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First wave of Home Upgrade Grant will aim to incentivise energy efficiency improvements in off-grid homes across England with an EPC rating of between D and G

The government will be providing £67m in funding to improve the energy efficiency of up to 4,300 low-income homes in England there are not on the gas grid.

Local authorities across the country will be given regional shares of the money that marks the first wave of funding under the £950m Home Upgrade Grant (HUG). This is a scheme intended to curb heating demand in properties that are reliant on bottled gas and oil.

A range of efficiency measures are to be covered under the HUG programme that will be open to homes with Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings of between D and G.

These measures include low-carbon heating systems, wall and roof insulation, thermostats and room heating controls.

All work to be covered under this first wave pf funding is expected to be completed by 2023, according to the government.

The planned upgrades will be used to reduce heating bills for low-income individuals currently living in private housing and off the gas grid.   The announcement of the funding comes amidst a significant hike in the cost of heating homes expected from April this year due to a rise in the energy price cap threshold to match increased global prices for gas.

Business and Energy Minister Lord Callanan said the first wave of HUG funds would aim to save thousands of households that are vulnerable to fuel poverty as much as £200 a year on energy bills.

“This is just the first round of the £950 million funding we have committed over the next 3 years and will ensure we help those most in need. It will keep more money in people’s pockets, at the same time as making homes warmer, more comfortable and greener.”

Efficiency funding

It was announced earlier this month that 69 local authority social housing projects across England would be sharing an initial funding pot of £179m from the government to support energy efficiency improvements as part of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

Both the HUJ and Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund are part of a wider £3.9bn strategy to decarbonise heat and buildings. The funding is also intended to support the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and the Heat Networks Transformation Programme.

However, organisations such as the Federation of Master Builders and the UK Green Building Council have in recent months called for greater commitments to support retrofit work and energy efficiency improvements in the UK’s housing stock at a much larger scale.

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