Ashford Borough Council Flexible Energy Rules for Energy Company Obligation grants

Ashford Borough Council Flexible Energy (LA Flex)

Ashford Borough Council is offering funds that can help residents save money on their utility bills. Residents who are struggling with an energy bill should take advantage of this opportunity and apply for ECO grants today!

The Ashford Borough Council makes it easy for residents to have their heating systems upgraded and save on energy bills by providing ECO grants.

1. What is Local Authority Flexible Energy or LA Flex?

The LA Flex program could have a huge impact on the health of people living in energy poverty. The scheme gives local authorities power to provide funds such as if someone has trouble receiving benefits or lives in cold homes- both of which are risk factors for health problems related to energy poverty. This LA Flex will be run by each individual council who can decide just how much funding they give out based on their own need’s assessment.
 
The Ashford Borough Council has published their eligibility rules for the grant in a Statement of Intent, so residents can apply. This post will explain which residents within our district are eligible to apply and how much money is available!

2. What grants are available?

The types of grants available to residents living in the Ashford Borough Council area include:

Boiler grants are expected to be removed from the grant scheme in the next phase so you should apply for this grant as soon as possible.

3. Who is eligible for grants?

The benefits of the program extend to all three groups: homeowners, renters and tenants. The easiest way to see if you are eligible is to use our eligibility checker here.

eco scheme eligibility rules for pensioners

Eligibility

There are 6 ways to qualify for a grant:

1. Receiving a qualifying benefit
2. Receiving Child Benefit and meeting income rules
3. Income-based eligibility (for households that earn less than £31,000 per year)
4. Vulnerable eligibility
5. Health-related eligibility
6. Bespoke targeting

This route to eligibility applies where a member of the household receives or has received a 'qualifying benefit'. If the benefit isn't a current claim (for example for households where they have gone back to work after the pandemic) providing the benefit has been claimed at some point within the last 12 months, the household will still be eligible for a grant.

Qualifying benefits include:

- Child Tax Credit

- Employment & Support Allowance (Income Based) - Income Support

- Housing Benefit

- Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based)

- Pension Credit Guarantee Credit

- Pension Credit Savings Credit

- Universal Credit

- Working Tax Credit

Note if you receive any of the following benefits you could qualify later in the scheme (or through the ECO4 Flex routes). We advise anyone claiming the following benefits to register for updates so you are the first to know when these benefits are accepted.

- Armed Forces Independence Payment

- Attendance Allowance

- Carer's Allowance

- Constant Attendance Allowance

- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

- War Pensions Mobility Supplement

If you receive Child Benefit you could be eligible for the scheme but unlike the qualifying benefits above they would need to meet an additional income criteria.

The Child Benefit income criteria depends on the number of children in the household and also whether the claim is a single or joint claim.

The income limits are as follows:

Single parents

1 Child – £19,900
2 Children – £24,800
3 Children – £29,600
4+ Children – £34,500

Parents in a couple

1 Child – £27,500
2 Children – £32,300
3 Children – £37,200
4+ Children – £42,000

(figures updated to Ofgem’s Administration Consultation released on 13 June 2022)

If you are eligible through the Child Benefit route you should apply as soon as you can. The Government's Green Homes Grant excluded Child Benefit recipients so potentially this eligibility route could be removed later in the the scheme.

To be eligible through the income-based route your annual household income will need to be under £31,000. You will need to provide evidence such as bank statements and income information to confirm eligibility.

This is an ECO4 Flex route so it requires the applicants council to have published a Statement of Intent and to issue eligibility declarations.

Vulnerable people can access grants if they meet two of the following criteria (1 & 3 can’t be used together):

1. Lives in a Lower Super Output Area

2. Receives Council Tax Rebate (excluding for single person discounts)

3. Householder has a disability, mental health condition, is over 65, school children or under 16 and pregnant women.

4. Receives free school meals due to a low income

5. Supported by a Council scheme described in a Statement of Intent

6. Households referred by a Citizen’s advice as struggling to pay gas and electricity bills

7. Households in energy debt

A medical practitioner will need to complete a referral form to confirm eligibility.

