Affordable Warmth Scheme

The Department for Communities has asked the Housing Executive to temporarily delay the issuing of approvals for applications for the Affordable Warmth Scheme.

This temporary delay will affect all applications (approximately 900) to the scheme that the Housing Executive has received since 31/12/18. It will also affect some applications (approximately 400) received prior to 31/12/18. 

The reason for the delay is a scheme approval issue within the Department which prevents expenditure against the scheme’s available budget. The Department for Communities is working to resolve this issue as fast as possible. The Housing Executive will continue to progress applications so that when the approval issue is resolved, applications may be progressed as fast as possible. It is important to note that we will continue to make payment for approvals already issued on completion of the work.   

The Department would like to apologise to all those people who have applications outstanding.

How the scheme works

The Affordable Warmth Scheme tackles fuel poverty in the private sector. The Housing Executive and local Councils deliver the Scheme throughout Northern Ireland. You may qualify if you own your home or rent it from a private landlord, and have a total annual income of less that £20,000. 

The Scheme is a strictly targeted scheme, aimed where levels of fuel poverty are worst. 
Local councils will:

  • make contact with households likely to be affected by fuel poverty
  • ask residents to complete a short survey
  • send completed surveys to the Housing Executive 
  • contact the Social Security Agency’s ‘Make the Call’ team to request a Benefit Entitlement Check for the householder

The Check will then be completed. Council staff will then visit homes in their area to help householders to take part in the scheme. You should contact your local council to see if you might qualify for assistance. 

Help available

There are a range of energy efficiency measures available through the Affordable Warmth Scheme.
The energy efficiency measures will be prioritised as set out below. 

Priority 1 – Insulation/Ventilation/Draught proofing

  • installation or topping up of loft insulation to 300mm
  • roof/loft/eaves ventilation
  • provision of hot water cylinder jacket
  • draught proofing of doors/windows
  • installation of cavity wall insulation
  • removal and replacement of ineffective cavity wall insulation

Priority 2 – Heating

  • provision of natural gas or oil central heating where no central heating exists
  • conversion of economy 7 to high efficiency electrical storage system where gas and oil are not possible
  • boiler replacement/system upgrade for homes with a boiler at least 15 years old where the householder:
  • is over 65
  • has a child under 16 years of age
  • receives disability living allowance 

Priority 3 - Windows

  • replacement of single glazed windows
  • repair or replacement of double glazed windows that are defective

Priority 4 – Solid Wall Measures

  • provision of solid wall insulation

The above will only be offered to successful applicants. Your house will be inspected to decide if insulation is required. The inspector will consider if the existing heating in your house needs to be changed. You will only be offered help to repair or upgrade your windows where we find no need for insulation or heating measures. Due to the cost of insulating solid wall properties, you will be allowed to complete other measures, such as heating repairs first.

If you are offered heating solutions from more than one priority group, you should complete them in order of priority rating. If you decide not to carry out any heating solutions, you will not be allowed to transfer the allocated approval to other measures and will lose your grant entitlement. 

How do I know what work I can do? 

We will complete an initial visit. If you are entitled to help under the Scheme we will issue a Schedule of Works. This will list the measures that you are allowed to carry out. It will also include a formal certificate of approval to start the works.  
You cannot carry out any works without that approval.

Who can do the work?

You can appoint your own contractor to carry out the work. 

How much money can I get?

You can receive up to £7,500 through the Affordable Warmth Scheme. If your home is of solid wall construction and insulation measures are needed, this will increase to £10,000. It may cost more than this to complete the works to your home.
You can choose to contribute to the costs of the heating solutions in these circumstances. 

Private Sector Tenants

If you rent your property from a private landlord, your landlord must: 

  • agree to the measures being installed in the property
  • be registered with the Department’s Landlord Registration Scheme 
  • make a contribution of 50% of the total cost of energy efficiency improvements to their property. 

Boiler Replacement Allowance
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