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Funding for energy efficiency in homes

This advice applies to Scotland

Coronavirus - if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills 

Tell your supplier if you can’t afford your bills because of coronavirus. You’ll find their contact details on your bill or on their website. 

You can get help from Home Energy Scotland. Find guidance and contact details on the Home Energy Scotland website

Insulating your home and installing renewable measures can make your home warmer, use less electricity and make your bills cheaper. 

Check what energy efficiency improvements you need 

You should contact Home Energy Scotland for a free assessment. 

Home Energy Scotland
Tel: 0808 808 2282 (Monday to Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-5pm)
Contact Form: www.homeenergyscotland.org/contact-advice-support-funding
Website: www.homeenergyscotland.org

There's also extra support if you need it from the Energycarers team, for example if someone in your household is disabled. 

Home Energy Scotland might suggest improvements like:

  • insulation - cavity wall insulation, external wall cladding, or loft insulation
  • an efficient boiler - this can make your home warmer and lower your bills
  • a smart meter - this can help you see your energy usage and make changes
  • double glazing 
  • LED lighting

Once your home is well insulated you might be able to install renewable energy measures like:

  • solar panels or a wind turbine – to generate electricity
  • air source or ground source heat pumps – these need some outside space and electricity to run. They renew the heat they extract from the ground or air. 

If you generate more electricity than you need, you can sell it through the Smart Export Guarantee

If you're a landlord

There are minimum efficiency standards for homes in the private rental sector. Find out more about your responsibilities as a landlord on the Home Energy Scotland website

Getting help to pay for energy efficiency improvements

There are grants and loans from the Scottish and UK Governments, local authorities and energy suppliers, depending on your situation. 

Use the Funding Finder Tool on the Home Energy Scotland website to find financial help. 

If you want to pay for community energy improvements

You might be able to come together to organise ways of getting energy to your homes. 

Local Energy Scotland can offer advice and funding for local energy projects such as biomass, wind, or solar power. They can help with planning, development, funding applications, and starting projects. Find out more on the Local Energy Scotland website.

Climate Challenge Fund grants

The Climate Challenge Fund gives grants to communities in Scotland to help them cut carbon emissions in their community. You may be eligible for funding for energy measures as part of a community initiative or they may be able to offer support and training.

The Climate Challenge Fund is run by Keep Scotland Beautiful. Find out more on the Keep Scotland Beautiful website.

Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES)

CARES is managed by Local Energy Scotland. There is information about their services and funding streams on the Local Energy Scotland website.

Oil buying clubs 

If you use oil to heat your home, think about forming an oil buying club. It might be cheaper to buy oil in larger amounts. Members of a club place an order with a coordinator who negotiates a price and passes on savings to the bill payer.

Green Deal Loans

A Green Deal loan is a way to borrow money to pay for energy-saving home improvements. 

Green Deal loans were available from the UK Government scheme from 2013 to 2015. From 2017, it is only offered through a private company. 

Green Deal loans are paid back with interest, by instalments through your electricity bill. It can take 10-25 years to repay the loan. The loan remains with the electricity supply. This means if you want to sell your property the new owner or tenant will be responsible for the repayments.

The Green Deal is a consumer credit agreement with the Green Deal provider. You are borrowing money under credit.

Find more information on Green Deal funding for energy efficient home improvements.

Getting paid for installing energy improvements or generating electricity 

The UK and Scottish Governments sometimes offer incentives to households who reduce energy or create their own renewable energy. The schemes may be open for limited periods of time and you usually need to apply.

The Smart Export Guarantee

You can apply to get paid for the electricity you generate and export back to the National Grid. Check your energy supplier's website for information on how to apply. 

The Feed-in Tariff

The Feed-in Tariff is a UK Government scheme to encourage people to install energy generation measures, such as solar panels or wind turbines.

The Feed-in Tariff is now closed for new applications. Check Home Energy Scotland for other financial incentives.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme

This is a UK Government scheme for householders, communities and businesses (including landlords) who install or have already installed renewable heating. You can get quarterly payments over 7 years. 

Find out more about the information on the Energy Saving trust website about the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

Choosing an installer

Once you know what energy improvements you need, you should get a few quotes from different installers. Find out more about how to find a trustworthy trader.

If a salesperson asks you to sign something you should:

  • take time to read through the document in full - not just the first or last page. If you need more time to read it, ask them to wait or come back later
  • take a copy of anything you sign - if the sales person isn’t willing to give you a copy, don’t sign it
  • watch out for high-pressure selling – if a salesperson says things like This deal is only available today" or "You’ll lose out if you don’t sign now” or “I can’t leave your house unless you sign”. This is a criminal offence. Call the police if they won't leave your house unless you sign something.

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