Information about how to save money on fuel bills, Disabled Facilities Grants and other grants and loans to help you heat your home efficiently. Includes details of the local handyperson service.
Housing support and financial assistance
Response times to enquiries for repairs to your home
As a consequence of the exceptionally high demands on our service, we are now experiencing delays of up to 12 weeks in dealing with these enquiries.
Your enquiry will be dealt with in date order, dependent upon the details you provide. We will contact you to discuss your concerns, and where deemed appropriate, arrange a site visit.
Housing standards and funding for home improvements
Everyone is entitled to live in a home that is warm, has modern facilities and is in a good state of repair.
The Home Assistance Policy [PDF, 895Kb] identifies the forms of financial assistance and other assistance that are available from us, for disabled people to adapt their homes and for people to ensure they live in a home which is safe and free from hazards which can damage their health. This Home Assistance Policy identifies the forms of financial and other assistance which is available from us to assist vulnerable homeowners. For more information, please visit our funding for repairs or improvements page.
Use our online form to enquire about home assistance and to find out if your household is eligible. Read our guidance notes about enquiring for assistance [PDF, 94.8Kb]
Government funding for energy efficiency improvements is particularly aimed at low-income households living in properties with an energy performance rating of E, F or G.
Energy Efficiency Improvement Funding is being delivered through the following schemes:
- ECO4 and ECO Flex (Energy Company Obligation) Central Government funding:
- Funding for households on a low income and in receipt of a qualifying means tested benefit. This funding can provide insulation and first-time central heating to qualifying households subject to survey and household eligibility. Further information is available on the Energy Saving Advice centre website. To find an ECO supplier and their contact details visit the Ofgem website.
- LAD (Local Authority Delivery) Funding and HUG (Home Upgrade Grant) funding:
- This funding is being delivered and managed on behalf of North Lincolnshire Council by YES Energy Solutions. To confirm eligibility for funding through these government schemes your details will be passed to our delivery partner.
YES Energy Solutions will make contact with you to carryout eligibility checks which will include a survey of your home. You will be advised what, if any, measures can be funded through the LAD or HUG schemes.
Please note if you live in social housing i.e ONGO Homes, you should contact your landlord to enquire about any funding that they may have to make energy efficiency improvements to your home.
ECO4 funding is a current government scheme and installers are in our area, but they are not linked to North Lincolnshire Council and we have no procured delivery partner for ECO4.
As a council we cannot recommend or endorse any of the installers who are currently in our area.
North Lincolnshire Council is committed to helping residents save money on their energy bills, which is why we are promoting this collective switching opportunity to encourage you to register your interest.
What is collective energy switching?
Energy switching is not a new concept; however, we see that 55 percent of people have not switched in the last three years. This means your supplier defaults you onto a ‘Standard Variable Tariff’. Collective energy switching uses the bargaining power of your community to get a competitive offer for you. iChoosr invite pre-vetted energy suppliers and ask them to underbid each other to ensure you get a competitive offer. This service is free, and there is no obligation to switch to the winning supplier once you receive your personal offer.
Register your interest between 22 May 2023 and 20 June 2023 by completing the online registration form with your details, current energy supplier and your gas and electricity consumption – this information will be on your latest bill.
To register now, go to the Big Community Switch North Lincolnshire website.
Alternatively, you can register offline by calling the Big Community Switch on 0800 0488 439. (Mon to Fri, 8am to 5pm) This line is not run by North Lincolnshire Council but by our Big Community Switch partner iChoosr.
The winning supplier will be the one making the lowest offer, and the more households that take part the greater the negotiating power.
Everyone who has registered will be contacted after 3 July 2023 to tell them about the offer and how much money they can potentially save. There is no obligation to take up the offer, but if you decide to accept you have until 31 July 2023 to let iChoosr know.
iChoosr takes care of the switch – it won’t involve engineers calling at your home, you will simply receive a notification when it has gone through.
For further information on how the scheme works visit the Big Community Switch website.
Participating Dates for June 2023 Auction:
- Registration opens 22 May 2023
- Auction Date 21 June 2023
- Offer sent from 3 July 2023
- Acceptance closes 31 July 2023.
Everyone is entitled to live in a home, which is warm, has modern facilities and is in a good state of repair. There is a minimum standard that housing associations and registered social landlords have to meet.
