Home improvements can increase the value of your home and help it run more efficiently, which could help save you money. The good news is that a number of home improvement grants are available to help you do exactly that.
The household insurance team at Adrian Flux have assessed what home improvement grants are currently available for landlords.
What sort of improvements can you get funding for?
There are a number of home improvement grants available for heating upgrades, smart thermostats and insulation, plus incentives to switch to renewable technologies, such as air source heat pumps (ASHPs).
These schemes help landlords ensure their properties meet the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards set out by the Government for commercially-let properties, without the need for them to fork out huge sums of money to get the work done.
Most of the grants are made available as part of the government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, which makes it mandatory for energy companies to reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty.
The ECO grant scheme was launched in 2013 and will run through until 2026.
Which homes qualify for a grant?
The ECO scheme will provide funding for the installation of energy efficiency measures in rental properties where tenants meet the eligibility criteria or where the property is in an area with high levels of fuel poverty.
What work can be paid for by the ECO scheme?
There are a number of home improvements available to help heat your home more efficiently. These include:
Wall insulation grants
Grants for cavity wall insulation are available for properties with cavity walls where the main heating source is electric. In some cases, properties heated by gas boilers may also qualify. If your rental home was built after the 1920s, it will probably have cavity walls.
Internal wall insulation grants are available for properties with solid walls – primarily in homes built before 1920. To be eligible, the home needs to be heated by electricity.
Loft and roof insulation grants
Loft and roof insulation grants are available in rental properties where the existing main heating source is electric and where there is 100mm or less of existing loft insulation or roof insulation.
Use the form on the Government Grants website to find out if you qualify for a home improvement grant for wall, loft or roof insulation.
Electric storage heater grants are available at rental properties where the home is currently heated by electric room heaters or where there is no heating at the property.
First-time central heating grants are available for some rental properties. The property must not have had central heating before.
If your rental property qualifies for a central heating grant and an insulation grant, the work must be done at the same time as part of the funding rules. In some cases, smart thermostats are included in the grant deal.
Gas boiler grants aren’t currently available to tenants or landlords.
Air source heat pump grants
Not part of the ECO scheme, the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) can grant aid in the installation of an ASHP in your rental property.
Are there any grants for the replacement of windows and doors?
There are currently no grants available for replacement windows or doors.
Is the Green Homes Grant still available?
The Green Homes Grant closed to new applicants in March 2021. Landlords who applied for grant funding before that date may still qualify for help.
Are there any local authority home improvement grants available?
Local authorities can offer different types of help with home improvements. Each authority will have its own rules about the help it offers, and the criteria you must meet to qualify for help.
All local authorities provide disabled facilities grants. These can help pay for the cost of essential work to help people with disabilities live an independent life.
Improvements can include:
- installing ramps for access
- widening doors
- providing suitable kitchen or bathroom equipment
A disabled facilities grant will be no more than £30,000 in England and £36,000 in Wales, though in some cases this can be topped up for other works to take place.
The grant you get depends on your income and savings unless the work is to meet the needs of a person with disabilities who is under 16, or, in some cases, over 16 but under 19.
Who can apply for a grant?
Landlords, homeowners and tenants can all apply for these home improvement grants. In privately rented homes, the grant needs to be applied for in the tenant’s name and both the tenant and landlord must consent to the work being carried out.
Visit the Energy Saving Genie website to find out if you are eligible for a home improvement grant to upgrade your heating or insulation.
Are there any other home improvement grants available to me?
The electric vehicle chargepoint grant provides funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle smart chargepoints at domestic properties across the UK. It replaced the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) on 1st April 2022.
While there is no specific government grant available to assist in the cost of fitting solar panels to your home, you can register for a Feed-In Tariff (FIT), which will secure you payments from your energy supplier if you generate more electricity than you use, which is very often the case.
The FIT will reward you for the surplus electricity supply generated by both solar panels and wind turbines.
More ways to save money
Let your insurer know about all the improvement work being carried out at your rental property as some may even qualify you for a discount on your annual insurance costs. Read our blog to find out about landlord insurance and what it covers.
Adrian Flux is a specialist landlord insurance broker. The best deals are usually available over the phone. Call 0808 503 7264 to find out how much you could save.