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Last updated: 27 May 2024

Loft Insulation Grant: Your Ultimate 2024 Guide

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  • Loft insulation can save you upwards of £370 in annual energy bills.
  • UK grant schemes can provide free loft insulation, or high discounts for qualifying households.
  • The two current UK schemes - The Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) and The Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) are active until March 2026.

Upgrading your loft insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your home's energy efficiency and slash your annual heating bills. But the upfront cost of loft insulation, averaging £930 for a typical UK semi-detached house, can be a financial barrier for some households.

The good news? In a bid to make home efficiency more accessible, the UK government offers two grant schemes – the Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) – to help make loft insulation free or heavily discounted for qualifying homes, particularly those that are fuel-poor or energy-inefficient.

This guide by Household Quotes UK provides all the information you need on loft insulation grants, including eligibility requirements, what to expect, and how to apply. That way, you can start saving money and make your home more comfortable today.

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Who is eligible for a loft insulation grant?

At the moment, two government schemes offer loft insulation grants in the UK: the Great British Insulation Scheme and ECO4. Qualifications for both schemes are generally the same. Here's a breakdown of who qualifies:

  • Property ownership: You can be a homeowner or a private tenant of a property. If privately renting, you will require your landlord's permission to apply for a grant scheme.
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating: Your home's EPC rating typically needs to be between D - G. You can check your existing rating, or arrange an assessment through accredited services. An EPC rating is a score indicating your home's energy efficiency. Ranging from A to G, lower ratings mean less efficiency and higher bills.
  • Council tax band: Council tax bands indicate the value of your property and how much council tax you pay. For England, your property should fall within council tax bands A - D, or A - E in Wales.
  • Government benefits: Being a recipient of certain government benefits and allowances can further strengthen your chances of qualifying for a grant.

The UK government has devised a list of government benefits and allowances that are recognised as eligible to apply for grant schemes. These are as follows:

  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Guarantee Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit

If you qualify for a loft insulation grant, the next step is to check the eligibility criteria for the specific scheme you're interested in. Both the Great British Insulation Scheme and ECO4 have government websites with more information and application processes.

Can you get free loft insulation if not on benefits?

You might still be eligible for free loft insulation through grant schemes in the UK even if you don't currently receive government benefits or allowances.

Qualification criteria such as having a home EPC rate below D, or being a household within the council tax bands A - D in England, and A - E in Scotland or Wales can qualify for free loft insulation.

If you meet one or more of these criteria, you have a pretty good case to apply for potential assistance through insulation grants. If you think you might qualify for free loft insulation, here's what to do next:

  • Check your eligibility: If not on benefits, use the information above to see if your property meets the Great British Insulation Scheme or the ECO4 scheme criteria.
  • Contact a grant installer: Search online for reputable insulation companies that offer grant-funded installations. They can handle the application process for you.
  • Get a quote: Before proceeding, obtain quotes from several installers to ensure a competitive price.

Loft insulation grant for pensioners

low-general-versus

Pensioners in the UK are eligible for free loft insulation through both the Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4). While age alone doesn’t guarantee eligibility, individuals classified as part of the low-income or general group may still qualify for assistance.

Low-Income Group

  • A home EPC rating below E (for renters), or D (for homeowners).
  • Recipients of means-tested benefits (e.g. Pension Credit Savings).
  • A household income below £31,000.
  • Social housing residents vulnerable to cold conditions due to age or medical diagnoses.

General Group

  • Homeowners that fall into the council tax bands A - D in England, or A - E in Scotland and Wales.
  • Those who have a home EPC rate below D.

To qualify for either group, all conditions of each group must be met. Additionally, individuals with disabilities can qualify for free loft insulation through disability assistance or medical diagnoses that justify their need for help. Some other conditions that are considered are:

  • Low-income households: This applies regardless of age.
  • Health conditions: Residents with health issues worsened by cold weather may qualify.
  • Vulnerable residents: Homes with young children (under 5) or older adults (over 65) are considered a priority.
  • Disability support: Individuals with disabilities may qualify for separate government grants or support if an uninsulated loft negatively impacts their health.

For a full understanding, contact the Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) through the official UK government website, or contact your energy provider to enquire about the ECO4 scheme.

What types of property qualify?

Two main factors determine your eligibility for a loft insulation grant: your property characteristics and which applicant criteria you qualify for.

In terms of property loft requirements, here is what needs to be met:

  • Loft space: As expected, your property needs to have a loft space to qualify. This space will require to be in good condition, safe, and accessible.
  • Existing insulation: If there is any previous loft insulation in place, it needs to be considered insufficient (usually less than 100mm deep).

Meeting these requirements allows you to top up your loft insulation to the recommended depth of 270mm, significantly improving heat retention and potentially lowering your energy bills. In addition to the property itself, you'll also need to meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Income level (generally under £31,000).
  • Recipient of specific government benefits.
  • Council tax band of your property (A - D in England, A - E in Scotland & Wales).
  • The EPC rating of your home (Generally under D).

For more information on the specific income levels and benefits that qualify, it's best to consult the official resources of the grant programs. For the GBIS, you can visit the official government website for more information, or contact your energy provider for more information on the ECO4 scheme.

How much funding can you get from a loft insulation grant?

Loft insulation grants can significantly reduce the cost of improving your home's energy efficiency. However, eligibility depends not just on your financials, but also on your property itself.

To qualify for grant coverage, your property must be considered insufficiently insulated. This means your loft must have minimal insulation (usually less than 100mm) or no existing insulation at all. This will also determine whether you qualify for full or partial cost coverage.

Important note

DIY loft insulation won’t qualify for a grant. Government schemes require certified installers following PAS 2030-2035 standards. This ensures a professional job and high-quality insulation.

