Thousands of households have just days to apply for free boilers or insulation to help with energy bills
THOUSANDS of hard-up Brits have just days left to apply for a new boiler or insulation installed completely free of charge.
If you’re on a low income or considered vulnerable and your boiler is broken or faulty, you could be entitled to free gas boiler replacement.
But households have just days – until Sunday, January 30 – to apply for a free one from E.on if theirs is broken or faulty, and you don't even have to be a customer to apply.
The Energy Savings Trust estimates a typical gas boiler costs £2,500 on average to replace.
But replacing yours could also help lower your energy bills in the long run, because more energy savvy appliances don't take as much of a toll on your usage.
Free replacements are being offered by other energy firms aside from E.on and some savings trusts that aim to help those most in need.
It comes as energy bills have rocketed by more than 70% over the winter period.
The cost of living crisis has pushed the price of gas, fuel, food and more up to an all-time high.
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Energy bills are only expected to rise further this year, with households paying 40% more for energy bills by the time the energy price cap is updated in April.
Bill payers already saw their costs rocket in October as annual tariffs went up by as much as £139 when the price cap last rose.
That means it's more important than ever for Brits to keep on top of rising costs.
Many families might be put off replacing their old boiler because it involves some hefty up front costs – we explain what help you could get to foot the cost.
Could I save on replacing my boiler?
Your boiler could be riddled with issues that will impact its efficiency if it's getting on a bit.
Corrosion, wear and tear, and damage could result in bigger problems down the line that could mean you'll be forking out hundreds to fix.
Older models often require more energy to power, adding to your bills.
But the Energy Saving Trust estimates that families in a detached house can save up to £315 a year by upgrading from a G-rated boiler to a new A-rated condensing boiler.
How will it be funded?
Under the Affordable Warmth scheme, energy giant E.on is offering free boiler replacements worth up to £2,500.
There's not long left to cash in though.
You have just six days left to apply, up until 11.59pm on January 30 (this Sunday).
After this point, you would have to pay the usually subsidised cost for a boiler under this scheme, which is £395.
If you're not an E.on customer you can still apply, but to be eligible you have to be receiving certain benefits like Universal Credit, jobseekers allowance, or Working and Child Tax credits.
Or, you must live with someone who is claiming certain benefits.
You also need to have a faulty or broken boiler to qualify.
If you hit this criteria, then you could also be eligible for free cavity wall and loft insulation which can help make your home energy efficient.
You can find out more information and apply through E.on's website.
E.on isn't the only provider with a grant like this in place either.
British Gas, EDF Energy, Scottish Power, and SSE have schemes in place like this for their customers too.
But not many providers let you apply online, so you need to call direct to get started.
The Energy Support Hub also offers an affordable boiler scheme where the installation of your new boiler can be fully or partly funded too.
It can conduct an assessment over the phone and if you're eligible the costs of installation with be covered as part of a self-funded scheme where over 10 years the boiler essentially pays for itself in what you will have saved.
Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert recommends the Simple Energy Advice eligibility calculator to see what your household could be in line for.
How to drive your energy bills down
It's a good idea to first see if you can cut your energy usage to save on bills.
To do this, try only heat the rooms you are using at any one time instead of your whole house.
A thermostatic radiator valve will allow you to control the temperature of your individual radiators – this can allow you to turn down the heat in rooms you are not using.
Try avoid reaching for the thermostat when you're feeling chilly.
Between 18 and 21 degrees is recommended but most households set their heating above 22 degrees.
Dialling down your thermostat by just one degree could help you save as much as £55 a year.
If you don't qualify for a free new boiler and it's not running like it's supposed to, make sure it's not the result of common boiler problems.
Simply identifying them and fixing the snag can save you hundreds of pounds on your energy bill.
A noisy boiler, leaks, and frozen pipes could be an indicator that something is up.
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