Pensioner checking eligibility for eco grants

Do pensioners qualify for boiler, heating and insulation grants?

Many pensioners are struggling with the cost of living, yet they are often overlooked. In fact, many pensioners are missing out on free energy saving grants and many don’t know that they may qualify for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme! 

In this blog post, we’ll explore how pensioners can qualify for free energy saving grants.

I’ll get straight to the point. Yes, they are eligible! In actual fact, most pensioners will qualify for the government’s Energy Company Obligation grant scheme through either receiving Pension Credit or through having health issues or being vulnerable.

We urge pensioners and their family members to check if they are entitled to heating and heating insulation grants. The time is now, in case of future rule changes and to beat lengthy waits for installers.

Pensioners, whether they are a home owner or a renter, are eligible for home improvement grants through the government-backed, funded scheme called the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. The £4 billion scheme has been designed to upgrade homes throughout the UK and includes grants for home insulation such as loft, underfloor or wall insulation. It also provides grants for repairing, replacing or installing energy-efficient heating.

The scheme is designed to cut energy bills for the lowest income homes in England, Scotland and Wales, through upgrading heating systems or through the installation of insulation. It also reduces carbon emissions, which helps tackle climate change too!

A pensioner’s application process is likely more straightforward than you think. Pensioners who claim either Pension Credit (Guarantee Element or Savings Credit) are fast-tracked, but even if you don’t claim benefits, the majority of pensioners qualify for grants through the ‘health’, ‘vulnerable’ or ‘income-based’ criteria. The 6 ways to qualify for grants are detailed here.

The types of grants available to pensioners include:

Child Benefit Eligibility Criteria ECO scheme
For more information on the different types of grants, see our page on the energy company obligation scheme or jump straight in and check eligibility and apply in 60 seconds or less with our free grant checker. Our website also has lots of other useful advice regarding home improvements, saving money on your bills and reducing carbon emissions.

2. How do you qualify for free energy saving measures (including free boilers) as a pensioner?

There are three main parts to eligibility for ECO grants:

Property eligibility + Household eligibility + Grant suitability and availability

 
Eligibility rules for ECO grants

Property eligibility

You will need to live in a property that is inefficient and has an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of E, F, or G. We are expecting band D properties to be accepted later in the scheme. If you don’t currently have an EPC, it’s no problem. The installer takes care of arranging the energy performance certificate as part of a free energy assessment.

Household eligibility

You (or a member of your household) will need to either receive benefits or have a health condition, be classed as vulnerable or have an annual household income of less than £31,000.

Grant suitability and availability

In addition to the property and household being eligible, there need to be grants suitable for the home being upgraded. There are a range of rules (set by Government and administered by Ofgem) but our free grant checker will assess which grants are available to you.
eco scheme eligibility rules for pensioners

Eligibility through claiming benefits:

If you receive any of the following benefits, you will be eligible for the ECO scheme, regardless of household income and the assets that you own:
LA Flex Council Rules for ECO Scheme

When calculating your household income, you should include all income as follows: 

Income required for calculation:

Income not required for calculation:

state pension

winter fuel payment

pension income

cold weather payment

guarantee credit

 

pension credit or savings credit

 

Please bear in mind that the rules that apply where you don’t claim benefits are not rigid. They are set by the local authority as part of their flexible energy rules, sometimes referred to as LA Flex.

So, if you don’t claim benefits, but your household has an income of less than £25,000 a year, you might qualify for grants. You can use the eligibility checker to find out.

Whether you need a new A-rated boiler, to upgrade your electric room heaters or electric storage heaters, insulation or draught proofing, there will hopefully be something in the government boiler and insulation scheme to suit your needs.

Lookup your EPC Rating

If you don’t know what rating your property has:

The EPC for your property will contain:

“Fantastic news, central heating is installed! I really didn’t realise how cold my house was until the central heating started to warm it up.”

