Covid-19 Affordable Warmth / Boiler Replacement update

We continue to deal with the challenge of coronavirus (COVID 19). But we are completing technical inspections. 

Applications that meet the Affordable Warmth Scheme’s criteria must be referred to us by a council.

You can find contact details for councils in Northern Ireland from NI Direct at:

You must have written approval before you carry out any work.

Important Information for Applicants

As a grant applicant you will use a contractor.

You must ensure your contractor is:

  • maintaining a high standard of health and safety onsite

  • observing health and safety regulations

This includes maintaining social distancing.

Affordable Warmth and Boiler Replacement FAQs

During lockdown our Grants Offices were only able to address emergency cases (those without heating). These were sent to us by a local Council.

These were cases that the Council decided met the scheme’s criteria.

If you received grant aid as an emergency case between the period of 23 March 2020 and 26 June 2020 we are inspecting these properties to review completed grant works.

During this inspection we will determine what other measures you may qualify for.  These may include:

  • loft insulation
  • cavity wall insulation
  • windows
  • solid wall insulation
  • other work relating to the heating measure

The scheme may be available to you if you:

  • live in Northern Ireland
  • own and occupy your property as your main home
  • have your day / life interest in the house
  • rent  from a private landlord, and
  • have a total annual gross income of less that £23,000

It is not available for tenants living in social housing; you are not eligible if you are a Housing Executive or housing association tenant.

The property must not be a

  • holiday home
  • bed & breakfast
  • commercial establishment

You can read details about the scheme in our section on:

We work with local Councils to deliver the Scheme throughout Northern Ireland.

Grants are subject to the availability of funding.

During lockdown our Grants Offices were only able to address emergency cases that met the scheme’s criteria.

If you received grant aid as an emergency case we are inspecting these properties to review completed grant works.  We are accepting new applications for the Boiler Replacement Scheme.  

You may qualify if you:

  • live in Northern Ireland
  • own and occupy your property as your main home
  • have a household gross income less than £40,000 per year
  • have a boiler which is at least 15 years old
  • the property is not a
    • holiday home
    • bed & breakfast
    • commercial establishment

Please read:

It explains what you may qualify for. 

We administer both of these Schemes on behalf of the Department for Communities.

We will agree:

  • the works which can be grant aided
  • the total grant-aid payable
  • to make prompt payment(s) at the appropriate time to the payees you tell us to

Affordable Warmth Scheme
We cannot accept direct applications for this scheme.

Referrals to us must be made by a local council. 

If you have any questions about the Affordable Warmth scheme contact your council.  Council Staff will guide you on what steps you should take. 

You can find contact details for councils in Northern Ireland from NI Direct at:

Boiler Replacement Scheme
Contact your local Grants Office for a Boiler Replacement Scheme application. You can read more information in the section below.

Please note that for both schemes we are not responsible for contractors. You employ the contractors.

You must not start any work until you receive confirmation from us that you qualify for grant-aid.

Affordable Warmth Scheme
You must contact your local council directly.

Boiler Replacement Scheme
You can contact us by email at energyefficiency.psis@nihe.gov.uk

Please include your:

  • name
  • full postal address (with postcode)
  • contact telephone number

Well-known webmail providers include:

  • Gmail
  • Outlook.com (formerly known as Hotmail)
  • Yahoo! Mail

These services are free to use.

If you need help to set up an email address you can get help from:

  • The NI Direct website on setting up an email account in its section on:
  • a family member or a friend may be able to help you set one up

We are moving services online to help process applications quicker.

If you’re having difficulty we would encourage you to ask for help from family in the first place. If you decide to do this we will need your permission to communicate with a family member. You must tell us who you wish to nominate to act as your representative.

If you require further assistance please contact: 03448 920 900 (Textphone 18001 03448 920 900) and ask to speak to someone from your local grants office.

DO NOT start work until you have received confirmation in writing by email that you qualify for the scheme. 

If you qualify for the Affordable Warmth or Boiler Replacement scheme we will send an approval letter by email which will explain what grant-aid you will receive and in the case of Affordable Warmth, what measures your property qualifies for. 

We will not pay for any work started or finished in your home before you receive written approval from us.

You must tell us if you are:

  • shielding
  • quarantining
  • not comfortable having someone inspect your home
  • self-isolating due to travel

We will arrange an appointment when it is suitable for you.

We will contact you to arrange an appointment to visit and inspect your home. This will allow us to decide what work should be grant-aided.

