Your boiler plays a crucial role in your home. From generating heat during those cold winter months to providing hot water, your boiler requires regular maintenance and care to run properly for its full life span. But if your boiler has reached the end of its lifespan or repeatedly breaks down, it may be time to consider a new boiler.
New gas boilers can run anywhere from £1,500 and £2,000 on average in the U.K. Other boilers can run up to £7,000, depending on the model of the boiler. So if your boiler breaks down or is no longer serviceable due to obsolete parts, you may be looking for one in a pinch, something you hadn’t planned for financially.
New boiler installation can put you out thousands, but there are options available through government grants that may put the financial burden of a new boiler to rest.
What is the Energy Company Obligation Scheme?
Launched in 2013, the Energy Company Obligation Scheme (or ECO scheme) was designed by the government to help struggling, vulnerable, or fuel-impoverished families with energy expenses and systems.
The ECO schemes ensure that big energy companies in the U.K. also do their part to help these families. Available in England, Scotland, and Wales, this pushes the energy companies to install energy-saving systems (such as a new boiler) in homes that need it the most. This not only gives low-income families the same resources as other households but also allows them to save on their future energy bills.
While heating system improvements are a big part of how low-income families can benefit from the ECO scheme, other measures can be taken by the energy companies.
Energy companies can focus on installing cavity wall insulation or loft insulation to make homes more energy efficient. There are also grants designed to provide low-income households with a new boiler or heating system at a discounted cost or even free in some cases.
Over the years, the rules and regulations for ECO have changed, leaving more options for homes in the U.K. to qualify for the installation of these energy-efficient measures.
ECO has evolved through four phases since 2013.
- ECO1 ran from 2013 to 2015
- ECO2 and ECO2T ran from 2015 to 2018
- ECO3 and ECO3T ended in June 2022
- ECO4 began in July 2022 as the final iteration of the scheme and is set to run until 2026 with a funding increase of over £400M.
What is ECO4?
The current stage of the ECO scheme, ECO4, focuses on large energy companies (those with more than 150,000 customers) contributing a certain amount of improvements to the energy-efficiency landscape for homeowners. By pushing the larger energy companies to participate in the push for energy-efficient homes across the board, the government hopes to eliminate the obligation threshold felt by smaller energy companies (allowing for everyone to participate).
The government puts the financial responsibility of the ECO4 phase on the energy companies, pushing them to reach specific target points throughout the phase. If these targets aren’t met successfully in the allotted time frame, the energy companies pay a penalty fine to the government. This money, in turn, is used for future energy efficiency and sustainability efforts.
Consider being a low-income household needing a new boiler but without the finances to do so. ECO4 aims to provide for these households financially with grants for new boilers or heating systems. However, there are energy-efficiency requirements for this particular energy scheme phase, including the EPC ranking system.
EPC Ratings Explained
EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate and measures your home’s overall energy efficiency. An EPC rating can range anywhere from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient. The higher the efficiency, the higher the rating, resulting in a lower cost to heat and power the property.
Climate change is one of the top priorities for both domestic and international committees. Given that most boilers burn off fuel to provide heat and power, the output to the environment could be damaging if your home runs on inefficient systems. Lowering harmful emissions into the environment and being more eco-friendly can start at home.
The EPC rating is also a good indicator of how powering and heating your home affects the environment. Therefore, improving your property’s EPC rating can help you save money on energy bills and help the environment.
How Do You Qualify for the ECO4 Grant?
Making energy more affordable for everyone is one of the key goals of ECO4. To qualify for a boiler grant, you must meet these criteria:
- Applicant must be a property owner, not a landlord
- Your current boiler must be at least eight years old
- Property must be connected to a main gas line
- Applicant must be receiving a qualifying benefit/government assistance
While the ECO3 phase of the ECO scheme included most government assistance benefits, some eligible benefits were removed going into ECO4. These include:
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- War Pensions
- Mobility Supplement
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
Other requirements include income threshold limitations and how many children you claim.
If you are receiving government assistance that qualifies for the ECO grant and have an outdated boiler or are looking for a more efficient home energy system, you can apply by Simply ECO Ltd. We have customer support agents ready to help determine if you are eligible for ECO funding.
Let Simply ECO Ltd Help You Determine if You Qualify for a Boiler Replacement Grant
If you need help paying for a new boiler, the Boiler Replacement Grant/ECO4 Scheme is an excellent option for those who qualify. If you’re eligible for the scheme, it’s definitely worth considering. Ultimately, investing in a new boiler may seem daunting initially, but with the proper support and guidance, it can be a wise investment that pays off in the long run.
Simply ECO Ltd. assists people in fuel poverty gain access to Energy Efficiency and Carbon Saving Measures. As a Green Deal Approved Installer, we work with a panel of approved funders. This allows us to help families in fuel poverty access government grants to make their homes more energy efficient and implement carbon reduction measures.
We’ve installed over 6000 boilers since 2014 and are the largest installer of boilers in Birmingham and surrounding areas, and we’d love to help you. Contact us today if you’re considering upgrading your boiler.