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The Full Guide to Government Grants for Insulation UK 2024

ECO4 helps homes save up to £1,800 a year

The Great British Insulation Scheme will help least-energy efficient homes

There are local insulation grants available from certain councils


Keep reaching for the thermostat? Your home probably needs better insulation.

Having a well-insulated property is now at the forefront of a lot of peoples' minds, as Brits face a cost of living crisis.

Although insulation isn’t the priciest thing to install, some households aren’t able to fork out hundreds – or potentially thousands – of pounds to keep warm.

If you’re looking for a more affordable way to insulate your home, check out the handful of government grants available below, whether you’re eligible for them, and how much help you can actually get.

Grant

What it's worth?

Who's eligible?

ECO4

Up to 100% of the costs

People who meet certain benefits criteria

Home Upgrade Grant

Up to 87% of the costs

Low-income, off-gas grid homes with EPC rating of D, E, F, or G

Home Energy Scotland

Interest-free loan for 100% of the costs

Residents in Scotland

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Are there government grants available for insulation?

There are five national grants that provide financial support for people wanting to install insulation at home: the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, Warm Homes Scotland, Nest (Wales), the Great British Insulation Scheme, and the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG). 

Each of these schemes focus on low-income and vulnerable households, which would typically benefit from this financial support the most.

Want to see what these schemes have to offer? We’ve outlined the key details below, including what’s covered, who’s eligible, and how to apply.

Government grants for loft insulation

Energy Company Obligation (ECO4)

The most popular grant that helps people lower the cost of roof insulation is the Energy Company Obligation, which offers a grant towards loft insulation for anyone who meets certain requirements.

Also named ECO4 (since it’s currently in its fourth stage), the government scheme works together with energy suppliers to provide financial support for low-income households.

This includes covering the cost of installing various home improvements, such as loft insulation.

The programme started back in 2013 but will come to an end in March 2026.

Applicants must receive one of the following benefits to be eligible for the ECO4 scheme:

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit (PCGC)
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit Savings Credit (PCSC)
  • Child Benefit

Anyone with additional Department of Work and Pension (DWP) benefits will also have access to ECO4, regardless of whether they receive Universal Credit.

How to apply for ECO4

To apply to the ECO4 scheme, all you need to do is get in touch with one of the energy suppliers that are offering it.

You’ll then be invited to a telephone assessment, which involves answering questions about your income, whether you receive benefits, and your property’s energy efficiency rating.

The installer will then arrange a date to visit your home and confirm whether it's suitable for the grant.

Great British Insulation scheme

The Great British Insulation Scheme (previously known as ECO+) is a new government initiative that will extend the support currently offered by the existing Energy Company Obligation (ECO4), which offers financial support to low-income and vulnerable households to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

The scheme will be supporting these vulnerable households, but will also branch out to help additional groups. Unlike ECO4, The Great British Insulation Scheme will be available to anyone living in a property with an Energy Performance Certificate rating of D-G, and within council tax bands A-D in England and A-E in Scotland and Wales.

The government has stated that this grant will run from around April 2023 until March 2026. It's also allocated £1 billion to the project, and claims it will cover up to 75% of the costs of either loft insulation or cavity wall insulation, and possibly smart heating controls. The households will pay the rest of the costs.

You can find out more about the scheme on our page: ECO+: Everything You Need To Know.

To be eligible for the Great British Insulation Scheme, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be living in a home with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or below
  • Be living in a home that falls within Council Tax bands A-D in England or A-E in Scotland and Wales

How to apply for the Great British Insulation Scheme

Contact your energy supplier first to find out if you're eligible, and if you are, they'll match you with an installer who'll assess your home for free. The installer will recommend what single piece of insulation is best for your home, and then a date will be decided for installing it.

Home Upgrade Grant

The Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) is a government-backed scheme that provides energy efficiency upgrades and low-carbon heating via local authority funding. It helps cover households in England that meet the specific criteria (see eligibility) and will run from April 2023 to March 2025.

Homes that qualify for HUG will get at least 60% of the costs of insulation covered, and for rented properties, landlords will be entitled to a grant of up to £16,666 to improve the property.

HUG is also available for people looking to get grants for solar panels.

To be eligible for the Home Upgrade Grant, you must:

  • Live in England
  • Be disconnected from the gas grid
  • Qualify as a low-income household
  • Have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) between D and G
  • Live in one of the local authority areas listed here

How to apply for the Home Upgrade Grant

You need to contact your local authority, first to find out if it's applied for the Home Upgrade Grant, then second to see if your house will be eligible. There is no way to apply for the grant yourself, as it's entirely down to your local authority to do so.

