More privately rented properties than ever in the Borough of Runnymede, are entitled to grants to help towards the cost of full central heating, loft insulation and cavity wall insulation. Heat Surrey has been offering grants for a number of years, but thanks to new legislation from central Government, more landlords and tenants, including student lets, are now able to receive grants to make their homes warmer and more affordable to heat.
Verena Boxall from Runnymede Borough Council said “People often think that to be eligible for these grants, they need to be in receipt of benefits, but this isn’t always the case. In Runnymede and the neighbouring council area of Spelthorne, all privately rented properties may be eligible for these energy saving upgrades, regardless of the tenant or landlord’s financial circumstances, as long as the home has an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of A to E. Privately rented homes with an EPC rating of F or G, can receive grants towards heating upgrades from renewable energy heat sources, such as ground source heat pumps.”
The first time central heating grants are available for people who currently have no central heating, such as open fires or plug in electric heaters, or for people who wish to switch from older electric storage heaters to a full radiator heating system. Grant funding can also be provided towards the cost of a new mains gas connection where this is possible, subject to the survey. Where no mains gas is available, bottled gas or renewable heating sources may be used. In many cases the works are free of charge, although central heating grants are likely to require a partial contribution from the landlord.
Tenants and landlords living in the Runnymede and Spelthorne council areas, looking to take advantage of these heating and insulation grants to reduce their energy costs, can call Heat Surrey on 01784 653 635, or go to www.heatsurrey.co.uk. Information about the grants has also been included with Council Tax bills that are being sent to all homes in the two Boroughs. All works are subject to survey, eligibility criteria and limited funding.
Funding for these grants come from energy suppliers who are obligated to help UK residents to save energy under the Energy Company Obligation or ECO scheme. Under ECO, the customer has previously needed to be in receipt of benefit, however, the Government recently launched a new initiative called Local Authority Flexible Eligibility, or LA Flex. Through LA Flex, Local Authorities are able to set their own eligibility criteria using local knowledge to enable their residents to be able to access the ECO grants. Runnymede and Spelthorne Councils have published their LA Flex criteria on the website as below, and it states that all privately rented properties are eligible regardless of income, and that owner occupier properties may be eligible if they have a net household income of less than £35,000 after paying for housing costs, and either suffer from a cold related illness, or have a home which meets other eligibility requirements, this could be an EPC of D or below, require insulation, or one of several other options.
Heat Surrey is a service managed by Happy Energy Solutions Ltd. Heat Surrey was launched in 1998 and since then has provided energy saving grants to tens of thousands of homes across Surrey and hundreds of thousands across the UK.
Customers are also eligible for the grants if they are in receipt of one of the benefits below:
Happy Energy Solutions - 01872 574900
Verena Boxall - firstname.lastname@example.org - 01932 425172
Registered charity no: 1141998
The Students’ Union, Royal Holloway
Egham, TW20 0EX