Affordable Warmth grant scheme

If you live in Northern Ireland and you need help to pay for energy efficiency improvements you may be eligible for the government’s Affordable Warmth Scheme. The scheme provides a package of energy-efficiency and heating measures, tailored to each household.

Who is eligible?

This scheme is only available if you live in Northern Ireland.

You may be eligible if you are an owner occupier or householder of a privately rented property and your gross annual household income is less than £20,000.

In the case of a privately rented property, you must be named on the Tenancy Agreement. Your landlord must also be registered with the Department for Communities’ Landlord Registration Scheme and give consent for any energy efficiency improvements to be done. Your landlord will also have to contribute towards the cost of the work.

Available energy efficiency measures

Below is a prioritised list of measures available under the Affordable Warmth scheme:

Priority rating Conditions in existing property Improvement measures available
Priority 1 - Insulation No cavity wall insulation Install cavity wall insulation
  Ineffective cavity wall insulation Remove and replace cavity wall insulation
  No loft insulation or below minimum Installation or top up of roof space insulation to 270mm
  No hot water jacket Install hot water jacket
  Ineffective or no draught proofing Draught proof windows/doors
Priority 2 - Heating No heating system exists Installation of natural gas or oil heating
  Conversion of existing LPG or solid fuel system Installation of natural gas or oil heating
  Conversion of Economy 7 Conversion to natural gas (or oil where natural gas isn't available) or conversion to high efficiency storage system
  Householder 65 or over, or with child under 16, or receiving a disability benefit and with a boiler over 15 years old Boiler replacement and new radiators where required
  Heating system exists without controls Add heating controls
  Heating system exists but radiators defective Replace radiators as needed
Priority 3 - Windows Windows in disrepair Repair/replace windows with double glazing if draught proofing is not possible
Priority 4 - Solid wall Solid wall with no insulation Internal/external insulation

How the scheme works

Council staff will:

  • contact households they have identified as being most affected by fuel poverty and ask you to complete a short survey
  • send completed surveys to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE)
  • with your agreement request that the Department for Communities' ‘Make the Call’ team complete a benefit entitlement check to make sure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to

NIHE staff will then:

  • complete a technical survey, usually within six weeks of the initial council survey being completed
  • decide if you qualify for the scheme
  • work with you to get energy efficiency improvement work done by local installers
  • arrange payment of the grant

Once the Housing Executive has given written approval for the energy efficiency work to be done, you can either arrange for an installer of your choice or select one from a Housing Executive list to do the work.

Please note that:

  • the Housing Executive list is not an approved list
  • installers should normally be accredited to a relevant trade body

When the council's Building Control department certifies the work has been completed to Building Control Regulation standards the Housing Executive will arrange for payment to be made.

Access to the scheme

All local councils across Northern Ireland will be targeting households identified as eligible for energy efficiency improvement work under this scheme. Areas considered most in need of energy efficiency measures will be contacted first.

Funding available

There is no limit to the amount of money available for each energy efficiency measure, there is only the grant maximum per property. The technical inspection carried out by NIHE at each property will determine the best energy efficiency solution depending on the specific requirements of the dwelling. The maximum grant offered will be £7,500 or, if solid wall insulation is to be installed, then the grant limit will increase to £10,000. 

Further information

Further information on the Affordable Warmth scheme is available by telephoning:

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