Who Qualifies For The Great British Insulation Scheme: A Comprehensive Guide
What is the Great British Insulation Scheme?
The Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) is a UK government initiative, aiming to improve energy efficiency in the worse insulated homes. It puts an obligation on energy suppliers to implement energy-saving measures in domestic properties, particularly focusing on insulation.
This scheme, a part of the broader Energy Company Obligation (ECO), and is instrumental in reducing carbon footprints and helping householders to reduce energy consumption in the home.
The scheme is administered by Ofgem and is due to run until 31 March 2026.
What Grants are Funded by the Great British Insulation Scheme?
GBIS funds various insulation grants, designed to improve home energy efficiency. These grants cover a range of insulation improvements, and you may be able to get help to install:
A secondary measure can only be carried out if:
- The applicant is in the low income group and
- A main measure is being carried out.
Who is Eligible to Apply for the Scheme?
Group 1 : General eligibility
The initiative aims to cover a broad spectrum of households by establishing a universal qualifying category. Under the Great British Insulation Scheme, residents within this category are eligible for various measures if their residence is in the Council Tax bands A to D in England, or bands A to E in both Scotland and Wales, and has an energy efficiency EPC rating of D or lower, ie, D, E, F, or G.
Group 2: Low-income group and Social Housing
There are 10 qualifying benefits that are eligible for the Great British Insulation Scheme under the low-income group category.
- Low-income group in receipt of any of the following benefits.
- Income based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
- Income based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support (IS)
- Pension Credit Guarantee Credit (PCGC)
- Working Tax Credit (WTC)
- Child Tax Credit (CTC)
- Universal Credit (UC)
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit Savings Credit (PCSC)
Child Benefit (subject to income caps and composition)
A further subsection of the low income group are eligible if they meet certain criteria based on income or health and is referred through their Local Authority Flex policy. Each local authority participating in the scheme will publish their own list of proxy targeting. There are 2 qualifying routes in this sub group.
Route 1: Household Income
Households with a gross annual household income of less than £31,000, with a property with an EPC rating of D,E,F or G if it is owner occupied, or an EPC rating of D or E if privately rented (including F and G if exempt from MEES
Route 2: Proxy Targeting
There are 7 qualifying proxies that can be used to determine eligibility to GBIS and is geared towards households that don’t meet the normal benefits criteria but by satisfying at least 2 of the proxies puts them in the category of low income, or vulnerable household, or living in fuel poverty.
The property must also have a pre-installation EPC rating band of E, F or G for owner occupied households and private rented sector E (including F and G if exempt from MEES)
Here is an example of one such proxy.
Proxy 6 – A person living at the premises has been referred to the Local Authority for support by their energy supplier, Citizens Advice or Citizens Advice Scotland because they have been identified by the referrer as struggling to pay their gas or electricity bills.
A full list of each proxy and criteria would be published on the participating local authorities website.
Route 3: NHS Referrals
Households referred to the Local Authority as housing a person suffering from a severe or long-term ill-health condition which is adversely affected by living in a cold home, provided they have a pre-installation EPC rating band of D-G if they are owner occupied properties, or D-E (including F and G if exempt from MEES) if they are private rented sector properties.
The person’s severe or long-term health condition must be due to:
• A cardiovascular condition,
• A respiratory disease,
• Limited mobility, or
GBIS Property Qualifying Criteria – EPC Rating/Council Tax Band Rating
The qualifying criteria for properties under GBIS are centered around Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings and Council Tax band ratings.
Properties with lower EPC ratings (typically D to G) and those in specific Council Tax bands are prioritised, aligning with the scheme’s goal of improving energy efficiency in less efficient homes.
What is an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate typically called an EPC, shows the energy rating of a property from a G the lowest to an A the highest.
The ratings go from a scale of 1 to 100, these are called Sap points. These are then subdivided into bands, so for example 1 – 20 is a G rating, 21 – 38 is an F rating etc.
We can arrange to carry out an EPC for you to find out the rating of your property. An EPC typically costs £60 to £70. However, you can first check if you have an epc.
If you are worried about incurring any costs, you can always give us a call on 01234 294873 to get an idea of what band we estimate your EPC may be before you book an EPC.
Who Carries Out the Work on the Great British Insulation Scheme?
Accredited professionals and authorised companies carry out the insulation work under GBIS. These companies are vetted for compliance with industry standards, ensuring high-quality and safe installation of insulation measures.
The first part of the process will involve a visit to the property by a qualified retrofit assessor who will determine the suitability of the property for proposed insulation as well as checking customer eligibility.
You will be advised if there are any additional costs for you to pay over the grant funding. Once all approved, the work can then be arranged to be carried out.
How to Apply for the Great British Insulation Scheme
Applying for GBIS involves a straightforward process. Answer a few questions on our application form, and you will be referred to an approved contractor in your area.
Frequently asked questions
Do pensioners qualify for free loft insulation?
Being a pensioner alone does not automatically qualify you for free insulation. However, if you receive one of the qualifying benefits, you would be eligible to apply.
How much does the Great British Insulation Scheme cost?
In most cases the cost is nil. A full house survey will determine if there would be a contribution to pay.
You are under no obligation to proceed should you have a survey.
What's the difference between ECO4 and GBIS?
ECO4 is targeted towards low income households and provide a whole house energy saving improvement package that may also include heating. The Great British Insulation Scheme provides single insulation measures improvements only and is not necessarily means tested.
Under GBIS, the property would still need to qualify in terms of having EPC rating of D -G and being in council tax band of A – D.