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District Dispatch - 5 September 2023

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, especially given the changing climate and the current economic climate.

Councillor Jonathan Brown, Deputy Leader Chichester District Council and Cabinet Member for Environmental Strategy

The average household could be losing hundreds of pounds each year because their property isn't energy efficient, so it's important to be aware of the different schemes available that could help you improve the energy efficiency of your home, cut your carbon footprint, and reduce your bills. The council is working with partners to promote some of the grants I'm going to talk about in this column, so it's worth noting that you may receive a letter through the post from our partners with information — look out for the council's logo and if you have any concerns and want to check that a letter is genuine then please give us a call.

One of these initiatives is the Government Boiler Upgrade Scheme (opens new window), through which you could get a grant to cover part of the cost of replacing fossil fuel heating systems with a heat pump or biomass boiler. Fossil fuel heating systems include oil, gas or electric. Your property must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate with no outstanding recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation to be eligible.

Warmer Homes can provide a range of fully-funded energy efficiency improvements for your home through the government's Home Upgrade Grant (HUG). Find out more by visiting the Warmer Homes website (opens new window). The grants are for those on low household income or for those in receipt of means tested benefits and who have a property with an Energy Performance Rating (EPC) of E, F or G. Find an energy certificate for a property (opens new window) by visiting the Government website.

The Chichester Warm Homes Initiative is a scheme that we have introduced as a council to help keep people warm. It provides financial assistance for residents on a low income living in a property with poor energy efficiency and for landlords with an eligible tenant. It could contribute towards the installation of an efficient heating system, as well as loft and wall insulation. The maximum assistance is £10,000 for homeowners living in on-gas areas, and up to £25,000 for those in off-gas areas. For more details and to apply, please visit our Chichester District Warm Homes Initiative page.

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme offers grants to low income households and those in vulnerable situations, which can help you insulate your home. You might also be able to get help with replacing an old, inefficient boiler or other heating system. We are working with an energy supplier to start delivering the latest grant shortly, and we will keep you updated on this. If you are in a low income or vulnerable household, you can also contact your energy supplier to ask what support they can give you. To find out which energy suppliers are taking part, visit the ECO supplier contact details page (opens new window).

The government will be introducing a new 'Great British Insulation Scheme' shortly. This will offer more grants to fund insulation for homes in council tax bands A-D. Low income households will be eligible for free insulation and households not on a low income will get insulation at a reduced cost.

If you are not eligible for any of the schemes mentioned, there are other ways to access advice. We have created a handy leaflet that summarises all of the different schemes and you can download the Chichester District energy grants leaflet from our website. Energy grants leaflet (Word doc) [871KB]

With bills at an all-time high, knowing how to save energy has never mattered more. Whether it's information on green heating, insulating your home, or investing in more energy efficient appliances, visit the Energy Saving Trust site (opens new window) for advice and guidance. Don't forget that our Supporting You team are here to help and they can be contacted by email on: supportingyou@chichester.gov.uk or by calling: 01243 534860.

You can also visit our Chichester District Supporting You campaign pages for tips on accessing help or saving money on your household bills.

 

Best Wishes

Cllr Jonathan Brown

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environmental Strategy at Chichester District Council