There’s been a lot of discussion recently about government schemes that aim to make homes more energy efficient, and if you’re in Scotland, you may have heard of the Home Energy Scotland Loan. As a tradesperson it’s important to keep on top of these industry updates because if your customers ask for your advice, you’ll be able to offer the right solution and potentially win more work in the process.
So, here’s a quick lowdown on what the scheme covers and what it means for you.
What does the scheme offer?
The Home Energy Scotland Loan is designed to make homes warmer and more comfortable by helping homeowners install a range of energy saving measures through an interest-free loan funded by the Scottish Government. To find out if they’re eligible, all your customers need to do is call 08088082282 and an advisor will ask them a few simple questions. If they qualify, they’ll be given access to an online application form for their case to be assessed – part of which will require a quote from an installer for the specified improvements.
If they’re successful, they’ll just need to pay an administrative fee of 1.5% of the loan value (up to a maximum of £150).
There are a few important things for you to note if your customer is making use of the loan:
- You cannot start work on any installations until your customer has received the loan offer in writing
- You can combine the Home Energy Scotland Loan with other schemes and incentives
- The loan is only available for homeowners, so if you’re working for a property developer, business or landlord – it’s a no go!
What jobs does it cover?
The whole point of the scheme is to help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient, so the measures that you can install are aligned with this. Funding is split into two areas; energy efficient improvements and renewable systems.
Energy efficient improvements
Your customers can borrow up to £15,000 for these improvements. On top of this, to help encourage your customers to invest in these measures, the Scottish Government is offering up to 40% cashback for some eligible energy efficiency measures and 75% for certain renewable heating systems (up to £6,000). If this doesn’t encourage your customers to take on more work – then what will?
Here are some of the projects you can consider:
- Solid, external and internal wall insulation
- Heating system (gas, LPG or oil boilers
- Heating system (warm air units or high heat retention electric storage heaters)
- Gas connection
- Insulated doors
- Flat roof or room-in-roof insulation
- Loft, floor or cavity wall insulation
Your customers can apply for up to two renewable systems per home worth up to £17,500, plus an energy storage system up to a maximum of £6,000. This can include a £500 incentive for installation of a heat meter alongside a heat pump.
Here are some of the solutions included:
- Wind or hydro turbines
- Solar photovoltaic (PV)
- Solar water heating systems
- Energy storage systems (heat or electric batteries)
- Hybrid PV-solar water heating systems
- Heat pumps (either air source to water, ground source to water, water source to water or hybrid air source to water)
- Heat meter (if installed alongside a heat pumps
- Biomass boilers or stoves (non-automated, non-pellet stoves or room heaters are not eligible)
- Connections to a renewably powered district heating scheme
Funding and cashback are only available while funds last and is issued on a first-come, first-served basis. For a full break down of the funding available for each measure click here.
What’s in it for tradespeople?
All in all, this is great news for tradespeople in Scotland as it has the potential to bring in more work. By making these measures more affordable for homeowners across the country, more of your customers will have the chance to take on these improvements, meaning installers can expect to have busy diaries if they get behind the scheme. But, if you really want to make the most of potential work on offer, then you need to check your qualifications.
What qualifications do I need?
There are steps in place that you’ll need to go through if you want to carry out work under the scheme. In general, it’s always recommended that you look into becoming a Green Deal certified installer – you can find out how to start this process here. Also, if you’re taking on gas or boiler work, you’ll need to go on the Gas Safe Register (or OFTEC registered if it’s an oil boiler).
There are also more specific requirements depending on the type of measure you’re working on.
- You’ll need to be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) for the system you’re installing (except for micro-hydro systems*).
- It’s also recommended that you join the Energy Saving Trust’s list of renewable installers
*If you need help getting qualified to install micro-hyrdo systems, then our estimating sister company, Build Aviator, can give you a hand. Just get drop them an email to email@example.com and they’ll take you through the process.
Energy storage systems
- Again, you’ll need to be certified under the MCS scheme for the renewables system that will be working alongside the battery
- You’ll need to be a member of the Trading Standards Institute accredited consumer code which covers energy storage
- You have to meet the manufacturers’ guidelines for the system being installed and have undertaken any necessary training for the installation
- And you’ll need to meet the Institute for Engineering and Technology’s code of practice (for electric batteries only)