Free home energy visit (LEAP)
How can it be ‘free’?

LEAP is funded entirely from external sources of money. This includes ECO (Energy Company Obligation) and WHDII (Warm Homes Discount Industry Initiatives). This money is in place to provide energy saving advice and measures for residents, so you can benefit from the scheme for free!

Who will be in contact with me?

After you have submitted your self-referral, you will hear from the LEAP team, who work for our scheme managers Agility Eco.

Do I need to prepare anything before the visit?

Only if you have specific questions. If you would like assistance with your energy bill payments, or think you are being overcharged, please have copies of your latest bills for the advisor to look at during the visit.

How long will the visit take?

This depends on how much assistance you would like to receive! On average a visit lasts about an hour, but you have up to 2 hours with the advisor.

How do I apply for cavity wall or loft insulation through this scheme?

If you’d like to get loft or cavity wall insulation installed in your home, tell the LEAP advisor during your visit. They will make the referral for you, and you will hear from a suitable installer if this can go ahead.

Who do I contact if I have any questions or complaints?

You can contact the LEAP scheme directly on 0800 060 7567, or you can come through to Portsmouth City Council’s Energy Services Team on 023 9284 1947.

Free boiler repair/replacement (LEAP Boiler Scheme)
How can it be ‘free’?

The LEAP Boiler Scheme which is managed by LEAP (also known as AgilityEco) is entirely funded by Warm Homes Discount Industry Initiatives, which is an external source of money. Thanks to this funding, you can get a boiler repair or replacement totally for free!

 

Can I apply for this if I am in rented accommodation?

This scheme is open to owner/occupiers only. If you are in rented accommodation, you should contact your landlord and they should repair or replace your boiler.

 

Who will be in contact with me?

Referrals are currently closed to the public but LEAP still accepts referrals from partner organisations. If you were referred from a LEAP partner or the council, you will be contacted by one of  LEAP’s home energy advisor (HEA) to check your eligibility. This is followed by a visit to your property to carryout an initial survey. The boiler is either repaired on the day (if practical to do so) or replaced ASAP.

 

How long will it take?

As this is an emergency scheme, the installation should be completed within 10 working days after your survey takes place. Please be aware that we cannot provide a guaranteed timeframe for the initial appointment. This timeframe can vary between application volume and property location.

 

What counts as an ’emergency heating situation’?

You will be considered to be in an emergency heating situation if, during the winter months, your boiler has broken or been condemned, and your heating is not working.

 

Can I apply to this scheme if my boiler is old or inefficient?

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the funding, you cannot apply to this scheme if your boiler is not fully broken or has not been marked as condemned by a gas engineer.

 

Who do I contact if I have any questions or complaints?

Once you have had contact with the installer who will be carrying out the repair or replacement, you should contact them with any questions or concerns. For more general queries, feel free to contact the Portsmouth City Council Energy Services Team on 023 9284 1947.

Free white goods replacement (LEAP Appliances Scheme)
How can it be ‘free’?

The LEAP Appliances Scheme which is managed by LEAP (also known as AgilityEco) is entirely funded by Warm Homes Discount Industry Initiatives, which is an external source of money. Thanks to this funding, you can get replacement energy efficient white goods for free!

 

How will I be contacted to book the delivery?

If your application is successful, C Supplies will contact you by telephone within 10 working days. There will be a brief survey to confirm your details and how we can access your property. The installation will be booked in once these details have been confirmed.

 

Can I keep my old appliance as well as the new one?

No. Your current appliance will be removed and disposed as part of the installation. If your current appliance is integrated and can’t be removed we will not be able to install the new one.

 

Will the appliance be installed and connected during the delivery?

Yes, it will be installed and connected, and the installer will make sure it works properly. If the connection can’t be completed for any reason, the new appliance will be taken away.

 

The appliance has a fault after delivery. What should I do?

Please contact the manufacturer directly. Contact numbers are included in the documents you have been given during the installation. When ringing the manufacturer, you will be asked to provide: your full name, address, appliance model number, appliance serial number and delivery date. The manufacturer will then investigate and resolve the issue at their discretion. If you need any assistance, please contact C Supplies.