Elaine, Chatham

3. What grants are available to pensioners?

There are many grants for pensioners. They depend on what you have in your home now and what is needed to make your home more efficient and reduce your energy bills.
First Time Central Heating Grant

To be eligible for the central heating grant, the heating at your property would need to be one of the following:

* The scheme rules place an emphasis on existing heating, so if this is the main heating at your property you might have to pay towards the installation, but it is still likely to be subsidised.

First time central heating grants are available in areas both with, and without, gas. If your property doesn’t have a gas line or gas meter, there are funding schemes that will pay for that and we can help you apply for the funded gas line. If there isn’t gas in your area, central heating can still be installed at your property; however, rather than being connected to mains gas, the heating system will be connected to a tank, such as a calor gas tank, that will need to be refilled every so often.

To be eligible for a storage heater grant, the heating at your property would need to be one of the following:

The scheme rules place an emphasis on existing heating, so if this is the main heating at your property, you might have to make partial payment, with the installation still likely to be subsidised.

To be eligible for a free boiler grant or central heating installation, your existing heating needs to be one of the following:

The scheme rules place an emphasis on existing heating and if the property is eligible (not all are), the installation will be 100% free.

To be eligible for a roof or room in roof insulation grant, your existing heating needs to be one of the following:

Did you know that data shows that installing roof insulation can reduce heat loss by up to 25%? This not only decreases the amount of energy required to heat the home, thereby reducing energy bills, but also enhances overall home comfort by maintaining a more consistent indoor temperature.

The scheme rules place an emphasis on existing heating. Electric heated properties receive the highest funding for underfloor insulation. If your property is heated by a mains gas boiler or gas room heaters underfloor, insulation is usually funded when installed alongside a boiler (sometimes called a dual measure).

These grants are available to home owners, private renters and social housing tenants. Landlords can benefit from them too, but the tenant needs to apply for the grant and meet the income rules or receive benefits. The exception is boiler grants, as boiler grants are only available to pensioners who own their home.
 

4. How much money could pensioners save by upgrading heating systems or by installing insulation?

A lot of pensioners are suffering in cold homes around the UK because they can’t afford to maintain or upgrade their heating systems, such as keeping their old boiler running, or to install insulation to stay warm.

The great news is that, not only does the scheme provide for the upgrades most likely at no cost to pensioners (it’s the energy suppliers who pay), but receiving the upgrades will deliver more savings into the future. Best of all, combining multiple upgrades could result in even greater annual savings on bills, potentially totalling over £600 per year depending on the measures implemented.

The government replacement boiler grants and insulation grants are available for these upgrades, but not everyone knows how much they cost and what grants might be available.

It depends on a number of factors including:

– the size of the property

– the construction of the property

– existing heating at the property

– insulation at the property

When you submit your application for a grant, you’ll be given a rough estimate of savings that can be achieved. You can also check the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your property for average energy savings estimates. Installers are often very knowledgeable on what the impact of upgrades will be.

5. How much money could pensioners get if they apply for a grant?

The amount of money you could get depends on a few factors:

  • the size of your property
  • how well insulated it is
  • whether you have any heating already installed and, if you do, what type of heating it is.

Fully Funded Non-Condensing Boiler Upgrades- Grant Application Process

6. Why is it important to take advantage of these grants?

It’s important to take advantage of these grants as soon as you can as they won’t be around forever. If you miss the deadline, or if the rules change, there is no guarantee that you will get another opportunity to apply for them.

– The grant scheme is being administered by Ofgem on behalf of the government and has been designed to improve energy efficiency of homes in the UK and reduce carbon emissions.

– The scheme is due to run until 31 March 2026, but the funding rules can change at any time.

– There are no restrictions on the number of grants that you can apply for, or on how many times your home qualifies, but you can’t apply for the same measure twice. 

– The application process is really easy and takes less than a minute to see if you meet the eligibility criteria for these government grants. 

For heating questions or more information about the ECO scheme and how it applies to you, email us.

Don’t wait to apply for these grants as the rules can change at any time. There is currently over £4 billion up for grabs and, if you qualify, you could be eligible for thousands of pounds worth of free home improvements.

Save money by upgrading your heating system or installing insulation, which can help pay for a new appliance or cover winter expenses. Apply now.

See if you qualify today!

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