CERT / Warm Front

The Warm Front and CERT are schemes whose aim was to make homes warmer, healthier and more energy-efficient. They were available to everyone who owns or rented a private home although there was an emphasis on the less well off. Both schemes have now ended, but existing applications will still be processed. The schemes have now been replaced by the ECO (Energy Company Obligation).

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The basics

The CERT scheme offered free cavity wall insulation and loft insulation. The scheme was offered by the energy companies and their criteria varied – some offered the scheme to everyone and some had financial criteria.

The Warm Front Scheme offered a package of heating and insulation measures of up to £3,500 (or £6,000 where oil central heating or other alternative technologies are recommended). It was for people on certain income-related benefits. To be eligible you had to own your home or rent it from a private landlord. Find out more from the DirectGov website.

Some of the improvements that were covered by the scheme are as follows:

  • loft insulation
  • draught proofing
  • cavity wall insulation
  • hot water tank insulation
  • gas, electric, liquid petroleum gas or oil heating
  • glass-fronted fire – the Warm Front scheme can convert your solid-fuel open fire to a glass-fronted fire

Regional Schemes

While the Warm Front Scheme is specifically for England, there are other schemes for the other countries in the United Kingdom:

You can now apply for free insulation through the HHCRO scheme



What is CERT?
The 'Carbon Emissions Reduction Target' obliges energy companies to take steps to ensure that the amount of CO2 emissions from homes is reduced. It is all about reducing CO2 emissions, one of the main causes of climate change. CERT came into effect in April 2008, and is in the third phase of a programme that has been running since 2002. The previous phase was known as the Energy Efficiency Commitment.
Why do we need CERT?
The UK has committed itself to a number of targets to reduce harmful emissions and CERT has been designed to make a significant contribution to achieving these targets:
  • cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 22 per cent from 1990 levels by 2008-2012, as part of the Kyoto Protocol
  • cutting emissions of CO2 by 34 per cent and 80 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020 and 2050 respectively, as part of Government policy
How does CERT work?
Electricity and gas suppliers will be obliged to promote things that:
  • improve energy efficiency, for example, loft and wall insulation
  • increase the amount of energy generated from renewable technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels and ground source heat pumps
This means that they will support you to introduce these measures to your home, and even contribute to the costs.
What does CERT mean to me?
Energy suppliers will provide grants and offers to help you pay for energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies for your home. The key thing to note here is that you can take up grants and offers from any energy company, regardless of whether they supply your gas and electricity. This could help reduce the amount of energy you use, reducing your CO2 emissions as well as helping you to save money on your energy bills too.
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