Edinburgh Low Emission Zone: Cash help for low-income families and small firms to dump most-polluting vehicles
and live on Freeview channel 276
A fund offering up to £3,000 per household to help low-income drivers to give up their polluting vehicles has been relaunched ahead of Edinburgh’s Low Emission Zone being enforced.
The LEZ Support Fund, administered by Energy Saving Trust on behalf of Transport Scotland, had already paid out hundreds of grants to families and small businesses before it closed in March, but now it is back with more funding to help people prepare for the start of the LEZ in June next year, when vehicles which do not meet strict air quality standards will be banned from a 1.2 square mile area of the city centre.
The grants are intended to offer people living within a 20km radius of an LEZ a financial incentive to take older, more polluting vehicles off the road. To qualify, households must be in receipt of certain means-tested benefits and must own a vehicle which does not meet the LEZ emission requirements – a petrol vehicle registered before 2006 or a diesel vehicle registered before September 2015.
A grant of £2,000 is available to eligible households to dispose of their non-compliant vehicle and a secondary Travel Better grant is also available with maximum value of £1,000 per household – based on two adults applying for £500 each; alternatively, the main applicant can apply for the full £1,000 towards a cargo bike or an adapted cycle.
The LEZ Support Fund also offers similar grants to micro-businesses and sole traders operating within a 20km radius of an LEZ. They can get £2,000 to get rid of their non-compliant vehicles and can apply to dispose of up to three vehicles. And they can get an additional £1,000 to help buy a cargo or electric cargo bike through the Travel Better Fund. Businesses must employ nine or fewer full-time staff, have a turnover of £632,000 or less, or a balance sheet of up to £316,000 in the preceding and current financial year.
Since the fund first launched in September 2020 with funding of £3 million, applications have been received from a total of 545 households and 433 businesses based within 20km of Edinburgh’s LEZ. Grants have been awarded to 464 households and 343 businesses. The fund reopened for applications earlier this month with funding of £5 million for this financial year.
Households can check their eligibility and request an application form for the LEZ Support Fund by calling their local Home Energy Scotland centre on 0808 808 2282. Further information on the fund and eligibility criteria is available on the Energy Saving Trust website. Businesses can also find out more and apply for help on another section of the website.
Micro-businesses and sole traders who operate within an LEZ can also apply to the LEZ Retrofit for financial support to retrofit their existing non-compliant vehicles. Grants are available to cover up to 70 per cent of the cost of a retrofit up to a maximum of £6,000 per light commercial vehicle and wheelchair-accessible taxi installing retrofit exhaust after-treatment systems, up to £12,000 per wheelchair-accessible taxi installing re-powering technology and up to £16,000 per heavy goods vehicle or refuse collection vehicle. Applicants can apply to retrofit a maximum of three vehicles. Details of this are also available on the website.