The Help to Heat Scheme has similar goals to the Affordable Warmth Scheme but there are some important changes:
- There will be a greater emphasis on fuel poverty which should increase the number of households who qualify for a heating grant.
- There will be an 18 month transition period from 1st April 2017 to give time to decide the exact details of the new Fuel Poverty Obligation which is due to start in September 2018 and last until 2022.
- The amount of funding will fall from £870m for the last year of the ECO Scheme to £640m per year in the 18 month transition period. However, parts of ECO will cease and the amount of funding directed to Affordable Warmth and towards alleviating fuel poverty will be increased.
- The need for an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) will be removed for applications from householders. The EPC was used to calculate the amount of the grant.
- The new grant calculation will be based on the carbon saving or cost saving achieved by upgrading the heating system. To simplify this, a deemed score for each applicant will be based on the type of house, how many bedrooms it has, the type of fuel it uses and the proposed energy efficiency measure to be installed.
- It will be made easier for householders in social housing to qualify for a grant for cavity wall insulation, loft insulation or ‘first time central heating systems, by including social housing with an EPC rating of E, F or G.
- The total amount of funding for gas boiler replacement will be capped.
- The Help to Heat Scheme will apply to England and Wales but the Scottish Parliament will be able to introduce their own scheme if they wish.