Free home insulation – do you qualify?

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You may have heard that free insulation is available from some of the big energy companies in the UK. Maybe you’d like to apply – we all like to save money where we can, after all. How do you know if you qualify? And if so, how simple is it to get the insulation installed? 

British Gas is providing loft and wall cavity insulation to households that meet the qualifying criteria, either for free or at a heavily discounted cost. Anyone can apply for free insulation regardless of their income or the utility provider they’re with. Apparently nine out of ten households will qualify, whether they’re working or on benefits.

This incentive is being carried out as part of the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme the government has set in place for UK energy companies. We’re committed to helping you save money on your living costs, so find out if your household qualifies for the ECO scheme.

fire warmth

Keep warm!

Why is insulation important?

Whenever you turn on the heating in your home, a good portion of that heat will escape via the loft or walls. Insulation in the loft or wall cavities can go a long way in preventing heat escaping. This can save you a considerable amount of money on energy bills.

There are two types of insulation you could have installed in your home:

  • Cavity wall insulation: Most homes built since 1920 have a gap between internal and external walls. Installing mineral wool and foam in the cavity not only helps keep warm air in, it also helps keep cold air out.
  • Loft insulation: Up to a quarter of your home’s heat escapes through the roof, but a lot of this can be prevented by laying mineral wool between the rafters.

How much could I save?

As these figures show, free insulation can save a considerable amount of money over a year:

Average annual saving Detached Semi-detached Mid-terrace Bungalow Flat
Cavity wall insulation £275 £160 £105 £110 £90
Loft insulation 
(0-270mm)
£240 £140 £135 £200  –

(Source: Energy Saving Trust via British Gas)

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to be a British Gas customer to apply?

No. You can apply no matter which utility provider you’re with.

Do I need to be on a low income to apply?

Not at all. Anyone on any income can apply to see if they qualify for the scheme.

Who will install the insulation?

The insulation will be fitted by qualified installers. They also offer a free ‘tidy up’ service once the work is completed.

Will British Gas try to sell me products once I sign up?

They may recommend other products and services that will help you to keep your home warmer and reduce your energy bills. There is no obligation to buy anything from them, however.

Can only people who own their homes apply?

If you rent privately, have a chat with your landlord and let them know about the ECO scheme so they can apply on your behalf. Local authority and housing associations usually have their own energy saving initiatives, so it’s worth finding out more and making sure your home is as energy efficient as possible.

Is StepChange Debt Charity making money by promoting the scheme?

No. We’re not receiving any commission for promoting the ECO scheme or British Gas. We simply want to help people save money.

Find out if you qualify

Please call 0800 141 3221 to speak to an advisor and find out if you qualify for free insulation. Free from all landlines and mobiles.

Rachel Connor has been with the charity for over 8 years, starting in Helpline before joining the MoneyAware team in 2012. Rach enjoys travelling, video games, watching anime, reading and creative writing in her spare time (currently writing a Young Adult fantasy series). She had a previous life as head writer on Cartoon Network's Ed Edd n Eddy and as a copywriter for LivingSocial. She's also written comics and graphic novels for the animated series Regular Show.

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