The Complete Guide to the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan Written by Josh Jackman Reviewed by Charlie Clissitt Updated on 10 August 2023 ✔ You can apply for up to £38,500 of interest-free loans✔ You won’t have to pay back up to £17,750 of this amount✔ The loan can be paid back over 12 years, or not at all if you're eligible for a grantIf you want to save money on your energy bills and fight climate change at the same time, we’ve got good news: there’s a government programme enabling people to do exactly that.Set up by Warmer Homes Scotland in 2017, the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan has helped thousands of households to afford the upfront costs of solar panels and other renewable systems.In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this scheme, including how much you can borrow, how long you’ll have to pay it back, and which improvements it covers.If the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan has made the prospect of buying solar panels even more attractive, you can fill in this form to receive free quotes from trusted suppliers. Where do you want to install solar panels? Roof Ground Both Other / not sure Get started What’s on this page? 01 What is the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan? 02 What does the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan cover? 03 Who’s eligible for the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan? 04 How long will the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan be available? 05 Has the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan been a success? 06 Summary 07 FAQs What is the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan?The Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan is a government scheme that offers grants of up to £7,500 and interest-free loans of up to £38,500 to homeowners wanting to make their households more energy efficient.The scheme has proven particularly helpful during the recent energy crisis – especially since Scotland has seen some of the UK's highest energy bills. Check out our page on Why Scotland Should Have Cheaper Electricity Than England to learn more. How does the interest-free loan work?You can apply for loans in two categories. Firstly, you can receive up to £15,000 to make energy-efficient improvements.You can also get up to £17,500 for two renewable systems or connections to an approved renewable district heating system, plus as much as £6,000 for an energy storage system – which is also included in the renewable system category.The loans can be paid back over as many as 12 years, and you may not have to pay back the full amount.Up to 40% of the cost of your energy-efficient improvements or the entire loan for them – whichever is lower – may be provided through cashback funding.This cashback offers as much as 75% when it comes to paying for your renewable system.This is basically a reward for choosing a particularly eco-friendly measure, and turns part of your interest-free loan into a grant, with no strings attached.There’s a limited amount of government money available for cashback funding, so make sure you apply while there’s still enough to go around. Cashback funding and loans are handed out on a first-come, first-served basis.It’s also worth mentioning that there is an administrative fee of 1.5% – up to a maximum of £150 – on each successful loan application, but that seems like a small price to pay.How does the grant work?Homeowners can also get a grant through the scheme to help them install various energy efficiency improvements. The grant can cover up to 75% of the combined cost of the improvements – up to the maximum grant amount of £7,500, or £9,000 if the household qualifies for the rural uplift.However, the grant won’t cover the following installations: Replacement heat pumps Wind or hydro turbines Warm air units Solar water heating systems Double or secondary glazing Insulated doorsHeat network connectionsThe government website highlights that solar PV systems, energy storage systems, biomass boilers/stoves, and high-heat-retention storage heaters might be eligible for grant funding ‘if certain conditions are met'. Since June 2023, Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan funding for solar panels in Scotland has only been available in a package that combines panels with a heat pump or storage heaters.It’s also worth mentioning that the scheme isn’t available to anyone receiving grant support from another source for the same improvement, such as Area Based Schemes or ECO.Want to check out what other grants are available in Scotland? Find out by visiting our page: Scottish Government Grants For Solar Panels.How long do you have to repay the loan?The length of the repayment period is up to you, to an extent.You have up to 12 years to repay any loan above £10,000, with this repayment period shrinking to five or 10 years if you borrow less.Loan amountMaximum repayment timeLess than £5,0005 years£5,000–£9,99910 yearsMore than £10,00012 years What does the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan cover?The Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan covers a wide variety of energy-efficient improvements and renewable systems – and a few secondary improvements, too.Here are all your options, along with the maximum loan and cashback funding you can get for them.Energy-efficient improvementsYou can apply for any of the following improvements, up to the maximum loan level of £15,000.You may receive 40% of that loan as cashback, meaning you won’t have to pay it back – but as you can see below, it depends on which improvement you pick.The grant is only available for some of the following home improvements – and the ones it is available for, can be supplemented with an additional loan if necessary. ImprovementMaximum loanMaximum cashbackMaximum grant optionsSolid wall insulation£6,000£4,000£7,500, plus £2,500 optional loanGas heating system£5,000NoneNo grant availableGas connection£5,000NoneNo grant availableWarm air unit or electric storage heaters£4,600£400£2,500 when installed as part of a package of measuresInsulated doors£4,500NoneNo grant availableReplacing single glazing with double glazing£4,100£400No grant availableFlat roof or room-in-roof insulation£2,400£1,600£3,000, plus £1,000 optional loanLoft, floor, or cavity wall insulation£600£400£1,500, plus £500 optional loanSecondary improvementsYou can apply for another loan of up to £500 – including up to £200 in cashback funding or a grant of up to £375 – for secondary improvements.These must be combined with a specific energy-efficient improvement listed above, and include heating controls, hot water jackets, and cylinder thermostats.Renewable systemsYou’re also allowed to apply for loans to pay for a maximum of two renewable systems, up to the £17,500 limit, and an energy storage system like a solar battery or thermal energy store, which comes with an extra loan of up to £6,000.You may receive as much as £11,750 of these loans as cashback, depending on which systems you get installed.And if its heat pumps or biomass boilers you’re after, you might be able to get a grant to help pay for the upfront costs. 