Bracknell Forest Council Flexible Energy Rules for Energy Company Obligation grants

Bracknell Forest Council Flexible Energy (LA Flex)

You might be trying to keep your energy bills low, but you don’t want it to affect the quality of life in your home. Bracknell Forest Council is committed and will help with an ECO grant that can go towards insulation work or heating installation on residential properties!

The council has published guidelines to help keep the process simple for applicants and what projects qualify.

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

The Government wants to help you in your time of need. Low-income households who are struggling with fuel poverty can now receive government grants for heating and insulation through the new LA Flex program, which provides a way for those vulnerable but don’t qualify as benefits recipients to access ECO funds that will improve their living situation tremendously.

Fuel poverty is an unfortunate consequence of the pandemic-fuel prices are high and money can be tight. But there may be a relief!

The ECO Grant is a program that provides funding to communities for environmental projects. The Statement of Intent written by councillors has helpful information about how people can apply through this program. This post will explain what steps you need to take before applying, and which areas qualify for the grant!

2. What grants are available?

The types of grants available to residents living in the Bracknell Forest 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?

Whether you are a homeowner, live in subsidized housing or rent an apartment- we offer the resources to help! 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.

Bracknell Forest Council

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

Criteria for Bracknell Forest Council eligible households

1. Identifying fuel poverty
a) householders are considered at risk of living in fuel poverty if they have high
heating cost due to an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D with
and a household income below £35,000.
b) Similarly in properties with an EPC rating of D with a resident being under 16
or over 60 years of age

2. Vulnerable Persons
Residents vulnerable to effects of living in the cold home as outlined by the NICE
Guidance NG6 on “Excess Winter Deaths and illness, and the health risks associated with cold homes”. This could include long term health conditions as cancer, stroke and heart problems, respiratory diseases, and those who have limited mobility. 

3. Others including those living in Park Homes, Blue Badge Holders, and those in
receipt of Disabled Facilities adaptions (regardless of income), also including those
homes that rely on electric storage heaters as their main heating source.

GU15
GU17
GU19
GU46
GU47
RG10
RG11
RG12
RG40
RG42
RG45
SL4 
SL5 

 

Central Sandhurst
College Town
Owlsmoor
Little Sandhurst and Wellington
Ascot
Binfield with Warfield
Great Hollands South
Great Hollands North
Crowthorne
Hanworth
Harmans Water
Priestwood and Garth
Crown Wood
Wildridings and Central
Old Bracknell
Bullbrook
Warfield Harvest Ride
Winkfield and Cranbourne

Eligibility does not guarantee funding. For full details see the full Statement of Intent.

5. How much could you get?

The maximum amount of money for installing insulation could depend on a variety of factors, but the most important is heating. The Ofgem rules place an emphasis on existing or previous heating and using this information along with other key property data like wall type and number of bedrooms can determine your lifetime savings calculation which will provide installers with funding value to help you get started.

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

Download your EPC

The grant should be paid directly to the Registered Installer and doesn’t have to be repaid. Where contributions are required towards installation costs, the installer will quote for them in advance before you proceed with any work. A free no-obligation survey can help determine what funding is available!

Bracknell Forest 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.