An £8 million scheme to help eligible households reduce their energy usage and lower their heating bills has been approved by Tynwald.
For those meeting the eligibility criteria, the Energy Efficiency Scheme 2022 will offer energy saving materials and devices free of charge, such as loft insulation, radiator valves and draught excluders.
The Energy Efficiency Scheme is the latest in a package of measures, unveiled in August, to support Islanders through the winter months at a time of unusually high energy costs and inflation.
Making homes more energy efficient means heat is retained in properties for longer, reducing the amount of energy people need to use.
Using less energy to heat homes will mean lower bills for households. It has the added benefit of also reducing carbon emissions, helping the Island on its journey to become net zero by 2050.
Those who own or rent their homes will be eligible to receive the free energy saving materials and devices if they meet the following criteria:
- are in receipt of certain social security benefits or income-related allowances; or
- have an income of no more than £50,000 per annum for the household.
Each application will be capped at £750, with an additional £500 available for those who receive state pension, incapacity, carers or disability allowance and require assistance with fitting the materials.
Recent analysis has shown that even very simple measures such as draught proofing windows and doors and insulating a hot water tank can save up to 8% of a home’s heating consumption.
Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, Clare Barber MHK, said:
‘The Government is aware of the cost of living pressures being faced by Islanders, especially the impact heating homes in the colder months has on energy bills. That’s why we have acted quickly and decisively.
‘By providing access to free materials that will help homes retain heat, Government is helping those who can least afford it, to make quick and immediate changes that have the potential to significantly reduce energy bills and lower carbon emissions.
’The public are encouraged to assess their houses to determine what materials would be suitable and then look at applying for the scheme. A selection of helpful videos including how to fit materials such as loft insulation can be found on the NetZero website.’
This year the Government has allocated £12 million in social security benefits to assist with rising prices, including three family support payments of up to £400 each and three energy support payments of up to £300 each.
In September, in the face of record prices for wholesale gas seen during 2022, the Government directed Manx Utilities to freeze electricity prices until 31 March 2023, making a loan of up to £26 million available. It means that the Isle of Man has one of the lowest domestic electricity prices in the British Isles this winter at 22 pence per unit.
Information on the scheme is available on the cost of living website, with applications opening from Monday 19 December. Alternatively, people without access to the internet can call the Winter Help Advice Line on 686262 to find out more information.