The Energy Assistance Package in Scotland
If you are in receipt of benefits or are over the age of 60, you could be entitled to financial assistance towards heating your home under the Government’s 'Energy Assistance Package'.
Under the scheme, all householders in Scotland can receive free advice on how to make the home more energy efficient, and cut down on heating costs. In addition to this, if you fulfil certain criteria, you could receive further help, such as free insulation, draught proofing or a new heating system.
What is the Energy Assistance Package?
The Energy Assistance Package is backed by the Scottish Government, and administered by the Energy Saving Trust. It was set up to help people heat their homes more economically and effectively.
The package consists of four stages, as follows: -
Free advice on making the home more energy efficient is available to all householders.
Help in assessing whether you qualify for tax credits and benefits. Available help is dependent on personal circumstances, and if you qualify, the Energy Saving Trust could help you switch to the lowest tariff offered by your energy company.
If you are aged 70 plus and have never had central heating, are on benefits, or aged 75 plus, you could be entitled to loft insulation or cavity wall insulation in your home subject to certain requirements. To be eligible you must be a home owner or the tenant of a private landlord.
If you are a homeowner or the tenant of a private landlord you could be entitled to free central heating and other measures to heat your home, as well as insulation. This applies if you have never had a central heating system in your home and you or your partner is over 60, or, your home has a poor energy rating and you are either receipt of certain benefits or you or your partner is aged 75 plus.
Am I eligible?
Different criteria are set for each stage of the package, and some of the help available will depend on how energy efficient your home is.
The Energy Trust will assess your home’s energy efficiency by giving it a rating between 1 and 100 under the Government’s Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP), depending on how cost effective your heating system is. Lower scores indicate high running costs, whereas higher scores indicate that your home is cheaper to heat. If your score is below 39 you could be entitled to up to £4000 worth of work on the energy systems in your home. If this work does not bring your rating above 39, you could be entitled to further work up to a value of £6500.
Stage 1 is open to all householders, and stage 2 consists of help to see if you qualify for benefits, including help with filling in application forms for those over 60. Specific criteria apply to the other stages, as follows: -
Stage 3 - For stage 3 you must meet one of the following conditions:
- You or your partner is aged 75 plus
- You or your partner is aged 70 plus, and you do not have central heating in your home
- You are in receipt of benefits as set out in Government guidelines
There are specific rules under the package as to which homes need insulation.
Stage 4 - You must be a homeowner or the tenant of a private landlord to qualify. If you are aged 60 plus and have never had a central heating system in your home, you may be eligible. For other people, your home must have a poor energy rating, and you must meet one of the following conditions:
- You or your partner are aged 75 plus
- You are in receipt of benefits and have a child under 5
- You or your partner are on benefits and pregnant
- You or your partner are on benefits and have a disabled child under 16
- You or your partner are on benefits and aged 60 plus
The criteria relating to qualifying benefits are as set out in Government guidelines.
How do I apply?
The first step in applying is to ring the Energy Saving Scotland advice centre on 0800 512 012.
An advisor will then ask you some questions about the heating systems in your home, and your circumstances, to enable him to decide whether you qualify for help, and if so, which type of help. He will then advise you accordingly. For more information visit www.energyassistancepackage.com
Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT)
Fuel suppliers run this initiative as part of their energy efficiency commitment to the Government; they offer discounted rates on energy efficiency measure to homeowners to help reduce as much CO2 emissions as possible. Measures eligible under the scheme include boiler scrapping cash back deals, insulation measures and discounted low energy light bulbs
A homeowner does not have to be a customer of a specific fuel supplier in order to take advantage of its offers. It is advised that whichever energy efficient measure you would like to install, you get quotes from three different suppliers before you go ahead.
This programme is aimed at people who are not in receipt of any benefits, and enables them to receive reduced installation costs on all energy efficient measures.
For more information on CERT contact: SCARF