It may feel a little early to be thinking about making our homes warm for the winter, but it can really pay to plan ahead. The average household could be losing hundreds of pounds each year because their property isn’t energy efficient.
How to get started with home energy efficiency improvements
- Find out whether you are eligible for a grant by clicking on the link that best fits your household.
- If eligible for grants, you can find out more details and how to apply by clicking on the relevant grants in the Grants and Schemes Summary section.
- If you are not eligible for grants you may find it useful to get a Whole House Retrofit plan. This can provide specific advice on what you can do to make your house more energy efficient, how much it is likely to cost and how to find trusted installers to do the work.
- Find out more about different home energy efficiency measures, such as insulation, heat pumps and solar. We recommend visiting Energy saving trust – energy at home which offers guides on home energy efficiency. It explains different things you can do, what they are and how much money they can save you.
- You can also find out more information on the West Sussex Affordable Energy website.
- Check out our handy leaflet which summarises the grants and schemes to help with home energy efficiency
I am a homeowner – the annual household income is below £31,000
If the total annual income of all working adults in your household is less than £31,000, or you are in receipt of a means-tested benefit, you may be eligible for the following grants and support to help make your home energy efficient:
- Energy Company Obligation (ECO) grant
- Great British Insulation Scheme
- Warmer Homes (Home Upgrade Grant – HUG) – only available for homes that do not use gas for heating.
- Chichester Warm Homes Initiative
I am a homeowner – the annual household income is above £31,000
If your household income is over £31,000 and you are not eligible for full grants, you may wish to consider the following:
- The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a government grant which provides financial support towards installation of a heat pump when replacing a gas boiler.
- The new Great British Insulation Scheme can provide free insulation to properties in council tax bands A-D.
- Solar Together is a group buying scheme for renewable solar panels.
- A Whole House Retrofit plan can provide specific advice on what you can do to make your house more energy efficient.
To find out more see Chichester District Councils Grants and Schemes Summary section.
I am landlord or tenant
Landlords are required by law to ensure their rental properties have an energy performance certificate rating of at least E. Chichester District Council has a Landlord Accreditation Scheme to provide support and recognise landlords meeting standards relating to the condition and management of their properties.
- If you live in privately rented properties landlords can get funding towards installation of a heat pump when replacing gas boilers through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
- If the tenant meets low-income eligibility criteria, landlords may also be eligible for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) grant or the Warmer Homes Home Upgrade Grant (if the property does not use gas for heating). Landlords are usually required to contribute to up to 50% of costs. However, the grants can make a significant contribution towards installing measures which will make your property more energy efficient. Both the landlord and tenant need to give permission and provide evidence that the eligibility criteria are met.
- If you live in social housing, contact your housing provider to find out what they are doing to make their properties more energy efficient. You won’t be eligible for most of the grants listed on this page because the government has a separate grant for social housing providers. However, you may be eligible for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) grant if your rent is above the market rate. In this case it would be considered as private-rented sector and you or the landlord may be required to contribute 50% of costs.
- If you live in a shared ownership property and do not have responsibility for maintenance of your property, you will not be eligible for most grants. However, you may be eligible for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) grant if your rent is above the market rate. In this case it would be considered as private-rented sector and you or the landlord may be required to contribute 50% of costs.
- If you live in a shared ownership property and you are responsible for maintenance of your property, you may be eligible for some of the grants listed on this page – please enquire directly to the contact details provided for each grant/ scheme for further clarification.
To find out more about each grant see Chichester District Councils Grants and Schemes Summary section.
Home energy efficiency grants and schemes
Below are details of home energy efficiency grants, eligibility criteria and how to apply. If you need help completing any application or enquiry forms, please contact the Citizens Advice Energy Advice Service.
Most grants require that the property has a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). When a house is built, rented or sold it must have an EPC. This gives information on how energy efficient the building is and has a rating from A, which is most efficient, to G which is least efficient.
