Great British Insulation Scheme

Explains which homeowners and tenants are eligible for support and how the scheme can help them.

The Great British Insulation Scheme is a government energy-efficiency scheme that is administered by Ofgem. It is designed to deliver improvements to the least energy-efficient homes in Great Britain to help tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions. To find out more about the Great British Insulation Scheme, see the About the scheme web page.

 

Check if you can get support from the Great British Insulation Scheme

 

Can my home benefit from the Great British Insulation Scheme?

To qualify, your property must require energy-efficiency upgrades such as cavity wall insulation. The scheme will deliver one insulation measure per home, and upgrades are decided through a retrofit assessment which looks at how making changes to your property could cut energy use and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In some cases, secondary measures, such as room thermostats or boiler programmers, will be available for households in the low-income group.

This works by your energy supplier matching you with an assessor who will visit your home and decide on the type of measure required.
 
You must also either own your own home or have permission from your landlord – this includes if the property is owned by a social housing provider or management company.

You can contact any of the energy suppliers who are obligated to take part in the scheme to find out how they may be able to help you benefit, even if they are not your energy provider.

Am I eligible for the Great British Insulation Scheme?

The Great British Insulation Scheme is designed to complement the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme, but it will also offer support to a broader range of homeowners and tenants.

As well as supporting low-income and vulnerable households (through the scheme’s low-income group), this scheme will also help those living in homes within a wider, general group.

The low-income group is for homeowners or tenants who receive at least one of the following benefits:

  • Child Benefit
  • Pension Guarantee Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Tax Credits (Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits)
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit Saving Credit

The general group is for those households with properties that have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D to G, and which are within Council Tax bands A to D in England and A to E in Scotland and Wales.

Local authorities can also put forward residents in their areas to energy suppliers, so that they can be offered support under the Great British Insulation Scheme local authority flex. See Am I eligible for Great British Insulation Scheme local authority flex, below.

It is important to note that eligibility for the Great British Insulation Scheme does not guarantee that an energy supplier or installer will decide to install energy-efficiency measures in your home.

You can find out more about the Great British Insulation Scheme here. To access all scheme guidance and relevant forms, go to the Contacts, guidance, and resources page.

What types of insulation could I have installed under the scheme?

Both the general and low-income groups will be eligible for the following insulation measures:

  • cavity wall (including party wall)
  • loft
  • solid wall
  • pitched roof
  • flat roof
  • under-floor
  • solid floor
  • park home
  • room-in-roof

Where an eligible insulation measure is installed in owner-occupied premises in the low-income group, certain heating controls - such as room thermostats - would also be allowed, as a secondary measure.

Higher-cost measures - such as solid wall insulation - would be more likely to need a contribution from the household.

Will I have to pay to have an energy-efficiency measure installed?

It is up to the energy companies to determine which retrofit projects they choose to fund, the level of funding they provide, and the retrofit coordinator or installers they choose to work with.

The level of funding will depend on the measures type, and a number of other factors. In some cases, you may be asked to contribute to the cost of the installation. The Great British Insulation Scheme is not a grant scheme and as such, different companies or installers may provide different levels or types of support towards the installation of energy-efficiency or heating controls.

Ofgem does not comment on the scale or cost of consumer contributions. If you are asked to contribute to the cost of the installation, we encourage you to ‘shop around’ for the best deal to ensure you are satisfied with any offer made.

You should ensure that a written quote is produced listing everything that is included. It is also good practice to ask what is not included in the quote, so that there are no hidden costs.

Can Great British Insulation Scheme measures be co-funded with other grants or schemes?

Funding for measures delivered under the Scheme cannot be blended with funding from other government schemes or grants. Any measures outside of the Scheme delivered to the same property would have to be installed either before or after all of the Scheme measures are installed. This means non-scheme measures that may impact the properties’ SAP assessment and the post-retrofit SAP assessment. This requirement includes, but is not limited to, the following schemes referenced below.