Free energy efficiency upgrades (Warmer Homes)
How can it be ‘free’?

The Warmer Homes programme is funded by the Government’s Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery (LAD) & Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) schemes. Portsmouth City Council, in partnership with the local authorities shown here has secured funding of £9.4 million to provide energy saving measures in the area, free of charge to homeowners.

 

What happens after I’ve applied?

We are working in partnership with Agility Eco to deliver the scheme. Once we’ve received your application (either online or via the freephone number) Agility Eco will will send you our welcome pack and eligibility verification documents. These documents allow us to check your eligibility so that our team can fully assess your application. If they think your property may be suitable, they will then ask the assigned installer to contact you to book in a survey.

 

Can I choose my own installer?

Yes. Within the application form you are provided with the option to either allow us to select an accredited contractor on your behalf or if you would like to choose your own contractor. If you ask us to select the installer on your behalf, we will choose the most appropriate installer based on availability and geographical location. If you choose your own contractor, we will do our best to use the installer you’ve chosen, but this may be subject to change based on their availability, geographical coverage and whether they have the appropriate accreditations and qualifications required for the programme.

 

What if my home doesn’t have an EPC rating?

The Warmer Homes team can arrange for an EPC to be carried out at your property, if your home doesn’t already have one or it’s expired. If your EPC rating doesn’t qualify you for funding through the programme, we may be able to direct you to another suitable programme, if available.

 

Is the warmer home scheme available to private tenants?

Yes, this programme is available to owner occupiers and private rental households. Please note that for private properties. If you are a private rental tenant you will need to landlord’s permission and the landlord will be required to contribute, which will be agreed with them prior to any work taking place.

 

Is the warmer home scheme available to social tenants?

No, the Warmer Homes programme is not open to housing associations or council housing tenants. please do not apply if you are a social housing tenant (local authority or housing association), as your application will not be accepted. If you have any queries about the energy efficiency of your property, talk to you housing officer.

 

How long should the process take?

From application to installation, times vary depending on the measure your have applied for and your property type. You might face some delays if your property is technically challenging to install the measure on. Your assigned installer will be able to inform you of the expected installation process and finish date.

 

Where can I find information about the energy efficiency measure I’m interested in?

Your assigned installer will be able to provide you with more information about the measure you are interested in and will also provide you with a factsheet related to the measure(s) you are interested in. You can also find our explainer videos here or you can find further information on other websites such as the Energy Saving Trust: energysavingtrust.org.uk

 

Who will own the energy efficiency measures once installed?

The homeowner/owner-occupier of the property will own the energy efficiency measure(s) once installed. For private rental properties, the ownership will be with the landlord.

 

Who is responsible for any future maintenance after my measure(s) have been installed?

The homeowner/owner-occupier or private rental landlord will be responsible for any future maintenance responsibilities/costs once the measure(s) have been installed. Details of your warranty cover will be provided by your installer following your installation.

 

What warranty information will I be provided?

Your installer will be able to provide you with information and documentation regarding the warranty period for your energy efficiency measure. Please contact the installer directly should you have any questions about your warranty.

 

Do I need to tell my electricity supplier about the installation?

Although not compulsory, we recommend informing your electricity supplier about your recent solar PV panel installation, as some electricity suppliers may be able to offer you the Smart Export Guarantee.

 

What is the Smart Export Guarantee and how do I get this?

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a government backed initiative which requires some electricity suppliers to pay residents with small renewable systems for the electricity which they export back to the National Grid (subject to eligibility criteria). Please contact your electricity supplier for more information.

 

Who do I contact if I have any questions or complaints?

For queries or complaints about your application, you can contact Agility Eco directly on 0800 038 5737.
For queries about your measure and its installation, you should contact your assigned installer.

For any other queries, you can contact the Switched On Portsmouth team via 023 9284 1947.

Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
What is ECO?