You can check your home’s EPC rating here on the Government’s find a energy certificate service. If your property does not have an EPC but you are eligible for a grant, the administrator of the scheme will usually arrange for an EPC assessment to be undertaken on your property to check the building meets the eligibility criteria.
Boiler Upgrade System
Until April 2025, 90,000 households will be able to apply for a grant to help afford a low carbon heating system. The grant provides £5,000 for the purchase and installation of an air source heat pump, or £6,000 grant to help buy a ground source heat pump.
Who can apply
All homeowners (annual household income is above £31,000)
Who is eligible
- To be eligible for the grant a homeowner must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate. You can check your home’s EPC rating here on the Government’s find a energy certificate service.
- The certificate cannot have any outstanding recommendations for loft and cavity wall insulation.
- The grant does not have an income restriction which means high or low income homeowners can apply for it.
- Anyone living in a new build property (unless self-built) or social housing will not be eligible to apply.
- The heat pump installer must be from an MCS certified.
- Your heat pump installer will be responsible for applying for the voucher.
- The scheme is expected to operate a first come first served basis.
- The voucher for a air source heat pump will be valid for three months and the voucher for a ground source heat pump will be valid for six months.
- This grant replaced the Renewable Heat Incentive which closed to new applicants in March 2022. If you had successfully applied for the Renewable Heat Incentive, your payments will keep coming through as normal. These payments will continue until the end of your contract (a total of 7 years).
Warmer Homes – Upgrade Grant
- The Home Upgrade Grant is a government funded scheme to help retrofit properties that are not connected to mains gas for heating. This scheme provides up to:
- £10,000 per home for low-income owner-occupiers (below £31,000 household income) living in a home with an EPC rated D to G.
- £5,000 per home for a social or private landlord with an EPC rating of D to G and a combined tenant income of under £31,000. A contribution of at least one third will be required from the landlord.
- Each household is expected to receive at least one large measure, typically external wall insulation or a heat pump, with flexibility to install further measures based on the survey of your property (e.g. loft insulation, underfloor insulation, Solar Panels etc) where funding allows.
Who can apply
Homeowners, tenants, landlords (annual household income is below £31,000)
Who is eligible
- Your home has an EPC rating of D, E, F or G, and one of the following:
- You have a total household annual income of £31,000 or less (before housing costs/bills)
- You have a total household annual income of £20,000 or less after housing costs (mortgage/rent and council tax)
- You receive a means-tested benefit
- Your home is within an LSOA (Lower Super Output Area) 1-3 postcode area (this will be verified once you have made your application)
- You can check your home’s EPC rating on the Government’s find a energy certificate service
Solar Together is a council-supported group buying scheme for solar panels. It aims to help residents generate clean electricity at home and reduce their impact on the environment. It provides high-quality solar panels and battery storage systems from accredited installers at a competitive price.
If there is no active scheme running, you can register your interest on the Solar Together Chichester webpage to be notified when the next scheme is launched. When you register online, you will be asked questions about your house, roof, and electricity usage. Once a scheme goes live you will be provided with a quote for solar panels for your property. You can ask for a no-obligation quote for battery storage too if you have, or plan to have an electric car charging point. There will be a deadline by which you must accept the quote to take up the offer.
Who can apply
- Homeowners (annual household income is above £31,000).
Chichester Warm Homes Initiative
The Chichester Warm Homes Initiative is a scheme that we have introduced as a council to help keep people warm. It could contribute towards the installation of an efficient heating system, as well as loft and wall insulation.
The maximum grant available is £10,000 for homeowners living in on-gas areas, and up to £25,000 for those in off-gas areas.
Home owners and landlords letting their properties to tenants on a low income can apply for funding for energy efficiency and low carbon measures where the occupant is in fuel poverty rating of F or G.
Available measures include:
- a whole-house efficient heating system,
- thermal insulation,
- boiler repair,
- hot water tank repair/replacement, and;
- window repair or replacement.
