Since 2013, over 3.1 million home improvements have been made under the ECO (Energy Company Obligation) scheme. The ECO is a government-funded scheme that provides low-income households with the ability to get heating, insulation and renewable grants.
Its newest phase, ECO4, has taken effect and will stay until March 2026. Like most government-funded schemes, it is essential to do your research to see if you qualify for the scheme.
This article will help you learn about this newest iteration of the ECO. We will also discuss how to know if you qualify for its energy-saving benefits and what exactly those benefits cover in your home.
What is the ECO4 Grant?
ECO4 is the latest stage of the government-run ECO scheme. The ECO4 is part of its Sustainable Warmth Strategy and will be in effect until March 2026.
The main goal of this scheme is to help low-income households upgrade their heating systems and other energy-saving parts in their homes. ECO4 will allow the government to help low-income families power their homes and help the country reach its net zero goal by 2050.
It is an excellent program for low-income households as this is a grant. Therefore any households that qualify do not need to pay anything back.
What is Covered By ECO4?
There are a range of home improvements available depending on which energy supplier you choose. Some of these include:
The ECO4 scheme requires that the building must to be improved before moving to the heating systems.
Insulation will need to be installed or upgraded first and foremost, as much heat can be lost when walls, lofts and roofs are not insulated. If the home has an efficiency rating of ‘D’ or below, loft, roof, and exterior-facing cavity wall insulation must be installed prior to beginning any heating system improvements.
Perhaps the most significant change affecting installers is that changes in ECO4 will see that fossil fuel boilers are mostly phased out of the scheme. The rules around who can get a new boiler are also changed under ECO4 and are much stricter than they were under ECO3, meaning the vast majority of applicants with those types of boilers will no longer be eligible.
ECO4 will incentivise repairing efficient heating systems wherever possible. A heating system that cannot be repaired can be replaced through the Broken Heating Cap.
Installation of Greener Energy Systems
ECO3 excluded coal-fuelled heating systems as a way to get the country to their net zero by 2050 goal. This rule remain in ECO4, but will also include oil- and LPG-fuelled heating systems to the exclusion list.
People will be encouraged to replace their boilers with greener alternatives, namely heat pumps and biomass boilers. If a biomass machine or District Heat Network has been ruled out for an home heated with electricity, ECO4 will continue to install solar photovoltaics.
Who Qualifies for ECO4?
The ECO4 scheme seeks to support those low-income residents who have the least energy-efficient homes in the country. To be eligible for ECO4, the applicant will be required to receive one of the following benefits.
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
- Income Support (IS)
- Income-related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
- Credit Working Tax Credit (WTC)
- Pension Credit Savings Credit
- Pension Credit Guarantee
- Universal Credit (UC)
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credits (CTC)
Those with additional Department of Work and Pension (DWP) benefits will have access to ECO4, regardless of whether or not they receive Universal Credit.
Although the focus of ECO4 is owner-occupied homes, this new phase also supports social housing and privately rented homes, with the permission of the landlord. To be eligible for ECO4 funding, the tenant or end-user (i.e. the person or persons living in the property) must be a recipient of either state aid, benefits, allowances or credits from the list above. The list is subject to change, and you can find the most up-to-date list on OFGEM’s website.
Benefits That Are No Longer Eligible
Benefits that received funding under ECO 3 that are no longer eligible for funding under ECO4 are as follows:
- Carer’s Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Attendance Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- War Pensions Mobility Supplement
Need Help with EC04 Eligibility? We’re Here to Help!
Simply Eco Ltd was established to assist people in fuel poverty to gain access to Carbon Saving and Energy Efficiency Measures. We strive to provide the best customer service in our field, and our excellent customer service record, customer reviews and testimonials reinforce that. Our key services include boiler replacements, under-floor insulation and loft insulation installs.
Call us for more information or apply through our online form. We look forward to speaking with you about our services and are ready to begin the process for your boiler replacement and central heating grant.