The financial support you receive depends on the grant scheme and the complexity of your loft. Lower-cost installations with minimal insulation might be fully covered. On the other hand, for more complex jobs or those requiring significant material upgrades, a partial contribution from you may be expected.

Once your eligibility is confirmed, the energy company will assess your loft and determine the recommended work. They'll then provide a written quote outlining the project details, including:

  • The type and amount of insulation to be installed.
  • The total cost of the project.
  • The grant amount you'll receive.
  • Any remaining contribution you'll need to make (if applicable).

It's recommended to review both your property's suitability for loft insulation and the requirements of your chosen grant scheme before applying. That way, you can maximise your chances of receiving a full grant and enjoying the benefits of a well-insulated loft.

Who are the providers for loft insulation grants?

There are loft insulation grants currently offered through two main government schemes: The Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4). Both schemes are active until March 2026.

The Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS)
  • Focuses on providing a single energy-saving measure per household.
  • A home assessment is conducted to determine the most impactful measure, which may or may not be loft insulation.
  • You can find out more and apply through the official UK government website.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO4)
  • Takes a more comprehensive approach, offering various energy-efficiency upgrades, including loft insulation, boiler replacements, and repairs.
  • Energy companies are obligated to reach specific targets for assisting qualifying households.
  • Contact your energy provider directly for eligibility details and the application process.

In any case, make sure to contact your local council or energy supplier for the most up-to-date information and specific eligibility requirements per property. You can also explore other government initiatives like the Warm Home Discount Scheme which can provide additional low-tier financial assistance with your energy bills.

Which scheme should you apply for?

Navigating the world of grant schemes can be confusing. This section will help guide your decision between the two main grant scheme options available to you.

Firstly, it’s important to understand the differences between the options presented to you. Both the Great British Insulation Scheme and the ECO4 offer insulation measures to improve your home's energy efficiency, but they differ in key areas:

  • Scope: GBIS focuses on one insulation measure per eligible household. ECO4 takes a whole-house approach, potentially offering multiple upgrades to maximize efficiency.
  • Responsibility: GBIS is a government-run scheme. ECO4 is managed by energy companies, who are obligated to meet specific energy-saving targets.
  • Services: GBIS is limited to insulation upgrades. ECO4 offers a wider range of services, including heating system repairs, replacements, and smart controls.

When making a choice based on these factors, make sure to ask yourself these questions to guide you to what you need:

  • Do you need a single insulation upgrade or a more comprehensive approach?
  • Are you comfortable working with the government, or would you prefer to deal directly with your energy provider?
  • What specific upgrades are you interested in (insulation vs. heating systems or controls)?

Even if you don't meet the standard eligibility criteria, you might still qualify for either scheme if you're a pensioner (over 70) and fall within a low-income bracket.

Remember, it's always a good idea to contact your energy provider for personalised advice on which scheme best suits your needs.

How can you apply for free loft insulation?

You can apply for free loft insulation in the UK in a few simple steps. Here's a breakdown of how to begin your application, what you would need, and how to secure free loft insulation:

  • Step 1: Choose your scheme and check eligibility

    Before applying, it’s best to see which scheme you like, and what qualifications you require. For the Great British Insulation Scheme, you can use their online tool on the UK government website to assess your eligibility based on factors like income, benefits, and property details (EPC rating and council tax bands).

    If eligible for the GBIS, you can proceed with an online application. You'll need your total household income, details of any benefits received by residents, and contact information for your energy supplier to reach you.

    If not eligible for the GBIS, you should contact your current energy supplier directly. They might offer free loft insulation under the ECO4 scheme. They'll typically assess your property to determine suitability and handle the installation process if you do qualify.

    • Step 2: Application

      There's no official deadline for either scheme, but both GBIS and ECO4 run until March 2026. Applying sooner ensures you benefit from the program before it ends.

      Both schemes require your loft to have no insulation or place, or minimal previous insulation (less than 100mm thickness) to qualify. 

      For social housing tenants, it’s worth contacting your council or housing association as they might have separate insulation problems that are not publicly available.

      Get quotes from government-approved loft insulation installers

      gov-approved-pros

      Investing in loft insulation is a smart way to boost your home's energy efficiency and comfort, whilst saving money on your heating bills. Whilst easier said than done, ensuring a proper installation is key to an effective job. 

      Here's why getting quotes from government-approved loft insulation installers is your best bet:

      • Quality workmanship: Government-approved installers meet rigorous standards. They're certified under PAS 2030-2035, a program ensuring they follow quality practices and deliver the best insulation for loft purposes. This results in a well-insulated loft, free from draught and leaks, giving you a comfortable and energy-efficient home.
      • Avoid costly repairs: A shoddy installation can be a nightmare. Uneven insulation, improper ventilation, or damage to your loft space can lead to a constant cycle of repairs and higher energy bills. A government-approved installer minimises these risks.
      • Grant eligibility: If you qualify for a government grant to help cover the cost of loft insulation, using an approved installer is mandatory. These grants can significantly reduce your upfront costs, making loft insulation even more affordable.
      • Streamlined search process: Finding a reliable installer can be time-consuming. Government-approved installers are pre-vetted, saving you the hassle of researching and comparing companies.

      While the benefits speak for themselves, navigating the endless sea of installers on the market can be a daunting task. Many prospective customers can find themselves stuck surfing endless websites and arranging countless phone calls to land the right installer for the job. Household Quotes UK can simplify this search process for you.

      Simply fill out our quick 30-second form, and we can connect you with up to 3 free loft insulation quotes from our network of trusted local installers. Zero hassle, costs, or obligations to follow through. Click below to begin and land the best bargain for your home!

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      • Get free quotes
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