There are a number of schemes that provide financial support for householders wanting to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. The current schemes and sources of further information are outlined below.
Home Repairs Assistance Grant
The Council provides a Home Repairs Assistance Grant to enable elderly and disabled people to undertake small-scale work so that they can remain in their own home. The maximum grant available is £5,000 and this can go towards works such as energy efficiency improvements, replacement of rotten wood, roof and plumbing repairs, or rewiring. For more details please call the Housing Services Team on 01727 819447.
Energy Companies Obligation (ECO)
ECO places a legal obligation on larger energy suppliers, to provide support for eligible householders wishing to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Obligated energy suppliers currently fund improvements for people on certain benefits, for those in solid wall properties and for households in the poorest parts of the country.
Ofgem, the administrator of the scheme, provides information for householders that are interested in receiving funding under ECO. You may be contacted by your energy supplier or an installer if they believe you or your household may eligible. Alternatively, you can contact an obligated supplier directly to find out how they may be able to help you (any obligated supplier can provide you with funding, it doesn't have to be the one that currently supplies your energy). Many of the energy suppliers’ websites explain how they can help. Ofgem also provides a list of the ECO-obligated energy suppliers' contact details.
Alternatively, you may wish to contact the Energy Saving Advice Service, who provide free, impartial energy efficiency advice and can advise you on whether you are eligible under ECO.
You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 123 1234 (calls are charged at the standard national rate).
The Green Deal (including the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF)) is no longer available to new customers, following changes in Government policy made in July 2015.
What should I ask for if someone offers me support for energy improvements in my home?
If you are approached by a company offering you a grant for energy efficiency in your home, you should check their legitimacy before committing to any works. Always ask for their contact details and any relevant certifications (explained below) and don't be pressured into agreeing for works to be carried out if you aren't 100% sure. You can always call them to arrange an appointment once you've had a chance to check them out.
If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a company, you may wish to contact the Energy Saving Advice Service (contact details are listed above). As well as providing you with free and impartial advice on energy efficiency, they also hold a list of approved installers under ECO.
Many companies that are involved with providing energy efficiency measures for households are registered Green Deal providers. If they claim to be a Green Deal provider, their contact details should be listed on the Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body (Green Deal ORB) website.
The tradesperson responsible for the work should be part of an accreditation body that maintains industry standards. You may wish to check that they are registered with such an organisation. These are some of the organisations involved with accrediting installers (although note that there are others out there):
Gas Safe Register Tel: 0800 408 5500
National Insulation Association Tel: 01525 383 313
CIGA: The Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency Ltd, 3 Vimy Court, Vimy Road, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 1FG. Tel: 01525 853300
SWIGA: The Solid Wall Insulation Guarantee Agency Ltd, 3 Vimy Court, Vimy Road, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 1FG. Tel: 01525 854977
If you have had an energy efficiency measure installed and have a complaint about the installation, you may also wish to contact one of these accreditation bodies.
You may alternatively wish to contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline as they may be able to provide assistance. Their telephone number is 08454 04 05 06. If you wish to report a problem to Trading Standards, you can mention this to the adviser. Citizens Advice can refer matters to Trading Standards, who in turn decide whether to take on the case.
There have been reports of salesmen cold calling households in the St Albans District, claiming to be working on behalf of the Council to provide grants for insulation or renewable energy. Please note that the Council will never visit your home unannounced and we are not currently working on any schemes of this nature. Should we need to visit your home, we would always provide notice in advance and would provide legitimate identification.
For more information on how to stay safe in your home, visit the Herts Constabulary Advice Page.
Date of last review: 10 December 2015
Financial support for renewable energy
Information on the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is provided on our renewable energy page.