New grants launched for heat pumps and energy efficiency
New grant funding has been made available to households in Scotland for the installation of heat pumps and energy efficiency measures in their homes.
As of today, homeowners can now apply for a standalone grant of £7,500 from the Home Energy Scotland Scheme to install heat pumps. Previously, applicants were required to sign up for a loan before they qualified for this funding, but can now access the money directly.
The new approach is designed to offer greater flexibility for those looking to make their homes more climate-friendly.
The enhanced measures will also include an extra £1,500 to homeowners in rural areas, in line with a commitment made as part of the Bute House Agreement. A standalone grant of £7,500 for energy efficiency improvements to homes will also be made available.
Minister for zero carbon buildings, Patrick Harvie, announced the changes whilst on a visit to a Home Energy Scotland advice centre in Edinburgh to learn more about the ways their advisors have been helping people to access energy efficiency funding.
He said: “Reducing emissions from our homes and buildings is one of the most important things we can do to help end Scotland’s contribution to climate change.
“Our Heat in Buildings Strategy sets out ambitious targets to transform how we heat and insulate buildings and we have committed £1.8 billion over this parliament to support its delivery. This includes doubling our funding for the Home Energy Scotland scheme this year.
“The improvements to the Home Energy Scotland Scheme – including, importantly, targeted support for those in rural areas - will make it easier for people to access funding to ensure their homes are more energy efficient and use climate-friendly heating.
“I would encourage anyone that is interested to visit the Home Energy Scotland website. Advisors are also available to guide applicants through the process.”
Changes to the scheme involve:
- Grant funding for heat pumps up to £7,500. The remainder of funding requested can be taken up as an optional interest-free loan.
- Grant funding for energy efficiency improvements – up to 75% of the combined cost of the improvements and up to the maximum grant amount of £7,500.
- A rural uplift of £1,500 to both the heat pump and energy efficiency grants. This uplift increases the heat pump grant flat rate and the maximum limit of the energy efficiency grant to £9,000.
- Packages of measures created to support the uptake of complimentary measures that offer substantial improvement to energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation of households.
Harry Mayers, head of Home Energy Scotland, said: “Having a warm home and reducing energy bills are big priorities for households in Scotland. The Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan will help thousands of households make much-needed improvements to their homes to keep out the cold and drive down bills.
“The changes being made mean that homeowners can now apply for grant funding without a loan; this will be a huge help towards covering the cost of making energy efficiency improvements or installing renewable systems such as heat pumps.
“The updated scheme comes at just the right time as we’re going into winter with energy prices at record highs. The rural uplift, which will provide extra financial support for those who live in rural and island communities who often face increased costs for home improvements, is especially welcome.”
Welcoming the scheme, the Existing Homes Alliance said: “Skyrocketing energy prices are crippling households’ finances. This generous support will help thousands of homeowners across Scotland make their homes warmer and move to clean heating like heat pumps – protecting them from the volatility of fossil fuel prices.
“We welcome that the Scottish Government is recognising the higher costs of decarbonising homes in rural Scotland and the higher grant rates for people in rural areas certainly help address some of these barriers. This announcement is good news for homeowners, but also great jobs for installers all over Scotland.”
Fabrice Leveque, energy and climate policy manager at WWF Scotland, added: “This is really welcome support that will make it easier for households to protect themselves against sky-high fossil fuel prices by taking climate-friendly steps like insulating their homes and moving to electric heat pumps. It’s particularly good to see the additional support offered to rural properties, in recognition of the extra costs that these properties often face.
“Soaring gas prices are an urgent reminder that the sooner we can banish polluting and volatile fossil fuels from our homes the better.”