This is an ECO4 Flex route so it requires the applicants council to have published a Statement of Intent and to issue eligibility declarations.

People with health conditions that are made worse by living in a cold home qualify.

These include:

- Cardiovascular diseases

- Immunosuppressed

- Mobility issues

- Respiratory conditions

A medical practitioner will need to complete a referral form to confirm eligibility.

This is an ECO4 Flex route so it requires the applicants council to have published a Statement of Intent and to issue eligibility declarations.

Installers can target specific groups of people living in fuel poverty. Installers will approach you if your property is eligible through this route.

Ashford Borough Council

If you DON'T claim benefits, the criteria for identifying households in fuel poverty in Ashford Borough Council are as follows:

Criteria for identifying ‘living in fuel poverty’, but not in receipt of benefits:

Fuel Poverty Eligibility Criteria
Household CompositionAnnual Household IncomeMonthly Household Income Equivalent
Single person (18 years and over)£10,000£835
Two people£15,000£1,250
Two people and child(ren)£20,000£1,666
  • If a household has a low income under these thresholds, depending on composition, then it will be identified as being ‘low income’
  • We will cross-reference data that we hold or can assess on Energy Performance Certificates/SAP ratings, pre-payment meters, expenditure on fuel, housing type/age/condition and heating type
  • Low-income households living in energy inefficient housing will be identified in the private rented sector through enforcement activity under the Housing Act 2004

Criteria for identifying low income and vulnerability to cold:

  • Older people (aged 60 or more and particularly those over 75)
  • Young children (under the age of 5)
  • People with respiratory conditions (in particular chronic pulmonary disease (COPD) and childhood asthma)
  • People with cardiovascular conditions (e.g. ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease)
  • People with mental health conditions (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder)
  • Pregnant women
  • People with addictions (e.g. substance misuse)
  • People who have attended hospital due to a fall
  • People with dementia
  • People with neurobiological and related conditions (e.g. fibromyalgia, ME)
  • People with a terminal illness
  • People with autoimmune and immune deficiency diseases (e.g. from cancer treatment, HIV, MS)
  • People with disabilities
  • Haemoglobinopathies (sickle cell disease, thalassaemia)
  • People with severe learning difficulties
  • People who move in and out of homelessness
  • Recent immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees (if living in private tenure)
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Downs North
Charing
Downs West
Upper Weald
Rolvenden & Tenterden West
Biddenden
Victoria
Norman
Beaver
Singleton East
Stanhope
Washford
Singleton West
Roman
Weald Central
Park Farm South
Park Farm North
Kingsnorth Village & Bridgefield
Godinton
Repton
Aylesford & East Stour
Willesborough
Highfield
Mersham, Sevington South with Finberry
Conningbrook & Little Burton Farm
Furley
Bockhanger
Bybrook
Kennington
Goat Lees
Wye with Hinxhill
Bircholt
Saxon Shore
Weald South
Isle of Oxney
Weald North
Tenterden St Michael's
Tenterden North
Tenterden South
 

Eligibility does not mean assurance for the grant, for more information please read the full Statement of Intent.

5. How much could you get?

The amount of money you’ll receive for your grant will depend on a lot. The biggest factor in this calculation is how much heating your home needs now because it can let us approximate what to expect if there are installers nearby to do the installations.

The grants are currently available as follows (subject to survey and meeting eligibility rules):

Download your EPC

The grant is a good deal for installation costs and will save you money in the long run. It’s paid directly to Registered Installer, so there are no worries about repayment or interest rates! The installer should make sure they’re clear on what funding options are available before quoting them as part of your total project cost – otherwise, it may be more than expected at first glance.

Ashford Borough Council flexible energy (LA Flex) rules are detailed in this Statement of Intent

A full list of all local authority flexible energy rules can be found on the gov.uk website

Apply for a grant

Check eligibility for grants

Fill in the short form to see if you are eligible for Government grants.