You may have had a neighbour tell you that they got a grant for their EWI, but how? In this blog we are going to take a look at some of the funding possibilities and see if you could get a contribution towards the costs of your EWI.
The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund
Many people got their EWI installed a year or two ago under the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund. Unfortunately this grant is no longer available, so you won’t be able to take advantage of it. The grant was very generous giving around two thirds of the cost of the works, but there are some other possible avenues of funding available.
What funding is available now?
Whilst the Green Deal has been shelved, there are several avenues you can try to get funding. Firstly, some local councils have pots of funding available for this kind of work, so it is always worth checking to see if you might be eligible for any scheme they are running. This might be a bit of a long shot however, so failing that your best chance is to get some ECO funding.
What is ECO funding?
ECO, or the Energy Company Obligation, is a government scheme that requires energy companies to contribute towards energy efficiency improvements. This is not limited to solid wall insulation, you can also get funding for cavity walls and loft insulation, and some other measures. How does it work?
ECO is split into a couple of funding streams. There is funding for those on limited incomes and in certain groups such as low income pensioners, those on disability benefit and a host of other benefits. You can find information on the qualifying groups here.
If you are not in one of these groups, there is another income stream which varies based on the carbon savings that EWI would make on your property. This is not income restricted and is simply based on the EPC survey carried out on the property. Whichever funding stream you go for, the amount you get will be limited. Unfortunately external wall insulation is not cheap, and the funding is not going to cover the cost of the job. The actual amount you will get varies depending on your home, but in most cases you’ll be looking at around 10% off your final bill.
This means that ECO will only pay for a fraction of the job. There are quite a few administrative hurdles to jump through on the installer’s part, and you will have to fill out quite a few forms. Many installers decide that this simply isn’t worth the effort and don’t offer ECO, instead offering better prices for those who pay privately, or offer alternative financing options.
Finance as an alternative
With interest rates low, there are some really good personal loans available that can help cover the cost of EWI projects. The rates are often very reasonable and set up fees are low. If you can’t afford the upfront payment, then this may be a possible alternative. Of course, you need to check out exactly what you will be repaying and ensure it is affordable for you. Installers will often use third party funding organisations to avoid having to become FCA accredited, so just be aware of what you are getting yourself into.
Get great value instead of a grant
With grant funding so limited, and ECO funding often less than the premium that an installer will stick on top of the job, it might be worth getting a better price privately instead of trying to find a grant. You may wish to buy the materials for the job yourself directly from us, and then get a local tradesman to do the work. This is often quite a bit cheaper than going to an installation company, but you should make sure the installer is competent and you are happy that they are going to carry out the work satisfactorily. We recommend any installer be carded with the system in question before they do the work – something we can help organise for you.
Whatever route you choose, EWI will not to be cheap. What we can guarantee is that when EWI is carried out to a good standard, your property will feel much warmer and have much lower bills for years to come.
For recommended installers, give us a call or visit our partner TheGreenAge’s local installer map.