Home Energy help for residents
We have teamed up with Qwest Services and Octopus Energy to launch a new local energy offer for residents living in the Cheshire West Region and beyond.
The scheme, known as Qwest Energy, offers a full range of competitive tariffs to suit prepayment meter, standard meters and smart meter households. In addition to no exit fees, all electricity is 100% renewable as standard and profits are re-invested back into local communities through the Community Fund.
Residents are encouraged to see if they can make a saving on their energy bill by getting a quote from Qwest Energy. Simply visit the Qwest Energy website and have to hand details of your current supplier, your tariff name and your annual consumption figures in kWh.
Green homes grant - voucher scheme
The green homes grant voucher scheme opened on 30 September 2020. Homeowners and landlords in England can now apply for a voucher towards the cost of installing energy efficiency measures and low-carbon heating improvements.
The vouchers will cover the cost of two-thirds of eligible measures. The maximum value of the voucher is £5,000. Homeowners in receipt of qualifying benefits may be eligible to receive a higher level of subsidy (£10,000), covering the total cost of the measures. All vouchers must be redeemed by 31 March 2021.
More information can be found on the Gov.UK website or the Simple Energy Advice website.
Warm Homes Fund - First Time Central Heating Systems
We have recently received Warm Homes Funding to provide first-time gas central heating systems in eligible urban homes.
To be eligible for the scheme residents must meet both criteria below:
- receive benefits including Warm Home Discount, Attendance Allowance, Carer's Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), Income Support, Universal Credit and more.
- qualify under our ECO Flex - Statement Of Intent, which includes those who have low household income and high energy costs or who’s health is affected by living in a cold home. (A low household income for a home with children is set at £26,000 after tax or less. Low household income for a home with no children is set at £20,000 after tax or less, with savings of less than £8,000 in both instances)
- residents who live certain areas of Cheshire West including parts of: Winsford, Ellesmere Port, Blacon and Lache.
Homes are eligible if they:
- are in an urban area and near to a gas main
- are not using mains gas as the primary heating fuel
- have no central heating system in place, use solid material to heat the home, have storage heaters or single-point room heaters.
- current heating is broken, not cost worthy to fix or inefficient.
The work is available free of charge to eligible home owners and private rented tenants. Landlords of privately-rented properties with an eligible tenant will need to pay £1,000 towards the costs of the works.
This project is being delivered by Broad Oak Properties Ltd. Residents who meet the eligibility criteria above should contact Broad Oak Properties Ltd directly on 01782 550371.
Warm Homes Fund - Green Doctor Energy Efficiency Advisory Service
The Council is working with environmental charity Groundwork to offer free home visits to vulnerable residents across the borough.
Green Doctors can help residents with everything from switching energy supplier to a more affordable tariff, applying for grants to write off existing fuel debt, helping residents understand how to use existing systems and referring on to other programmes that fund insulation measures and boilers. The service also provides small measures such as draught-proofing, reflective radiator panels, LED light bulbs, pipe lagging, hot water tank jackets, water saving devices and more.
To be eligible for a Green Doctor home visit residents must either own their home or rent off a private landlord, and be able to tick one of the following:
- in receipt of an income or disability related benefit
- on a low income (£26,000 or less after tax, per annum)
- living with a long term health condition
- have a disability that is affected by the cold
- live in one of the more deprived areas of the borough including parts of: Winsford, Ellesmere Port, Blacon and Lache.
For more information on the Green Doctor scheme call 0808 168 3547 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Energy Conservation Act
The Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) requires local authorities to publish a report on what action it is taking to improve the energy efficiency of the housing stock in the local authority area.
This is the starting point for action by central and local government to significantly improve the energy efficiency of residential accommodation across the country, a legal requirement under the Climate Change Act 2008 and a key strategy for reducing fuel poverty.
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s HECA report details opportunities in the Borough for energy efficiency improvements in residential accommodation and sets out our ambition in this area.
The report will be updated every two years.
Eco flexible eligibility
Recent changes to the Energy Company Obligation enables obligated energy companies to achieve up to 25% of their Affordable Warmth targets in conjunction with local authorities via a new mechanism called Eco Flexible Eligibility.
Cheshire West and Chester Council intends to take part in Eco Flexible Eligibility. You can find all the guidance for Agents/Installers and guidance for householders on our website.
Home safety grants
Available to home owners to carry out urgent repairs where there is a serious risk of harm to the occupier. The grant is only available where no other grant funding or financial assistance is available. Applicants are subject to the following eligibility criteria:
- Applicant has an owner’s interest in the property
- Category one hazards present (bands A and B)
- Maximum £5,000 subject to means testing
- Grant must be repaid if applicant moves within five years
For further information please contact the Private Sector Housing Team.
Home assistance hub
This service is provided across the Cheshire West and Chester area with the aim of supporting people with continued independence in their home. The Home Assistance Hub supports older people, people with disabilities or those on low incomes to repair, improve or adapt their homes.
For more information:
Park Homes Warm Home Discount Scheme
The Park Homes, Warm Homes Discount Scheme gives eligible park home residents, who are billed for their electricity via their park site owner, a rebate towards their fuel bills. The scheme has now closed for this winter (2018-19). It is anticipated that it will reopen in the autumn for applications for winter 2019-20. To register visit the Park Homes website.
National advice and guidance
Energy Saving Trust
Offers free and impartial advice on how to save energy in your home on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
Helping consumers with energy
Explains what support is available for consumers and where they can go for help on energy. The guide can also help consumers get the best energy deal and information on how to save money this winter.
The Government is committed to offering all households a smart meter by 2020. Smart meters are the next generation of gas and electric meters which will help households save energy and money, and bring an end to estimated bills. For more information on the benefits and how you can get one, visit the smart energy website.
Warm Homes discount scheme
Depending upon individual circumstances you could get £140 discount on your electricity bill for winter 2016 / 2017.
Due to recent changes in Government policy Green Deal funding is no longer available. There is no replacement programme in place at present though Government is looking to work with the building industry and consumer groups to develop a new value-for-money approach.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
Works alongside the Green Deal, to provide support to householders who cannot achieve significant energy savings without an additional support. The funding will come from energy companies to provide financial support to vulnerable and low-income households and to those living in harder to treat properties, such as those with solid walls.
Winter fuel payment
A payment of £100 - £300 tax-free to help pay your heating bills if you were born on or before 5 January 1952 for eligible people.
Cold weather payment
Eligibility criteria apply. Payments are made when your local temperature is either recorded as, or forecast to be, an average of zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days. You’ll get a payment of £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.
Renewable heat incentive
This scheme which opened in the spring of 2014 for domestic properties provides financial incentives to home owners who use and generate renewable energy to heat their homes. Eligible renewable heating systems include; air source heat pumps, biomass systems, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal technology.