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Help & Info: “Warm Up This Winter”

Posted: 31.10.18

Winter is almost upon us, and with it comes chillier weather and higher costs to keep warm. Making little home improvements can lead to savings on your fuel bills in the long-run, and in many circumstances families can qualify for financial help to make improvements…

…if you live in council housing or rent from a housing association, contact your landlord to find out more about saving energy. If you live in private accommodation or own your own property, there are schemes in place that help with the costs of improvements. Criteria will vary according to which part of the UK you live in. Here are some schemes which may be able to lend a helping hand, and remember – NPUK are with you every step of the way:

The Green Deal Scheme: This scheme is available in England, Scotland, and Wales and allows you to make energy efficient improvements to your home with no upfront costs. The costs are then recovered through instalment charges on your subsequent electricity bill.

The Energy Company Obligation Scheme (ECO): Some larger energy suppliers will provide certain homes with energy efficiency
measures such as double-glazing and insulation for no, or very low, cost. This includes insulation in ‘hard to treat’ homes.
Big name providers with ECO obligations include British Gas, Scottish Power, EDF, E.ON, and First Utility. Call the Energy Savings Advice Service or contact your energy supplier to find out what improvements they may be willing to make under the scheme.

Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS): Strictly set up for Scottish families, this scheme is a fantastic lifeline as it can provide a whole package of different services, from money saving initiatives to funding for insulating your home this winter. Simply call the Home Energy Scotland helpline on 0808 808 2282 to find out what support you’re eligible for. Despite the HEEPS scheme being primarily for Scottish families and individuals, anyone can get free expert energy advice on the helpline.

The Affordable Warmth Grant Scheme in Northern Ireland: This scheme provides those households which are eligible with energy
efficiency improvements. You may be entitled to the scheme if you are an owner, occupier, or a householder of a privately rented property and your gross annual household income is less than £20,000. Certain benefits are included in the income assessment, but
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for dependent children are not. Available improvement measures for this scheme include heating systems, insulation installation, and window replacements. Unfortunately this scheme is only available in areas of Northern Ireland being targeted by the local council – those areas considered to be in greatest need of energy efficiency will be contacted first. To find out more, visit the NI Direct webpage, or call 0300 200 7874.

The NEST Scheme, Wales: Open to all residents of Wales, the scheme aims to reduce the number of households struggling
to keep their homes warm and cope with high energy bills. The aim is to help to make people’s homes warmer and more fuel
efficient, which also improves many other aspects of their lives by offering householders a range of free, impartial advice and support to help them reduce their energy bills. If you are struggling with your energy bills then you too could benefit. Call freephone 0808 808
2244 to see what help NEST can offer you.

Council Schemes: Local councils have powers to help ‘vulnerable’ groups, such as those families affected by disabilities, with repairs and improvements to the home. Check to see if you qualify by contacting your local authority housing department.

Senior Families Advocate Elizabeth Davenport is always available to discuss these schemes by email at or by telephone on: 07896197576. Information provided courtesy of