Did you know that most of the heat lost in an uninsulated home is actually lost through your external walls?

It’s true!

In fact, around 35% of all heat lost in a home is lost through the walls.

That’s why insulating your walls with an External Wall Insulation System (EWI) is one of the most effective ways to reduce your energy bills and keep your home warm. And the best part is that you could be eligible for FREE external wall insulation.

There are government grants available via the Energy Company Obligation (ECO scheme) that could cover the costs of your EWI system.

The ECO scheme is designed to help low-income and vulnerable households reduce their energy bills and improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

How Do I Get FREE External Wall Insulation?

If you’re interested in getting free external wall insulation, the first step is to find out if you’re eligible for the ECO scheme.

To do this, you can either contact your energy supplier or fill in our quick and easy online form.

Related: Solid and External Wall Insulation Grants

How does the ECO scheme work?

The ECO scheme is a government initiative that was set up to help low-income and vulnerable households reduce their energy bills and improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

The scheme is funded by the big six energy companies: British Gas, EDF, E.ON, Npower, ScottishPower, and SSE.

These companies have a legal obligation to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty. They do this by providing funding for home insulation and other energy efficiency measures.

If you’re eligible for the ECO scheme, you could get your external wall insulation fitted for free. 

Who Qualifies For An Insulation Grant?

Under the ECO scheme, cavity wall and loft insulation are usually covered by 100% of the grant and are free of charge to anyone who is currently receiving a qualifying income/disability benefit or tax credit.

If you live in a home that is not connected to the mains gas supply, you may get free wall and roof area insulation.

Free insulation of walls and roof space will be provided to people who receive income/disability benefits or tax credits who reside in houses without access to the mains gas system if the property does not have mains gas.

If your property is on the gas grid, up to 75% of the cost of insulation might be funded through a grant from the government, with 25 percent coming from you.

In the case of external wall insulation, homeowners can receive a grant of up to 25% of the expense, as long as their property is privately owned or rented from a private landlord and occupied at the time of the loft insulation survey.

A gas or electricity bill in the occupants’ name is also required.

Am I Eligible For Free Insulation?

To be eligible for free loft insulation, homeowners must first determine if they are likely to qualify for an insulation grant and whether their property is suitable to have insulation installed.

If a homeowner gets a qualifying benefit, the government may give the money needed to insulate their home.

Grants are available to cover the entire cost of the procedure and are open to homeowners who receive income-related benefits, disability-related benefits, or tax credits.

The property must be privately owned or leased by a private landlord, and it cannot be managed by a council or housing association.

Insulation Grant Criteria

To qualify for a free cavity, internal wall, loft, or roof room insulation, at least one of the following benefits must be received by a householder:

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child Benefit *
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-Related Employment Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Pension Guarantee Credit
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • War Pensions Mobility Supplement
  • Working Tax Credit

What Is External Wall Insulation and What Does it Do?

External wall insulation is a system that is fitted to the outside of your property. It works by creating a barrier between the external brickwork/render and the internal living space.

This barrier helps to prevent heat loss, keeping your home warmer for longer.

The majority of the homes built before the 1920s have solid rather than cavity walls. Solid walls allow for more heat loss than cavities, although an EWI system can still be used to insulate them.

External wall insulation is usually made up of three layers: 

The Insulation Layer – this is usually made from mineral wool or polystyrene beads and works to trap heat inside your property.

The Reinforcement Layer – this layer strengthens the system and prevents it from cracking or falling off over time.

The Render or Cladding Layer – this outer layer protects the insulation from the weather and gives your property a new lease of life. It can be finished in a variety of colors and styles to suit your taste.

What Are the Benefits of External Wall Insulation?

  • 25-year guarantee with most suppliers.
  • Acoustic insulation and fire resistance.
  • Cooler summers, warmer winters.
  • Improve thermal comfort.
  • Improves the appearance of your home.
  • Increase the lifespan of building fabric.
  • Low disruption.
  • Lowers your fuel bills.
  • Minimize thermal bridging.
  • Protects the fabric of your home.
  • Reduce damp and condensation.
  • Reduces carbon footprint.
  • Save floor space.


Is external wall insulation a good idea?

Yes, external wall insulation is a great idea if you are looking to save money on your energy bills, reduce the carbon footprint of your home, and improve the appearance of your property.

How long does external wall insulation last?

External wall insulation can last for up to 25 years with the right maintenance.

How much does external wall insulation cost?

The cost of external wall insulation will vary depending on the size and type of property. However, most homeowners can expect to pay between £7,000 and £15,000 for the entire project.

What is a good R-Value for exterior walls?

Exterior walls are typically constructed with R-13 to R-23, while ceilings and attic spaces are most often built with R-30, R-38, and R-49. The following are the suggested levels of insulation from the Department of Energy (DOE).

Which is better internal or external wall insulation?

External insulation, from a practical standpoint, may provide greater levels of insulation with less risk of moisture concerns both internally and within the wall, structure if correctly installed. It also maintains the building’s thermal mass by keeping the masonry within the insulating envelope.

Can external wall insulation cause dampness?

Gaps in insulation allow hot internal air to come into direct contact with the cold wall surface, causing condensation to develop where warm interior air meets the chilly section of the wall. This can lead to damp and mold problems as a result of temperature variations.

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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