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Last updated: 30 May 2024

Loft Insulation Grant: Your Ultimate 2024 Guide

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  • In a detached UK home, loft insulation can save you up to £370 in annual energy bills.
  • The two main grant schemes for loft insulation in the UK are the Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4).
  • Both schemes are active and accepting applicants up until March 2026

According to a study by the Resolution Foundation (RF), around 20% of UK properties have insufficient loft insulation or no loft insulation at all. This translates to sky-high energy bills, huge domestic carbon emissions, and a cold, drafty home. 

While loft insulation may be one of the more cost-effective home upgrades, not everyone can front the bill in one go. Typically, loft insulation for a standard 3-bedroom semi-detached house in the UK costs around £930

To make home insulation more accessible to fuel-poor and energy-inefficient homes, the UK government backs two key grant schemes that provide free and reduced-cost loft insulation. These are the Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4). 

This ultimate guide by GreenMatch UK will give you all the information you need on loft grants in the UK, including eligibility requirements, how to apply, and what you can expect to receive.

Ready to insulate your loft? Look no further than GreenMatch UK for the best bargains and most professional installers. Instead of spending countless hours researching and vetting insulation companies, just spend 30 seconds filling out our online form to receive up to 3 free home-tailored quotes from accredited installers in your area. Click below to begin!

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Who is eligible for a loft insulation grant?

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To be eligible for a loft insulation grant, you must be a homeowner or tenant who receives approved government benefits, falls within the council tax bands A - D in England, or A - E in Scotland and Wales, and/or has a home with an EPC score below D. Insulation grants for landlords may have slightly different qualification criteria.

What is an EPC rating?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a score given to your home based on its energy efficiency. It tells you how much energy it requires to heat and power your home, as well as how much domestic carbon emissions your home emits. The score is given on a scale of A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).

Generally, both the Great British Insulation Scheme and the ECO4 follow similar eligibility criteria. The current approved government benefits and allowances are:

  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Guarantee Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit

It’s good to know that if you are a tenant instead of a homeowner, you will require the permission of your landlord before you can begin applying for a grant scheme.

Can you get free loft insulation if not on benefits?

If you are not a recipient of government benefits, you can still qualify for free loft insulation through other criteria, such as having a home EPC rating below D or being a household within the council tax bands A to D in England, and A to E in Scotland and Wales.

Generally speaking, if you meet one or more of the criteria from either the Great British Insulation Scheme or the ECO4 scheme, you can likely be a candidate for free or reduced-cost loft insulation through a grant.

Loft insulation grant for pensioners

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Pensioners can get free loft insulation by meeting the qualifications required for the Great British Insulation Scheme. Whilst age alone isn’t a qualifying factor, those who don’t meet the criteria might still qualify if they belong to the low-income group or general group

Low-income group:

  • Homeowners or renters with an EPC rating below E (renters) or below D (homeowners).
  • Residents receiving a means-tested benefit (such as the Pension Credit Savings or Pension Credit Guarantee).
  • A gross income under £31,000 as a social housing resident who is vulnerable to cold conditions (age can be a factor).

General group:

  • Homeowners living in council tax bands A - D in England, or A - E in Scotland and Wales, AND who have a home EPC rating below D.

    As for the ECO4 scheme, you don’t necessarily need to be a recipient of benefits to qualify for an insulation grant. With ECO4’s flexible eligibility, pensioners can qualify based on reasoning such as:

    • You are a low-income household.
    • A home resident has a diagnosed health condition that can be exasperated by the cold.
    • A home resident with a child under the age of 5, or a resident over the age of 65.

    Individuals with disabilities can also qualify for free loft insulation-based disability support from the government, or a medical diagnosis suggesting that an uninsulated home may worsen their health and wellbeing.

    To get a full understanding of whether you qualify for the ECO4 scheme, it’s recommended to contact your energy provider to learn more about the application process.

    What types of property qualify?

    Generally, all types of properties can qualify for a loft insulation grant, so long as they have a loft space that is under-insulated or not insulated at all.

    Currently building regulations in the UK recommend a loft insulation depth of 270mm for optimal heat retention. Therefore, lofts with insulation up to 100mm or less are entitled to receive a grant to top up to the recommended 270mm.

    In addition to these property requirements, the grant applicant must meet one or more personal criteria related to income, government benefits, council tax bands, and your home EPC rating.

    How much funding can you get from a loft insulation grant?

    The amount of funding you can get from a loft insulation grant depends on several factors, such as your personal and financial circumstances, the cost and complexity of the job, and any existing insulation measures in place.

