- Category: Energy and climate change
- Last Updated: 13 January 2017
Around a third of the UK's CO2 emissions come from the energy used for heating, lighting and appliances. Often, this energy is not being used efficiently, so there is huge scope for householders and businesses to alter this. Energy efficiency gives greater environmental benefits but will also save you money in the long run.
- Resource efficiency route map for businesses
- What does fuel poverty really mean?
- Causes of fuel poverty
- Effects of fuel poverty
- How to identify/spot problems
- Free or discounted insulation schemes
- Fuel tariffs and getting the best deal
- Fuel debt: avoiding it and getting advice
- Role of community groups
- Oil Clubs
- Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) 1995 Report
The Ryedale Energy Saver Scheme is a two year project designed to help local residents keep warm for less and reduce their fuel bills.
Homeowners and private renting tenants can access a range of grants, loans and support for heating upgrades and home insulation improvements.
We can check to see if you qualify for any funding and connect you to quality, industry approved installers to carry out the work.
The Council is working in partnership with YES Energy Solutions (an award winning community interest company) to deliver the scheme.
The Ryedale Energy Saver Scheme can help you:
- Save energy
- Reduce your fuel bills
- Make your home cosy and warm
- Cut your carbon footprint
- Improve your health and wellbeing
To find out what energy saving grants and loans you may qualify for email the Ryedale Energy Saver Team or tel: 0330 053 5631 (office hours 9am - 5pm, Mon - Fri).
For more information visit YES Energy Solutions.
Energy Saving Grants
You may be entitled to a grant to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
The Ryedale Energy Saver Scheme provides a range of different grants that can cover, or contribute towards the cost of various heating and insulation improvements.
Some grants are only available to certain residents, whereas others have no personal qualifying criteria.
The level of grant funding provided is determined by an assessment of your home.
Are you eligible?
There are three types of energy saving grants available under the Ryedale Energy Saver Scheme. Some residents may qualify for more than one grant to support the cost of their installation.
YES Energy Solutions will check your eligibility to see what support you are entitled to:
|Grants available||What is supported||Eligibility criteria|
|Energy Efficiency Grant (Ryedale District Council)||
Homeowners and private renting tenants on a low household income or those that claim income related benefits (such as Income Support or Housing Benefit).
Applicants must have lived in in the property for 3 years or more.For heating improvements:
|ECO Insulation Grant (CERO)||
||No personal eligibility criteria required - available to all homeowners and private renting tenants.|
|ECO Help to Heat Grant (HHCRO)||
||Homeowners and private rented tenants on specific state benefits (such as Pension Credit or Child Tax Credit)|
Property Improvement Loans
Certain residents may be able to access a low cost loan to support the cost of installing energy saving measures. These loans can also be used in conjunction with the energy saving grants available through the scheme.
|Loans available||What is supported||Eligibility criteria|
|Property Improvement Loan (Ryedale District Council)
Loans of up to £7,500 available.
Subject to 7.5% administration charge. Repayable in full after 10 years or on sale or transfer of the property.
The loan can also be used for other home improvements including kitchen and bathroom refurbishments and crime prevention measures
Homeowners on a low household income or those that claim income related benefits (such as Income Support or Housing Benefit).
Applicants must be 18 years of age or over and must have lived in in the property for 3 years or more.
If you think that you may qualify for an energy saving grant or loan, or are looking for a trusted installer to improve the energy efficiency of your home, join the Ryedale Energy Saver Scheme today.
- Call the Ryedale Energy Saver Helpline on: 0330 053 5631
- The team will check your eligibility for any grants or loans and discuss your energy saving requirements
- A home survey will be arranged to determine the cost of the work and what funding can be claimed
- You will then receive a quote for the home improvements including details of any grants or loans that you are entitled to.
- Upon approval of your quote, the home improvements will be fitted by industry accredited installers.
YES Energy Solutions
YES Energy Solutions are experienced energy saving experts who have been appointed by the Council to manage all elements of the Ryedale Energy Saver Scheme.
Not only can they offer independent energy efficiency advice and support, but carry out the installations via their network of local, accredited installers.
Through the Ryedale Energy Efficiency Scheme, YES Energy Solutions will:
- Help you select the best energy saving measures that suit your home and lifestyle
- Check what support you are entitled to
- Connect you to an expert, industry accredited installer
- Provide a competitive service backed with manufacturer guarantees and aftercare programmes
- Offer independent energy saving advice on how to capitalise on the energy saving improvements installed in your home
YES Energy Solutions is a Community Interest Company committed to improving quality of life through energy efficiency. With no shareholders to satisfy, the company invest any profits made into actions that reduce CO2 and alleviate fuel poverty.
To find out what energy saving support you are entitled to email the Ryedale Energy Saver Team today or call 0330 053 5631 (office hours 9am - 5pm, Mon - Fri).
For more information visit YES Energy Solutions.
To help small and medium sized businesses with other issues, as well as energy efficiency, a 'Ryedale Route Map', has been developed.
It is a simple sheet designed to signpost businesses to exactly the right organisation, for a whole range of environmental related queries you may have. It includes areas relating to regulations, waste minimisation and recycling, energy efficiency and renewables, water, carbon management, process efficiency etc.
Simply put, the current definition is that a household is described as being in fuel poverty if they need to spend more than 10% of their total income on heating their home and powering their appliances (not just the cost of heating). This definition will be amended in the near future.
More and more of our citizens are falling into this group as energy becomes increasingly expensive. Over 4,000,000 in England are now identified as living in fuel poverty (based on 2009 estimates).
Fuel poverty particularly affects more vulnerable households e.g. older people, younger children, disabled and long-term sick but it also affects working people and families too.
