Home Energy help for residents
Green Homes Grant Scheme
The Government is running a number of energy efficiency improvement schemes over the next few years for eligible homeowners and private tenants. The aims of the schemes are to improve the energy efficiency of some of the country’s least efficient homes, helping to reduce costly energy bills, whilst also lowering energy use and associated carbon emissions.
We have funding available for a variety of energy efficient measures from wall, loft and under-floor insulation, to low-carbon heating such as air source heat pumps and solar panels. However, the funding does not cover fossil fuels and therefore we are not able to offer gas, LPG or oil heating systems.
Further information about the national and regional Green Homes Grant Programme can be found on the North West Local Energy Hub website.
How to apply
We are currently accepting applications from residents who meet both the following eligibility criteria set by Government:
- annual combined household income of £30,000 (gross) or less, includes households in receipt of qualifying welfare benefits
- your property must be classed as inefficient and have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E, F or G, there is though, some limited funding for D rated properties
If you aren’t sure what your property’s EPC rating is, you can check using the Energy Performance Register. If your property does not have an EPC, and your household meets the income threshold, we can carry-out an assessment to see if your house is eligible.
Before applying, you will need to ensure that you can provide proof of your household income, including benefits e.g. monthly pay slips, benefit letters, pension statements etc.
Apply for a Green Homes Grant
What happens next?
Once your application form has been received, we will begin to check it against the eligibility criteria set by the Government. Once we have established your eligibility, we will contact you to arrange for a survey of your property to identify which energy efficiency measures are most suited to your property.
The scheme will operate on a first-come, first-served basis, and all measures offered will be fully funded, with no contribution required from residents.
Can private rented properties apply?
Private rental properties with an eligible tenant are also able to apply. The tenant needs to apply, but must have their landlord's permission. There is no cost to the tenant for any energy efficiency measures installed, but the landlord is required to contribute one third of the cost, with two thirds (to a maximum of £5,000), being provided by the grant. For example, if the total cost of measures is £7,500, the landlord will be required to pay £2,500, with £5,000 available from the grant fund.
Warm Homes Fund - Green Doctor Energy Efficiency Advisory Service
We are 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, 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 0330 1740 863 or email: greendoctor.CLM@groundwork.org.uk
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.