  • Warm Home Discount
  • Home Upgrade Grant
  • Boiler Upgrade Scheme
  • Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund
  • ECO4
  • any other local authority or national scheme that funds energy efficiency measures

What do I do if an installer has advised me that I am eligible for a Great British Insulation Scheme measure, but has then changed their mind over funding availability or another reason?

Energy suppliers work with third-party installers to deliver these obligations and it is up to the energy suppliers to determine which measures they choose to fund, the level of funding they provide and the installer they choose to work with.

Whilst Ofgem administers the Great British Insulation Scheme, we are not directly involved with the installation of measures or party to contractual arrangements between the obligated energy suppliers and those that install measures on their behalf. Our ability to help you resolve a complaint is limited. However, we encourage you to get in touch with any feedback on any negative consumer experiences you may have had as this enables us to work with industry to improve standards.

Eligibility for a measure does not guarantee it will be installed. Additionally, it is important to note that this is not a grant scheme and different companies or installers may provide different levels or types of support towards the installation of energy-efficiency or heating measures.

You can receive help from any obligated energy supplier, while also remaining a customer with your current energy provider.

How do I make a complaint about a Great British Insulation Scheme installation?

Our role as administrator of the Great British Insulation Scheme involves setting targets for each obligated energy supplier, ensuring their compliance to the scheme rules, and monitoring their progress towards these targets. We have no oversight of contractual arrangements between the obligated energy suppliers and those that install energy-efficiency measures on their behalf. As such, our ability to help you resolve a complaint is limited.

However, we encourage you to get in touch with any feedback on any negative consumer experiences you may have had relating to the Great British Insulation Scheme. This enables our ongoing work with industry to help improve standards. For more information on resolving your complaint visit our dedicated page.

Am I eligible for Great British Insulation Scheme local authority flex?

You may be contacted by your local authority about the Great British Insulation Scheme as part of its local authority and supplier flex element. This allows local authorities, and the Scottish and Welsh governments (referred to in the scheme as Devolved Administrations or DAs), to refer households to an obligated energy supplier. Local authorities and Devolved Administrations can identify low-income and / or vulnerable households who are not in receipt of the means tested benefits listed above (at Am I eligible for the Great British Insulation Scheme), but who may benefit from energy- efficiency improvements.

Energy suppliers can also refer households under Great British Insulation Scheme Flex, where they are either struggling with persistent fuel debt and are supported by suppliers or are using pre-payment meters and have regularly been unable to stay connected to their fuel supplies due to financial hardship.

If your local authority or Devolved Administration is participating in the scheme, they can make a joint referral for both ECO4 Flex and Great British Insulation Scheme Flex, as the eligibility criteria are similar. If a supplier decides to take the referral forward, a retrofit assessor will visit your home and determine which of the schemes is suitable, and the specific measures that would benefit your home.

You could be eligible under Great British Insulation Scheme Flex if:

  • you live in a property that requires energy efficiency upgrades and:
  • you have a combined gross annual household income under £31,000 or
  • a person in your household has a severe or long-term health condition that is adversely affected by living in a cold home, and is due to one of the following:
    • a cardiovascular condition
    • a respiratory disease
    • limited mobility
    • immunosuppression

There are various other criteria that local authorities or Devolved Administrations can use to identify low-income, vulnerable, and fuel-poor households. Please contact your local authority or Devolved Administration (or visit their website) to find out if they are participating, and if you could be eligible. Your local authority or Devolved Administration may allow self-referral, further information will be available on their website or by contacting them directly. 

It is important to note that eligibility does not necessarily mean that an energy supplier or installer will decide to install energy efficiency measures in your home.

Can I get energy-efficiency help outside of the Great British Insulation Scheme?

If you live in England or Wales and would like advice on energy-efficiency, or about how to get help with energy bills you can find out more here.

What is the TrustMark scheme and how does it work with the Great British Insulation Scheme?

TrustMark is a government-endorsed quality scheme providing a high-level of assurance, certainty and protection to consumers who choose to have work carried out in or around their home.

All installers under the Great British Insulation Scheme must be TrustMark-accredited and will have a registration number. If you are contacted by an installer, always ask to see their registration credentials. You can check these on the TrustMark website.

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