Extra support for upgrading homes
The government has announced plans for a new scheme to help householders reduce their energy bills through loft and cavity wall insulation, as well as smart heating controls.
The move is part of wider action this across energy policy to help the UK meet its ambition of becoming energy independent.
The new ECO+ scheme will extend support to those who do not currently benefit from any other government support to upgrade their homes.
Joining the existing £6.6 billion Help to Heat energy schemes, this new £1 billion funding aims to ensure hundreds of thousands more households benefit from new home insulation and, with that, lower bills.
A new £18 million public information campaign will also offer technical tips and advice for people to cut their energy use, while also keeping warm this winter.
Of the £1 billion funding available through the new ECO+ scheme, around 80 per cent of the will be made available for those households who are in some of the least energy-efficient homes in the country – that is, those with an EPC rating of D or below – and in the lower council tax bands.
This will benefit those households who do not currently benefit from any other government support to upgrade their homes.
Around a fifth of the fund will also be targeted to those who are the most vulnerable, including those on means tested benefits or in fuel poverty.
Sam Rees, senior public affairs officer at Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), says: “RICS has called for a more targeted approach towards energy efficiency funding for several years.
“This announcement is timely, and we welcome the government’s support for residential retrofitting.
“Our research found that due to the cost-of-living crisis, consumers are more cautious about spending money on retrofitting and other measures to improve energy efficiency and save money in the long term.
“Funding in this space should help ease these financial concerns and get this crucial aspect of the net zero agenda back on track.”
He adds: “Due to current geopolitical events, energy security is also at the forefront of concerns, and greater energy efficiency helps secure the UK’s energy infrastructure.
“We look forward to engaging with the specifics of the scheme once fully revealed next week.”