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GBIS Funding for the Cost of Insulation Materials

The GBIS funding initiative is overseen by Ofgem and aims to make the least energy-efficient homes in Great Britain more eco-friendly. This effort is designed to lower household energy bills and combat fuel poverty. Unlike the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4), which focuses on a comprehensive home improvement strategy, this scheme primarily targets individual insulation enhancements.

Who stands to benefit?

The GBIS primarily focuses on low-income or vulnerable households. Additionally, homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating ranging from D to G and falling within specific Council Tax bands can also benefit from the scheme. It operates by mandating medium—to large-sized energy companies to undertake measures that will reduce household energy consumption.

How does GBIS funding work?

Your home must need certain energy-efficient improvements, such as cavity wall insulation, to qualify for this scheme. Each home is eligible for a single type of insulation, as determined through a comprehensive retrofit assessment. In some special cases, additional measures like room thermostats may be offered to lower-income families.

Your energy supplier will pair you with an assessor who will visit your home to recommend suitable upgrades. Homeownership or landlord approval is a prerequisite for eligibility.

Eligibility criteria for GBIS funding

Alongside low-income and vulnerable households, a broader range of homeowners and tenants may qualify for the scheme. If you are a recipient of certain benefits, such as Child Benefit, Pension Guarantee Credit, or Universal Credit, you may be eligible. Homes falling within specific EPC ratings and Council Tax bands also qualify.

Local authorities also have the authority to recommend residents to participate in the scheme, widening the scope of who can benefit from the programme.

Financial contributions

While energy companies are obliged to fund retrofit projects, the level of financial support may vary, and you may need to contribute to the cost. This is not a grant scheme so that different companies may offer varying levels of support. It’s advisable to compare quotes and understand what’s included and what’s not before committing.

It’s important to note that funding from this scheme cannot be combined with other government schemes, such as the Warm Home Discount or Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

EWI Pro Approved Installer network and the GBIS

0% VAT on Insulation Materials

Under GBIS, insulation materials are exempt from VAT. This tax relief significantly reduces the overall cost, making energy efficiency improvements more economical for homeowners. By removing VAT, the government encourages more households to join the scheme, promoting the wider adoption of energy-saving measures. This initiative began in April 2022, reducing the previous 5% tax rate on energy efficiency measures to zero.

GBIS is designed to ease the financial burden of insulating solid walls by covering the cost of materials for eligible households. For many applicants, the scheme funds the purchase of insulation materials, making it an affordable solution for boosting home energy efficiency.

Cost for Ability-to-Pay Customers

GBIS covers the cost of insulation materials for customers meeting the scheme’s ability-to-pay criteria. This ensures that financial constraints do not prevent eligible households from benefiting from improved insulation. The scheme helps families make their homes warmer and more energy-efficient without worrying about upfront expenses by covering these costs.

EWI Pro Approved Installers

Homeowners choosing an EWI Pro Approved Installer can take full advantage of GBIS. These installers are certified to meet high standards of quality and reliability, ensuring that the insulation work is done correctly and effectively. Opting for an EWI Pro Approved Installer guarantees professional installation and ensures eligibility for GBIS, which can cover the cost of materials.

Inquire with our Technical Team about the GBIS!

Funding Form

Special cases: Local Authority Flex

Local governments and Devolved Administrations can refer to households facing persistent fuel debt or those struggling to stay connected to their energy supplies due to financial constraints. If you meet specific eligibility criteria, your local authority can make joint referrals for the ECO4 Flex and the Great British Insulation Scheme Flex.

Types of insulation measures

The scheme provides various insulation options for both low-income and general groups:

  • Cavity wall insulation (including party wall)
  • Loft insulation
  • Solid wall insulation
  • Pitched roof insulation
  • Flat roof insulation
  • Under-floor insulation
  • Solid floor insulation
  • Park home insulation
  • Room-in-roof insulation

Secondary measures like room thermostats can also be installed for the low-income group.

Cost implications

Energy companies’ funding levels vary, and households might be required to contribute to the installation cost. The scheme is not a grant programme.

Delivery Standards

All installations must comply with PAS2030/2035 standards and publicly available specifications for domestic retrofit work. Unlike ECO4, there is no requirement to improve the property’s Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) rating.

Opportunities for innovation

Obligated energy suppliers have incentives to deliver innovative energy efficiency solutions. However, only these suppliers can apply under the innovation routes.

Key information data
  • GBIS will run from Spring 2023-2026 with the opportunity for early delivery (£1bn over 3 years, split £130m/£435m/£435m)
  • In most cases, GBIS funding will only pay part of the measure. Ofgem assumes that a customer contribution will be required (unlike ECO4, which endeavours to focus on fully funded projects wherever possible)
  • Innovation measure delivery receiving uplifts is capped at 10% of the low-income groups 20% minimum (So 2% of the overall GBIS obligation per supplier). No additional 5% uplift if submitted to the supplier who sponsored the measure, unlike ECO4.
  • GBIS Flex can be used by up to 80% of the low-income group until you have achieved 20% of the obligation through low-income. Flex can then be used unrestrictedly after that point.
  • No minimum requirement of xx EPC bands, unlike ECO4
  • Scoring will be calculated using the ECO4 partial project scores without the 20% deflator
  • No need to first rule out/ evidence ECO4 could not be used instead
  • Properties not prevented from getting ECO4 funding if they already have GBIS and vice versa (ECO4 min requirements would still apply, however)
  • It can only be funded by GBIS once (Trustmark will add a new indicator so this can be checked)
  • Projects must comply with PAS 2035 standards e.g. ventilation and retrofit assessment (The government will continue to explore if this could be reduced to compliance with Trustmark LicencePlus in the future)
  • As with ECO4, as part of any GBIS project, the installer must provide the resident with information on the benefits of smart meters and how to request the installation of one
  • If installing heating controls, these must be installed within 3 months of the primary insulation measure

GBIS Matrix

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