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News 14 October 2021

Thousands of Welsh homes benefit from free energy efficiency upgrades and advice

The Welsh Government Warm Homes Nest scheme has published its Annual Report for 2020-21, highlighting the support provided to fuel poor homes across Wales during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Nest scheme adapted to an ever-changing situation to install energy saving improvements to over 4,500 homes across Wales, as well as provide free impartial energy saving advice to over 15,500 homes.

Over 15,500 households reached in 2020-21

In 2020-21, the Nest scheme’s main achievements were:

  • 15,557 households received free and impartial energy saving advice.
  • 4,559 households received a home energy improvement package, with a modelled average energy bill saving of £305 per year.
  • Benefit entitlement checks resulted in a household average £2,091 potential increase in benefit take-up.
  • 100% of installations were completed by Wales-based installers, with 23 apprentices working on the Nest scheme.

The Nest scheme’s advice service remained open throughout the year, while installations moved to an emergency-only operation during the first lockdown in April-June 2020. During this period, the scheme prioritised vulnerable customers with no heat or hot water, or any risk of life.

Since 2011, the Nest scheme has installed improvements in over 46,800 homes across Wales and helped thousands of customers to reduce their energy bills. The Nest scheme also supports the Welsh Government’s commitments to tackle climate change, help eradicate fuel poverty and boost economic development and regeneration in Wales.

How Nest helps Welsh homes save energy

The Nest scheme provides free home energy efficiency improvements to eligible customers, such as a new boiler, central heating system, or insulation. Residents in Wales who own their home or rent from a private landlord could be eligible for home energy improvements if they or someone they live with receives a means tested benefit or has a chronic respiratory, circulatory, or mental health condition and an income below defined thresholds.

Julie James, Minster for Climate Change, said:

“Throughout the pandemic, our Warm Homes Nest scheme has continued support for some of our most vulnerable households, with emergency work for those facing the greatest hardship being prioritised. Improving the energy efficiency of our homes can make a big difference to energy bills and can help people become more resilient to future energy price rises. Through this scheme, we have also provided access to energy advice and other support to help people make the most of their earnings.”

Ross Kirwan, Head of Nest, added:

“We’re pleased to have supported so many households during the Covid-19 pandemic. With the return of winter and the promise of colder weather, it’s essential that people across Wales living in a cold, energy inefficient home have access to the Nest scheme, ensuring their home is warm and comfortable all year round.”

The full Nest Annual Report 2020-21 can be accessed here in Welsh and English.

About Nest

For more information about the Nest scheme, visit the Nest website.

The Nest scheme is managed on behalf of the Welsh Government by British Gas. Energy Saving Trust is a material subcontractor of British Gas.

Last updated: 13 October 2021