The Energy Company Obligation is a government energy efficiency scheme which is designed to tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions. Obligated Energy Suppliers are required by law to provide financial support for installations of measures which assist vulnerable customers with improving the energy efficiency of their home.

 

Will I have to pay to have an energy efficiency measure installed?

It is up to the energy suppliers which measures they fund, and what installers they will work with. The level of funding you will receive will depend on the measure type, and some eligibility factors. It is possible to get a fully funded ECO measure installed, but for some measures you might have to make a small contribution.

 

Can I get ECO measures installed in my privately rented home?

You may be able to have ECO measures installed if you are a private tenant and meet the relevant eligibility criteria – to do so, you must get consent from your landlord.

Click here to see if you’re eligible.

 

As a Landlord, can I get ECO measures installed in my properties?

You may be able to access ECO funding if you own no more than 4 properties and the occupier of the property meets the eligbility criteria.

Click here for further information on which measures you could receive funding for.

 

What documents should I receive from my ECO installer?

You should keep any documents you receive in a safe place in case you need to refer to them later.

 

You should receive:

Documents setting out the arrangements, such as a contract

ECO4 Privacy Notice – this should be provided before works take place.

Declaration of Conformity and Completed Installation – after works are completed, you should be asked to sign a declaration. Only sign this once the works are complete and you are satisfied. ECO Appropriate Guarantees – For wall insulation measures you should be provided with a guarantee for 25 years.  You may also be provided with a manufacturers or installers guarantee.

 

Warranties – Boilers or storage heaters must come with a warranty supplied by the installer at the time of installation.

 

Can I access ECO funding to make my rented property compliant with MEES?

Yes! ECO funding can be used to help with making your property compliant with MEES if you own no more than 4 properties and your tenants meet the eligibility criteria. Click here to find our more about MEES and your responsibilities as a landlord.

ECO Flex

Portsmouth City Council participates in the ECO flex scheme which enables households to access government funded energy measures.

 

What is ECO Flex?

ECO Flex provides extra eligibility criteria into energy schemes that fund energy efficiency upgrades such as ECO 4 and Warmer Homes. The extra eligibility routes can be found in the ECO Flex Statement of Intent (SOI).

 

Where can I find the ECO Flex SOI?

Portsmouth City Council have not yet published their ECO Flex SOI. However, this is a top priority for us and the SOI should be available very soon. Once this is available, we will share this information on our social media platforms. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter so you can find out when the ECO Flex SOI has been published.

 

Do I have to wait for the SOI to be published to get free energy efficiency upgrades?

No! You can still get energy efficiency upgrades through the schemes we have on offer if you meet the current eligibility criteria. However, if you aren’t currently eligible, you may become so once the SOI has been published.

 

Please note Portsmouth City Council’s role in this process is only to confirm if a household is eligible for the funding. PCC take no responsibility for the quality of the works, as this relationship sits between the household and the installer.

Switched On Solar
How to use the Solar Tool

The Solar Tool is fully automatic. If your property is within the PO postcode boundary, you can just search it by entering your postcode and address. Simply enter the postcode in the “Search Postcode” box, and click “Find Address”. Then a dropdown list of all properties within the postcode will appear. Choose the property that you are interested in, and click “Evaluate” to see the result.

 

Why can’t I find my address?

The model uses the Portsmouth address database which is updated periodically. If your property is not within the City of Portsmouth (most of the PO1 to PO6 postcodes), it is unfortunately not covered by the study area of this model. If your property is within Portsmouth, it is possible that they are not included in the database. In this case, you can contact Switched On Portsmouth by emailing hello@switchedonportsmouth.co.uk, and we will arrange an individual study of the building for you.

 

How does the Solar Tool understand my roof and it’s shape?

The tool, developed by Switched On Portsmouth’s partner Absolar, uses LiDAR data and computer simulation to identify the shape and structure of buildings within Portsmouth. The LiDAR data are able to create a high-resolution 3D model of buildings on a virtual platform, performing simulations for solar radiation and electricity production.

 

Why does the tool only choose parts of the roof?

