Sustainable Warmth – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to make any financial contributions to the scheme?

A: No. Funding has been allocated to Reading residents from central government. Greater South East Net Zero Hub (appointed by the government to manage the scheme in Reading) will pay City Energy directly for works carried out to your property.

The good news is that if you are a home-owner you don’t have to pay for this and you will not be asked for any financial contribution towards the scheme or to pay any of the money spent back.  You will not be asked to provide any bank account details when applying.

If you are a private landlord you are also eligible for the scheme, however you will be required to contribute one third towards the cost of the work initial energy survey.

Q: How do I know if my home qualifies for the scheme?

A:  Once you have registered your interest in the scheme, an appointment will be made to have an energy survey carried out on your home.  This will be carried out by a qualified assessor.  The purpose of the survey is to confirm the Energy Performance Rating (EPC) of your home. 

Q: What types of energy-saving improvements are included in this scheme?

A: Wall, loft and underfloor insulation, as well as heating technologies with low carbon emissions such as Air Source Heat Pumps, Ground Source Heat Pumps and solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are included in the scheme. 

Heating technologies that use fossil-fuels such as mains gas, LPG, oil and coal are excluded.

Q: Who will carry out the work?

A: City Energy have been assigned to deliver the Sustainable Warmth scheme for Reading residents.

Q: Who pays for the energy saving improvements?

A: The funding has been allocated to Reading residents from central government.  

Q: How do I apply for the Sustainable Warmth Funding?

A: City Energy have been assigned to carry out the Sustainable Warmth scheme for Reading.

You can check if you are eligible and apply for the grant by completing an initial application form on the City Energy website. – Home (berkshire-applications.co.uk)

If you’d prefer to speak to City Energy in person, please call their Customer Care Team who would be happy to assist you with your application. They can be contacted by phone on 02921 680951 or emailed at: cityenergy@swfapplications.co.uk

Q: Why do I need a survey?

A: To qualify for the Sustainable Warmth scheme, your home’s energy rating needs to be below a certain threshold. A qualified energy assessor will carry out a survey to assess your home’s energy performance and to provide an accurate rating of the energy efficiency of your home.  The survey will also show the potential improvement any recommended energy improvement measures could make.

Q: Do I need to pay for the Survey?

A:  No. the Greater South East Net Zero Hub (appointed by government to manage the scheme for Reading) will pay City Energy directly for all works carried out to your property, including the survey.

A: Private landlords will be required to pay for an energy survey of their property. If a landlord decides to proceed with the works, 50% of the cost of the survey will be deducted from the amount the landlord is required to contribute for the works. The cost of the survey is currently £625+VAT.

Q:  What energy-saving improvements will I receive? 

A:  Following the energy survey a package of works will be provided to you, offering the best combination of carbon emission and energy bill savings, based on the grant funding available.   

Q:  How is the £30,000 income of people applying to the scheme calculated?

A: £30,000 income is calculated as your annual income before tax or any other deductions.  Please note, if there are two or more adults within the household, your combined income must be less than £30,000 before tax or any other deductions. 

You may also be eligible if your income is below £20,000 after rent or mortgage costs or if the number of dependents in your household stretches your income so that you struggle to pay your energy bills.

Q:  What income and expenditure evidence will I need to provide? 

A:  When a survey is carried out on your home to find out whether it qualifies for the scheme, we will also ask you for evidence of the income of all adults in the home.  This may include pay slips, P60s, benefit letters (if applicable) or bank statements if no other option is available.  We may also need a copy of your mortgage statement (or tenancy agreement) and your council tax bill.  In specific cases open banking may be used to assess eligibility.

Q:  What if I can’t find the necessary documents? 

A: If you can’t find the necessary evidence that you qualify for the scheme during the survey appointment, we will give you time to provide these documents to us after the survey.  You will need to provide the evidence that you qualify before your application can progress any further.  In some cases, there may be other ways we can confirm that you qualify.  For example, we could request your permission for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to confirm your benefits to us.

Q: What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

A: Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) where first introduced in the UK in 2007 to provide potential buyers and tenants with an indication of the energy efficiency of a property, along with information about the property’s typical energy costs and will recommend ways to reduce energy use and make the property more energy efficient.

Q: How to I find out if my home has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and its rating?

A: The government holds a list of all EPCs which can be accessed by searching your postcode on the following link – Find an energy performance certificate (EPC).

Q: What do I do if my property does not have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

A: To qualify for the Sustainable Warmth scheme, the energy rating of your home needs to be below a certain threshold. If your property does not have an Energy Performance Certificate, City Energy will ask additional questions during the application process, such as details on the age of the property, age of heating system, age of windows etc which would assist them to determine your properties predicted EPC rating. An Energy Performance Certificate will be produced as part of the survey to confirm that your property is eligible.

Q:  I am a landlord/tenant, can I apply? 

A:  Yes. Privately rented properties may be eligible for a grant.  The tenant will need to meet the income eligibility, and both landlord and tenant must consent to the grant application.  The landlord must provide a minimum contribution of one third towards the cost of the works and the cost of an initial energy survey of your property. 

If overall costs exceed those for the various combinations of EPC ratings and heating fuel, additional contributions by the landlord will be required.

Q:  I am a landlord and my property is empty, can I apply?

A:  No, the grant is awarded based on the eligibility of the tenant living in the property.

Q:  How is the funding determined for houses not heated by gas?

A:  The exact amount available is dependent on the EPC of the home and the fuel source that currently heats the home. Please refer to the tables below for details of the funding available:

Owner Occupiers

Heating Fuel TypeCurrent EPC Rating F & GCurrent EPC Rating ECurrent EPC Rating D
Electric£13,333£15,000£10,000
Non-gas fossil fuel (oil, LPG, coal)£25,000£20,000£15,000

Private-Rented Properties

Heating Fuel Type  
EPC rating of F and G
Sustainable Warmth
Landlord contributionTotal Cost of measures installed
Electric£13,333£6,667£20,000
Non-gas fossil fuel (oil, LPG, coal)£16,666£8,333£25,000
Heating Fuel Type
EPC rating of E
Sustainable WarmthLandlord   contributionTotal Cost of measures installed
Electric£10,000£5,000£15,000
Non-gas fossil fuel (oil, LPG, coal)£13,333£6,667£20,000

If costs exceed those for the various combinations of EPC ratings and heating fuel. The landlord will need to provide extra contributions.