Can I get a grant to cover the cost?

Yes, fully funded efficiency improvement grants are available. There is funding available through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. This is an obligation placed by the government on to the energy suppliers, to provide funding for energy-saving measures, including insulation and boiler replacements, for qualifying households. This is part of a wider government strategy to reduce carbon emissions and help householders save money on their energy bills.

About Eco 4

ECO4 is the fourth phase of The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) – a government-funded scheme that makes UK homes more energy efficient and tackles fuel poverty.

Since 2013, over 3.1 million home improvements have been made under the scheme, but this final phase aims to go even further.

As part of its Sustainable Warmth Strategy, the government has extended the ECO grant for an extra four years, meaning it will run until March 2026.

The primary goal of this grant is to support low-income households who are unable to upgrade their homes and heating systems, whilst also helping the country reach its net zero by 2050 goal.

Under ECO3, energy suppliers with more than 150,000 domestic customers were obligated to support eligible applicants. Although this is currently the case for ECO4, the government is hoping to remove obligation thresholds by introducing “a buy-out mechanism”. This essentially means smaller companies will also be able to participate in the scheme.

The government has also changed the eligibility criteria for ECO4 while looking for ways to help low-income families who aren’t receiving benefits.

The ECO4 report states that 46.1% of fuel-poor households are not in receipt of benefits. To support these low-income groups, the government vaguely states that it will “expand and reform local authority flexibility, so that suppliers can deliver up to 50% of their obligation via that route.”

DID YOU KNOW? A property with an energy efficiency rating of D is nearly four times as expensive to run as a property with an energy efficiency rating of A.

Installing greener heating systems

ECO4 focuses on replacing old, worn-out boilers with greener alternatives.

Also, the government will encourage people to replace their boilers with greener alternatives, namely heat pumps. ECO4 will also continue to install solar photovoltaics (PV) in all electrically heated homes.

  • ECO4 will run from 2022-2026 and will cost £4 billion, £1 billion per year.
  • During ECO4, the Government have a target to have all homes in the UK up to an EPC band of D (2025).
  • Under ECO3, 25% of measures are delivered under LA (Local Authority) Flex. This is now changing to 50% to help more of those off of benefits but are still classed as a ‘low-income’ household.
  • Under ECO3, the grant awarded is based on the lifetime savings of the insulation/heating is installed, however, under ECO4, this will be changed to how big the difference is between energy performance ratings.
  • The Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) will work alongside ECO4 to help roll out of important measures for those most vulruable.
  • No more LPG or Oil tanks can be installed. A larger focus is being put on repairing current heating systems such as mains gas central heating and modern electric storage heaters.
  • In order to get first time central heating, you will be required to have some sort of solid wall insulation- this could be internal wall or external wall insulation.
  • If you are offered first time central heating, you will be required to take all insulation measures offered.
  • Innovative Measures (IM) such as heat pumps and solar panels will now be more widely offered

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