Middle-income families 'to get £15,000 grants' to make homes more energy efficient

Illustrative image of loft insulation. A worker from Total Insulation Solutions lays insulating material in a loft. (Photo by: Newscast/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Middle-earning households could receive grants to improve insulation in a bid to cut energy consumption. (Getty)

Households in the so-called 'squeezed middle' are set to receive grants of up to £15,000 to make their homes more energy efficient, according to reports.

According to The Times, a new fund called 'eco plus' will be available to pay for loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and smart heating controls.

Unlike other schemes, the new fund - which is reportedly due to be announced next week - will be available to middle earners.

According to The Times, £1 billion has been allocated from existing budgets for the next three years and the money would be available to people in council tax bands A to D.

It is expected to help more than 70,000 homes and save hundreds of pounds a year and comes as part of efforts to help people use less energy.

Watch: Money-saving expert Martin Lewis warns 'squeezed middle' will suffer the most

Earlier this week, it emerged ministers are set to launch a public information campaign, including advice such as switching off radiators in empty rooms and taking showers instead of baths.

Officials are believed to have identified eight changes to save up to £420 a year including reducing the flow temperature from boilers, switching electrical devices off rather than leaving them on standby and changing from baths to showers.

Surging energy prices in recent months, driven in part by the Ukraine war, have highlighted the importance of insulating homes - but despite delivering significant savings for households, home insulation measures are not cheap.

Loft insulation can cost around £1,000 to install, while cavity wall insulation can be up to £2,500.

Read more: Jeremy Hunt confirms plan to permanently slash energy bills for millions of households

An article for UCL earlier this year cited heating as responsible for around 60% of typical household energy consumption, shining a light on the importance of home energy efficient.

It cited government figures suggesting that as of December 2020, there were an estimated 3.9 and 5.7 million 'easy to treat' homes in Britain (GB) with uninsulated cavity walls and lofts, respectively.

Insulation rates plummeted after government funding cuts. (UCL)
Insulation rates plummeted after government funding cuts. (UCL)

Campaigners have long highlighted the need for Britain to insulate more homes.

Under David Cameron, housing insulation grants plummeted, with a report earlier this year estimating that his decision to cut subsidies on green energy schemes would cost households as much as £150 a year.

The UCL report said that recent schemes designed to promote uptake of insulation and other home energy efficiency measures had failed to get enough uptake to substantially reduce the energy demand from UK households.

It warned: "If the UK is serious about meeting its net-zero targets, it needs to act fast", and criticised measures announced at the time for not including funds for energy efficiency, saying: "Better financial incentives are required to encourage installation of insulation, particularly in older hard to decarbonise homes which are often also responsible for high emissions."