Grants, loans and subsidies for energy use


Help is available with energy use and improving energy efficiency of your home, from May 2022. 

Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS)

The Government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is available and the latest information is on their website.

Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) | OfgemThe Boiler Upgrade Scheme will provide upfront capital grants. These are to support the installation of heat pumps, and in some circumstances biomass boilers.   

Cornwall Council has no direct involvement in this scheme, please contact installers direct.

Health led referrals

For any Cornwall Council led programme you or someone living in your home may have either: 

  • have a long-term health condition
  • be at risk of poor health
  • be caring for a vulnerable person
  • be children aged 19 or under
  • be worried about their home being cold or damp

Help to heat (LA Flex) Cornwall Council

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Help to Heat is a government energy efficiency scheme.

Help to heat is also sometimes known as Local Authority Flexible Eligibility (LA Flex). They both refer to the same scheme.

Under the ECO scheme, obligated suppliers fund the installation of energy efficiency improvements. These include loft or wall insulation.

Types of improvement

  • cavity wall insulation
  • loft insulation
  • replacement heating or boiler

Most homes will qualify for this scheme.

Ofgem's Energy Company Obligation (ECO) page and guidance issued to local authorities will tell you more about this scheme

Draft ECO4 Guidance: Interim Delivery | Ofgem

Please see our updated joint Help to Heat statement of intent (Cornwall and Isles of Scilly). This explains how we can help qualifying residents and was issued on 29 February 2024.

Cornwall Council and Council of Isles of Scilly’s Statement of Intent 2024

Fuel poor households could be eligible for Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) funded home improvements.   

Cornwall Council identifies, assesses and approves such households, through our partner Inclusion Cornwall.    

The previous Statements of Intent for Cornwall Council area only can also be viewed

The previous Statement of Intents for Cornwall Council and Council of Isles of the Scilly can also be viewed:

Not all ECO improvements are approved or considered by Cornwall Council.  

Any resident who has a query on any measures installed in their property under the ECO scheme can contact OFGEM direct. Please email ECO.SAR@ofgem.gov.uk

The email must include the full postal address of the property.

Cornwall Council have a list of LA EcoFlex installers who can deliver energy efficiency and insulation in Cornwall.

This will help keep our residents safe and warm by adding new heating or loft, roof or wall insulation. They are Green Deal registered (different to Green Homes Grant) with PAS 2030 accreditation. They have also signed an Information Sharing Agreement with Cornwall Council.

View the list of LA EcoFlex installers

Eco Flex funding leaflet

Eligibility

(Please note: Home Upgrade Grant has a different approach to income eligibility)

Eligibility for any of our Winter Wellbeing programmes is based on the following:

You may be eligible if you meet the following conditions:

  • you or someone living in your home may have either:
    • have a long-term health condition
    • be at risk of poor health
    • be caring for a vulnerable person
    • be children aged 19 or under
    • be worried about their home being cold or damp
      and
  • you are an owner-occupier, a private landlord or rent from a private landlord
    and
  • have a household income of £31,000 or less once your mortgage or rent, utility, care and council tax payments are deducted

How we assess

  • Are households facing high energy costs, to stay warm?
  • Is there a greater likelihood that a household is in fuel poverty?
  • Is the household receiving a low annual income, after housing, energy, utilities, care and Council Tax costs have been deducted?
  • Does fuel poverty apply?

To qualify as being in fuel poverty you live in a home with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D, E F or G.

Vulnerable to the cold

To qualify as vulnerable to the cold, you must meet any one of the following conditions:

  • you have a recognised long term illness
  • you are either over 65, have at least one child under the age of 19 or are pregnant

Low Income Low Energy Efficiency

To qualify as being in a home that has a low energy efficiency you need to meet the following conditions:

  • the home has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D, E F or G
    and
  • the household has a low annual income.

Warm Homes Fund (homeowners, private landlords or private tenants and social housing)

The purpose of the Fund was to reduce fuel poverty. This was done by upgrading homes with energy efficiency measures and first-time central heating. Cornwall Council and OVO secured £5m from National Grid’s Warm Homes Fund and matched with other funding created a £10m programme.

