Your Guide to the Great British Insulation Scheme

What is the GBIS scheme?

The Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) is a government scheme aimed at improving the energy efficiency of homes across the UK. Previously known as ECO+, the government have backed the scheme with £1 billion of funding.

Who is it GBIS for?

GBIS is aimed at helping around 300,000 households and mainly targets the least energy-efficient homes in Council Tax A-D bands in England (A-E in Scotland and Wales) with Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings of D or below. 20% of the annual GBIS spend is to be targeted on low-income households.

When does GBIS finish?

It runs from April 2023 until March 2026 and provides funding for homeowners to insulate their properties and save on energy bills. Unlike ECO4 which takes a ‘whole house’ approach GBIS mostly delivers single insulation measures.


Key Features of GBIS:

Regulatory Changes and Focus:

GBIS follows the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) schemes but is specifically designed to address gaps by offering single, low-cost insulation measures. This contrasts with ECO4’s “whole house” approach, making GBIS more accessible for quick, impactful improvements.

The scheme supports low-income and vulnerable households, ensuring those in need, benefit from better insulation, which can significantly reduce energy bills by hundreds of pounds yearly.

Technical Implementation:

GBIS mainly covers a range of insulation measures such as cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, and solid wall insulation. It does not include heating controls except for specific low-income groups.

The scheme focuses on a “fabric-first” approach, which ensures the building ‘envelope’ is improved to maintain energy efficiency before other measures are considered.

Eligibility and Impact:

Households in Council Tax bands A-D in England and A-E in Scotland and Wales are eligible, focusing on those with lower EPC ratings. The scheme also targets private renters and social housing tenants under certain conditions.

It aims to deliver high volumes of single insulation measures, thereby improving a high number of homes quickly and effectively to help alleviate fuel poverty and improve living conditions.

Addressing Past Issues and Compliance:

Since the previous regulations, there have been updates to ensure wider coverage and better enforcement of energy efficiency standards.

The introduction of GBIS aims to fix issues identified under previous schemes like limited accessibility and complex implementation procedures.

To avoid past problems, the scheme includes robust monitoring and verification processes, ensuring compliance and effectiveness through systematic checks and balances.

Can My Home Benefit from the Great British Insulation Scheme?

Your property might be eligible for the Great British Insulation Scheme if it needs energy-efficiency upgrades like cavity wall insulation. The scheme offers one insulation measure per home, determined through a retrofit assessment which evaluates potential energy savings and carbon emission reductions. For low-income households, secondary measures such as room thermostats or boiler programmers may also be available.

An assessor from your energy supplier will visit your home to decide on the necessary measure.

Eligibility Criteria for the Great British Insulation Scheme

To qualify, you must own your home or have your landlord’s permission, including properties managed by social housing providers or management companies. Contact any obligated energy supplier to see how they can assist you, even if they aren’t your current provider.

General Eligibility

The scheme supports both low-income and general households:

  • Low-Income Group: Homeowners or tenants receiving at least one of the following benefits:
  • Child Benefit
  • Pension Guarantee Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Tax Credits (Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits)
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit Saving Credit

General Group: Homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D to G, within Council Tax bands A to D in England, and A to E in Scotland and Wales.

Local authorities can refer residents to energy suppliers for support under the local authority flex of the scheme.

Types of Insulation Available

Eligible measures for both groups include:

  • Cavity wall (including party wall)
  • Loft
  • Solid wall
  • Pitched roof
  • Flat roof
  • Under-floor
  • Solid floor
  • Park home
  • Room-in-roof

For owner-occupied low-income homes, secondary heating controls like room thermostats may be included. Higher-cost measures like solid wall insulation may require a household contribution.

Costs and Funding

Energy companies decide the retrofit projects to fund, the funding level, and the installers they work with. Some projects may require a household contribution. The scheme is not a grant, so funding levels and support types vary. It’s advisable to obtain written quotes detailing all included and excluded costs to avoid hidden charges.

Co-Funding and Other Grants

Measures funded by the scheme cannot be combined with other government schemes. Non-scheme measures must be installed before or after scheme measures to avoid impacting the SAP assessment.

Handling Complaints

Ofgem oversees the scheme’s targets and compliance but does not manage installations or contractual disputes. If you have complaints, provide feedback to help improve standards. Visit the dedicated complaints page for more information.

Local Authority Flex

Local authorities can refer households not receiving the listed benefits but still in need of energy efficiency improvements. Eligibility under this flex may include:

Combined gross annual household income under £31,000

Household members with health conditions worsened by cold homes

Check with your local authority or Devolved Administration to see if they participate and if you can self-refer.

Additional Energy-Efficiency Help

For advice on energy efficiency or help with energy bills in England or Wales, visit the respective information pages.

TrustMark Scheme

All installers under the scheme must be TrustMark-accredited. Always verify an installer’s credentials on the TrustMark website.

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