Keeping warm

Affordable Warmth Assistance loan

What is an Affordable Warmth Assistance loan?

This is a loan of up to £5,000 that is intended to remedy fuel poverty, i.e. where a household is paying a high proportion of income on their fuel bills and/or to remedy energy inefficiency in the home. This loan is repayable in full if the property is sold or transferred within 10 years.

Who is eligible for an Affordable Warmth Assistance loan?

Any homeowner requiring energy efficiency/fuel poverty remediation works, and who cannot obtain such assistance in part or total from other sources may be eligible. The loan can also be used in addition to external funding where that funding does not meet the total costs. Eligibility will not be constrained to those in receipt of means-tested benefits but will include those where fuel poverty can be assessed as likely or a risk (through determination of fuel costs, thermal efficiency and income).

There are two ways in which homeowners could be eligible for Affordable Warmth Assistance, although applicants should first investigate whether their energy supplier is able help through schemes that it may run.

Vulnerable households

In receipt of certain benefits in an energy inefficient house. Under this criterion, the energy rating of the dwelling occupied by a vulnerable household in receipt of benefits must be determined. A dwelling with very poor insulation and an inefficient/no heating system is likely to have a low energy rating. In some cases, people under this criterion are eligible for assistance via their energy supplier, but may need to provide some funding themselves. In these cases, Affordable Warmth Assistance can 'top up' the energy supplier’s grant.

Households in fuel poverty

To assess this, we will need to undertake an assessment of income and fuel costs over a 12-month period. If homeowners are spending more than 10% of their income on fuel for their home, they will be eligible. Applicants do not need to be in receipt of benefits. Where assessment of actual fuel costs is not appropriate, we may carry out an energy survey of the property to determine what the theoretical cost of fuel bills would be. This can be useful where homeowners under-use their heating to reduce costs.

How to apply for an Affordable Warmth Assistance loan

If you feel that your home is cold and too costly to keep warm you should initially contact the Energy Saving Trust on 0800 444 202.

If the Energy Saving Trust cannot help you, contact us on 0300 300 8767. An advisor will ask you about your particular circumstances and should be able to advise on whether you are likely to be eligible based on the information that you have provided.