiency measures – anyone can apply.

Homeowners and tenants can apply, although if you rent, your landlord must agree to any work.

CERT runs until 31 December 2012, when it will be replaced by the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation.

Work on your home

A surveyor from an installer will recommend whether a home is suitable for insulation, and will check eligibility entitlement to free or heavily subsidised help.

Not all homes are suitable for cavity wall insulation (for instance homes with solid walls), but if your home is suitable, you could get free or subsidised loft or cavity wall insulation where none exists, as well as access to a range of other measures.

Cost and savings

The amount you may have to pay – if anything – is up to the energy supplier promoting the scheme.

Vulnerable people, such as the elderly or those on low incomes, may be given free insulation, but this is not always the case, particularly where there are additional costs such as scaffolding. Some energy companies may also offer financial incentives to encourage vulnerable groups to take up offers.

Households with no loft or cavity wall insulation could save over £300 a year.

If you have some loft insulation but need to top up the levels, in combination with cavity wall insulation, you could save up to £160 per year.

Applying

Apply directly to an energy company for help. You can go to one or all of them if you like – you don't have to be an existing customer of any of them.

Additional links

Energy efficiency helpline

England and Wales:  
0300 123 1234
9am-8pm Mon-Fri, 10am-2pm Sat

Calls will be charged at standard national rate

Scotland:
0800 512 012
9am-5pm Mon-Fri

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