The start of October has seen two notable happenings in the UK’s energy sector - both giving households the opportunities to reduce their energy bills. The Green Homes Grant – which was announced back in July – has now officially launched, with the Government announcing (opens in new tab) that the scheme offers the potential for 600,000 of England’s homeowners to save up to £600 a year.
The £2bn grant will see the Government fund up to two-thirds of the cost of green home improvements through vouchers worth up to £5,000. This will be for the installation of insulation to walls, roofs and floors, as well as new double or triple glazing, and the fitting of low-carbon heating systems. These tasks will be carried out by local, approved tradespeople across the UK, creating upwards of 120,000 new green jobs.
The scheme is open to people with low incomes, with some grants covering up to 100 per cent of the cost of works up to £10,000. The Government has also said the grant forms part of a wider plan to upgrade the energy efficiency of public buildings including schools and hospitals. It says it has set aside £50m to improve some social housing, and will introduce new measures to upgrade three million privately rented homes by 2028.
- Reduce your energy bills: see the cheapest tariffs in your area (opens in new tab)
“Our plan to upgrade the nation’s buildings and help build back better is good news for jobs, the environment and people’s back pockets, as we reduce emissions and help cut energy bills,” said business and energy secretary Alok Sharma.
If you're interested in finding out more about the scheme, you can visit the Green Homes Grant website, which is now open for new applications.
Energy bills to fall with new price cap
Over 11m UK households are also set to see their energy bill costs drop as Ofgem’s new energy price cap has come into effect. As we’ve previously reported, the cap on dual-fuel tariffs will drop by £84 from £1,126 to £1,042 a year for the next six months. In addition, the level of the cap for pre-payment meter customers will fall by £94 from £1,164 to £1,070 for the same period.
However, the reality is that if you've been helped by the price cap, then you're still overpaying on your energy bills. There are plenty of tariffs on offer that undercut the energy price cap.
Switch provider to save money
This is where running a quick energy comparison and looking to switch supplier can help if you’re on such tariffs – some of the best energy suppliers are currently offering tariffs upwards of £200 a year cheaper than the price cap.
Also, even if you’re not one of the affected 11m, it's still a good idea to regularly compare the energy market to see the best energy deals in your area and how much you could save by switching.
Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley actively encourages (opens in new tab) shopping around for a better deal, whether that's at your current supplier or by switching to a new provider. Combine this with the efficiency savings on offer from the Green Homes Grant, and you could see significant savings in your energy bills in both the short and long term.
- The best green energy suppliers (opens in new tab) in the UK
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