A growing number of families on low incomes, who are some of the UK’s most vulnerable households, don’t have the money to adequately heat their homes. The Government is attempting to address the issue with the Energy Company Obligation. Often shortened to just ECO, it’s a scheme that will help UK households lower their energy bills by becoming more energy efficient. We’ve put together some of the most important things to know when applying for a boiler grant with ECO.
1. Government boiler grants are funded by the big energy companies
As the name suggests, energy companies (who have in excess of 250,000 domestic customers) have a legal obligation to provide support and take part in ECO. It means energy providers including traditional suppliers like British Gas, EDF Energy and Scottish Power must provide funding to help families on low incomes who live in the country’s fuel poorest areas save money by heating and insulating their homes more efficiently.
2. ECO will run until March 2017
The scheme was originally only set to run until 2015 but due to its popularity this has been extended to 2017. Make sure to apply for a boiler grant using the form above before ECO closes its doors!
3. The Affordable Warmth Obligation has other grants too
Under the Affordable Warmth Obligation, which forms part of ECO, you might be eligible for a grant to help pay for home insulation, a boiler repair or, better still, a brand new Worcester, Vaillant, Baxi or Ideal A-rated energy efficient condensing boiler.
4. ECO replaced the Warm Front scheme
You may have heard of the Warm Front scheme which ended in January 2013. Not to worry if you didn’t have the opportunity to apply for it though as ECO offers very similar benefits to recipients.
5. ECO is only available in England, Scotland and Wales
If you live in Northern Ireland there is an alternative scheme called Warm Homes Grants. You can visit Home Heating Guide to find out more information on the grant, its criteria and how to apply.
6. You must be a homeowner or live in privately rented accommodation to qualify
If you do live in privately rented accommodation you will need to get permission from your landlord. Unfortunately you cannot claim the grant if you are living in a council property.
7. There are certain benefits you must be receiving to apply
In order to qualify for a government boiler grant you will need to be in receipt of specific benefits (and possibly meet additional criteria). You can find all of the details about this on our qualifying criteria page.
8. You are most likely to benefit from ECO if your boiler is old, broken or inefficient
Your boiler must be at less than 86% efficiency for you to qualify for a replacement. This is far more likely with boilers which are older and to qualify with Boiler Grants yours must be 8 years old or more.
9. You might be asked to make a contribution
It is likely that you will be asked to contribute towards your new boiler, although in some cases the cost may be covered in full by the grant. This amount will be a lot less than what you would pay for a new boiler without an ECO grant and you could see energy savings of up to £300 a year.
10. Applying for a grant is actually very easy!
All you need to do is put in your postcode to start the application and answer a few questions to see if you meet the qualifying criteria. One of our friendly team will then get in touch at a convenient time to confirm the details, talk you through the process and answer any questions you might have. A qualified surveyor will then visit your home to double check everything is in order and approve your grant. A Gas Safe registered installer can then put in your new boiler and you can begin saving on energy bills!