Thousands of people on state benefits including Universal Credit and PIP may be in line for grants of up to £10,000 this winter.
The huge amounts are available from the end of September for energy-efficient home improvements reports BirminghamLive.
It means benefit claimants can get free help for work to fit new windows, boilers, insulation, heating controls and even solar panels – and it could end up cutting your household gas and electric bills by £600 a year.
That seems like great news now that the arrival of autumn, with evenings getting dark much earlier, is soon going to mean we’ll need more heating and lighting in our homes.
And while you may not yet be hovering over the heating switch or thermostat, that moment will come.
But we all know repairs can be costly, let alone the average £2,600 cost of a brand new boiler if yours ends up needing to be completely replaced.
And let’s face it, we all need some money-saving tips right now as we deal with the effects of coronavirus.
So what help can you get and how do you get it?
Are you eligible for the grants?
Under the Government’s Affordable Warmth Obligation, you might be able to get genuine help for energy-saving improvements to your home if you either:
If you live in private housing, you could get help if you receive any of the following benefits:
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit
- Pension Guarantee Credit – you will not be eligible if you only claim Pension Savings Credit
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits
- War Pensions Mobility Supplement
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Child Benefit
If you rent your home, you will need the owner’s permission for the work to be carried out.
How much do you get?
Government-endorsed help is offered by Simple Energy Advice, which says you can get up to £5,000 or even as much as £10,000 to help cover the cost of energy-efficient improvements to your home.
This comes in the form of a Green Homes Grant, it says.
What it means is that homeowners and landlords in England can apply for cash towards the cost of energy-saving improvements.
The Government will provide a voucher that covers up to two-thirds of the cost of the work.
The usual value of the voucher is up to £5,000. But you can get up to £10,000 if you are a homeowner and either you or a member of your household receives one of the qualifying benefits mentioned above.
Work carried out under the Green Homes Grant includes insulation, low-carbon heat pumps, solar panels, boilers and new windows, along with thermostats and heating controls.
You can apply for a voucher from the end of September 2020 and need to spend it by March 31, 2021. See if you’re eligible for help by filling in this grant form.
Other types of help may be available too – find out more here about the range of grants on offer in your area as there are other initiatives such as the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), and local funding. It’s worth checking what help you might be able to get with making your home as warm and energy-efficient as possible.
For further information, contact Simple Energy Advice on the freephone number 0800 444 202 from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday.
But be on the lookout for scammers taking advantage of these offers.
Act on Energy has been warning householders to beware of any phone calls, texts, emails or home visits telling you that you are eligible for the grants as these are likely to be scams.
It points out that no cold calling is involved in the official schemes so you will instantly know it is a scam if you get an offer of cash out of the blue. Act on Energy has a free advice line on 0800 988 2881.
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