1. The Warm Homes Fund
National Grid and Community Interest Company, Affordable Warmth Solution (AWS) have launched a £150m Warm Homes Fund (WHF) designed to support local authorities, to address some of the issues affecting fuel poor households. The Suffolk Councils have been successful in gaining funding to install first time central heating systems in fuel poor households.Cold homes are not just uncomfortable to live in they can have a negative effect on health. In Suffolk there are still a large number of houses that do not have a central heating system with a boiler and radiators.
A recent client said:
‘Many thanks for all your help and enabling me to be warm this winter and in the future – without which I don’t know what I would have done’
Find out what other people thought about the scheme by reading these case studies below:
2. What will this fund deliver?
First time gas and oil central heating systems to Suffolk households until June 2021.
3. What type of systems will be installed?
First time gas or oil central heating systems with a boiler and radiators. A gas mains connection may be required.
This funding allows for radiators to be installed in your ‘habitable rooms’ e.g. your living room/bedrooms etc.
Suffolk Councils have all recognised that we face a Climate Emergency and the need to move towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions. We have identified that the heating systems being installed for this project are contrary to the overall net zero target, but have committed to continue with delivery because the households living in fuel poverty currently have no viable alternative. Suffolk County Council will be writing to the funding body supporting this work to encourage them to recognise the Climate Emergency and make funding available to install low/zero carbon heating systems. All Suffolk councils are also undertaking work during 2021 to identify how they can further support communities and businesses to tackle the causes of climate change.
4. Can any type of household benefit from this fund?
Only households which are privately owned or privately rented can benefit from this fund (i.e. not social housing or housing association properties)
5. What are the eligibility criteria for this fund?
a. Your house must not already have an existing central heating system (boiler and radiators)
b. You must privately own or privately rent your home
c. Your home must have an EPC rating of either a D, E, F or G
d. You, ‘The Resident’, need to meet one of the following criteria:
- Be in receipt of any means tested benefits
- Where the household income consists of only one resident’s income where more than 50% is from state pension and the resident has less than £10,000 in savings and investments.
- Where the household income consists of a resident and their partners income where more than 75% of their income is made up from state pension and the residents combined have no more than £20,000 in savings and investments.
- You need to spend more than 10% of the household income on energy bills after housing costs have been removed and has no more than £20,000 in savings and investments
- Fall within the thresholds in Table 1 below which refers to income after housing costs (essentially a household’s disposable income after they have paid their rent or mortgage) and has no more than £20,000 in savings and investments.
If you need a mains gas connection you will need to meet the criteria for the AWS Fuel Poverty Network Extension Scheme.
6. How does the funding work?
In most circumstances the works will be carried out at no charge to you being funded by the Warm Homes Fund and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding (a government backed energy efficiency scheme). In some cases this funding may need to be topped up by Local Authority Renovation Grants, contributions from private landlords or other sources of funding. This will be determined as part of the assessment process. Your enquiry will be dealt with by staff from the Suffolk Warm Homes Healthy People Service (WHHP), who are based at East Suffolk Council but deal with enquiries across Suffolk. WHHP is part of the Suffolk Energy Action campaign. You may see the 3 following logos all of which are linked to the work being done in Suffolk to promote Energy Efficiency and healthy homes.
7. How does the scheme and funding work for landlords?
For landlords who have an eligible tenant and property a first time central heating system can be installed.
The funding for the systems is made up from a set grant amount from the Warm Homes Fund, ECO funding where eligible and a contribution from the landlord.
A contribution of £995 + VAT is required from the landlord (In instances where the install cost is greater than the grant amount available the landlord contribution will need to be increased to cover the excess cost).
This scheme can help you towards meeting your Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard requirements under the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015.
8. Are there any other benefits under this scheme?
Yes, your house will also be assessed for cavity wall and loft insulation. Funding may also be available to carry out these works.
The Suffolk Community Foundation is running the ‘Surviving Winter Appeal’ and you may also be able to benefit from a payment towards your fuel bills if you meet their criteria. They target people over the age of 63 years. A similar scheme is run by WHHP for younger households.
9. Which companies are installing these systems?
Aran Services Ltd will be installing all the cavity wall and loft insulations across the whole of Suffolk.
10. How does the process work?
- You need to either complete the online enquiry form, ring Suffolk’s Warm Homes Healthy People on 03456 037 686 (local rate) or email them at email@example.com quoting the ‘Warm Homes Fund’.
- You will then be contacted by Suffolk’s Warm Homes Healthy People (WHHP) who will carry out some initial eligibility checks with you. They will then arrange a WHHP visit with you to survey your home and verify your eligibility.
- Next you will be contacted by the installer who will arrange a visit to your property to carry out a technical survey for the first time central heating system and possible insulation works. The installer will then be able to quote for the works. The installer also needs to carry out an energy performance rating for your property as required for the funding. This may be possible during this visit or a separate visit maybe required.
- If works are to go ahead the installer will then arrange an installation date with you. The installer will need to carry out a post installation energy performance rating of your property as required for the funding. This may be possible to do when they carry out the installation or a separate visit may be required after the install.
- The installer will then arrange a final visit with you to commission the works.
- In some cases a quality and or technical monitoring visit may be carried out at a later date.
(Please note that if you are having insulation measures installed as well as a first time central heating system more visits will be required as heating and insulation works require separate visits for technical surveying and installing. If this is the case you may be contacted by both Aran Services and Aaron Services as Aran Services carry out the insulation works for the whole of the county but Aran Services and Aaron Services both carry out heating works in different areas of the county).
Suffolk Energy Action is now back installing insulation and heating systems. We have been working hard with our installers to ensure that they have all the appropriate risks assessments in place to work in line with the social distancing measures laid out in the Government’s guidance on ‘Working Safely during COVID-19 in other people’s homes’
In most cases, other than where a resident is shielding or has symptoms of COVID-19, installs should be possible. Our installers will discuss your install with you so that you are clear about how the install process will proceed in line with social distancing. If for any reason it is not possible to undertake your install at the moment or should you not wish to have your measure installed at this time we will work with you to confirm a later date to suit.