Since 2018 a total of 1,268 homes have been upgraded with new heating and insulation. This includes 684 social housing homes with Cornwall Housing Limited, Live West, Ocean and Guinness. With OVO we have improved 584 homes (452 home owners and 132 private rented homes). This has improved their health warmth for these residents. This means they are better able to withstand current Cost of Living issues and saved over 40,000 tonnes of carbon.

87 privately owned park homes residents in Camborne and St Columb have been converted from LPG bottles or Electric Storage Heaters. They have been converted to mains gas central heating with a new condensing gas boiler and radiators if required. They also had their LPG cooker converted to mains gas or replaced with like for like cookers.

This scheme has made a huge difference to so many customers, typical comments include:

“Ah that’s great thanks so much for your help with everything it will make such a difference to my life!”

“I have neglected to say a huge thank you for arranging the central heating for mum and chasing up the problem with her lounge ceiling. The company that ended up fixing her ceiling were amazing and did a wonderful job (one even came back the week after it was completed to give her an 80th Birthday card!). She still can’t believe she can get up in the middle of the night and be warm. It’s a luxury to her, one which she simply wouldn’t have been able to afford on her income. What you do really does make a difference, so thank you.”

“We have now had heating installed and I would like to thank you for this service. The house is warmer and drier than ever before, and our health has improved. Again, thank you.”

“Just wanted to say thank you for the central heating system. It's going to make such a difference this winter”

A special thanks for all those who made this all possible.

Park Home customer. - The New Gas Installation is absolutely fantastic. Heating and hot water. Plus my home feels warmer too even though I only have single glazed windows.

Another customer told us that their mental health has improved through her engagement with CEP. In an email she said: ‘Thank you again, for all that you are doing for us. I can’t tell you how much our mental health has been affected just to know you’re helping us’.

We have had three successful bids for funding from the Warm Homes Fund. These were led by:

  • Public Health at Cornwall Council
  • Inclusion Cornwall
  • OVO Energy Solutions

Please visit the following link to find out more.

Affordable Warmth Solutions Website information on the warm homes fund

Download leaflet for Park Homes

Home Upgrade Grant

The Home Upgrade Grant is the new grant-funded energy efficiency scheme from the Government. 

This fund aims to:

  • improve the EPC (energy performance certificate) rating of your home (only if EPC G, F, E or D) with a range of energy saving measures
  • reduce (or offset rising) heating costs, making your home warmer
  • improve your general health and wellbeing

Cornwall Council works in partnership with OVO Energy Solutions to deliver this scheme to off-gas, privately owned or privately rented homes in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.  

This scheme runs until March 2025 and aims to help around 1,000 homes.

View the OVO Energy website

Eligibility

If you own your own home and live in it full-time or if you are a private or social housing tenant, then your home might be eligible for the scheme.

If you are a private or social landlord then your property(s) may also be eligible.   It is not for holiday or second homes.

  • you or someone living in your home must either:
    • have a long-term health condition
    • be at risk of poor health
    • be caring for a vulnerable person
    • be children aged 19 or under
    • be worried about their home being cold or damp
      and
  • a total household income of no more than £31,000* gross (so including tax and any other deductions)
    * please note this is tighter income criteria than our usual programmes set by the funder - Government)
  • your home has an Energy Performance (EPC) rating of G, F or E (some D’s can be accepted).  To find your EPC rating visit the Government website or we can check for you.

What will happen if eligible and qualify?

If your home is eligible then a full house retrofit survey will be done to find out any possible measures.

The results of the survey will ensure that we recommend the best possible options in order to make your home as energy efficient as it can be.

Too many homes in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly are not properly insulated. This results in a loss of heat through the walls and roof etc. This is both a waste of energy and money.   

This is why we are going to focus on fabric (insulation) first.  

There is little point fitting a brand new heating system if all the heat flies back out again, leaving you cold and out of pocket as soon as you turn it on! This doesn’t mean we can’t fit heating, we just want to make sure that whatever we suggest is the best possible option for you and your home.

Possible measures

We cannot install any solid fuel, oil or gas measures under this scheme but we can work on properties that currently have them (although we can’t work on properties that use mains gas as their primary heating source).

Cost

If you are a homeowner or tenant then this will be free of charge.

If you are a landlord, you will have to fund one third (33%) of the total installation cost.   

The cost will vary depending on the type and number of measures installed. However, an approximate cost will be provided after the retrofit survey is complete and before you sign any contracts.

