Home improvement grants in the UK
Search for government home improvement grants
Low Carbon Buildings
Announced in November 2005 - the UK Government has now set up the Low Carbon Buildings Programme to provide grant funding for domestic households and communities. This government home grant initiative aims to take a holistic view to reducing carbon emissions buildings.
Started in April 2006, it supersedes the ClearSkies initiative which mainly provided funding for solar panel installation. The Energy Saving Trust has full details and application procedures.
- minimum loft insulation must be installed
- cavity walls must be insulated
- low energy light bulbs must be used in all appropriate fittings.
From 2002 to March 2006 the UK Government supported installations in a large number of homes, as well as some high focus projects including the London Transport Museum and the CIS Tower in Manchester. The entire island of Foula, Shetland, with a population of just over 30, plans to complete a project that will give them power supply benefits long enjoyed by mainland Britain.
The Northern Ireland home grant scheme has £8m of funding available to homeowners who want to start using renewable energy. This is part of the £59m Environment and Renewable Energy Fund launched February 2006. Details for applying can be found at the Northern Ireland Office.
Renewable energy will be mandatory in new build from 2008.
Scottish Small Grants Scheme
The Scottish Community Householder Renewables Initiative is designed to help Scotland reach its target of 40% renewable energy usage by 2020.
Free emissions tests in Midlothian
Tests are being offered until October 2006 to motorists in Midlothian, in a drive to cut emissions and fuel costs
Herefordshire Council has received £500,000 funding from The Carbon Trust to make public buildings more energy efficient.
Cambridge council is offering advice and funding to help choose and purchase renewable energy systems.
Cycle to Work
UK Department of Transport initiative that enables employers to loan cycles and cycle safety equipment to employees tax free. An employee can choose a bike, which the employer can then purchase, reclaiming VAT. If employers do not wish to own the cycles in the long term they can operate a salary sacrifice scheme, which means the employee can purchase the bike through a salary reduction over a fixed time period and potentially saving up to 50% of the cost. Employees on higher tax bands receive better discounts. Bike For All has a user friendly assessment of the scheme.
For those on lower tax bands, it may be better to use their own cycle for work, so they can claim up to 20p per mile expenses, (not claimable on travel to and from work).
Renewable fuel stations and charging points
The Energy Savings Trust is offering grant funding to organisations wishing to set up provision for charging bays for electric vehicles as well as alternative fuel provision. Funding is not offered for biodiesel as this is already becoming more freely available and there is no cost to set it up within the present refuelling systems.
Those supported by this scheme include the London based Newride.
London Congestion Charge
Save up to £1,600 a year on the congestion charge if you drive into London regularly
Plans for the future
A Renewable Energy Bill formulated in November 2004, is awaiting its passage through parliament. Produced by the House of Lords, it has yet to receive its first reading in the House of Commons. The bill aims to help people develop small scale power generation.
Guardian article tells us that the UK Government is planning to remove planning restrictions so that homeowners can set up microgenerators without the pitfalls and slow progress of the involvement of planning officers, (the summer Energy Review also states this). BBC News article from 4 July 2006 tells us that proposals will be set in the Autumn, with legislation to take effect in 2007.