Getting help with your energy bills may seem like a daunting task — not only are home improvements a big investment, but it's also difficult to know where to start.
But with help from Severn Wye, residents across Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire have managed to get practical help with their energy costs through the Warm and Well Home Upgrade Grant scheme.
Available until March 2025, this government-funded grant provides access to energy-saving home improvements for low-income households who:
- Live in Gloucestershire or South Gloucestershire.
- Have no mains gas heating in their home.
- Live in an inefficient home, with an Energy Performance Certificate of D, E, F or G.
- Have a total household income of under £31,000 per year or are in receipt of means-tested benefits.
Since January 2021, Severn Wye has supported 150 households to access the grant and seen over 300 energy efficiency home improvements installed as a result.
One local person who has benefited is Angela. She put up with her cold home for a decade before getting someone round to check her cavity wall insulation — and realising that there wasn't any! Once it was fixed, a friend suggested she contact Severn Wye's Warm and Well team to see if anything more could be done to help with her energy costs.
Speaking to the 'very helpful and efficient' team, Angela was delighted to discover that she was eligible for a Home Upgrade Grant that covered both solar PV panels and an air source heat pump.
She said: 'I wanted the measures to help with bills and maybe have warmth all through the winter. I've had leaflets through the door that quoted about £10,000 for these measures — and on a state pension, no way!
‘I’m very grateful to have received the grant and I hope other people will take advantage.’
Since the new energy efficiency improvements, Angela has more than enough hot water to manage her home — with her new solar panels, installed on both the front and back of the house, generating plenty of electricity.
Another Gloucestershire resident who accessed the Home Upgrade Grant through Severn Wye was impressed with the thorough home survey they received. Their energy specialist provided them with detailed short-, medium- and long-term plans for improvements.
Their grant covered the installation of solar panels, carried out by Cotswold Energy Group, which the resident described as 'extremely efficient — a great team of friendly guys who completed the job in under five hours.'
They continued: ‘I can thoroughly recommend Severn Wye. A great job all round and I'm enjoying watching my smart meter giving power back for a change.’
To check your eligibility for the Home Upgrade Grant, visit warmandwell.co.uk/upgradesg to complete the online form.
If you have concerns about your energy bills, Warm and Well can offer tips and advice on how to reduce your energy use and create a warmer home — from suggesting small changes you can make right now, to helping you access grants for insulation or heating.
The service can also provide advice on switching energy suppliers, information on renewable technologies and carry out home visits — with its team of community-based advisers on hand to support Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire residents with free, impartial home energy advice.
For more information, call the Warm and Well advice line on 0800 500 3076.