Written by, Marija Petkova
Updated November, 24, 2022
Almost a quarter of heat escapes through the roof of your home—a problem that can be resolved by placing insulating material under the rafters.
Properly insulating your home is not cheap, but eligible homeowners can apply for a UK loft insulation grant, making their house more energy efficient and saving money in the process.
Qualifying homeowners (usually those who receive benefits or have low income) can get a gov grant for loft insulation that can help increase their property’s energy efficiency rating and cut their energy and heating bills.
The grants are available under the ECO Scheme—a government-backed programme that obligates utility companies like British Gas, E.ON and EDF, to cover the cost of loft insulation.
The ECO4 Scheme (the final rollout of the Energy Company Obligation) aims to improve homes’ EPC rating by providing grants for wall cavity insulation, smart heating controls, solid wall insulation and free boiler replacement.
If you qualify for a grant, an installer will place mineral wool on the floor of the loft, between the joists and on top of them. The government grant for loft insulation also covers the cost of installing draught excluders around the hatch, lagging any pipework, as well as fitting a walkway to water tanks (if they are located 1 metre) or further from the hatch.
To qualify for loft insulation grants in the UK in 2022, you need to:
Own the property you are applying for (council-owned properties or privately rented properties do not qualify)
Have a home that has an energy efficiency rating of D or lower. Click here to check your home’s EPC rating.
Claim government benefits such as:
There should also be 100mm or less of insulation already installed in the loft to get government grants for loft insulation. If there is more than 100mm, the installer will provide a quote to top up to the recommended level of 270mm.
The insulation has to cover at least 60% of the property, which means that extensions don’t qualify. The home must be owner-occupied (or privately rented) and not undergoing any renovations.
Note that recipients of disability benefits or army veterans no longer automatically qualify under the ECO4 scheme as they did under the previous phase of the programme.
Those receiving child benefits need to meet income thresholds in order to qualify. These are:
There are still ways you can get a UK loft insulation grant even if you are not on benefits.
As part of the ECO4 scheme, local councils can award grants for loft insulation to eligible residents. Usually, applicants are required to have low income (less than £31,000 a year) or have low energy-efficient homes. The local councils set the criteria.
Unlike the ECO3 programme, which allowed local councils to get 25% of £4 billion in funding, ECO4 provides them with 50% so more residents can get help with their heating bills.
If you are receiving non-means tested benefits, live in social housing or a rented home, check with your council to see if you qualify for a grant for loft insulation.
Pensioners do not automatically qualify for a grant for loft insulation. However, if they are over the retirement age, claim Pension Guarantee Credit or Pension Savings Credit and meet the other requirements, pensioners might be eligible.
If not, it’s worthwhile to take a look at other government schemes, such as Winter Fuel Payment which provides eligible pensioners with a tax-free lump sum ranging between £150 and £300.
To apply, you need to check if your energy supplier is part of the ECO4 Scheme. All utility companies in the UK with 150,000 customers and more are obligated to participate in this government-backed programme, including Scottish Power, E.ON, British Gas, EDF and others. Check Ofgem’s website for the full list.
If your energy provider is part of the ECO programme, contact them and see if you qualify for a grant.
Provided you meet the conditions, a surveyor will visit your property and determine if and for how much of the grant your home is eligible for. In some cases, the government grant for the insulation of a loft will cover 100% of the cost, however, most applicants will get a seriously discounted price.
After that, a registered installer will place insulating material (mineral wool, i.e. glass fibre is the only option with the ECO4 Scheme) on the floor of the loft and between and across the joists. This way the mineral wool traps the heat rising in the home, just like a blanket on cold winter nights.
The cost of loft insulation in the UK varies according to the size of the house and the amount of loft insulation you plan to use.
Below are the Energy Savings Trust’s estimations of the cost of loft insulation and potential savings:
|Type of house||Cost||Savings (electricity bills/kgCO2 annually)|
|Detached house (0mm–270mm)||£630||£590/1000 kg|
|Detached house (120mm–270mm)||£480||£55/95kg|
|Semi-detached house (0mm–270mm)||£480||£355/610 kg|
|Semi-detached house (120mm–270mm)||£390||£35/55kg|
|Mid-terrace house (0mm–270mm)||£455||£330/560kg|
|Mid-terrace house (120mm–270mm)||£370||£30/50kg|
|Detached bungalow (0mm–270mm)||£640||£590/1000kg|
|Detached bungalow (120mm–270mm)||£480||£55/95kg|
If installed property, loft insulation is an investment that will pay for itself more than once during its 40 year lifetime.
Note: According to recommendations, your home needs at least 270mm of loft insulation. If you have insulation at this level, but it hasn’t been replaced or topped up in more than 15 years, you could save a lot in energy bills if you have more insulation material fitted.
Did you know that the average UK household paid £3.31 a day for gas and electricity?
Apart from saving money on electricity bills and reducing your home’s carbon footprint, loft insulation can also increase the value of your home.
The loft insulation grant also includes draught-proofing the hatch, thus ensuring that your property is up to Building Regulations standards and preventing any pipes or water tanks from leaking because of extremely cold weather.
In addition, loft insulation will also keep your home cool in summer by preventing heat from coming in through the roof.
Finally, it will protect your home from draughts and cold spots which might lead to issues with moisture and damp patches on the walls and ceilings.
If you have any damp or condensation problems, contact a professional who will advise you on how to tackle these issues before insulating your loft. Insulated lofts are cooler which could worsen existing damp problems in the area.
If you are planning to or already using the loft as a living space, make sure that the walls and ceilings under a heated room and an unheated space are insulated.
If more than 20% of your loft is boarded, you must remove the boards before installation starts.
If you don’t qualify for a loft insulation grant, look into other grants and government-funded schemes, such as the Cold Weather Payment or the Warm Home Discount Scheme, as well as Nest (for residents of Wales) and Warmer Homes Scotland (for residents of Scotland) to help with the high cost of heating bills. Alternatively, you could take a look at what energy companies are offering as many of them have their own programmes to help consumers in need.
Insulating your loft is the easiest and most cost-effective way to stop heat loss through the roof of your home. The procedure will also increase your home’s energy efficiency and value, not to mention saving up to £590 on energy bills.
If you are a low-income earner or claim government benefits, such as Universal Credit or JSA, you could apply for a UK loft insulation grant and start enjoying a warmer home and lower bills.
Like homes with gabled roofs, houses with flat roofs also need insulation. A flat roof should be insulated from above to lower energy bills and reduce issues with condensation and moisture. The ECO4 scheme covers flat roof insulation as well, so check if you are eligible.
The recommended level of insulation in lofts is 270mm. You cannot qualify for loft insulation grants in the UK, though, unless you have 100mm or less of insulation already installed in your loft. The grant will only allow you to top up the already-installed insulation.
Earthwool, made from recycled glass, is considered one of the best insulation materials for lofts. However, applicants for loft insulation grants can only insulate their lofts with mineral wool. Other materials like sheep wool or foam are not covered with a UK loft insulation grant.
My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.