As of today, homeowners in Scotland will find installing climate-friendly heat and energy efficiency measures in their homes more straightforward and more affordable. Quadrant Smart looks at the new approach and its benefits.
It has been revealed by the Scottish Government that homeowners can now apply for a standalone grant of £7,500 from the Home Energy Scotland Scheme to install heat pumps, with an aim to help people implement heat and energy efficiency measures in their homes.
Previously, applicants were required to sign up for a loan before they qualified for this funding, but now they can access the money directly.
Reducing Emissions Is Crucial To Scotland’s Climate Change Contribution
The new approach is said to offer greater flexibility for those looking to make their homes more climate-friendly. Patrick Harvie, Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, announced the changes whilst on a visit to a Home Energy Scotland advice centre in Edinburgh.
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.
Patrick continued by expressing that the improvements to the scheme include a rural uplift of £1,500 for both the heat pump and energy efficiency grants will be seen: “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.”
Grant Funding For Heat Pumps Improvements Will Be Seen
The new Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan scheme provides a grant which can be taken on its own or alongside an interest-free Home Energy Scotland Loan.
This replaces the previous Home Energy Scotland Loan and Cashback offer, where the cashback element had to be taken in tandem with an interest-free loan.
Changes to the scheme involve grant funding for heat pumps up to £7,500. The remainder of the funding requested can be taken up as an optional interest-free loan.
In addition to this, there will be grant funding for energy efficiency improvements – up to 75 per cent of the combined cost of the improvements and up to the maximum grant amount of £7,500.
Also, packages of measures created to support the uptake of complimentary measures that offer a substantial improvement to energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation of households will be seen.
The Loan Will Support Thousands Of Households
Harry Mayers, Head of Home Energy Scotland, explained that having a warm home and reducing energy bills are currently big priorities for households in Scotland and that: “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.”
He said that the changes that are being made mean that homeowners can now apply for grant funding without a loan and this will make a massive difference: “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.
Replacing the cashback element of the previous Home Energy Scotland funding offer with a standalone grant was pledged in the 2022-23 Programme for Government. For the year 2022-23, £42 million has been committed to the initiative, this is almost double last year’s amount.