Most people want to save money in any way possible, including when it comes to energy use and heating their homes. Thankfully, the UK government created the Energy Company Obligation Scheme in 2013, also known as the ECO scheme.
Anyone who qualifies for the ECO scheme will benefit significantly from taking part in the program. Whether it is to upgrade your old boiler, get loft or cavity wall insulation, install solar panels, or improve your home’s energy efficiency by updating old appliances, installing floor insulation and more.
If you are wondering if you are eligible or how you may benefit from the ECO scheme, keep reading. Below, we explain more about the ECO4 scheme, who is eligible for it, who can benefit from it and how to apply.
The ECO Scheme
The ECO scheme in 2023 is evolving, and more UK residents will qualify for the money-saving and carbon emission-reducing scheme. ECO is a program created by the UK government and is a £4 billion program with the goal of reducing carbon emissions and fuel poverty simultaneously.
The largest energy suppliers, or obligated suppliers, must offer their customers energy-saving grants to reduce their carbon footprint. However, should the targets set by the government not be met, the suppliers will receive a substantial fine.
The ECO scheme aims to ensure that homes across the UK will be energy efficient and benefit from affordable heating and energy solutions. It includes boiler replacement or repair, solid wall insulation, cavity wall insulation, solar panels and loft insulation for a minimal cost and possibly at no out-of-pocket cost to the homeowner, depending on eligibility.
What is the ECO4 Scheme?
The ECO4 scheme is the fourth phase of the ECO scheme, and it began in July 2022 and will run until March 2026.
The ECO4 scheme covers the following:
- Insulating homes to improve the buildings themselves before installing a new heating system. If your home has an efficiency rating of “D” or below, roof and exterior-facing cavity wall insulation and loft insulation must be installed before installing a new heating system or making necessary improvements to your current heating system before proceeding.
- Repairing or replacing old boilers that cannot be repaired.
- Installing heating systems that are more efficient and have a smaller carbon footprint to help ensure the UK hits its net zero emissions goal by 2050.
- First-time central heating for UK residents who have no heating system or have broken or inefficient heating systems.
Eligibility for the Eco Scheme
The ECO4 scheme’s goal is to improve energy efficiency in homes in the UK with a primary focus on low-income households and households with vulnerable residents. In 2023, the ECO scheme has evolved significantly, and many people who weren’t eligible previously will qualify for funding.
Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for the ECO4 scheme, and companies look at specific guidelines of customers to determine who is eligible for the ECO4 scheme. An applicant who receives any of the following government benefits may be eligible:
- Income Support (IS)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Pension Credit Guarantee
- Universal Credit (UC)
- Pension Credit Saving Credit
- Pension Credit Guarantee
- Housing benefits
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
- Child Tax Credit (CTC)
- Credit Working Tax Credit (WTC)
- Department of Work and Pension Benefits (DWP), even if they don’t receive the Universal Credit
The primary focus of the ECO scheme is owner-occupied homes. However, with landlord approval, residents living in social housing and privately rented accommodations struggling with energy efficiency may also be eligible for the ECO4 scheme.
Property Requirements for ECO4 Scheme
For a property to be eligible for the ECO4 scheme, it needs to meet the following requirements:
- The home you live in must have an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of D, E, F or G.
- If you rent from a private landlord or a housing association, the residence must have an EPC rating of E, F or G.
- If you live in social housing, you may be eligible to receive a grant if your residence has an EPC rating of D, however only for “innovation measures”.
- Only your primary residence may qualify, and you can’t get an ECO grant for your second home. However, you may be able to receive it for a buy-to-let property.
- If your heating system is inefficient and needs to be upgraded or replaced.
Who Benefits From the ECO Scheme?
Do you struggle to pay for your hot water and heating bills due to financial challenges and being on a low income? Your boiler may be old and inefficient, you may have a broken boiler, or your home lacks central heating.
In that case, you can benefit from the ECO4 scheme in several ways, including saving money on heating and energy costs, improving the energy efficiency of your home and appliances, reducing your carbon footprint and helping reduce the effects of climate change. You may be eligible to receive a free new boiler or get your boiler repaired through the ECO4 scheme.
Homeowners will also be able to raise the EPC rating of their home. A higher EPC rating can increase the value of their home.
Along with these personal benefits, it also boosts the economy for local industries and workers. So everyone benefits from the ECO scheme in one or more ways!
The Great British Insulation Scheme
Initially known as ECO+, The Great British Insulation Scheme is the newest phase of the ECO scheme, which began in April 2023 and is geared to support people living in inefficient homes who are ineligible for the ECO4 scheme. ECO+ provides grant funds to install insulation for homes to become more energy efficient.
ECO+ provides government-funded grants of up to £1,500 to cover the cost of installing loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, and smart heating controls for households who do not receive government support. It is expected that approximately 70,000 homes will benefit from ECO+.
Simply ECO Ltd. Is Here to Help You
Everyone deserves to be warm and comfortable in their home, and we are here to help. Whether you are a homeowner, tenant or landlord wanting to improve your home’s energy efficiency, have more affordable heating and lower your carbon footprint, the ECO4 scheme can help.
At Simply ECO Ltd., we are a Green Deal Approved Installer and Gas Safe Registered. In addition, we are PAS2030 Accredited and Trustmark Approved to install Building Fabric Measures, Heating System Measures, MCS Measures and Ventilation Systems. This includes Loft and Rafter Insulation, Cavity Wall Insulation, External Wall Insulation, Floor Insulation, Boiler Replacements and First Time central Heating, Boiler+ Compliant or Smart Heating Controls, Electrical Storage Heaters and Controls, and Ventilation Systems and Controls.
The most convenient way to apply for the ECO scheme is by filling out our ECO funding application or contacting us directly to discuss your options. Our customer service reputation speaks for itself, and we look forward to serving you.