If the roof is composed of different sections, the tool is able to analyse the structure and geometry of each section; including orientation, inclination, and curvature. Thereby identifying the most suitable areas where solar panels can be installed. The selected areas are chosen as they meet the following criteria:

  • The area able to receive an adequate amount of solar radiation over a year
  • They have large enough surface spaces
  • The surface areas are suitable for panel installation
Can I install more panels or panels on other areas not highlighted?

The tool proposes a suitable configuration of solar energy systems for your roof. It is possible that your roof can be fitted with more solar panels and still be financially feasible. You can discuss this with the installer when they perform pre-installation, on-site surveys. If you feel that your property can install significantly more panels than proposed, you can also contact our energy advisers at Switched On Portsmouth via hello@switchedonportsmouth.co.uk.

How is the payback period calculated?

We calculate the payback period by taking into account 1) capital cost for installing solar panels, 2) potential electricity production from the proposed solar system, 3) estimated electricity demand of the property, 4) estimated electricity surplus, if any, from the solar panels and the resulted payment from energy suppliers, and 5) estimated electricity price increment.

The tool updates its economic parameters periodically to reflect the latest market values. The current parameters used by the app are as follows:

  • Electricity purchase tariff: 15 p/kWh
  • Smart export guarantee tariff: 4.0 p/kWh
  • Typical solar panel installation:
    • 1 kW: £2050
    • 2 kW: £3250
    • 3 kW: £4350
    • 4 kW: £5200
    • 5 kW: £5800
  • Annual electricity price increment: 3%
How do I get more benefit from my solar PV panels?

Demand side management

Electricity production from solar panels is highly dependent on time of the day. You can increase the financial benefit by shifting the use of high-power appliances to during the day time when your solar panels are producing electricity.

Battery and energy storage

If you have a large amount of electricity surplus from your solar panels, you can also install an energy storage system, such as batteries, to help reduce surplus. Contact our adviser at Switched On Portsmouth to know more.

Export tariff

After April 2019, the UK government has changed the export tariff scheme to the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), requiring energy suppliers to set up their own SEG tariff for solar panel owners who export electricity surplus to the grid. Currently, several energy companies have announced their own SEG tariffs, which vary significantly. You may receive a higher SEG payment by changing energy suppliers. Contact our adviser at Switched On Portsmouth to know more.

Can I get financial help to install solar panels?

Visit our solar loans and funding page to see what financial help is available at the moment. We have partnered with the Wessex Community Bank to offer ethical, low-cost loans to help you purchase Solar PV. We also sometimes have funding available to install Solar PV for FREE!

Funding
Where does all the money come from?

Portsmouth City Council works with our partner organisation Agility Eco to secure external funding for all of our schemes. Sources of funding include the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), Affordable Warmth Solutions (AWS), The National Grid, Warm Homes Fund (WHF), the Fuel Poverty Network Extension Scheme (FPNES) and Warm Homes Discount Industry Initiatives (WHDII).

Our first time gas central heating scheme is funded by a mixture of these sources – PCC secured over £4million from AWS, with match funding from ECO and FPNES to amount to over £7million worth of funding to support the scheme.

 

What is Energy Company Obligation (ECO)?

The Energy Company Obligation is a government energy efficiency scheme which is designed to tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions. Obligated Energy Suppliers are required by law to provide financial support for installations of measures that assist vulnerable customers with improving the energy efficiency of their home.

 

What is the Warm Homes Fund?

The Warm Homes Fund was set up by the National Grid to provide financial assistance to vulnerable households. It operates nationally across England, Scotland and Wales.

 

What is Affordable Warmth Solutions (AWS)?

AWS is a Community Interest Company which was established to deliver national grid gas distribution fuel poor obligations.

 

What is the Fuel Poverty Network Extension Scheme (FPNES)?

This scheme was put in place by Ofgem, and works by obligating gas distribution network companies to deliver a set number of connections to the gas mans for eligible households.

 

What is Warm Homes Discount Industry Initiatives?

Energy suppliers are obligated to deliver financial support to vulnerable households – under this scheme they can work in partnership with third parties to deliver some of this support.