Free insulation is still available for most UK households as part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme introduced by the Government in 2013 to replace the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP).
The ECO scheme legally requires the main energy suppliers to install energy efficient technologies such as cavity wall insulation and loft insulation to domestic households in the UK. If the energy suppliers fall short of their obligations they receive hefty fines.
Some energy providers are lowering the criteria for eligibility as they struggle to meet the targets. This means that most householders are now able to obtain free insulation measures.
The only limitation on the delivery of the scheme is that you must own the property to be treated or rent it privately and have the landlord’s permission to undertake the work.
Improving your Cavity wall and loft insulation can reduce your energy bills on average by £300 per annum. Having your home insulated properly is also a requirement for additional home improvement grants like the renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) or the Green Deal on the basis that there is little point funding alternative heating if the heat generated is not managed efficiently.
Free cavity wall insulation
Most houses built after 1920 have a cavity between the walls. This is filled with an insulating material to greatly improve the efficiency of the house.
Cavity wall insulation tends to be the most expensive measure to install but this makes it more attractive to the energy suppliers as they enable to meet their targets quicker with less administration costs. Therefore it is generally easier to obtain free cavity wall insulation than other measures.
Flats can have cavity wall insulation installed but permission must be sought by all of the adjoining properties that share the cavity walls.
If your property suffers from damp problems these will need to be resolved before any installation can take place although the surveyor will be able to advise you on the state of the walls and any treatments required prior to installation.
Usually timber framed, metal clad and stone properties are not suitable for cavity wall insulation. Installation of the insulation will be subject to a survey. There is no charge for this. For more information on Cavity wall insulation and to apply for a survey click here.
Free loft insulation
About 25% of heat is lost through the roof of poorly insulated properties as heat rises. Roof and loft insulation is by usually the most efficient measure as it’s typically the cheapest to install and has the greatest effect. This said, most suppliers prefer to install loft insulation in conjunction with cavity wall or other measures as this enables them to meet targets faster with less administration.
Not all properties are suitable for loft insulation and will be subject to a survey. There is no charge for this. For more information on loft & roof insulation and to apply for a survey click here.