Important changes to the Home Energy Scotland Scheme
The Home Energy Scotland scheme has introduced changes that limit the types of installation that can be solely funded by the grant.
The Home Energy Scotland scheme was set up in 2008 to help eligible homeowners in Scotland improve the energy efficiency of their homes. It works by subsidising some or all of the cost of energy efficiency installations.
Recently, the scheme has changed its rules. So read on to familiarise yourself with the changes and to see if the scheme meets your needs.
Until now, it’s been possible to apply for funding to cover the cost of various installations, including:
- Biomass boilers
- Electric heating
- Energy storage
- Heat pumps
- High heat retention storage heaters
- Renewable-powered heat network scheme connections
- Secondary improvements (thermostats, hot water jackets, etc)
- Solar panels
- Window glazing
- Wind/hydro turbines
But as of Tuesday 27 June 2023, it isn’t possible anymore to apply for funding solely to cover the cost of energy storage systems (e.g. heat or electric batteries) or solar panels.
To get funding for these installations, they must be installed alongside a heat pump or high heat retention storage heater.
The Home Energy Scotland scheme is open to applications from homeowners in Scotland. There are no other requirements, but the amount you could receive may be higher if you live in a rural area.
The change will affect anyone who hasn’t already applied to the scheme. You won’t be affected if your application was accepted before 27 June 2023.
What can you do?
Fortunately, it's not just Home Energy Scotland that provides funding to help with the cost of home energy efficiency measures. There are several other schemes, including the recent £1 billion ECO+ scheme, which could meet your needs.
At Snugg, we have access to a range of grants for homeowners looking to improve the efficiency of their homes. Sign up to Snugg to find out which grants you might be eligible for.
Why have the rules changed?
Home Energy Scotland says its goal is to use its limited funding budget more effectively. So it’s targeting improvements that will produce the most heat (or reduce heat demand) with the least carbon emissions.
It’s unclear why solar panels and energy storage systems were specifically singled out. But it may be that due to the huge demand for solar panels, Home Energy Scotland may be looking to incentivise people to also incorporate heat pumps and high heat retention storage heaters to further reduce carbon emissions.
What’s Snugg’s verdict?
At Snugg, our mission is to help speed up progress towards net zero. We understand that public funds are tight and therefore why incentives for solar and batteries have been scaled back. However, finding suitable grants and funding options is already tricky, and options change regularly. So another change in requirements doesn’t help this already confusing environment.
Despite the changes to the Home Energy Scotland scheme, there are still several other grants available for those who wish to install solar panels. And there are many more opportunities still for homeowners to improve the efficiency of their homes without installing solar panels or heat pumps.
The question that homeowners need to be asking themselves is, “What should I be installing?” The answer may well be insulation, which will make any further measures, such as solar panels or heat pumps, even more effective.
To find out the type of energy efficiency measures are best for your home, and to discover which grants and payment options you’re eligible for, get your free energy improvement plan from Snugg.
Get more insights
Get your free personalised home energy efficiency plan
Get a free personalised plan to help reduce your energy bills and prepare for a greener future.