Martin Lewis Concerns About Energy Bills This Coming Winter

"Most people who are lower to mid users, which includes many of the poorest and most vulnerable in the country, will actually in total, once you factor in that £400, pay more this winter than last winter. And last winter was double the winter before. What are you going to do to help those people?"
Martin Lewis on Good Morning Britain
Martin Lewis
The Money Saving Expert Founder

In a recent episode of Good Morning, Martin Lewis, questioned Grant Shapp, the Secretary of State for Energy, about the energy support the UK government will be providing to people this coming winter. With the end of the £400 energy grant that was automatically paid to customers in March 2023, there are fears that people may end up paying double the amount they did last year in energy bills.

The prospect of increased energy bills has raised concerns among many, especially lower to middle users who are already bracing themselves for higher costs this winter compared to the difficult previous winter. Martin Lewis highlighted that many people found the energy costs last winter horrendous, and now they are worried about whether there will be any support available this winter.

The Good News! Despite the worries about higher energy bills, there is good news for those looking to reduce their expenses. One effective way to save on energy bills this winter is by making your home more energy-efficient. By doing so, you can potentially save hundreds of pounds. 

What energy grants are available in the UK?

The UK government has introduced various grants to financially assist homeowners in making their properties more energy-efficient. These grants aim to help individuals and families reduce their energy consumption and lower their bills:

Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) Scheme

Launched in April 2022, ECO4 is the fourth phase of the Energy Company Obligation scheme, with £4 billion allocated to improving the energy efficiency of homes across the UK. The scheme targets the lowest-efficiency homes, particularly those without a mains gas supply. Eligible homes can receive property insulation, solar panels, and a renewable energy heating system for free, helping to improve the overall energy performance of properties.

Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS)

For homes using fossil fuels, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme offers a discount voucher to facilitate the switch to a renewable energy solution, such as biomass, air-source heat pumps (ASHP), or ground-source heat pumps (GSHP). By upgrading to renewable energy sources, homeowners can reduce their reliance on traditional fossil fuels and save on energy costs.

Home Upgrade Grant (HUG)

Phase 2 of the Home Upgrade Grant started in April 2023, focusing on improving the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of properties off the gas grid. The grant covers the cost of insulation for homes without a mains gas supply, making these properties more energy-efficient and cheaper to heat during the winter. The scheme commonly funds loft insulation and sometimes cavity wall and under-floor insulation, depending on the property’s needs.

Energy Efficient Heating Systems

The government is pushing for households to switch to renewable energy such as solar panels, heat pumps, and insulation to lead us towards a greener and more sustainable future.

Solar Panels 

Solar panels offer numerous benefits to UK homeowners, making them a smart investment for a greener future. They can also help you save energy and reduce your reliance on the grid, leading to lower energy bills over time. Additionally, solar panels contribute to a cleaner environment by producing clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Moreover, installing solar panels can increase the value of your home, making it more appealing to potential buyers in the future. Homeowners can take advantage of government-backed schemes like the ECO4 scheme, to make the transition to solar energy more affordable and beneficial. Check If you qualify.

Air source heat pumps

Heat pumps offer a highly efficient and eco-friendly solution for heating, producing up to four kilowatts of heat from just one kilowatt of electricity. This exceptional efficiency and their renewable heat source make them an appealing alternative to conventional fossil fuel-based heating systems.

One of the most significant advantages of heat pumps is their year-round effectiveness. Unlike traditional heating systems that struggle in extremely cold weather, heat pumps can operate at lower temperatures, even below zero degrees Celsius. This means that homes and businesses can enjoy reliable and sustainable heat throughout the year, without the need for backup heating systems. 

Home Upgrade Grant HUG - man laying loft insulation
Insulation 

Insulation prevents heat from escaping your home through the walls, floor and roofs. It helps keep the heat inside, making sure your house stays warm and comfortable for a long time. This means you won’t need to use heaters as much, saving you money on energy bills and helping the environment. 

To make the process of insulating homes more accessible and affordable, there are various government-backed schemes like the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG)

In conclusion, while the end of the £400 energy grant may cause concern, there are still opportunities to reduce energy bills this winter. By taking advantage of government grants and making your home more energy-efficient, you can lower your costs and contribute to a greener, more sustainable future. So, start exploring the available options and make the most of the support provided to create a more energy-efficient and cost-effective home.

For more information about other government grants available and to check if you are eligible for the grants, take a look at this section of our website: Government Grants and Support 
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