Earlier this year I wrote about how EDF came and insulated our loft for free, saving us up to £175 a year on our energy bills, after I filled out a form on the energy company’s website:
“Ever the cynic, I asked around to find out why EDF was putting so much investment into the scheme. I was told that the Government has set energy efficiency targets for the energy companies, and that the financial penalty for missing these targets is greater than the cost of insulating people’s homes for free. (Caveat: I don’t know if this is true, but it is sufficiently bonkers to be plausible, isn’t it?) If the scheme does launch again, I’ll post a link to this post to remind you!”
It’s that time of year again, so if you didn’t take advantage of the scheme last year, now is the time to get yourself booked in. I’ve compiled a list of energy companies and others who are running this deal.
To be honest, I don’t think there is much between them when it comes to the job in hand: a person turns up, measures your loft space and books you in. On the appointed day, a couple of men rock up with big rolls of loft insulation, disappear up your loft ladder, roll it all out in a matter of minutes and vamoose. But additional incentives on offer vary from company to company. Right now, British Gas is getting the most press and publicity for their free insulation offer – but from what I can see, they are offering the least.
Take your choice:
British Gas. Available to new and existing British Gas customers. If you are over 70, in receipt of certain benefits and need help clearing your loft, British Gas may be able to help with the cost.
EDF Energy. Available to you, whoever your provider is. EDF will actually pay you to have insulation installed: up to £200! You have to be in receipt of certain benefits though. Further information is available on the EDF website.
Sainsburys Energy. Their free insulation comes with 400 Nectar points. If you are over 70, in receipt of certain benefits and need help clearing your loft, Sainsburys may be able to help with the cost.
Scottish Power. Their free insulation service is available across Great Britain. If you are in receipt of certain benefits, you may also be eligible for a £100 high street voucher. Further information is available on the Scottish Power terms & conditions page.
If I have missed any providers, please let me know in the comments. Googling around, I have noticed that although a lot of “free insulation” pages from energy companies and organisations are currently popping up in the search results, a number of these are for expired deals. So if you do decide to do your own research, do double-check the dates.
A note on free cavity wall insulation: we chose not to have this done, even though it can save around £110 a year on fuel bills. It has been suggested that cavity wall insulation can cause potentially expensive problems, such as dampness and mould on inside walls, and rusting of wall ties. You can find more information here. Suppliers of cavity wall insulation refute these claims, so it’s down to you to decide whether or not you want it.
Also, most homeowners qualify for this deal, but there are criteria to bear in mind. These vary between providers, but in general they are as follows:
- You have to have loft space (duh).
- If you have a large property, or a property with five or more bedrooms, there may be a charge.
- If you are a tenant, you must get your landlord’s permission beforehand.
- Your current insulation, if you have it, must be no more than 60 mm – 160mm. The thickness varies depending upon the insulation provider you choose.
- The insulation has to cover at least a third of your loft space.
- You will have to take any boards up prior to installation.
- A lot of these offers appears to end around the end of November 2012.
Finally, as you can see from the pictures on my original post about free loft insulation, the insulation laid down is pretty darned thick. So if you are planning to board over the top of it, you will need to make your own loft storage stilts – or, for an easier life, buy some of these.
If you take up one of these offers, please do let me know how you get on…