You probably have heard of the UK government ECO4 scheme, and as a homeowner, you most likely have questions about the government initiative that offers free boilers for qualifying residents.
The UK government developed ECO4 to assist in reducing fuel poverty for low-income households and overall energy consumption. Understanding the necessary qualifications, specifications and language surrounding the ECO4 scheme can be confusing and challenging.
Below, we will cover the most common questions and answers to help ensure you better understand what the ECO4 scheme is, how it works and determine if you qualify.
The ECO4 Scheme
The ECO4 scheme is a government initiative that requires energy suppliers to install energy-saving solutions for many of the UK’s most vulnerable residents without adding a substantial financial burden on eligible property owners.
These cost-effective measures include replacing old or broken boilers, installing insulation, solar panels, heat pumps and other solutions that will improve the energy efficiency of the homes. Depending on the homeowners, there may be a small installation fee, however, sometimes, the upgrades are free and covered within the ECO4 scheme.
The ECO4 grant is in effect until March 2026 to support lower-income households that otherwise could not upgrade their homes or heating systems to make cost-effective improvements, save money and reduce their carbon footprint.
How Do ECO3 and ECO4 Differ?
There are some distinct similarities between ECO3 and ECO4. They are part of the UK government program that requires energy suppliers to support customers who live in fuel poverty to upgrade their homes’ energy efficiency by replacing broken or outdated boilers, improving insulation and other energy-saving solutions.
The ECO4 eligibility criteria have changed as the government seeks ways to offer low-income families benefits who have yet to receive any. To help support these low-income households, the government added the vague statement that it will “expand and reform local authority flexibility so that suppliers can deliver up to 50% of their obligation via that route.”
On another note, the government is also removing certain benefits that were available under ECO3 in an attempt to better reach low-income households.
The following are non-means benefits no longer available under the ECO4 that were available under ECO3:
- Armed Forces Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits
- Mobility Supplement
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- War Pensions
What is Covered Under ECO4?
Energy suppliers may offer various energy-efficient home upgrades. Those eligible for an ECO4 grant may receive help with home upgrades below, including the free boiler replacement grant.
Upgrading Your Home Insulation
The ECO4 scheme aims to improve the buildings’ energy efficiency first before installing any new heating system. Suppose your home’s energy efficiency rating is D or below. In that case, you must complete the roof, loft and exterior facing cavity wall insulation before installing or improving a heating system.`
The ECO4 scheme aims to install 22,000 solid wall installations annually, which could save up to 1,800 per household, a year. Underfloor insulation and other updates will ensure that your home is energy efficient and your boiler is not continually running to keep your home warm, only to lose the heat due to lack of proper insulation.
Updating or Replacing Outdated or Broken Boilers
Depending on your boiler, you may use the ECO4 scheme for various repairs, upgrades or replacement of your current boiler. The ECO4 scheme encourages and supports repairing efficient heating systems whenever possible.
If your old or broken boiler cannot be repaired, it can be replaced with a new modern boiler. This will ensure that households are repairing efficient gas boilers rather than replacing them after only three to eight years, which is far less than the expected lifetime of a boiler, which is around twelve years.
Installing Green Heating Systems
ECO4 is designed to help low-income households replace old, inefficient boilers with greener alternatives to help ensure that the UK government’s goal of net zero emissions is reached by 2050. ECO4 will continue the same rule in the ECO3 scheme, excluding coal-fueled heating systems.
Under the ECO4 scheme, the UK government will encourage eligible households to replace old or broken boilers with more efficient modern boilers. Those eligible for a new boiler under the ECO4 scheme will benefit significantly from the boiler grant. A boiler will make homes more energy efficient, save money, and improve overall quality of life.
Applying for the ECO4 Grant
Low-income individuals and households can work with energy suppliers or installers offering services such as accessing the ECO4 grant. Simply ECO Ltd. offers the ECO4 grant, and we can help you apply for the ECO4 scheme.
You may be eligible for the ECO4 grant in 2023 if you receive any of the following benefits:
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Universal Credit (UC)
- Pension Credit Guarantee
- Income Support
- Credit Working Tax Credit (WTC)
- Child Tax Credit (CTC)
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit Savings
Households receiving additional Department of Work and Pension benefits can access ECO4, even if they receive Universal Credit.
While the UK government scheme has been mainly geared towards owner-occupied homes, the new grant phase will include those living in private rented homes (landlord permitted) and inefficient social housing.
Find Out if You Are Eligible for the ECO4 Today! Simply Eco Ltd. Is Here to Help
Many households in the UK will benefit from the ECO4 scheme and the boiler replacement grant in 2023 through one of the various programs. Now is the best time to replace an old or broken boiler, saving you money and benefitting your household significantly.
Simply ECO Ltd. helps those in fuel poverty access carbon-saving measures for their homes and is the largest installer of boilers in Birmingham and the surrounding area. We are here to help answer your questions about the ECO4 scheme.
Contact us to see if you are eligible today if you are ready to upgrade or repair your old boiler.