Housing and energy grants are valuable ways to improve your home. You can reduce your energy bills and make improvements without emptying your bank account. If you’re a homeowner, you might get non-repayable grants that you’re not even aware of.
Who are housing and energy grants for?
A majority of housing and energy grants are available for elderly people, those with disabilities and those with low incomes. Occasionally, grants are available for a specific purpose and become available to a wider range of people.
How are grants provided?
You might receive your grant as a cash lump sum, or a top-up added to your usual benefits payment. Or, you might get a voucher that you can put towards your refurbishment or home improvement project.
Who can you get grants from?
Some grants become available by the government and others by local authorities. Some energy suppliers also offer their own energy grants.
Energy suppliers often offer grants for new boilers. Once your new boiler arrives, it’ll save you money by reducing your energy bills. Cavity wall insulation costs might also apply. The Energy Saving Trust can provide information about the grants that are available. And also offered to follow the Energy Company Obligations scheme. You can also check with your current energy provider, by visiting their website. There you can see what eligibility requirements they have. Or, find out what you might receive by using the GOV.UK energy grants calculator.
Your local Home Improvement Agency (HIA) might be able to provide a grant for home repair and improvements or adaptations. You can also use the Turn2us website to search for grants that might help with the costs of purchasing new furniture. As well as decorating your property.
Your local authority might have a fund available for emergencies, but these will vary from place to place. So will Home Improvement Renovation Grants, which are also available from the council. You can also apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant, if you need to adapt your home.
What other grants are available?
The Winter Fuel Payment is available for older people, and is a tax-free payment of up to £300 which is usually delivered towards the start of winter. It helps to reduce the impact of heating the home through the winter months. This is when higher bills can lead some older people to worry. The Winter Fuel Payment is one that you might not need to apply for. It’s automatically provided to state pension recipients. But you can file a claim if you don’t automatically receive it.
If temperatures drop to 0°C or below, for a week or more, then an extra grant is available on top of the Winter Fuel Payment. This is the Cold Weather Payment – an extra £25 per week. Some energy providers also offer a Warm Home Discount for vulnerable customers. And grants to help people to pay off their debts if they’re in arrears.
Finding out what you’re entitled to will need you to visit a few different websites. Websites including your current energy provider’s website and the GOV.UK site. You’ll also want to contact your local council/local authority, to see what’s available.
All housing and energy grants will have strict eligibility criteria. Yet as you find out what’s available you should also begin to see what you might be able to apply for. Therefore don’t automatically assume that you’re not entitled to anything. And remember that in emergencies a short term loan might cover your costs until your grant goes into your bank account.