Person wearing white gloves slotting insulation blocks of fibreglass into a wall

Warmer Homes Scotland

People in Scotland are able to install insulation through the government’s Warmer Homes Scotland scheme – if they meet certain requirements.

Similar to the ECO scheme, Warmer Homes Scotland offers financial support to low-income and vulnerable households that are struggling to keep on top of energy bills.

Loft insulation is a popular choice in this scheme. During both 2017/2018 and 2018/2019, 10% of installations through the Warmer Homes Scotland grant were loft insulation.

To qualify for the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a homeowner, or the tenant of a private-sector landlord
  • Live in the home as your main residence
  • Have lived there for at least 12 months (unless in receipt of a DS1500 certificate)
  • Live in a home with an energy rating of 72 or lower, which is not more than 230 square metres in floor size
  • Live in a home that meets the living standard set out in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006
  • Haven't received support for energy efficiency improvements through Warmer Homes Scotland funding in the last five years

 

On top of this, you’ll also need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be of pensionable age, have no working heating system, and receive a passport benefit
  • Be aged 75 or older, and eligible for a passport benefit
  • Be pregnant and/or have a child under 16, and eligible for a passport benefit
  • Have a disability and be eligible for any level of Personal Independent Payment (PIP)
  • Have a disability and be eligible for a high rate Disability Living Allowance (DLA) (care or mobility component)
  • Have a disability, receive a low/medium rate Disability Living Allowance (DLA) (care or mobility component), and be eligible for a passport benefit
  • Be a carer in receipt of Carers Allowance
  • Have been injured or disabled serving in the Armed Forces, and be eligible for Armed Forces Independence Payment/War Disablement Pension
  • Have an injury or disability from an accident or disease caused by work and be eligible for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

 

Anyone with the following benefits will also be considered for the scheme:

  • Guarantee element of the Pension Credit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Universal Credit, or any of the benefits due to be replaced by Universal Credit (such as Income Based JSA, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit)
  • Council Tax Reduction
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Higher Rate Care or Mobility components of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • War Disablement Pension
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

How to apply for Warmer Homes Scotland

If you’d like to get the ball rolling, start by calling Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282, or use the contact form to request a call or email back.

Once you’ve done this, the organisation will ask a few questions about your eligibility. If you qualify for the scheme, you’ll be referred to Warmworks Scotland (the Warmer Homes Scotland managing agent), who will offer a survey of your property.

Nest

People in Wales can install loft insulation through the government’s Nest scheme, as long as they meet certain criteria.

Nest supports low-income and vulnerable people in Wales by offering free and impartial advice about home energy, as well as funding for various home improvements.

If you’re eligible for the scheme, Nest will recommend a range of appliances that you can install at no cost, which will make your home warmer and reduce energy bills.

Learn more: National Home Energy SurveyWales crowned the most climate-conscious part of the UK.

To be eligible for the Nest scheme, you must meet all three conditions below:

  • Own or privately rent your home (not from a local authority or housing association)
  • Have an inefficient home that is expensive to heat
  • You or someone you live with receives a means-tested benefit or has a chronic respiratory, circulatory, or mental health condition, and has an income below the defined thresholds

There are a number of means-tested benefits that qualify, including:

  • Child Tax Credit (income below £16,105 a year)
  • Council Tax Reduction (exemption and discount do not qualify on their own)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit (income below £16,105 a year)

How to apply for Nest

If you think you meet the eligibility criteria, call Nest on 0808 808 2244, or request a call back using the online form.

A Nest advisor will then ask you some questions to see if you and your property qualify for any free home improvements. If you’re successful with your application, an assessor will visit your home to see what energy efficiency improvements they can offer.

Government grants for cavity wall insulation

If your home needs cavity wall insulation, you might be able to get a grant through the ECO4, Warmer Homes Scotland, and Nest schemes.

Not everyone in the UK is eligible however, but if you might be if you meet at least one of the following benefits:

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Child Benefit (on the condition that the household’s relevant income does not exceed the amount set out in Chapter 3 of government scheme guidance)
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Pension Guarantee Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Income Support
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Mobility Supplement
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Tax Credits (Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits)
  • Universal Credit

Government grants for spray foam insulation

Although there are a number of government grants that provide insulation, spray foam insulation isn’t usually a popular material in these schemes. This might be because spray foam is typically the most expensive insulation material on the market.

It’s worth noting that this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get spray foam insulation through government grants – it just means it might only be economical for some properties.

The Energy Saving Trust found that Warmer Homes Scotland uses innovative measures to improve homes, some of which included spray foam insulation. For example, in homes with suspended floors, the scheme has used Q-Bot technology, which uses robots to spray insulation under the floor.

