A £160million fund administered by AWS
In 2017, National Grid and Community Interest Company, Affordable Warmth Solution (AWS) established the Warm Homes Fund (WHF) designed to support low income, energy inefficient homes.
In 2022, around 7.5 million UK households were likely to be in fuel poverty; with increasing energy prices this figure is now likely to be close to c10 million. Householders are unable to heat their home to the temperature needed to stay warm and healthy. As well as being on low incomes many of these households are also faced with the additional burden of relying on heating systems that are expensive to run and/or inadequate for their needs.
In 2014 the UK Government introduced a statutory target to ensure fuel poor homes in England achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of Band C by 31 December 2030, with targets in Scotland and Wales also set by the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly respectively. NEA’s Annual Fuel Poverty Monitor reports that without additional investment and ambition these targets may not be realised.
The WHF was primarily designed to address some of these issues by incentivising the installation of affordable heating solutions in fuel poor households. The aims of the fund are to reduce bills, increase comfort in fuel poor households, and improve health outcomes for some of the most severe levels of fuel poverty.
The fund has been run in three phases: the first phase, now substantially complete, entailed the installation of more than 27,000 first-time central heating systems at no cost to the householder. We have also provided funding to support energy efficiency and income maximisation services to households.
Our current focus, aligned with government policy, provides funding for low carbon heating solutions; we have already installed c.6,100 low carbon energy efficient systems, and have committed further funding of £14m that is expected to support the installation of 2,850 air source heat pumps and associated insulation measures.
The most recent addition to the programme is an insulation scheme for households not qualifying for Government funding. This is targeted at energy inefficient homes that reside in Council Tax Band areas A-D. This initiative is supported by an additional £10million contribution.