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Home Insulation – GBIS Covers Cost of Materials

The GBIS, or Great British Insulation Scheme, is the successor/replacement for the incumbent ECO scheme. This government scheme is designed with the homeowner in mind. Perhaps you have considered solid wall insulation, but the cost seems high. However, it’s crucial to consider the fantastic benefits, like savings and thermal comfort. Did you know that there’s never been a better time to invest in your home insulation? Through our partnerships and the EWI Pro Approved Installer network, the improvements come with zero VAT. Moreover, by utilising our partner’s network, you are eligible for the GBIS. The GBIS covers the cost of materials for a significant portion of solid wall insulation measures. It is also applicable to other forms of energy efficiency improvement.

What is the GBIS?

The Great British Insulation Scheme is a UK government initiative to improve homes’ energy efficiency across the country. This scheme is designed to help households reduce their energy consumption and lower their energy bills by supporting home insulation improvements. The GBIS also addresses critical areas linked to energy efficiency, economic support, and environmental impact.

Improving the insulation of homes makes them more energy efficient. By retaining more heat during the winter and keeping homes cooler in the summer, heating demand is lower. With lower heating demand comes savings on energy bills. You will need to put the heating on much later and keep it on for shorter periods. Adding insulation, particularly solid wall insulation, increases thermal mass, which allows the storage of heat.

The GBIS also focuses on tackling fuel poverty, lowering the burden of energy bills on budgets. Properly insulated homes also provide health benefits. Many older homes in the UK, particularly those built before the 1920s, suffer damp problems. Cold and damp conditions reduce air quality and affect health and well-being.

The scheme reduces carbon emissions by decreasing households’ overall energy consumption. This aligns with the UK’s commitment to combat climate change and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Who is eligible for the GBIS?

The GBIS eligibility criteria are designed to target households that will benefit the most from improved energy efficiency. The scheme primarily targets low-income households. Specific income thresholds are set to determine eligibility, prioritising those on the lowest incomes. Households receiving certain means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit, Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Pension Credit, are often eligible for assistance under the scheme.

Properties with a low EPC rating are prioritised, indicating poor energy efficiency. Typically, homes with an EPC rating of D, E, F, or G are targeted for improvements that are difficult to heat due to their construction type, such as solid walls or older properties without cavity walls, which are given special consideration. The EPC rating criteria are particularly crucial to examine. The UK’s housing stock is notoriously leaky and old:

In contrast, only 3% of existing dwellings in England and Wales had a rating in band B. Most existing dwellings were in band C and band D; 35% in band C, and 44% in band D in England […] Looking at age of property for individual EPC bands, dwellings built before 1930 were most commonly rated in band D in both England (51%) and Wales (48%) (Figure 9). Over 80% of all dwellings in England and Wales built before 1930 were rated in bands D to G. (Energy efficiency of housing in England and Wales: 2023, Office for National Statistics)

Individual EPC bands by age of property band, England and Wales, up to March 2023
Source: Energy Performance Certificate data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on Open Data Communities, and Property Attributes data from the Valuation Office Agency (accessed at ONS)

It’s a startling statistic and indicates insufficient propagation and uptake for schemes such as the GBIS. With around 44% of existing UK dwellings eligible for schemes such as the GBIS, there is no reason not to inquire. Thankfully, you can inquire directly with us or our partners at EWI Pro.

EWI Store and how GBIS covers the cost of materials

The Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) provides substantial financial support for homeowners seeking to improve the energy efficiency of their homes through solid wall insulation. This section outlines how the scheme covers the cost of materials, offers zero VAT on these materials, and the benefits of using EWI Pro Approved Installers.

Covering cost of materials

The GBIS is designed to alleviate the financial burden of insulating solid walls by covering the cost of materials for eligible households. This means that, for many applicants, the scheme funds the expense of purchasing insulation materials, making it an affordable solution for improving home energy efficiency.

Zero VAT on insulation materials

Under the GBIS, insulation materials benefit from a zero VAT rating. This tax relief significantly reduces the overall cost, making it even more economical for homeowners to undertake energy efficiency improvements. By removing the VAT, the government encourages more households to participate in the scheme, promoting wider adoption of energy-saving measures. The initiative was implemented in April 2022, with the previous tax rate for energy efficiency measures being 5%.

Cost coverage for Ability-to-Pay Customers

For customers who meet the scheme’s ability-to-pay criteria, the GBIS essentially covers the cost of the insulation materials. This provision ensures that financial constraints do not prevent eligible households from accessing the benefits of improved insulation. By covering the cost, the scheme also supports families in making their homes warmer and more energy-efficient without worrying about upfront expenses.

Benefits of using EWI Pro Approved Installers

Homeowners opting for an EWI Pro Approved Installer can benefit from the GBIS. These installers are certified to meet high standards of quality and reliability, ensuring that the insulation work is done correctly and effectively. Choosing an EWI Pro Approved Installer guarantees a professional installation and ensures eligibility for the GBIS, which can cover the cost of materials.

Installation partners offering Solid Wall Insulation through GBIS

Several installation partners associated with the EWI Store offer solid wall insulation services through the GBIS. These partners are experienced and certified to deliver high-quality insulation solutions, ensuring homeowners receive the best possible service. By working with approved installers, customers can be confident that their insulation projects will be completed to the highest standards, maximising the energy efficiency benefits.

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