69% of people are likely or very likely to buy or rent a property with solar panels, according to our latest National Home Energy Survey.Renewable systemMaximum loanMaximum cashbackMaximum grant optionsHybrid PV-solar water & heating systems£7,500NoneNo grant availableHeat pumps (air, ground, water, or hybrid)£2,500£7,500£7,500, plus £7,500 optional loan – or £9,000, plus £7,500 optional loan, if the household qualifies for the rural upliftBiomass boilers or stoves£2,500£7,500£7,500 if there's evidence that a heat pump is unsuitable for the property – or £9,000 if the household qualifies for the rural upliftWind turbines£2,500NoneNo grant availableHydro turbines£2,500NoneNo grant availableSolar water heating systems£1,250£3,750No grant availableConnections to a renewable district heating network£1,250£3,750No grant availableHeat meter (if installed with a heat pump)None£500No grant availableWant to know more about heat pumps? Check out our guide to air source heat pumps in Scotland. Where do you want to install solar panels? Roof Ground Both Other / not sure Get started Who’s eligible for the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan?If you own the property you live in, you’re eligible to apply for the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan.If you’re building your own home, you can apply for a loan for renewable systems, but not for energy-efficient improvements.Just make sure you submit planning permission documents with your application, and include your title deeds when submitting your claim.You’re not eligible to apply for the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan as a business owner, a landlord, a property developer, or a renter.Although it might seem obvious, it's also worth pointing out that homeowners will only be eligible for the grant if they live in Scotland – whether that means having solar panels in Edinburgh, Glasgow, or the Highlands.How can you apply?Make sure you secure a Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan before starting your home improvements, as you can’t apply after they begin.The first step is to call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282. You can also ask for a call back or ask to be emailed.An advisor will then walk you through the available options and help you decide which are best for you. They may also arrange for a specialist to visit your home and discuss your application in more detail.When you’re ready, your Home Energy Scotland advisor will provide you with access to the online application form. Part of completing this application will be acquiring a quote from an installer.Depending on the nature of your application, you’ll need to fulfil the following requirements:If you’re only applying for energy-efficient improvements, they must be recommended in your property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).If you’re applying for renewable systems – with or without energy-efficient improvements – they must all be recommended in your property’s EPC, or in your Home Energy Scotland specialist’s report.If you’re applying for an energy storage system, it must be recommended in your specialist’s report.If you’re just applying for gas connections and a gas boiler, then you don’t need an energy report of any kind.Whatever measures you apply for, you’ll need to pass a credit score check. How long will the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan be available?There’s no end in sight for the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan, with the government having committed to funding the cashback part of the scheme until at least 2023.The current level of cashback is extremely generous – so you should take advantage.Before December 2020, the cashback available for home improvements was 25% instead of 40%, and there was no cashback at all for renewable systems.That means you could save up to £14,000 by applying for the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan now, instead of when these cashback offers run out. Has the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan been a success?The Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan has been a roaring success, both financially and environmentally.The programme began in May 2017 with £30 million in funding.Customers who passed through the advice service over the last year alone will save an estimated £30.6 million over their lifetimes, as well as 71,300 tonnes of CO2, according to the Energy Saving Trust (EST), which administers the loans.From 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 – the first period when specific statistics were recorded for this scheme – the loans helped 1,008 households to put 1,207 measures in place.Over the next 12 months, despite a global pandemic, the number of installations increased, with 1,221 households enabled to install 1,247 renewable measures, according to the EST.The number of heat pump installations funded by the scheme increased from 586 in 2019/20 to 762 systems in 2020/21 – a rise of 30%.Recipients of Home Energy Scotland loans during 2020/21 told EST that 56% of these 1,247 improvements would not have taken place if they hadn’t received the loan.And homeowners reported that 89% of improvements took place at least partly because of the loan.All in all, it makes England’s Green Homes Grant look like the total farce it was. SummaryThe Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan programme has helped more than 2,200 households to reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions simultaneously.And with cashback rates currently at an enhanced level, you could save even more money than usual – as much as £17,750, if you get the highest loan possible.The cashback available on insulation, solar water heating, heat pumps, biomass boilers, and connections to a renewable district heating system is especially generous – so now is the time to make the leap.If you want to see how much solar panels would cost for your home, just fill in this form to receive free quotes from our trusted suppliers. FAQs What energy grants are available in Scotland? Compared to some other nations, Scotland is pretty generous when it comes to home improvement grants and loans – especially for those most in need of support. Some of the grants available to homeowners in Scotland include: Home Energy Scotland Grant and LoanCommunity and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES)Warmer Homes ScotlandECO4 ScotlandTrying to find out if you’re eligible for any of the above? Check out our Guide to Solar Panels in Scotland to find out. How do I apply for the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan? Think you’d like to benefit from Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan? You’ll be pleased to know that the application process is simple. To get the ball rolling, you can either call 0808 808 2282 (available Monday to Friday, from 8am to 8pm, and Saturday, from 9am to 5pm) or complete a contact form and wait for a representative to phone you back. Who can apply for the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan? All homeowners based in Scotland are welcome to use the scheme. Building your own home? You can also cut back on costs by using the grant or loan for home renewables systems or energy storage systems – but any other improvements won't be available for self-build projects.Landlords, businesses, and property developers aren’t able to apply for the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan, but can look into the Scottish Government's Private Rented Sector Landlord Loan for support. Written by: Josh Jackman Lead Writer Josh has written about eco-friendly home improvements and climate change for the past four years. His work has been displayed on the front page of the Financial Times, he's been interviewed by BBC One's Rip-Off Britain, and he regularly features in The Telegraph and on BBC Radio. Reviewed by: Charlie Clissitt Editor Charlie has been researching and writing about the home energy market for over five years, and he has been the editor of The Eco Experts since 2021. Charlie's thoughts on solar panels have seen him featured in various publications, including The Times, Ideal Home, and Grand Designs Magazine. Ever since he can remember, Charlie has worried about the planet, and he one day dreams of owning a solar power farm.