Free energy improvement measures

Grants are available to help qualifying Plymouth residents receive new home energy improvement measures.

What is it?

Smart meter advice

These grants are paid for by energy companies under the government’s ‘Energy Company Obligation’ scheme; aiming to help homes use less energy to stay warm. It doesn’t matter which energy company you are registered with, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. Grants can help to fund replacements to heating systems and insulation in your home.

Are you eligible?

To be eligible for help you need to:

Own your own home or rent from a private landlord (permission of the landlord may be required)


Receive one of the following benefits or tax credits*:

  • Pensions Credit Guarantee Credit Element
  • Income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA)
  • Income support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Child Benefit (and have a low income)


Have a household income of less than £30,000 once energy and housing costs have been taken into account and live in a property rated D or below or be considered vulnerable to the cold due to health conditions.

How can we help you?

Teresa outside home

We know companies that do ‘free insulation’ or a ‘free boiler’ can have a few reputational problems about bad sales and poor quality of installation. We wanted to make it easier for people in Plymouth to find someone more trustworthy to insulate your home or upgrade your heating.

We have asked installers operating locally to give us details of how they operate and what they offer. Out of these, we’ve chosen those that we think offer the best service, the best quality of work and a good range of different measures to improve homes.

No company is perfect and we cannot promise you there will be no issues, but if you’ve come through our system and you have a problem you can’t resolve with the installer we will be here to help you resolve your issue.

What can you have done?

Click on the image below to find out more about teach measure and their benefits.

Cavity wall insulation

Cavity wall insualtion

Homes built after 1920s are likely to have a cavity wall. This means there is an outer wall, then a small gap and an inner wall. Up until the mid-1990s it was relatively normal for a home to be built with an empty cavity. By filling the gap with insulation, your home will be warmer and you’ll save about £150 per year on your gas bill.

Our installer partner offers a EPS-bead product that is approved for use in exposed coastal areas (many cavity wall insulation products aren’t) and comes with a 25 year warranty. If you are eligible for a grant, your cavity wall insulation is likely to be completely free. If you aren’t eligible for a grant than it is still not all that expensive and it well worth spending the money to do it, prices start at around £349 .

Loft insulation

Loft insulation

Lots of houses have some loft insulation but the recommended depth is now 270-300mm or 11-12”. Insulating a loft that has no insulation can save £135 per year on your gas bill and while simply topping up the insulation will save less, it’s definitely worth doing if your house has less than 100mm or 4” of insulation.

With a grant this work should be free in most cases, but you may have to pay extra if you want to have boarding installed over the insulation or any other works in the loft. Without a grant it is still worth looking at, with prices starting at £299.

Floor insulation

Floor insulation

If your house has a suspended timber floor, insulation can be applied below your floorboards. To do this, you would need to have at least 450mm of space between the floorboards and the earth or floor below and the installer would need to create an access hatch somewhere in your home. Insulating your floors will save about £40 per year, although it can have a much greater impact on the comfort in your home.

This work will be free in some cases but you may have to pay some contribution towards the cost, you would have a free survey to tell you what this is.

External wall insulation


If your home was built before 1930 or is of a non-standard construction, the best way to insulate the walls is to clad the outside with insulation. This is much more significant and complicated work than cavity wall insulation and without a grant will often cost up to or over £10,000.

If you qualify for a grant and the main heating system in your home is electric radiators or night storage heaters, there is a good chance you will be able to insulate your walls for free or with a very small contribution. If you qualify but you heat with gas, you should be able to access a small discount but you would need to fund the majority of the cost.

Boiler update or replacement

Lady plumber fixing boiler 191016 032205

Funding for upgrading or replacing boilers tends to be turbulent and it is not always/ often not possible to receive a free boiler upgrade or replacement.

If your boiler is broken and isn’t providing any heat, contact us as soon as possible as there may be a scheme that provides emergency replacements.

If you’re boiler is old but still working, there may be some funding to help you replace it, these grants are more likely to cover the cost if you can also install wall or floor insulation. Speak to us to find out more.

What's the process?

  • Speak to a one of our friendly advisors, we will talk you through what you could do to improve your home and the funding that might provide this for free.
  • We refer you to our partner installer, we may collect eligibility information from you to do this.
  • The installer completes a free, no obligation survey and lets you know what you could have done and what, if anything, it would cost.
  • The installer completes the work.
Leah and Robert

Contact Us

Find out more about how we can help - just give us a ring, text or send us an email.

Email Us 01752 477117

What's our role?

Light switch

It’s important to stress, any agreement over having insulation or heating installed will be between you and the installer. Our role in this is to introduce you to a vetted installer and to act as a third party advocate where disputes arise.

We want to be completely transparent so you should know that if you go through this system and have work installed, we will receive a small fee from the installer. We do this to pay for some of the work we do managing installer relationships and being able to provide this advice.

The fee is a standard fee, we would not favour an installer that offered to pay us more, we chose the installers we work with only on the basis of quality. As installers would normally need to advertise to find customers, we are saving them some money and we understand that the fees paid by installers are equivalent to this cost (so will not add to the cost of your work).