Find out more about suspended floor insulation on our page.

The Nest and ECO4 schemes, on the other hand, don’t mention spray foam specifically on their websites.

A room with wool insulation and two velux-style windows.

Local grants for insulation

There are also various local grants available to help pay for insulation at home.

If you’d like to find out whether there are any local grants in your area, check out the government’s helpful tool. All you have to do is pop in your postcode, and you can see whether there’s anything available.

The number of schemes available will depend on which region, town, or city you live in. To give you an idea of what to expect from local insulation schemes, we’ve given a few examples below.

London – Warmer Homes grant

Sadiq Khan’s Warmer Homes programme provides free heating, insulation, and ventilation improvements for low-income households.

Londoners are able to get between £5,000 and £25,000 towards home efficiency improvements – though this amount depends on your existing energy efficiency rating and the type of fuel your house uses.

To be eligible for this scheme, applicants need to:

  • Live in Greater London
  • Own or rent their own home (landlords can apply as long as the tenant is eligible)
  • Receive a qualifying benefit or be on a low household income
  • Meet maximum energy efficiency and household income requirements for the Sustainable Warmth element

Nottingham – Healthy Housing Service

The Healthy Housing Service funds a range of home-energy improvements for anyone over the age of 60, as well as families with young children who are at risk of cold-related illnesses.

Through the scheme, people can get insulation installed either for free or at a heavily subsidised rate, along with boiler checks and advice on switching energy suppliers.

York – Home Upgrade Grant

The City of York council funds home improvements through its Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) – a scheme that’s available for low-income households.

Applicants can receive various energy efficiency measures, including loft insulation and draft proofing, cavity wall insulation, and attic room insulation.

To qualify for HUG funding:

  • Your household must have an annual income of less than £30,000 per year
  • Rented properties must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D to G

The Green Homes Grant

The Green Homes Grant was created to fund eco-friendly installations in more than 600,000 homes, as well as to help tradespeople during an economic downturn.

The £2 billion initiative covered two-thirds of the cost of home improvements designed to cut energy bills and carbon emissions. Unlike the ECO, Warmer Homes Scotland, and Nest schemes, the Green Homes Grant initiative wasn’t limited to low-income households.

However, just four months after the scheme was extended until March 2022, it was cancelled.

Many experts are hoping the government will introduce another scheme to help people install home efficiency measures amid the energy crisis – but nothing has been confirmed yet.

Next steps

The UK desperately needs to improve its housing stock if it wants to reduce fuel poverty across the country.

Hopefully this article has helped you get a better understanding of the grants on offer for people in the UK.

If you find you’re not eligible for any of these schemes, you can still compare insulation prices. All you have to do is enter a few simple details and we’ll put you in touch with our trusted suppliers, who’ll contact you with free quotes to compare.

FAQs

Homeowners and private renters with the permission of a landlord who receive qualifying benefits can be entitled to an insulation grant from the UK government. These qualifying benefits include:

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Child Benefit*
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee)
  • Employment and support allowance (income-related)
  • Jobseeker’s allowance (Income-based)
  • Income Support
  • Industrial injuries disablement benefit
  • Mobility supplement
  • Personal independence payment
  • Severe disablement allowance
  • Universal credit
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement
  • Working tax credit

If you live in a home with a poor energy performance certificate (EPC), you could be eligible for an insulate grant through either the ECO4 or ECO+ schemes.

The ECO+ scheme in particular targets homeowners with low-rated EPC ratings on their home, not just people who receive certain benefits (as is the case for ECO4).

The ECO+ scheme started in Spring 2023 and will run for up to three years. It benefits hundreds of thousands of UK households who'll receive new insulation to help keep homes warm and energy bills down.

ECO+ predominantly covers low-cost insulation measures, such as loft insulation and cavity wall insulation, but installing these can still save the average household hundreds of pounds a year.

There are free insulation grants available for UK households to install cavity wall insulation, internal wall insulation, loft insulation, and roof insulation. The ECO4 scheme will provide 100% funding for certain types of insulation, if the person requesting the grant receives certain benefits.

Homes with poor EPC ratings could also be covered for free insulation under the ECO+ scheme.

Warmer Homes Scotland helps Scottish residents get free insulation for their homes, though the level of insulation covered by the grant will depend on a survey of your home.

The Welsh government's NEST scheme will provide free insulation upgrades to eligible homes as well.

Written by:
Beth has been writing about green tech, the environment, and climate change for over three years now – with her work being featured in publications such as The BBC, Forbes, The Express, Greenpeace, and in multiple academic journals. Whether you're after a new set of solar panels, energy-saving tips, or advice on how to reduce your carbon footprint, she's got you covered.
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