Round-up of household energy support
With energy prices rising, here’s a reminder of sources of local support to improve home draughtproofing and energy efficiency or get help with energy bills.
Warm Home Check service
This service, run by Citizens’ Advice and East Sussex County Council, can help make sure you’re getting the financial support that’s available to keep warm this winter. You can also get help with small repairs to heating or loans of heating equipment and installing draft excluders. Where funding is available, the service may also be able to help with bigger home insulation and heating system upgrades.
To qualify, you need to own your home or rent privately, and be either on a low income or living with a long-term condition or disability, or be receiving certain benefits, listed on the website. There is a simple online enquiry form you can fill in to request support or guidance. The service claims to respond within two working days. The advice and help with home energy is given by not-for-profit RetrofitWorks.
Text WARM to 80011,
call 0800 464 7307
or visit: warmeastsussex.org.uk
Household Support Grants
Lewes District Council has opened its Household Support Fund again. This gives grants to help with the cost of food, heating and lighting, or water bills.
To be eligible you live with the council’s area and be receiving certain benefits. For more details go to: https://www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/benefits-and-grants/household-support-grants/
Green Home Grants
Lower-income households can until end of this March apply for financial help to retrofit their home to make it warmer or more energy efficient. Grants can be used to help with insulation, heating (excluding gas/oil boilers), replacement of single glazed windows, heating controls, ventilation, hot water systems, solar PV and lighting.
The grant is funded by the UK Government and managed by Warmworks with support from Energy Saving Trust. Grants of up to £10,000 are available to owner-occupiers and up to £5,000 for private/social rent tenants (requires minimum 33% contribution from the landlord).
To qualify for a grant, households must have:
– A maximum combined household income of £30,000 per year or less, or less than £20,000 per year after housing costs (rent/mortgage and council tax) are deducted
– A home in Energy Performance Certificate band D, E, F or G.
If an applicant is eligible, the Warmworks team will get in contact to discuss next steps and survey their home. Referrals must be received by 31 March 2022. Works must be completed by 30 June 2022.
To learn more or apply go to: https://surveys.est.org.uk/s/GreenHomesGrantSchemeLAD/
Ovesco Community Energy
Ovesco is keen to reach local households and build partnerships with community and outreach centres to support its work around combatting fuel poverty. As well as advice on bills, it is giving away free ‘Home Energy Packs’ and insulation kits to those on low income consisting of:
- General energy efficiency information
- Information on free fuse upgrades
- Radflek (radiator reflectors)
- Draught excluders
- Secondary glazing film
For those interested in more in-depth energy saving, its Communiheat programme has gathered resources and signposting for advice on retrofitting properties to make them less draughty and more energy efficient.
For more information about any of these services or if you would like bill checking or advice to a group you are involved with, please email email@example.com or call its new freephone number: 0800 4589045.
Draughtproofing skills workshops
Olivier Sauer, a local eco-builder (http://lewesbuilderdecorator.co.uk/) who has provided draughtproofing services via Transition Town Lewes for many years, is keen to share his skills with other builders and DIY people. He is available to run workshops addressing any of the following topics:
- Cold surfaces
- Draughts through windows and floors (including skirtings)
- Secondary glazing
If you do small-scale building work for householders, or want to do more in your own home, contact Olivier on firstname.lastname@example.org Workshops can be on Saturdays at 2pm or some weekday evenings at 6pm, depending on when people can attend.
Magnetic-strip secondary glazing video
Olivier Sauer (above) can help with training on making and installing low-cost ‘magnetic strip’ double-glazing, which can be put up in winter then taken down and stored away as the weather gets warmer. Invaluable help on the topic is also provided by Lewes’ Jill Goulder in her YouTube video, which has been watched and liked by viewers around the world (click on image below). To view a pdf guide click here.
Online Eco Open Houses: Insulation & Draughtproofing webinar
Finally, the excellent webinar that Transition Town Lewes held as part of its Online Eco Open Homes Festival last year features Lewes householders with a range of different properties explaining the measures they’ve taken over the years to reduce draughts and cut down the heating bills. Watch it below: