Who can benefit from the £1bn scheme for energy bills help?

energy bills Worker in protective goggles and respirator insulating rock wool insulation in wooden frame for future house walls for cold barrier. Comfortable warm home, economy, construction and renovation concept
The ECO+ scheme will offer loft and cavity wall insulation, as well as smart heating controls to cut energy bills. Photo: Getty

The UK government has launched a £1bn Eco+ scheme aimed at saving households £310 a year on energy bills by making homes more energy efficient.

Hundreds of thousands of households could receive loft and cavity wall insulation under the scheme, which will run for for three years from spring 2023.

Smart heating controls are also included under the scheme that widens access to assistance that was previously only available to poorer households.

It is predominantly being targeted at households that do not currently get support to upgrade homes, though a fifth of the funding will be targeted at the most vulnerable.

Some 80% of the scheme’s funding will be accessible for families who are in the least energy-efficient homes in the country.

Read more: Energy bill support to cost taxpayers £1,800 per household

These are homes which have an EPC rating of D or below. Those on lower council tax bands will also benefit from the scheme.

“A new Eco scheme will enable thousands more to insulate their homes, protecting the pounds in their pockets and creating jobs across the country,” energy secretary Grant Shapps said.

“And in the short term, our new public information campaign will also give people the tools they need to reduce their energy use while keeping warm this winter,” he added.

The government energy price guarantee at its current level expires in April 2023 (Yahoo News UK/Flourish)
The government energy price guarantee at its current level expires in April 2023. Chart: Yahoo News UK/Flourish

A new £18m public information campaign will also offer technical tips and advice for people to reduce their energy use while keeping warm this winter.

Reducing boiler flow temperatures from 75°C to 60°C and turning down radiators in empty rooms could save a typical household £160 per year, according to the guidance to be published on the help for households website.

The average household sets their combination boiler water flow temperature between 75°C and 80°C.

“Our new ECO+ scheme will help hundreds of thousands of people across the UK to better insulate their homes to reduce consumption, with the added benefit of saving families hundreds of pounds each year,” chancellor Jeremy Hunt said.

Watch: Millions in the UK Are Getting Poorer, But Why?

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The government said the proposed ECO+ scheme would help meet a recent target to reduce energy consumption by 15% by 2030.

Greenpeace UK energy campaigner Georgia Whitaker warned the funding was not nearly enough as nearly 7 million homes are suffering fuel poverty, while 19 million homes in England and Wales are badly insulated.

“This is a drop in the ocean compared to what people actually need to stay warm and well this winter and in the winters to come,” she said.

“At least £6bn is needed by the end of this parliament for a nationwide insulation programme that will not only help reduce our emissions but will also reduce the terrible levels of fuel poverty in the UK.

“The sooner the government realises this and actually gets going the sooner we’ll have more affordable bills, more energy security and a more stable climate.”