British Gas, EDF, and Thames Water are offering customers free loft and cavity wall insulation. The former alone can knock up to £175 off heating bills, while insulating cavity walls can save another £135.
British Gas and Thames Water are sending leaflets to 2.3 million households in London and the Thames Valley from next month but you can already start applying. To sign up, visit www.britishgas.co.uk/freeinsulation, or phone 0800 980 8177.
You’ll have to fill in details about your home, such as the type and age of property, fuel used to heat it, and presence of any existing insulation materials. Then someone from a call centre will contact you to arrange a time for a free survey of your home. Fitters will also provide water-saving devices whilst they are visiting.
The survey takes about half an hour, and, if eligible, fitters will then organise an installation time. It takes less than a day to put in insulation, although if your loft has floorboards, you’ll have to take these up yourself.
Through Thames Water and British Gas, the scheme is only available to customers. However EDF is installing insulation even to those who get their energy from elsewhere.
To be eligible, homes cannot have pre-existing cavity wall insulation, or loft insulation that’s more than 60mm thick. Installers also insist they would have to be able to insulate at least two thirds of the total loft surface or wall cavities.
The deal is part of the government’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Target, which forces gas and electricity suppliers to promote energy efficiency measures in homes.
Vulnerable households can also benefit from the Government Warm Front scheme to help cut energy bills. It provides up to £3,500 to homeowners or those who rent from a private landlord and receive certain income-related benefits to put towards loft insulation, draught-proofing, cavity wall or hot water tank insulation, or gas, electric, liquid petroleum gas or oil heating.
It’s targeted at those on certain benefits and you can find out about eligibility, plus apply, at www.direct.gov.uk/warmfront or call 0800 316 2805.