GBIS and HUG offer free home upgrades to thousands

Sep 21, 2023 | Electricity & Gas, Property

The UK government is offering two new forms of support to help households improve their energy efficiency – the Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) and the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG).

Qualifying households will be able to apply for free or discounted upgrades to their insulation and heating. The upgrades are expected to cut energy bills by £300 – £400 a year.



What is the Great British Insulation Scheme?

The Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) is an initiative where energy suppliers support customers on low incomes or in less energy-efficient housing by installing insulation.

The programme was previously called ECO+. Overall, more than £1 billion has been invested in the scheme. It’s expected that 300,000 households will be able to receive support.


Who qualifies for the GBIS?

There are a few qualifying criteria your household will need to meet before you can receive support with your insulation.

First, your home’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) must be grade D-G.

You’ll also need to be in Council Tax Band A-D in England or A-E in Scotland or Wales. The GBIS isn’t currently operating in Northern Ireland, but there is similar support available.

You can apply for support whether you’re a homeowner or a tenant.

Depending on your area, there may then be additional criteria to qualify such as a household income threshold, being in receipt of certain benefits or not having existing insulation. In some cases you can receive extra support based on these criteria.

The easiest way to see if your household qualifies is by using the free eligibility checker on the UK governments website. You’ll be asked for details about the household including your total annual income and whether anyone in the home is in receipt of benefits.


What support can I get through the GBIS?

If your household qualifies then your energy supplier will install free or discounted insulation.

Depending on your property this could be:


  • cavity wall insulation

  • solid wall insulation (internal or external)

  • loft insulation

  • flat or pitched roof insulation

  • underfloor insulation

  • solid floor insulation

  • park home insulation

  • room-in-roof insulation



What is the Home Upgrade Grant?

The Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) is a similar scheme specifically supporting households off the gas national grid.

The grants are available to homeowners who do not use a gas boiler as their main source of heat. These properties will typically use oil or solid fuel boilers, which have a greater environmental impact than gas boilers while also usually being more expensive to run.

Like the GBIS, properties must also have an EPC grade of D or below to qualify.

As well as support with insulation, the grant can be put towards an air-source heat pump or electric radiators.

To find out more and check if you are eligible visit the Home Upgrade Grant home page here.


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