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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

New Affordable Warmth Scheme to address fuel poverty in the NI private sector

The Affordable Warmth Scheme, a 3 year scheme launched in 2014, is aimed at improving the energy efficiency of private sector homes in Northern Ireland. Certain private tenants or homeowners with an income of less than £20,000 may be entitled to grant assistance to help with the cost of some heating and insulation measures.

Councils to target households eligible for Affordable Warmth Scheme

It is not possible to apply for the scheme. Rather, local councils will send surveys to households identified as eligible for improvements under the scheme. The council will then forward completed surveys to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

The Housing Executive will be responsible for

  • identifying which households are eligible for assistance
  • identifying the work to be carried out
  • assisting the homeowner or tenant in arranging for the work to be carried out and
  • arranging payment of the grant.

Local councils will use information provided by the University of Ulster to target homes in areas which have been identified as being in fuel poverty. However, some local councils may agree to consider properties outside of these targeted areas if a referral is made. Contact Building Control at your local council if you wish to refer a client for consideration for this scheme.

Work which can be carried out under the grant

The Department for Social Development has classified which work can be carried out as part of this scheme into 4 priority areas.

  • Priority 1 - Insulation/Ventilation/Draughtproofing
  • Priority 2 - Heating
  • Priority 3 - Windows
  • Priority 4 - Solid Wall Measures

Work will be carried out according to the strict prioritisation.

The breakdown of the measurements within these priority areas are found on the Northern Ireland Housing Executive website.

Limit of grant

The maximum grant award payable is £7,500, unless a property has been selected for solid wall insulation. If solid wall insultation is approved, the grant limit rises to £10,000. 

Getting approval for work

Once an eligible household has been identified by the council, their details will be passed to the Housing Executive who will arrange to visit the property. At this inspection, the Housing Executive will agree what measures the property requires.

The Housing Executive will then send a Schedule of Works and a  formal certificate of approval, providing permission for work to start. No work can be carried out without this approval.

Private tenants

Private tenants who wish to apply must

  • have an income of less than £20,000
  • have their landlord’s consent for the scheme
  • be named on the tenancy agreement for the property

The landlord of the property must

  • be registered with the Department of Social Development’s Landlord Registration Scheme
  • make a contribution of 50% of the total cost of energy efficiency improvements to the property

Further information on the Affordable Warmth Scheme from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Tagged In

Fitness, Money Matters, Practical tips