The Decent Homes Standard on Gov.UK sets out the definition of what a decent home is. It includes guidance on how the decent homes standard should be implemented.
An energy performance certificate (EPC) will show how easy your property is to heat and give you an indication of the annual heating costs. The certificate also includes an environmental C02 rating that indicates your home’s impact on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide emissions as well as the potential for improvement.
Any properties now being advertised for rent, or if your home is put on the market for sale, must have an energy performance certificate (EPC). This must be available for a tenant and prospective tenants or prospective buyers to see.
An EPC is required by law when a building is built, sold or put up for rent. If you are a landlord or homeowner and need to provide an EPC, you’ll need to contact an accredited domestic energy assessor. They will carry out the assessment and produce the certificate.
For further information see the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) on Gov.UK
Whether you’re a landlord, tenant or homeowner there are many ways of saving energy and making your home more energy efficient.
You could get a Disabled Facilities Grant from the council if you’re disabled and need to make changes to your home, for example to widen doors and install ramps or improve access to rooms and facilities. For further information see Disabled Facilities Grant on Gov.UK
How the grant is calculated
All Disabled Facilities Grants for adults are means tested. If you are in receipt of certain passported benefits (evidence of receipt will be required) you will not have to go through the full means test process, and you will not have a contribution to pay towards the cost of the adaptations. The means test does not apply to cases where the adaptations are for a child (under 16 years old) or a young person (over 16 but under 20 who is in full time education). The maximum Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant is £30,000.
Conditions of the grant
For owner occupiers only – if the grant exceeds £5,000 there will be conditions attached stating that if the property is disposed of whether by sale, assignment, transfer or otherwise within a 10 year period then all monies over £5,000 (five thousand) up to a maximum of £10,000 (ten thousand) will be repayable to North Lincolnshire Council.
In all cases – North Lincolnshire Council is not liable for any costs of removal of any equipment/adaptations provided or making good decoration when removed by others. Landlords especially should consider this before providing consent.
Where equipment is installed – the grant will generally provide a five year warranty. After this period has lapsed, the responsibility for servicing and costs for repairs are the responsibility of the homeowner/tenant. This is not applicable to all tenants. Some larger landlords have their own arrangements in place for servicing etc. You should follow this up with your landlord before applying for the grant. The grant does not cover repairs to existing facilities.
Apply for the grant
If you require any further information or wish to discuss your individual circumstances, please contact us.
The handyperson scheme can carry out minor repairs to your property such as:
- fitting curtain rails, putting up shelves
- improvements to access – adding ramps for scooters or additional steps
- fitting additional handrails
In addition, if you been the victim of burglary or are concerned about your home security, we may be able to help you by fitting some or all of the following items:
- window locks
- upgraded door locks or additional locks
- security bolts
- door chains
- door viewers or peep holes
- kick stops
The scheme is partly funded by North Lincolnshire Council, Humberside Police, social services and several other organisations, therefore services can be provided at a very competitive price. A member of the handyperson service will visit to give you a free quote for the work required. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The aim of the grant is to help minimise the fear of crime for residents in North Lincolnshire. The council will provide financial assistance to install certain home security measures in the homes of older owner occupiers. A range of measures are available, including door chains, door viewers, window alarms and locks.
The grant can only be approved if a valid application is received from the home owner and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Proof of the following may be required:
- Ownership of the applicant property (including proof of occupying the property as their own or main residence for the last 12 months)
The maximum value of the assistance will be £250 which is not repayable and limited to one application per household. The Safe and Sound assistance is subject to funding availability.
The measures will be installed by the council’s handyperson service following receipt of a valid application and formal approval by the council.
Apply for the grant
Please note: We are not completing security assessments at this stage due to Covid-19. However, if anyone has recently installed anything (this financial year) or is planning to install something that can be attributed to security, we may be able to help pay for it or reimburse you (subject to you providing evidence).
We offer a loan with no monthly repayments to help people with the cost of works that affect their health or safety. We want to ensure that homes are safe, warm and weather-proof for those who are most vulnerable. To qualify for a loan you must:
- be a homeowner and occupy the property throughout the loan period.
- be 60 or over or in receipt of one of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Working or Child Tax Credit (income less than £16,040)
- Income-based Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
- Employment Support Allowance (ESA) with a disability element
- Have sufficient equity in the property
- Have a low income and/or unable to access a commercial loan
The minimum amount is £2,000 and the maximum loan amount is £10,000. There is a limited budget each year for this assistance and enquiries will be dealt with in date order.
