Beat the credit crunch with free energy grants!
posted on Feb 25, 2010
Warm Front makes homes warmer, healthier and and supplies energy-efficient products. The Warm Front Scheme provides a package of insulation and heating improvements up to the value of £3,500 (or £6,000 where oil, low carbon or renewable technologies are recommended). It is a Government-funded initiative and the scheme is managed by eaga. If you own your own home or rent it from a private landlord, you may be eligible for a grant under the Warm Front Scheme.
'The grants and discounts are all out there, you just need to find them, amounts vary depending on where you live, but there is reported to be something available for everyone,' says a spokesman for the Energy Saving Trust, a non-profit organisation that provides free impartial advice.
The Observer revealed how the government wants energy companies to redirect part of the £3bn they spend under the Cert programme towards fuel-poor households. On top of Cert, another initiative, called Warm Front, is directed specifically at vulnerable households, the disabled and those on benefits. This is a government-funded scheme managed by Eaga, a Newcastle-based green support services company. The Warm Front grant provides a package of insulation and heating improvements up to the value of £2,700 for those on benefits. Eaga estimates that there are around 7 million people eligible for the scheme but that so far only 1.7 million households have taken it up.
Anyone over the age of 60 in receipt of income support, council tax benefit, housing benefit, jobseekers allowance an income based or pension credit qualifies. As do householders with a child under 16, or pregnant women with maternity certificate MAT-B1 in receipt of one or more of the same benefits. Some other households on these benefits, or who receive disability living allowance and a small range of other allowances, may also qualify.
An energy assessor will visit eligible households and make recommendation and measures that could be carried out by the householders and discuss what is available under the Warm Front scheme. Improvements paid for by the scheme include loft insulation, draught-proofing, cavity-wall insulation, hot water tank insulation and gas, electric or oil central heating.
Edward Hardy from Lowestoft in Suffolk is one of the 1.7 million to have benefited from the Warm Front scheme. He is severely disabled from a car crash and in receipt of disability living allowance. He says he had no idea about the scheme until his support worker mentioned it. 'I was suspicious at first and thought it was a loan I had to pay back,' he says. 'I was so pleased when I found I was entitled to £2,700.' He had central heating installed throughout his house, an improvement which he says has made a huge difference to his life. 'I had two small gas fires before, one in the bedroom and one in the front room. The one in the bedroom was barely heating the room up, so I used to stay downstairs and run in and out of the kitchen and bathroom because they were so cold.'