Before the visit takes place we will:

  • write to you by email to confirm the date
  • send details of Covid-19 related information
  • contact you 24-48 hours in advance of our visit to complete a Covid-19 assessment

Before entering your home our Case / Technical Officer will

  • put on PPE - this includes gloves and a face covering (mask)
  • sanitise their hands and equipment
  • complete a final check that you are content they enter
  • show you their work pass

Housing Executive work pass

We will ask these questions.

1. Are you willing to let a member of our staff into your home?

2. Have you or a member of your household tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 4 weeks?

3. Are any members of your household experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms?

4. Have you or any members of your household recently returned to Northern Ireland?

You can read the most up-to-date information about this from NI Direct at:

  • The technical assessment may take up to 60 minutes. The time taken depends on your property’s size, type, location and energy needs.
  • Our Technical Officer may need access to all areas and rooms. This may include:
  • bedrooms
  • hot press
  • roof space
  • boiler location
  • oil tank location

When in your home our Technical Officer will:

  • keep a social distance
  • tell you where they will inspect
  • tell you how they will inspect and
  • what measurements they may need to take

Cavity Wall Inspections (for Affordable Warmth scheme only)

Your house may have cavity walls. We may have to drill a number of small holes in the external walls to insert a camera. This lets us identify the property’s cavity walls and insulation needs. This is called a "borescope inspection".

We will need your permission to carry out this assessment of your cavity wall. You must provide a signature to confirm this. The pen you use will be sanitised before and after you sign.

These inspections may be affected by issues with access and safe working practices.

Our Technical Officers would appreciate it if you could:

  • limit the number of people in your home
  • have one person go with the Officer during the visit – maintaining social distancing
  • open all internal doors
  • open gates, doors and windows when asked to
  • Keep busy areas - like the hall, stairs and landing - free of people

We usually expect you to complete grant-aid work within three months of the date of approval. 

Please contact us if you’re experiencing difficulties with this.

In the Approval Pack we sent you, you will find information on what you need to provide to let us make the payment.

You can request that we make the final payment:

  • to you or
  • to your contractor*

*You must agree this with the contractor. They must then give us the information we need to make the payment.  

Please Note:

Anyone making a false statement to get monies by fraud is liable to be prosecuted.

Affordable Warmth

Please remember that we will need:

  • contractor’s final invoice on headed paper
  • ‘Contractor’s Completion’ form
    • you and the contractor must complete and sign sections for each measure within the List of Grant Aided Works

  • ‘Notification of Completion of Works’ form for each measure
  • Payment form BACS 01 (to pay applicant) or BACS 02 (to pay contractor) for each measure
  •  Building Control Completion Certificate for each measure (where applicable)

We may also need the following information.

  • If cavity wall insulation has been installed:
    • a CIGA or other comparable 25 year certificate approved by the Housing Executive
  • If solid wall insulation has been installed:
    • a SWIGA or other comparable 25 year certificate approved by the Housing Executive
  • A Hazardous Waste Consignment Note where disposal of a redundant existing oil tank items appears on the list of grant aided works or it has been approved by the Grants Office via the variation procedure.

    If the householder’s name and address is not listed in Section 1 of the Hazardous Waste Consignment Note then a copy of the Carrier’s Schedule will need to be provided.  If this is applicable it required so a heating payment can be made.
  • A copy of planning approval and / or
  • Evidence that we approved extra funding during the grant application.

Boiler Replacement

We will need completed documents:

  • ‘Installer’s Final Invoice’ form
  • ‘Notification of Completion of Work’
  • Payment form BACS 01 (to pay applicant) or BACS 02 (to pay contractor) for each measure
  • Building Control  Completion Certificate

Your contractor must make sure that they maintain a high standard of health and safety. They must observe Health & Safety regulations while they carry out the works.

The contractor must keep a social distance at all times.

The Public Health Agency provides information on COVID-19 and social distancing. You can read this at:

We are carrying out technical inspections. This means we are inspecting properties where we made payments without a technical inspection during Covid

We may make a payment for work which we then find has not been carried out to our satisfaction.

We determine this under the:

  • specification for the relevant works and
  • Domestic Energy Efficiency Grants (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016.

If this is the case, we may look to recover the payment from you or your contractor.

The Public Health Agency provides information on COVID-19 and social distancing. You can read this at:

Read more information about our home improvement grants scheme in our section on:


Next
Affordable Warmth Scheme
Is this page helpful?
Yes No