Could you be eligible for a free boiler grant from the government?
Did you know that the UK government offers free grants to help low income households to improve their home heating and insulation? It’s called the Energy Company Obligation scheme, or ECO. The scheme was launched on 1st January 2013 and legally obliges the UK’s biggest energy companies to provide help to low income fuel poor households to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. The result is not only less energy wastage but also cheaper heating bills.
✔The scheme & information in this article was last checked on 13th March 2018
Please note that funding for new gas boilers is now very limited and applications may not be successful.
You can still benefit from free grants for LPG boilers, oil boilers, electric storage heaters and insulation.
How can the ECO boiler replacement scheme help me?
If you qualify (see the ‘Am I eligible’ section) through the ECO scheme you may be able to get a free boiler grant towards having a new, more energy efficient boiler installed. The programme is designed to make poorly heated and insulated homes warmer and more energy efficient, enabling some of the country’s most fuel poor households to become more energy efficient by installing energy saving measures which can have a significant impact on lowering energy bills.
Am I eligible?
If you own your own home or rent privately you might be eligible for a free boiler grant from the Energy Company Obligation. You will need to be in receipt of qualifying benefits to be eligible. If you live in privately rented accommodation you must have permission from your landlord.
Qualifying benefits for a boiler grant:
|Benefit||Any additional criteria|
|Child Tax Credit||+ Annual household income is below a certain threshold (determined by how many people live in the property)|
|Working Tax Credit||+ Annual household income is below a certain threshold (determined by how many people live in the property)|
|Universal Credit||+ Monthly earned income is below a certain threshold (determined by how many people live in the property)|
|Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)||None|
|Income-based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)||None|
|Pension Credit||(Both Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit or Guarantee Credit Only)|
How do I apply for a free boiler grant?
The Energy Company Obligation is available in England, as well as Scotland and Wales. Visit Boiler Grants for more information, to check your eligibility and to apply online.
What if I don’t qualify?
There may be alternative options out there and you can contact the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 (calls are charged at the standard national rates) as they may be able to offer more advice. You can also get in touch with your local council for information on any grants/ help in your area. You can search for your local council here.
One of the options available if you don’t qualify for a boiler grant would be to look for low monthly payment deals to replace your boiler instead. With the option to spread the cost of your boiler over 3, 4, 5 or 10 years, you could pay as little as £7.23* a month for your new boiler. Find out more about the Help-Link offer here.
The Energy Company Obligation
The energy companies are required by law to fund the grants that enable the country’s most vulnerable households to transform the energy efficiency of their homes. These free grants can be used to replace an inefficient or broken boiler, to improve the loft and cavity wall insulation or to install new electric storage heaters.
Only energy companies who have a) more than 250,000 domestic customers and b) provide over 2,000 gigawatts of gas (400 gigawatts of electricity) are legally required to take part in the programme.
There are three different elements to the Energy Company Obligation: Affordable Warmth, Carbon Savings and Carbon Savings Community.
Many vulnerable households and those on a low income can’t afford to adequately heat their own homes; the Affordable Warmth Obligation aims to tackle this problem head on. Energy companies have been tasked with providing qualifying domestic energy customers with a range of measures designed to make their homes warmer and healthier, and help to keep energy bills as low as possible. This could include a free boiler grant to cover some or all of the cost to repair or replace a boiler with a new A-rated energy saving model. Grants are also available to install cavity wall insulation or loft insulation or to install new electric storage heaters.
Funding is available to improve the insulation in the hardest to treat properties, most notably those with solid wall insulation. External or internal wall insulation is also available to qualifying households if there are issues as a result of access or planning permission, etc. To be eligible for an external insulation grant from ECO, at least 50% of the external walls will need to be insulated.
Carbon savings community
Energy companies have a commitment to reducing carbon emissions. Communities in the most deprived parts of the country – including rural communities, many of which are home to some of the fuel poorest low income households – will be targeted with a range of measures including loft and cavity wall insulation and solid wall insulation.