Energy advice

Service information

Affordable warmth grant

Blackburn with Darwen Council has recently approved plans to create an affordable warmth grant to top up ECO grants from CHiL (Cosy Homes in Lancashire) for heating repairs or replacements.

The grant will only be available to vulnerable owner occupier households who are at significant risk of ill health where they have already had a grant assessment by CHiL and cannot afford the top-up.

Households will need to apply to CHiL to obtain an assessment. Eligible households will then be then referred to the Council who will confrm whether they meet the criteria.

Householders can apply for the grant by contacting CHiL on 03306 061 488 (calls charged at local rate). Due to the limited funding the grant will be on a first come first served basis.

Cosy Homes in Lancashire (CHiL)

Cosy Homes in Lancashire (CHiL) is a partnership of the 15 Local Authorities in Lancashire including Blackburn with Darwen. The partnership offers residents in the region access to grants and advice and support on a range of money saving energy measures to help heat and insulate homes.

More information on CHiL and the full range of energy saving measures available

Energy saving tips

Energy grants

A number of grants are available to owners, private tenants and private landlords. Grants are available to residents of Lancashire in receipt of certain qualifying benefits or residents with certain health conditions.

If you do not receive a benefit you may still qualify for a grant.

CHiL may be able to also offer an able to pay deal for those who do not qualify, with a possible 0% interest free offer over 3 to 4 years.

Further information on qualifying criteria’s and the grants available.

Grants may be available for the following:

  • Cavity wall insulation.
  • Loft insulation.
  • Boiler replacement.
  • External/internal wall insulation.
  • Replacement electric storage heaters
  • Room in roofs (insulation)
  • Renewables

Grants are subject to eligibility criteria and may not fully cover the total cost of the measure. All grants are subject to criteria change/funding changes.

If you would like to apply for the above grants please contact CHiL. If you would like further information or help on energy matters you can also contact the Council on 01254 588876.

Energy tariffs and switching suppliers

There are many types of tariffs available to support different needs and circumstances. Most suppliers offer many different tariffs for gas and electricity, along with discounts for managing accounts online or choosing a 'dual fuel' deal.

Once a year your energy supplier should tell you which tariff they have is the cheapest for you. This usually comes with the annual statement which also gives you information about your usage and a prediction for the next year’s usage and costs.

Switching energy suppliers could save you money and can be simple to do. Comparing energy tariffs and deals regularly can help you make sure you’re getting the best gas or electricity tariff for your usage and the best service offer. Comparing deals could help you cut your bills by switching supplier. Comparisons can be made by either ringing or visiting the comparison websites.

Ofgem accredited price comparison sites.

Cavity wall insulation defects/problems

Cavity wall insulation is designed to improve internal comfort, save money and assist residents to keep warm. However, if you have the wrong type of insulation in your property or the insulation has not been installed in the correct way, then there is a possibility that you may have some problems.

These could range from:

  • Saturated, wet and cold walls
  • Mould and mildew
  • Damage to plaster and peeling wall paper
  • Dry rot and wet rot
  • Damage to skirting boards and structural
  • timbers
  • Damage to carpets and curtains
  • High energy bills

Further information

Private landlords: minimum EPC ratings guidance

Minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) regulations

As from the 1st April 2018 there will be a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The regulations will come into force for new tenancies and renewals of existing tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018 and for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption.

Many landlords need to take action to improve the energy efficiency of their properties; 1 in 20 homes fall into the worst-rated Bands F and G failing new energy efficiency standards.

The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has now issued a guidance document for landlords on compliance with the 2018  'Minimum Level of Energy Efficiency' standard, in accordance with the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015.

CHiL has a number of initiatives available to landlords to help in making your property meet the requirements.

Home Energy Conservation Act 1995

The guidance, issued under the Home Energy Conservation Act 1995, asked local authorities to publish a report on their plans to achieve improved energy efficiency by 31 March 2017 (and every 2 years thereafter up to 31 March 2027).

Local authorities are required to identify practicable and cost-effective measures likely to result in significant energy reduction in all residential accommodation in their area. Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has produced a report to comply with the Home Energy Conservation Act.

Further information about energy efficiency

  • Cosy Homes in Lancashire 03306 061 488
  • Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council Home Energy 01254 588876
  • Housing Standards 02154 585457
  • Consumer Direct (Will take complaints on behalf of Ofgem the gas and electric regulator) 08454 040506
  • Gas Safe Register  0800 408 5500 
  • Gas Safe Advice Line  0800 300 363
  • National Grid - Gas Emergency  0800 111 999
  • National Grid 'M' Number (To find out supplier and meter reference number ) 0870 608 1524
  • Solid Fuel Association Advice Line  0845 601 4406
  • Winter Fuel Payments  0845 151515
  • Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA)  01525 853300
  • Ofgem Appropriate Guarantee  020 79017000   

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