Affordable Warmth Grants can be a cost-effective way of making energy-saving improvements to your properties.
So what are the Affordable Warmth Grants, do landlords qualify, and how do you apply?
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What is the Affordable Warmth Grant?
The Affordable Warmth Grant is part of the Affordable Warmth Obligation, a scheme designed to provide help for home improvements for the purpose of energy saving. It is part of a series of programmes that replace the Warm Front Scheme.
The Affordable Warmth Obligation applies in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, while a scheme called Nest operates in Wales.
What is covered under an Affordable Warmth Grant?
Grants under the Affordable Warmth Obligation made to tenants may cover all or part of the cost of insulation work, for example to insulate cavity walls or a loft, and replacement or repairs to a boiler or other heating upgrades. However, grants may also be made to landlords, to cover the cost of storage heater and boiler work. In addition, grants may be made to landlords to cover cavity wall and loft insulation, but a contribution may be required from the property owner.
Do I qualify for an Affordable Warmth Grant?
The Affordable Warmth Obligation is designed to help people on low incomes and in receipt of benefits to carry out energy-saving work. However, landlords may also be able to make use of the scheme if a private tenant is in receipt of certain benefits.
Storage heater and boiler grants may be available in the event that you or your tenant has one of the following benefits:
- Working Tax Credit (depending on income)
- Child Tax Credit (depending on income)
- Universal Credit (depending on income)
- Pension Guarantee Credit (but not if you or your tenant only claims the Pension Savings Credit)
- Income Support
- Income-based JSA
- Income-related ESA
In order to qualify for a landlord boiler grant, there must be a faulty central heater boiler installed at the property at the time the application is made. For a storage heater grant, there must be at least one such faulty appliance.
Additionally, landlords may apply for cavity wall insulation or loft insulation grants. For these, the tenant or householder may not be required to be in receipt of benefits but, as noted above, a small financial contribution might be required from you.
If you have more than one property, you should note that eligibility is determined based on individual tenants’ circumstances, so you’ll have to apply separately for each property.
Affordable Warmth Grants and the new EPC regime
Strict new regulations regarding Energy Performance Certificates in rented properties come into force in April 2018. From then, you could face a fine if you continue to let a property that does not achieve a minimum EPC rating of an E.
The Affordable Warmth Grants can be a highly cost-effective way of bringing underperforming properties up to scratch ahead of the EPC deadline.
How do I apply for a landlord Affordable Warmth Grant?
Applications for Affordable Warmth Grants can be made by contacting the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234. They are open 9am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.