County residents are being encouraged to check their eligibility as the first households in Herefordshire are seeing the benefits of the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) scheme.

Continuing high energy prices mean many Herefordshire households are experiencing another cold and expensive winter. Now that HUG funding is being implemented some of those bills will begin to fall over the long term, as their improved energy efficiency makes homes easier to heat and power, and lowers carbon emissions.

The HUG offers home energy efficiency upgrades to householders who:

  • Live in Herefordshire
  • Don’t have mains gas heating in their home
  • Live in an energy-inefficient home (with an EPC rating of D, E, F or G)
  • Have a combined household income below £31,000 per year or are on means-tested benefits.

Successful applicants will receive an expert property survey and the improvements that will make the biggest difference to the efficiency, comfort and cost of powering the property will be installed. They could benefit from a wide-range of energy-saving technologies and receive home improvements worth tens of thousands of pounds. These include insulation, solar panels, high heat retention storage heating, air source heat pumps and many households will be offered more than one upgrade.

The scheme is being delivered through a trusted partnership of Herefordshire Council and Severn Wye Energy Agency.

One Longtown resident had an air source heat pump fitted through the first phase of the Home Upgrade scheme.

They said: “We knew we couldn't afford heating after renovating the property and heard of grants available. The works were done quickly and efficiently, the plumbers were very friendly and answered any questions we had. We’d absolutely recommend the scheme; it has been a huge cost saving overall not having to pay for a new central heating system.”

Cllr Elissa Swinglehurst, Cabinet Member Environment, said: “The first phase of HUG helped 90 households improve their home energy efficiency, reducing their bills and making it easier to keep their homes warm, and it is pleasing to see the ongoing great work of the second phase of the project.

“Residents can check their eligibility by answering a few simple questions at the government’s new online eligibility checker”

Published: 13th February 2024