LOW-INCOME households are being urged to make use of "free money" to make their homes energy efficient and hep reduce their heating bills.
MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis has highlighted how households on benefits such as Universal Credit and Pension Credit can save money on their energy bills by insulating their homes.
Energy bills are rising amid soaring wholesale gas prices.
That is impacting the choice and cost of gas and electricity deals, with few managing to beat the energy price cap.
There are barely any decent deals to switch to that can save you money on your energy bills.
But Mr Lewis said there are other ways to cut down on your energy usage and therefore reduce your costs.
Speaking on The Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV last night, he suggested some homeowners may be eligible for free loft and cavity wall insulation worth up to £1,000.
Mr Lewis was referring to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) that large suppliers must follow to help low income households afford to make their homes energy efficient.
Under the scheme, suppliers with more than 150,000 customers are required to offer energy efficient home improvements to low-income households.
It is only available to people who get certain benefits and have an income of under £16,190.
Unlike applying for a smart meter, you don't have to be a customer of the energy supplier to get these grants.
Mr Lewis said: "For those on certain benefits such as Universal Credit and Pension Credit, you may be eligible for up to £1,000 of loft and cavity wall insulation.
It is generally a good thing but you do hear some horror stories where the insulation is fitted wrongly so make sure you check and get a proper assessment.
Which suppliers offer ECO grants for loft and cavity wall insulation?
The ECO scheme launched in 2013.
Under the scheme, medium and larger energy suppliers fund the installation of energy efficiency measures in British households.
Each supplier has an overall target based on its share of the domestic energy market in Britain.
They work with installers to introduce certain efficiency measures into your home, such as loft or wall insulation.
Who can get free insulation?
The grants are aimed at low-income househdolds who can't afford to make these cahnges themselves.
You can usually get support if you receive the warm home discount or any of the below benefits:
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer's Allowance
- Child Benefit (on the condition that the household’s relevant income does not exceed the amount set out in Chapter 3 of our scheme guidance)
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Pension Guarantee Credit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
- Income Support
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Mobility Supplement
- Personal Independence Payment
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Tax Credits (Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits)
- Universal Credit
How to apply for free loft and cavity wall insulation
You must own your own home or have the permission of your landlord, including if your property is owned by a social housing provider or management company to get these grants.
There is no requirement to be a customer of one of the suppliers but you will have to pass their assessment.
You need to contact the suppleir directly to apply.
The current ECO grant suppliers include British Gas, Octopus and Scottish Power.
You can see the full list and how to contact the suppliers on the Ofgem website.
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