    As the Great British Insulation Scheme and the ECO4 are not traditional grant schemes, the energy companies decide on the insulation measure, cost coverage, and partner installers. As a result, the household might be expected to contribute to higher cost measures, while lower cost measures are likely to get full coverage.

    Important Tip

    You cannot receive a government grant for DIY loft insulation! UK grants work explicitly with PAS 2030 – 2035 certified installers. The Publicly Available Specifications (PAS) are standards that energy-efficiency installers must be certified with when carrying out insulation measures under grant schemes. It ensures professionalism and high-quality insulation.

    Once the energy company decides on the insulation project and the amount of funding, they will provide you with a quoted price

    If it’s satisfactory, make sure that you have the written quote statement that includes all that is covered. It’s also good to clarify what is not included to avoid any hidden costs down the line.

    Who are the providers for loft insulation grants?

    The two main providers of insulation grants in the UK at the moment are the Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme. Each scheme has a different approach to providing insulation assistance but generally follows the same qualification criteria. 

    • The Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS): Administered by Ofgem, this initiative provides a single insulation measure per household, including loft insulation. A tailored decision is made based on a house retrofitting assessment to determine the most effective measure.
    • Energy Company Obligation (ECO4): Unlike the GBIS, the ECO4 scheme has a more whole-house approach to energy efficiency, including measures such as loft insulation, but also heating system repairs and replacements. Also, the ECO4 puts the full obligation on energy providers to assist qualifying households with efficiency upgrades.

    Both schemes are active until March 2026. For the Great British Insulation Scheme, you can visit the official UK government portal to learn more and apply. As for the ECO4, contact your energy provider to learn more about the application process.

    Extra: The Warm Home Discount Scheme

    On a smaller scale, the Warm Home Discount Scheme is an assistance initiative by the British government that provides eligible households with up to £150 in energy costs help every year.

    Available in England, Scotland, and Wales, this amount is deducted directly from the home electricity bills but can be applied as a gas bill discount instead. 

    Contact your energy provider to find out if you qualify and how to apply.

    Which scheme should you apply for?

    In practice, both the Great British Insulation Scheme and the ECO4 provide insulation measures and are created to be complementary to each other. Therefore, which scheme you choose to apply for is largely up to your personal preferences. 

    The main differences between both schemes can be summarised in three key points. Understanding them can help narrow down your interest:

    • Coverage: While the Great British Insulation Scheme delivers a single insulation measure per qualifying household, the ECO4 scheme has a more whole-house approach by delivering multiple energy efficiency measures per household.
    • Responsible party: The Great British Insulation Scheme is enacted by the UK government, while the ECO4 is a responsibility carried by energy providers themselves.
    • Services: The Great British Insulation Scheme only provides insulation upgrades. On the other hand, the ECO4 provides a wider range of upgrades for energy efficiency, including heating system repairs, replacements and even smart heating controls.

    In addition, pensioners and those over 70, can potentially benefit from either scheme even if they do not meet the qualification criteria if they are within the low-income or general groups. 

    How can you apply for free loft insulation?

    To apply for free loft insulation, you must first decide which scheme you would like to apply for. 

    If you would like to apply to the Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS), you can do so directly from the official UK government website. The portal also contains all the information you need regarding qualifications, necessary documents, and much more.

    For the application process, you will need to provide:

    • Your total gross household income.
    • Any benefits received by the residents of the home (you may be eligible for additional support).
    • Your email address and phone number for your energy supplier to get in touch with you.

    If you plan to apply for the ECO4 scheme, contact your energy provider. This is because they will assess your property and administer any energy efficiency upgrades they see fit. 

    While there is no hard deadline for either scheme, both the Great British Insulation Scheme and the ECO4 are active until March 2026. It’s wiser to apply earlier rather than later.

    Get quotes from government-approved loft insulation installers

    Whether you qualify to benefit from a grant scheme or not, working with a professional accredited installer is essential. A faulty installation can be the very difference between a peaceful and insulated home, and a financial trainwreck of constant repairs and bills.

    The UK government expects all grant-based insulation companies to be PAS 2030-2035 certified. The Publicly Available Specifications (PAS) are a series of quality guidelines that ensure an installer performs a professional job. 

    Whilst easier said than done, finding the right installer for your home can be a tedious task. Most prospective customers are doomed to spend endless hours surfing the web to research and vet the right installer whilst still missing out on bargains. That’s where GreenMatch UK can step in to help you!

    With our wide-spanning network of trustworthy accredited installers throughout the UK, you can simply spend 30 seconds filling out our form, and we’ll deliver up to 3 free home-tailored loft insulation quotes right to you. The best part? There are no charges or hidden obligations. Simply click below to begin and lay back while we deliver the bargains to you!

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