The rising cost of domestic energy supplies makes it difficult for many families on low incomes to heat their homes effectively and affordably. That’s why the government established the Energy Company Obligation (ECO for short). ECO requires energy companies to improve insulation and make heating improvements to qualifying households. In some cases, grants are available to fit brand new oil boilers.

ECO gives people the help they need to heat their homes in a more energy-efficient way – and that helps them reduce their energy bills. Having a well-heated home can also help people stay healthy through the cold winter months.

But how do you find out if you are eligible? You can fill in our form now or read on for what you need to know:

1. Government oil boiler grants are funded by the big energy companies

Energy companies in Great Britain have more than 250,000 domestic customers. The ECO scheme gives companies like British Gas, Scottish Power, EDF energy (and many others) a legal obligation to help customers on low income to save money on their heating, through better insulation and more efficient heating.

2. ECO only runs until March 2017

Originally, the scheme was only supposed to run until 2015, but it was so popular that it was extended until March 2017. There is talk of a further extension but we don’t have any more detail on that just yet. Just fill out the form to get the ball rolling…

3. What can you claim under the Affordable Warmth Obligation?

The Affordable Warmth Obligation is a part of the ECO scheme and covers grants to help fund home insulation improvements, boiler repairs, and, in some cases brand new boilers. The scheme since ECO2 started in April 2015 has always included oil boilers – however no one has been offering oil installs until now. There are lots of good A-rated oil boilers on the market which provide really efficient heat for the home.

4. The Warm Front scheme has been replaced by ECO

Before ECO, we had the Warm Front scheme. It was very well publicised and generated a lot of interest, but Warm Front ended in 2013. Don’t worry if you missed out on Warm Front – the benefits on offer through the ECO scheme are almost identical.

5. ECO is only available in England, Scotland and Wales

People in Northern Ireland are not eligible for ECO, but can claim Warm Homes Grants instead. If you’d like to find out more, check out the Home Heating Guide for information on the grant and how you can apply.

6. Only homeowners and private tenants can apply

ECO is not available to people living in council properties. But homeowners and private tenants can apply. If you’re a tenant, you’ll need to get permission from your landlord first.

7. This is what you need to qualify

To qualify for an oil boiler grant you must receive specific benefits. You may also need to meet other criteria too. You’ll find all the details you need on our qualifying criteria page. Just fill in our quick form to see if you are eligible.

8. You’re more likely to benefit from ECO if you have an old, broken or inefficient boiler

In order to qualify for a replacement oil boiler, your current boiler needs to run at less than 86% efficiency. The older the boiler is, the more likely it is that it will run less efficiently. So your boiler will need to be at least eight years old.

9. You might need to make a contribution

In some cases, the full cost of a new oil boiler will be covered by the grant, but it’s more likely that you’ll need to pay something towards it. The good news is that it will be far less than you would normally pay for a brand new oil boiler. You’ll see some big savings on your energy bills too – our recent surveys suggest that some people are saving up to £200 a year with a new gas boiler.

10. It’s easy to apply!

To get started, you just need to enter your postcode and answer a few simple questions. That will help us work out if you will be eligible. After that, we’ll get one of our friendly team to get in touch at a convenient time, just to confirm your details and talk you through the process. You’ll have the chance to ask as many questions as you like. We’ll arrange for a qualified surveyor to visit your home to approve the grant and to make sure everything is ready for the installation. Finally, an installer will install the new oil boiler – and you’ll start saving on your energy bills!

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