Grants and funding
Help with Energy Bills
With rising energy bills, many people are concerned about how they will be able to afford the increase and continue to heat their home.
There are a number of schemes, grants and advice available to help with energy bills;
Council Tax Rebate
The Government has announced an Energy Bill Rebate for households in England from April 2022 to help with rising energy costs.
This includes a one-off payment of £150 to most households in Council Tax bands A-D, excluding empty or second homes.
Green Homes Grant Local Delivery Scheme
The Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme invites Essex residents to apply for up to £10,000 of free funding for energy efficiency home improvements.
Improvements can include insulation, heating and hot water systems, solar panels and lighting.
The scheme is available to homeowners in Essex with:
- Total household income of less than £30,000*
- A low home Energy Performance Certificate rating (D, E, F or G)
*Homeowners with a combined income above £30,000 may still be eligible if someone in their household receives Universal Credit, Jobseeker Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Armed Forces Independence Payment or other income, health or disability benefit.
Householders may still be eligible if the whole household income from employment after housing costs (mortgage or rent and council tax) are deducted are less than £20,000 a year.
Up to £5,000 of free funding is also available for private landlords. Eligible landlords must contribute 33% towards the installation cost of energy efficiency measures.
Following a successful application, Warmworks, the supplier delivering the improvements, will contact the applicant to arrange a survey and identify the energy efficiency measures.
Applications are currently open until 31 March 2022.
Major Housing Grant
We make major housing grants for:
- installing hot water or heating systems
- repairing hot water or heating systems
You can apply for a major housing grant if you are:
- an owner occupier of a property
- a leaseholder with at least five years lease remaining and have a repairing responsibility for the property
The property you want to repair, must be your only or main residence and must have been in your ownership for at least three years. For first time buyers, you must have owned the property for at least 12 months.
Major housing grants are means-tested and you must repay the grant in full when you sell or transfer the property.
You can contact us to apply for a major housing grant.
Minor Works Assistance
Minor works grants go towards the cost of undertaking repairs not covered by the Decent Homes standard that if left will have a detrimental effect on the fabric of the dwelling or mobile home.
You can only apply for a minor works grant if you are receiving an income related benefit.
You must repay the grant in full when you sell or transfer the property.
You can contact us to apply for a minor works grant.
Disabled Facilities Grants
You can apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) if:
- you or a member of your family has a disability
- you need to adapt your home to make it suitable for a person with disabilities
You can check GOV.UK for information about what you’ll get and who can apply for a DFG.
To apply for a DFG, you need to contact the occupational therapy team from Essex County Council’s Adult Social Care.
Essex Essential Living Fund
Anyone can apply for this funding. You will need to answer questions about your income, earnings and savings. You also need to give proof of your financial situation.
The Essential Living Fund can help pay for:
- household furnishings
- white goods
- clothing and footwear, including school uniforms in exceptional circumstances
- general living expenses such as groceries, nappies, toiletries and money for pay-as-you-go fuel meters
The Essex Essential Living Fund has replaced Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants.
You must live in Essex and apply through Southend Borough Council.
Essex Cultural Diversity Project (ECDP)
ECDP will be managing a food and fuel fund within its network of organisations supporting culturally diverse communities to ensure they have access to support and funding as needed.
You can get apply for support through Essex Cultural Diversity Project.
Groundwork East offers the Green Doctor Service throughout the Essex area, focusing on Colchester, Braintree and Harlow. The service works with residents living in fuel poverty that may be struggling to pay their utility bills or to keep their homes warm to better get control of their energy usage, get on top of utility bills including utility debts, in order to live in warmer homes and have a better quality of life.
- Look at funding to improve home energy efficiency i.e. insulation, new boilers
- Switching energy companies
- Energy awareness advice for residents themselves
- Help to pay off debts by applying to grants or setting up payment plans
- Onward referrals i.e. Anglian Water Priority Services Team
- Free energy saving measures;
- LED light bulbs
- Draught proofing
- Radiator panels
- Letter flap and door brushes
- Hot water bottles
- Water saving shower heads
Although the service is free there are qualifying criteria:
- Anyone aged over 65
- Anyone living on a low income or with debt
- Anyone with mental or physical medical conditions, especially ones exacerbated by the cold i.e. arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular conditions
- Young families who have children under the age of 5
- Anyone living in emergency housing or poor housing conditions
- Pregnant women
Initially a first consultation is had, with the option of a second if needed as well as a follow up call to see how the suggested actions and recommendations are going.
Residents can get in touch directly through firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 077 0294 1440.
Visit the Green Doctors website to request a referral.
Braintree District Council Handyman Scheme
We offer a free service for residents aged 65 and over or vulnerable owner occupiers and private tenants to help keep you safe and well. The service does not cover plumbing or electrical work and does not include maintenance work.
In terms of helping keep homes warm, they can help with radiator bleeding, draught insulation, foil backing, hot water tank jacket, trickle vents, replace curtain rails and loft clearance to enable loft insulation to be installed.
Contact the Sustainability Team on 01376 552525 for information on criteria and eligibility.
Residents who are Social Tenants (eg Eastlight) should contact their own Housing Association.