The Home Appreciation Loan is not a grant. It is an equity release loan but with no monthly payments to make. You only have to repay the loan when you no longer own your home, for example if you sell it. It allows you to carry out the necessary work to your home without having to make regular repayments like a normal loan would do. When it comes to repaying your loan, the amount you’ll repay is based on how much your property has changed in value when you sell it, or no longer own it.
Loans for minor repairs
The Home Cheque Loan is a council-backed loan operated in partnership with the Northern Lincolnshire Credit Union. For more information, visit the Northern Lincolnshire Credit Union website
A cold home is one that cannot be economically maintained at temperatures of 18⁰C to 21⁰C. Even when it is -1⁰C outside, the heating system should be capable of maintaining these temperatures inside the home. Homes that have an F or G rating for energy performance cannot be economically maintained at between 18 and 21⁰C. People who live in cold homes are at a higher risk of becoming ill. If a property does not have adequate heating it can be danger to health of all the people who live there. Older residents are the most at risk if they cannot keep their homes warm. If a household has to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on heating they are classed as being in fuel poverty. If you make your home more energy efficient it will cost you less to heat it, meaning you can keep warm and save money.
If you rent your home and think it is too cold, you can ask your landlord to make improvements. If they refuse you can contact us for advice. Private tenants and homeowners may be able to get a grant for insulation and possibly heating improvements. Insulating your home will make it cheaper to keep warm.
If you are a landlord, you should aim to achieve an energy efficiency rating of D (the average) or higher for your rented properties. You need to provide an affordable heating system that is capable of achieving temperatures of between 18⁰C and 21⁰C. Systems must be well maintained and tenants should be shown how to use them effectively.
For information on keeping your home warm see the heating your home page on the Energy Saving Trust website
Dampness in the home can be a major problem. It can cause mould on walls and furniture and make timber window frames and floors rot. It can encourage the growth of house dust mites and increase the risk of respiratory illness.
For information on the causes of mould and how to treat it see the fixing damp and condensation page on the Energy Saving Trust website.
There are a number of reasons why properties become empty. They may be in the process of being sold, let, refurbished or inherited. However, empty homes tend to attract crime and anti-social behaviour. They are at a greater risk of arson attacks and vandalism. This can reduce the value of nearby properties and create a cause for concern for local residents.
If you are the owner of an empty property, we can offer free independent advice on ways of bringing it back into use. These areas include:
- letting the property – by using a managing agent or by becoming a private landlord and letting the property yourself
- selling the property – either through an estate agent, at auction or by advertising it yourself
- refurbishing the property for you or family members to live in, or to make the property suitable for letting
Our home energy conservation strategy aims to improve domestic energy efficiency by 30 per cent within 10 years, in particular to:
- Develop information collection systems to not only monitor progress towards achieving energy efficiency improvements but also to identify priority areas for targeting improvements.
- Provide advice and guidance on energy efficiency and energy conservation to all householders.
- Identify and seek to secure funding from any available source to promote energy efficiency and provide energy efficiency measures.
- Continue and further encourage the development of partnerships, with local statutory and voluntary organisations who have an interest in health and housing, welfare and energy efficiency.
- Promote and facilitate the uptake of New Home Energy Efficiency Scheme and other energy efficiency schemes through effective promotion and networking.
- Seek to ensure that members of staff and others in the local community can undertake appropriate training for both giving advice and carrying out energy surveys for properties.
- Develop links with educational bodies to promote energy efficiency as an integral part of the curriculum.
- Seek to establish better communication with statutory and other bodies to respond to and where appropriate, influence energy efficiency policy.
- Provide grants to improve the energy efficiency of the vulnerable households in other sectors of housing.
Please contact us for a copy of the full report.
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is a risk-based evaluation tool to help us identify and consider the effect of any hazards in a property. There are 29 hazards that can be identified by the system – including excess cold, fire hazards and falls on the stairs. The system applies to all dwellings including:
- Owner occupied
- Privately rented
- Housing association
Councils have a duty to keep the housing conditions in privately owned property under review, together with a duty to inspect a property to determine if any health and safety hazards exist.
Please contact us for further information.
Home Assistance Team:
Customer Contact Centre
Adults Occupational Therapy Services:
Please note there is a new telephone number for all areas – 03033 306648