Home Upgrade Grant

Are you worried about paying your energy bills? Are you sitting in a cold, damp home? You deserve to feel warm in your own home.

The Home Upgrade Grant Phase 2 (HUG2)

The Home Upgrade Grant Phase 2 (HUG2) is a new government grant scheme to fund energy-saving upgrades for residents with off-grid gas heating systems who are most likely to be impacted by the high cost of energy bills. If your home is cold, poorly insulated and you struggle to pay your energy bills, you might be eligible for free home improvements.

Bedford Borough Council is working with the Greater Southeast Net Zero Hub (GSENZH) and Agility Eco to deliver HUG2 to residents of Bedford Borough.

The Greater Southeast Net Zero Hub (GSENZH) is a government-funded organisation that helps to accelerate local net zero projects by working with public sector organisations and stakeholders to help finance and streamline the delivery of a local scheme. Bedford Borough Council is one of the local authorities under the GSENZH umbrella to deliver HUG2 to Bedford Borough residents.

See more information on SENZH

See more information on HUG2

Eligibility criteria for residents

The Home Upgrade Grant Phase 2 (HUG2) is open to homeowners and private tenants in any of the following:

  • Homes not heated by mains gas which includes oil, coal, LPG or only electric heating.
  • Households with a combined annual income of less than £36,000, OR receiving certain income-related means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit, OR you live in an Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) area. 
  • Hard to heat homes – this is based on your home Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). You will be helped with this part of the assessment and receive a free EPC assessment if you do not have one already.

Eligibility criteria for landlords

If you have four or fewer properties you can apply and will be required to contribute at least one third of the cost of the upgrades in addition to the funding provided.

However, landlords may be exempt from the  four-property cap if they are a registered charity. This will be agreed before work begins.

How will it help?

Once you have applied, you may be offered energy saving improvements to help cut your energy bills and reduce your carbon emissions.

These could include: 

  • Insulation and ventilation upgrades (to keep you warm in winter and cool in summer).
  • A low carbon heating system such as an air source heat pump (which will mean upgrading any existing heating system).
  • Heating controls which make sure you only use heat when you need it.
  • An energy efficient hot water solution to keep your water warm for longer.
  • Solar panels (PV) to generate electricity.
  • Energy efficient lighting which is cheaper to run.

A survey will identify what is suitable for your home and you’ll receive a free updated EPC assessment.

View a detailed diagram that shows the customer journey to further understand the process from referral and application through to the finished works

How to apply

HUG2 funding is now open to private tenants, landlords and homeowners and will be available until March 2025.

You can apply via: https://hugapply.co.uk/apply-now/

Please phone 0800 107 8883 to contact Agility Eco directly.


What is the Index of Multiple Deprivation?

The Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) is the official measure of relative deprivation of a small area in England (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, 2019). Every small area of England is ranked from 1 (most deprived area) to 32,844 (least deprived area) combining information from seven areas of life:

  1. Income Deprivation
  2. Employment Deprivation
  3. Education, Skills and Training Deprivation
  4. Health Deprivation and Disability
  5. Crime
  6. Barriers to Housing and Services
  7. Living Environment Deprivation

See the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government IMD FAQs (PDF)

How will I know if I live in an IMD area?

Residents and private tenants living in an Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) area have been identified for HUG2 grant funding as a high priority. Therefore, these areas are receiving specific letters through the post to make residents aware of the scheme and encourage you to take advantage of it.

You can also check if you live in an IMD area using this postcode checker:

What if I don’t meet the eligibility criteria?

There are other avenues to receive support with heating costs and energy efficiency. Schemes available such as ECO4 and national support schemes like the Winter fuel payment may be suitable. For our energy and water advice for residents page more information.

Visit Home Upgrade Hub for more information on the Home Upgrade Grant Phase 2 (HUG2) .