- Low income
- Increasing cost of energy (since 2003 the cost of gas has increased by 146% and electricity by 98% according to the ONS, based on the RPI), and both are still rising
- Leaky buildings and inadequate or missing insulation
- Inefficient or inappropriate heating systems e.g using expensive plug-in radiators to heat a large house
- Rural issues such as being off the gas grid, higher transport costs and the cost of heating oil
- Under occupancy (i.e. if only one person lives in a large house, heating the house still costs the same as it would if more people lived there and could contribute to the cost)
- Under-claiming benefits - you can check which benefits you are entitled to on line by contacting Yorkshire Energy Partnership on 01904 545020 and quoting "Hotspots Scheme"
- Health effects - people are more vulnerable to suffering from cold-related illnesses (each year more than 25,000 people aged over 65 die in winter months, compared to warmer months. These are known as 'excess winter deaths' and are linked to insufficient heating and poor insulation
- Cold, damp and draughty homes, which may cause environmental health effects such as mould
- People are forced to choose between keeping warm and eating well, particularly in winter
- Social exclusion
- Under-heating damages the fabric of homes, making them harder to heat
- Educational impact on young people (it's hard to study or do homework in a cold, draughty house)
With rising fuel prices many people are finding keeping warm more difficult. If you are finding it harder to afford to keep your home warm or if you need to spend more than 10% of your income on energy, then it's worthwhile seeing if you can get support to try and reduce your energy bills.
Reducing your bills can be done in three ways:
- Changing your tariff or supplier so that your per-unit price is lower
- Changing how you use energy (behavioural changes), or by
- Increasing the energy efficiency of your home through insulation or heating improvements
Good levels of insulation traps heat in your home like a blanket - it includes loft, cavity wall, solid wall and floor as well as draught-proofing. Insulation can lower your bills by up to £310.
Insulation is currently free is for people in homes with solid walls (i.e. no cavity that can be filled) and there is a subsidy for those with "hard to treat" cavity walls - both these types of insulation are being targeted in an area-based approach, focussing first on those locations with highest levels of fuel poverty, low incomes, and poor health linked to cold homes. Regular loft and cavity wall insulation is now only free for those on qualifying benefits, though some energy companies are still subsidising this, so it's worth contacting your supplier if you haven't had yours done yet.
Solid wall insulation can be fitted on the outside of a house and rendered over, or it can be fitted on the inside of the external walls of the house and plastered over. The latter is usually more complicated, disruptive, obviously requires redecorating afterwards and reduces the internal size of the home, so currently funding is mainly available for external solid wall insulation. For those with stone walls, or who do not wish to cover up attractive brickwork then internal insulation may be the only option possible. External solid wall insulation typically costs £4,000 but is available free through an energy company funded scheme. It is likely to save approx £490 per year from household heating bills.
Hard to treat cavity walls are generally those which are narrow or irregular, stone-cavity or brick, with some stone in the walls or perhaps made of prefabricated material. Specialist insulation for this type of wall is subsidised for most people in this type of house. Cavity wall insulation is likely to save up to £140/year from heating bills.
For the latest grants and loans available, please see details of the Ryedale Energy Saver Scheme below.
Many energy companies are part of the Warm Homes Discount Scheme. You must apply for this as it is not advertised, and do so as soon as possible, as energy providers only have a fixed pot of funds, so it's done on a first-come, first-served basis. This can give you a £130 rebate (for the core group of utility providers) on your electricity bills in 2013, though it varies across the wider electricity market. You can find more information on whether you qualify and if your energy supplier is part of the scheme by visiting Warm Homes Discount Scheme.
You could also save money by switching your energy supplier - they don't reward loyalty. This is not as complicated as it might seem and could save you up to £100 a year. Find out more by visiting Switching Energy Suppliers. There's also more information on the Citizens Advice Service website regarding any concerns with fuel suppliers.
Additionally, paying energy bills by direct debit or using an online tariff can be cheaper. You can find more advice by visiting the Energy Savings Trust.
If you have built up a fuel debt and are having difficulty paying for it, in the first instance try talking honestly with your energy company. They may be able to help you by spreading the payments, changing your tariff or by installing a pre-payment meter. They have an obligation to consider your situation fairly, taking into account your ability to pay and suggesting a suitable way forward.
The Citizens Advice Bureau have put together a detailed set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on gas and electricity bills. If you're concerned about whether you can afford to pay your energy bills, contact the Home Heat Helpline.
Community groups, neighbourhood teams, church groups and others are a good way to develop and promote activities which help make energy more affordable. This could include raising awareness of energy efficiency grants and potential cost savings to local people as well as establishing new schemes like oil co-operatives and promoting new renewable technologies like solar water heating.
Oil clubs run in rural locations where many homes are not on the mains gas network. They are organised by groups of local people who agree to order heating oil together, meaning they take advantage of negotiating lower per unit prices: Members typically save 5-10% on the cost of buying fuel oil. Homes always deal directly with the oil supplier regarding payment, so there is no need for the clubs to handle money.
The Yorkshire Energy Partnership YEP – supported by Ryedale District Council and Scarborough Borough Council – is supporting Oil Clubs throughout the area. Joining an Oil Club gives local people the chance to bulk buy fuel, to keep prices down and protect the local environment.
The HECA 1995 recognises Local Authorities' ability to use their position to assess the needs of their residents in order to improve the energy efficiency of all residential accommodation in their area. Therefore, all Local Authorities are required to produce a plan of how they will do this, and publish it by 31 March 2013. This plan must set out the energy conservation measures that the Council considers practicable, cost-effective and likely to result in significant improvements in the energy efficiency of residential accommodation in the District.
Ryedale District Council has worked with Yorkshire Energy Partnership to produce a HECA plan for this area, which is available to download.