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New Year’s Solution: Warmer homes in Carlisle

Published on 15 January 2019

New Year’s Solution: Warmer homes in Carlisle

An award-winning partnership made up of Thrift Energy and Homelife Carlisle have successfully bid for grants to support residents in Carlisle through the ‘Warm Homes Fund’.

Working as part of the ‘Warmer Communities Carlisle’ scheme which launched in October last year, the new grant funding will offer mains gas central heating systems to 200 Homes within the district. The aim is also to connect people to mains gas through the Fuel Poor Extension Scheme where this is a viable option.  Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding will also be used to offer as many free or heavily discounted installations where possible.

The Warm Homes Fund was launched in July 2017 by National Grid and is administered by Community Interest Company, Affordable Warmth Solutions. The scheme runs over three years and provides capital funding for the installation of affordable heating solutions in households who do not currently use mains gas as their primary heating fuel to help reduce the cost of heating for many homes. It is a £150million fund administered across England, Scotland and Wales.  Additional grants and funding are also available through Carlisle City Council’s Home Improvement Agency, Homelife Carlisle, for other heating systems if mains gas is not a viable option. Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director of Affordable Warmth Solutions said: “We are excited about this investment from National Grid. Solving the issues associated with Fuel Poverty continues to challenge many of our stakeholders and the feedback we’ve already received provides evidence of how the Warm Homes Fund will make a positive difference to thousands of homes throughout Great Britain.”

Carlisle City Cllr Anne Glendinning, Portfolio holder for Economy, Enterprise and Housing, said:

“This project will make a huge difference to the lives of many Carlisle residents who are struggling with fuel costs or those living in inadequately heated homes. We are encouraging as many people to apply for this as possible.”

Josh Raffo, Director of Warmer Communities, added:

“To date we have identified more than 150 properties which may be suitable for mains gas to be supplied which are also qualifying under Carlisle City Council’s flexible eligibility statement for ECO. We will be writing to householders in the coming weeks, but we also want people to contact us who have homes that are not currently connected to mains gas or do not have gas central heating, so we can check if they are eligible for the scheme.

“We are delighted to have been successful in our bid with Homelife Carlisle and we will be looking to use this opportunity to encourage local trades to be actively involved to support the installation work and improve the local economy.”

Warmer Communities Carlisle scheme has carried out installations of free or heavily subsidised installations of both heating and insulation improvements across the district since the official start of what is known as ECO3. Thrift Energy is an approved installer for Carlisle City Council’s ECO flexible eligibility scheme which will run until 2022. Thrift Energy are specialists in installing Loft and Cavity Wall Insulation, Room-in-Roof Insulation, Solid Wall Insulation and heating upgrades.

This latest project will begin from January 2019 and aims to be completed by February 2020. Funding will be available to homeowners and privately rented properties. Households that currently have mains gas supplied but no central heating will also qualify. It will be on a first come, first serve basis. Eligibility includes households that have an inefficient property rated EPC of E, F, or G or no mains gas central heating and are viable property for funded mains gas connection under the Fuel Poor Network Extension Scheme (FPNES). Eligibility for the scheme is not wholly dependent on household income.

For more information or to find out more about how we can assist you contact:


  • Homelife Carlisle is a Home Improvement Agency, provided by Carlisle City Council. Accredited by Foundations and set up in 2013, we help people maintain their home and carry out repairs, major works and adaptations. Our key aim is to help people remain independent and warm, safe and well at home. More information can be found at
  • Homelife Carlisle Home Improvement Agency won a national award - Home Adaptations Service of the Year, sponsored by Altro in July 2018. It was recognised for its success in speeding up home adaptations and for increasing the breadth for types of measures that improve health, well-being and independence. This was achieved by working with partners to improve the referrals process and through changing the council’s housing policy to meet Carlisle and district resident’s needs.
  • Run by Carlisle City Council, the HIA has overseen a major increase in support via Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) - the main source of local funding for housing adaptations. This includes a 55% rise in mandatory DGFs and an incredible 130% increase in discretionary grants funding resulting in 230% increase of grant completions. Grants are awarded for home improvements including stair-lifts, level access showers, heating, damp-proofing etc. and residents are encouraged to apply for help to maintain and adapt their homes.
  • Warmer Communities is a not for profit Community Interest Company working together with Carlisle City Council and Homelife Carlisle on the Warmer Communities Carlisle scheme.
  • To check the EPC rating of your home, visit
  • The Fuel Poor Network Extension Scheme (FPNES) helps households that are not connected to the gas grid to switch to natural gas by providing funding towards the cost of the connection.
  • Affordable Warmth Solutions was established in 2008 to address some of the issues caused by increasing energy prices and the growth of Fuel Poverty in the UK.
  • ECO 3 is the latest round of the Energy Company Obligation, the government’s programme to deliver energy efficiency measures in homes across Great Britain.
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