UK government to introduce grants to make homes more energy efficient

Three-year scheme to provide up to £15,000 for middle-income households will start in April 2023

The business secretary, Grant Shapps, will announce a plan next week to offer grants of up to £15,000 to middle-income households to make homes more energy efficient, according to reports.

The scheme, called “eco plus”, will run from April and target middle-earners to enable them to fund work on their homes such as installing cavity-wall insulation or smart heating controls.

The government has set aside £1bn for the initiative that will target people in council tax bands A to D, according to the Times.

The intention is to target 70,000 homes over three years, covering 75% of the cost of any energy efficiency upgrades to people’s homes.

The push to encourage people to install upgrades in their homes is intended to drive significant cost savings at a time when oil and gas prices have surged as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The UK’s housing stock is the oldest and the least energy efficient in Europe, and the government has been forced to intervene in the market to shield people from skyrocketing energy bills.

Installing loft insulation costs between £455 and £640, depending on the type of property, and can save a household between £330 and £590 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust (EST).

Cavity-wall insulation costs between £580 and £1,800, and can save between £235 and £690 a year.

The funding will be administered by energy suppliers, unlike the green homes grant scheme that was axed last year and which offered £5,000 or £10,000 to install insulation or low-carbon heating.

The scheme is part of a wider ambition that the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, announced in the autumn statement to reduce energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030.

“Reducing demand by this much means, in today’s prices, a £28bn saving from our national energy bill or £450 off the average household bill,” he said.

The government is expected to approve a £25m social media and advertising campaign before Christmas on how households can cut their winter energy usage.

The advice will include a number of tips, such as turning off radiators in empty rooms, reducing the temperature of the boiler and taking showers rather than baths.

The levelling up secretary, Michael Gove, said the advice would not be “nannying” but would point people towards “authoritative sources of advice” on managing energy usage.

A previous attempt to introduce a public information campaign on energy-saving measures was reportedly blocked by Liz Truss’s administration.

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