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Will net zero make you broke? Here’s all the support on offer to make the switch

There’s plenty of support on offer to make the transition to net zero. Here’s where you can find it

The UK’s net-zero plans “impose unacceptable costs on hard-pressed British families”. That was Rishi Sunak’s view, as he announced a climate direction change. But net zero help is still there if you’re looking to make eco-friendly changes to your home, vehicle and lifestyle.  

While Sunak decried the cost of the transition, little extra support was announced. “Instead of announcing more help for consumers with this transition, he’s just decided to weaken the targets,” Bob Ward of LSE’s Grantham Institute told the Big Issue in the wake of the prime minister’s speech.

Although Sunak said it was not right for the government to “interfere so much in people’s way of life”, there are subsidies and pots of money just sitting there, designed to change your behaviour.

Here’s the net zero help available:  

Boiler upgrade scheme  

Along with promising nobody would need to replace an existing boiler, Sunak also increased the cash grants available under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme to £7,500, an increase of 50%.  

Electric car grants  

The government is subsidising the cost of some electric and low-emissions vehicles, such as vans, taxis, mopeds and wheelchair-accessible vehicles. It takes the form of a discount automatically applied by the seller.  

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EV chargepoint grant  

Renters, homeowners and landlords can get up to 75% or £350, whichever is lower, towards the cost of installing charging points for electric vehicles, with the EV chargepoint grant.  

Local low-emissions vehicles grants  

If you live in or near an area with a low-emissions zone, you might be eligible for money to change your car to a less-polluting vehicle. There is the Ulez scrappage scheme in London, as well as the Low Emissions Zone Support Fund in Scotland.  

Green Deal loans  

The government’s Green Deal offers loans for homeowners looking to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, with support for work such as insulation, heat pumps and double glazing. It’s repayable, but likely to be offset by savings in energy bills.  

Road tax  

Zero-emissions vehicles – think electric cars – are fully exempt from road tax, a levy which can reach £1,000 a year for the most polluting vehicles.  

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