Landlords will be required to pay 50% of the cost. The cost of the works is noted on the local land charge register and must be repaid if the property is sold. For Landlords the funding must be repaid if the property is sold within 5 years.
Who can apply
Homeowners (annual household income is below £25,000)
Who is eligible
Applicants must either be in receipt of a means tested benefit, Disabled Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment or a household income of less than £25,000 pa less than £16,000 in savings.
Energy efficient lighting helps lower electricity bills and carbon dioxide emissions, all without reducing the quality of light in our homes.
Since the EU banned the production of halogen bulbs in September 2018, the LED bulb has led the way in efficiency, durability and versatility. You can now buy LED bulbs for almost all fittings and sizes, so if you haven’t already, now is the time to make the switch to LED.
What is an LED?
Light emitting diodes, or LEDs are they are more commonly known, are more efficient than their predecessors: compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). CFLs were the first energy efficient bulbs on the market and use around 70-80% less electricity than the equivalent traditional bulbs.
LEDs then came along and have now largely replaced CFLs. They are more efficient, turn on instantly at full brightness, and are available to fit almost every light fitting in the home. An LED works by producing light from the electricity flowing through the bulb.
The numbers add up
In the UK, lighting makes up around 16% of total electrical use, accounting for 6% of a typical household’s energy bill if you include the cost of heating your home.
You can save between £1 and £4 per year for every traditional or halogen bulb you switch to an LED bulb with similar brightness. So, if the average household replaced all bulbs with LEDs, it would cost around £145 and save around £40 a year on bills.
If we look at one example, replacing a 50W halogen with an LED equivalent could cut your energy costs by £75 over the lifetime of the bulb – not including the price all the replacement halogen bulbs you no longer need to buy.
Choosing the right LED bulb
The packaging on LED bulbs contains a lot of information to help you choose the most suitable bulb for your needs and tastes.
Information often includes the bulb ‘colour’, as well as an estimate of the LED’s equivalent in wattage, for example 40W or 100W.
You might find that different bulb ‘colours’ are suitable for different rooms:
- warm or soft is a yellow colour, ideal for bedrooms, living and dining rooms
- cool bulbs offer a bluer, sharper light – you may prefer this in your kitchen, bathroom or office, where it helps to have good lighting
- daylight is the ‘coldest’ of the colours and closest to pure white light – it’s often used by photographers for backlighting
While traditional and halogen bulbs used watts to explain brightness, LEDs use lumens to show how bright a bulb is. The higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb – for example, a bulb of 1,000+ lumens is equivalent to a 75-100W traditional bulb.
Look at the label
Other information included on the packaging of an LED bulb can help you choose the right light for your needs, at the same time as reducing your energy bill and carbon emissions:
- energy saving potential
- whether or not the bulb is dimmable
- the voltage of the bulb
- how long the bulb should last before needing replaced
- the type of bulb fitting
- the Kelvin number (eg 2700K), which measures the temperature of light
- the Ingress Protection rating (eg IP 65), showing the degree of protection against dust, accidental contact and water
- the beam angle in degrees, which tells you how wide an area the light covers
All LED bulbs are also given an energy rating, which is required by law. The current label grades the bulb on its energy consumption in kWh (units of energy used per hour). The less kWh use, the more efficient the appliance.
Going the extra mile
The best way to save energy and reduce carbon emission from your lighting is to replace all traditional and halogen bulbs with LEDs. If you want to go one step further, the following tips will help you reduce your lighting bill even more:
- turn your lights off when you’re not using them. If you switch a light off for just a few seconds, you will save more energy than it takes for the light to start up again
- be aware of how many lights you have on in a room. If you have the main light on, do you need the lamp on too?
- arrange light switches so it is easy to turn them off, for example, place switches for rooms at or near the door
- use sensors or timers on external lights, so they are only on when they need to be
- consider using transparent shades or fittings, as a dark lampshade can absorb some of the light a bulb emits
- ensure that you regularly clean any lamp shades or fittings to increase the impact of the light