How to apply?

You can contact the Public Health help-desk by telephone 01872 323583 or by email phdesk@cornwall.gov.uk.

Cornwall (and Isles of Scilly) Warm Homes/Fuel Poverty Outcomes 2021/22

Programme/Funder

Customers

Brief Description

Green Homes Grant (GHG)

164

Renewable heating.  169 homes improved (164 in Cornwall and 5 Isles of Scilly with insulation, Air Source Heating (ASHP) and Solar panels)

Warm Home Discount Industry Initiative (WHDii)

197

Heating repairs, insulation and other measures.   197 in Cornwall (new boilers, heaters, insulation, chimney sweeps and servicing and 3 in Isles of Scilly (loft insulation)

Warm Homes Fund (WHF R1)

101

Final phase of 1,043 homes completed, started in 2018 and delayed due to COVID.  Central heating (Mains Gas and LPG Gas).   *Note previous 944 homes completed included Oil, LPG, Electric, air source and ground source heating and insulation

Warm Homes Fund (WHF R3)

43

Park Homes had LPG, electric and solid fuel heating replaced with mains gas

Warm Homes Fund (WHF R5)

16

New phase of circa 200 homes.   Mixture of renewable air source and mains gas heating with insulation

Help to Heat (LA Flex)

578

Help to Heat and delivered a range of renewable air source, new or replacement heating/boilers - electric, mains gas, LPG, solar and insulation

Local Support Grant (MHCLG)

62

Heating repairs for solid fuel, oil, electric and gas heating systems

Household Support Grant (DWP)

563

Heating repairs solid fuel, oil, electric and gas heating systems and help with heating costs

CEV Grant (DHSC)

90

Heating repairs solid fuel, oil, electric and gas heating systems and help with heating costs

Total

1814

Note, some homes will have received grants from multiple sources (assumed 15%)

Revised Total

1542

85

Energy switching

The energy price cap increased in March to £1,973 with a further increase expected in October.   

Yet with the energy market in crisis, there are still no deals cheaper.

As a result, the best option for most right now is to do nothing, and either stay on a capped tariff or move to it when their current deal ends.

Home energy tips and other useful Information

For food help please visit Lets Talk Cornwall

Lets Talk Cornwall website - Help with food

For more information if your worried about money, please see our 'Worried about money page' in our 'Helping Hand' section.

I am worried about money

To save energy around the home, as well as contacts for other energy and money advice services that can offer assistance.

  • Avoid using standby on electrical devices - devices on standby mode can use almost as much energy as when they are being used. To help with this we have standby saver plugs which turn devices off from your remote.
  • Reduce showering time by one minute - Showers are some of the most energy hungry appliances in our homes. Reducing the amount of time you are in the shower will help you save energy and water.
  • Replace one bath a week with a shower - Baths use up far more water than showers (about two and a half times more). Showers are even more efficient if you use a shower aerator.
  • Wash up in a bowl rather than the sink - A washing up bowl takes less water to fill which will save you money.
  • Turn the thermostat down by one degree - This could reduce your heating bill by up to 10%. You can use thermostats and Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) to keep the rooms you use most warm while saving energy.
  • Wash clothes at 30°C - Reducing the temperature of your wash from 40°C to 30°C could cost you 40% less. A cooler wash helps keep clothes looking newer for longer.
  • Only boil as much water as needed - Two thirds of people overfill their kettle, often boiling twice as much as needed. Boiling only as much as you need means your kettle will boil quicker too!
  • Turn off lights that aren’t being used - It’s always best to turn off lights that aren’t being used, even if only for a short time. This is even more important if you have any older, less energy efficient lightbulbs.
  • Dry clothes outside where possible - Tumble dryers are amongst the most energy intensive appliances in the home. Drying clothes outside could reduce the amount of condensation in your home and can help reduce issues with damp and mould.
  • Maximise washing loads - Ensuring that your washing machine or dishwasher is always full before you put it on means you’ll have to do fewer washes. These appliances use the same amount of energy regardless of how full they are.

You can find more information about saving energy in your home on the Energy Saving Trust’s website.

Energy Trust website


Other sources include the BBC

BBC News

and Martin Lewis The Money Saving Expert

Money Saving Expert website

Water costs

South West Water help with historic debt, payments, meters etc

South West Water website

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