Householders urged to take up free opportunity to cut energy costs
Householders in Buckinghamshire who are on low incomes and whose homes have a poor energy performance rating, are being urged to take up an offer of free funding to make improvements to their homes which could save them money on their energy bills, but time is running out to apply.
The grants, which are funded by central government, are available to both homeowners and private renters who meet the eligibility criteria. The funding is available for a range of property types including those not connected to the gas grid which are currently using an alternative energy supply such as oil.
To qualify for a grant, homes should have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rated E, F or G (a D rating may be eligible in some circumstances). Households should also have an annual income of no more than £30,000 or be on means-tested benefits. Those who have an annual income of under £20,000 after housing costs are taken out are also eligible. Allowances are made for the number of children in the household and also for those who have recently lost income.
Types of improvements include:
- Insulation and ventilation
- An upgrade to a low carbon heating system such as an air source heat pump
- Heating controls
- Energy efficient hot water solutions
- Energy efficient lighting
For owner occupiers, the work will be carried out for free. For rental properties (whether private or social), the landlord will be expected to pay at least one third of the cost towards the work.
Residents are asked to visit: www.buckinghamshire-applications.co.uk for more information and to complete the online application form. The deadline to apply is 31 December 2022 and there is limited funding available, so householders are urged to act quickly. The scheme is being managed locally by partners City Energy, who will process all applications and liaise with householders to work out the best options available for their property.
Gareth Williams, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment explained: “These grants provide an incredible opportunity for people who are likely to be really struggling with the rising energy costs we are all facing. It gives them the power to be able to do something about potentially reducing their bills and the best part is, it won’t cost them a penny.”
Gareth continued: “By improving the energy efficiency of our homes we are also playing an important part in addressing climate change by reducing our carbon emissions. Simple actions like this help us work towards our target of net zero carbon for Buckinghamshire by 2050 which will have positive impacts for all of us now and for our future generations.”
Anyone worried about their energy bills can access free advice and information via the Big Energy Saving campaign being run jointly by Citizen’s Advice and the Energy Saving Trust. It includes ideas on how to save energy at home: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/energy-at-home
Bucks residents struggling to pay bills or afford food and essential goods can also apply for grants via the council’s Helping Hand team. Visit: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/cost-of-living/contact-helping-hand
For more information on what Buckinghamshire Council is doing to help tackle climate change visit www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/climatechange