You are here:

Home energy grants

Grants schemes

Home Upgrade Grants

Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2) is a new Government grant scheme to fund energy-saving upgrades for residents with off-grid gas heating systems who are most likely to be impacted by the high cost of energy bills. If your home was cold last winter and you struggled to pay your bills, you might be eligible. HUG2 funding is now open to private tenants, landlords and home-owners and will be available until March 2025.

This scheme could help you to use less energy, reduce your carbon footprint and spend less on your energy bills.

Eligibility criteria

The Home Upgrade Grant Phase 2 (HUG2) is open to home-owners and private tenants in:

  • Homes not heated by mains gas which includes oil, coal, LPG or only electric heating 
  • Households with a combined annual income of less than £36,000 or receiving certain income-related means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit or you live in certain areas 
  • Hard to heat homes – this is based on your home Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). You will be helped with this part of the assessment and receive a free EPC assessment if you do not have one already.

Landlords who have four or fewer properties, will be able to apply and will be required to contribute at least one third of the cost of the upgrades in addition to the funding provided. This will be agreed before work begins.

How it will help

You may be offered energy saving improvements to help cut your energy bills and reduce your carbon emissions. These could include: 

  • insulation: (cavity wall, external wall, internal wall, loft, underfloor, hot water tank)
  • solar panels
  • air source heat pump
  • heating controls
  • energy efficient lighting

A survey will identify what is suitable for your home and you’ll get a free updated Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) assessment.

Who manages the scheme

Warmworks are the Managing Agent of the scheme on behalf of Maldon District Council and have over eight years’ experience of delivering energy efficiency improvements, having already helped more than 40,000 homes across the country. 

They work with local, registered and accredited installers, and all work receives an independent inspection to make sure it meets industry safety and quality standards.

You can apply via: or by calling the Energy Saving Trust on 0808 1968255.

Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS)

ECO and GBIS are government energy efficiency schemes run by Ofgem. 

They are both four-year schemes and are intended to run from 01 April 2022 to 31 March 2026.

The main aim of these schemes is to support low income and vulnerable households to:

  • install energy saving measures
  • improve the efficiency of the lowest rated homes

This is to help the government’s fuel poverty and net zero commitments. 

Participating local authorities can refer households they consider to be:

  • living in fuel poverty
  • on a low income
  • vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home


To be referred for the ECO4 and GBIS Flex schemes you must be living in Essex and be a homeowner, private tenant or landlord.

Landlords may be asked to contribute towards the costs of installed measures. This will depend on the circumstances of the tenant at the qualifying property.

Your property must have an energy efficiency rating between bands D to G and you must either:

  • have a household income below £31,000
  • be identified by your doctor or GP as having a health condition which may be impacted by living in a cold home
  • be identified by Essex County Council as a vulnerable household which is not eligible under any other scheme

To gain funding, a survey of the property must be done to determine suitable measures and certain other criteria. Not all properties will be eligible.

If you do not meet the criteria

The WarmHomesEssex website has details of other funding, advice, and support available in Essex.

How to apply

All applications for the ECO4 and GBIS Flex schemes are being handled by our Managing Agents, Better Housing, Better Health (BHBH). To apply, either:

What happens next

An advisor will call you to complete an eligibility assessment over the phone. This will include questions about the household and the residents occupying it. 

If you pass the eligibility assessment your personal data will be shared with an approved contractor. You will need to give consent for this data to be shared. The contractor will then contact you to arrange for a survey on your property.

You will be told the name of the contractor that will be contacting you. You will not be “cold-called” by doorstep contractors. All eligible applicants will be contacted directly by the contractor to arrange an appointment. If in doubt, please contact BHBH on 0800 107 0044.

Once the survey is done and measures are agreed, the contractor will ask for additional paperwork to be able to process the application. The contractor will advise on the timeline for works to be done. 

Information for suppliers and contractors

We have appointed the National Energy Foundation (NEF) as our Managing Agent for ECO4 and GBIS Flex.

Only declarations submitted to and by NEF can be considered for funding. No declaration requests made directly to Essex County Council will be accepted. 

All interested suppliers must be onboarded with NEF first. Fees will apply for this process. Visit the NEF website for full details.

Boiler Upgrade Scheme

The Government offers an upgrade scheme where you could get a grant to cover part of the cost of replacing fossil fuel heating systems with a heat pump or biomass boiler.

Find more information on the Boiler Upgrade Scheme

Improvements in Private Rented Property

Laws have been introduced designed to improve energy efficiency of homes in the private rented sector. From April 2016 private tenants had the right to request consent for improvements to make their homes more comfortable, and easier and cheaper to keep warm, and the landlord cannot unreasonably refuse. There are a number of government supported schemes that provide finance for home energy improvements such as insulation and efficient heating systems. Tenants can find out if they are eligible for government support schemes by contacting: The Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 (open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm),

The Regulations also set out minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) for England and Wales. These regulations make it unlawful for landlords to grant a new lease or tenancy of properties that have an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating below E, from 1 April 2018. The regulations do not affect sales. They apply to both commercial and domestic rented properties, with some exceptions.

Essex Energy Switch

One of the simplest ways of saving on energy bills is to switch energy supplier.

Essex Energy Switch is a group buying scheme for gas and electricity.

It brings people together in search of a better deal on their energy bills. This collective buying power helps to drive down prices. An auction is held where energy suppliers bid to offer the lowest energy tariff to residents.

There is no obligation to accept the offered tariff if it isn't beneficial. The added bonus is that all energy suppliers must offer 100% renewable electricity.

Register online or call 0800 048 8439 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 5.30pm) to register and receive information by post. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 5.30pm. You will need a recent energy bill to to sign up.

Other useful links

Visit the Energy Saving Trust to find out how you can save more money on your energy bills.

If you're not connected to the mains gas supply, you can still save money on heating oil by joining the Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE) community oil buying scheme.