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How to get free cavity wall and loft insulation

Simon Ward
by Lovemoney Staff Simon Ward on 06 August 2013  |  Comments 15 comments

Depending on where you live and how much you earn, you may be eligible for free insulation.

How to get free cavity wall and loft insulation

If your home doesn't already have insulation or only has a small amount, you may be eligible for free installation, depending on where you live, your household income and what type of property you live in.

Under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, the major energy companies have to offer free cavity wall and/or loft insulation to certain homes.

Will you qualify?

To have free insulation installed, you must own your own home or have permission from the landlord for the work to be carried out.

You must also be receiving of the following benefits:

  • Pension Credit;
  • Child Tax Credit (and your income is £15,860 or less);
  • Working Tax Credit (and your income is £15,860 or less), plus one of the extra conditions below must also apply;
  • Income Support, plus one of the extra conditions below must also apply;
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, plus one of the extra conditions below must also apply;
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance, plus the support or work-related element, or one of the extra conditions below.

For certain benefits, one of the following must also apply:

  • you’re responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they’re in education or training);
  • you get Disabled Child Premium;
  • you get Disability Premium;
  • you get Pensioner Premium;
  • you’re 60 or over (only if you get Working Tax Credit).

You might not qualify if…

There are some further exceptions to the rules.

 Firstly, in terms of loft insulation, you’re unlikely to qualify if:

  • you already have more than 60mm thick loft insulation;
  • the company cannot insulate two-thirds of the loft space;
  • the installation requires additional equipment – in this case, you can still have it done, but you’ll have to pay something towards the installation;
  • you have a large (five-bedroom plus) or unusual property;
  • you live in the far north and islands of Scotland.

And you may be ineligible for cavity wall insulation if:

  • you have pre-existing cavity wall insulation;
  • the company cannot insulate at least two-thirds of the wall’s cavities;
  • the installation requires additional equipment – in this case, you can still have it done, but you’ll have to pay something towards the installation;
  • you have a large (five-bedroom plus) or unusual property;
  • you live in the far north and islands of Scotland.

However, this does vary from company to company so check before you rule anything in or out.

How to check if you qualify

Below are links to information on the 'Big Six' energy companies' websites, where you can find out more about what they offer and how to apply.

Your local council may also be offering free installation.

If you do qualify, a qualified assessor will carry out a Green Deal assessment to see how energy efficient your home is and recommend improvements, which may include other measures in addition to insulation.

Help for low-income households

In addition to help with cavity wall and loft insulation, there are schemes around the UK to help you with other aspects of heating and insulation.

Local authority grants

Many local authorities also have grants available to local residents to help them pay for energy efficient measures. The Energy Saving Trust website has a grants and discounts section, as does GOV.UK.

Don’t qualify? You can still save on insulation

If you don’t qualify for free insulation for whatever reason, you can still get discounted installation with all of the major energy companies, and others such as Sainsbury’s Energy. Shop around to get the cheapest installation price – it may not be with an energy company. Whatever road you go down, make sure whoever’s installing it is a member of either:

Remember to also check that:

  • your installer is signed up to a code of professional practice like the one provided by the NIA;
  • the cavity wall installation is guaranteed for 25 years by CIGA.

This article has been updated

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Comments (15)

  • orangecat
    Love rating 6
    orangecat said

    Make absolutley certain that you don't have any slightest sign of dampness in your property before having cavity wall insulation installed, as it will spread throughout the house.

    Many tenants in my area have had to pay £4,000 plus to have it removed, because the plastering on the walls have fallen off.

    This has been highlighted on a local consumer program here in Wales.

    Be warned?

    Report on 11 July 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Orley House
    Love rating 0
    Orley House said

    We entered into a free survey from British Gas for Cavity Wall Insulation on our semi detatched house. Only to be told we did not qualify as they could not guarantee it as we had rendering down to the ground, but if we wanted to strip off all the rendering to just above the damp course at our expence they would do it. Yet on our relations house which has the same type of rendering (survey offered by the local authority) they can have the cavity insulation.

    Report on 11 October 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

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