Durham County Council Flexible Energy Rules for Energy Company Obligation grants

Durham County Council Flexible Energy (LA Flex)

Durham County Council is taking a proactive approach to helping residents save money and live more comfortably by providing grants for heating or insulation. Residents who are interested in installing insulation or upgrading their heating on the property can get up-to-date information about how they can apply for ECO grant funding. The council provides assistance with programs that help you make your home more comfortable, saving you energy costs while making it easier to stay warm during the winter months.

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

The LA Flex program was created to help people in the country who are at risk for fuel poverty but don’t receive benefits. The system has been made with these people and their needs in mind, making it easier and more affordable than ever before! You’ll be able to get your home heated up economically without sacrificing comfort – so take advantage of this opportunity today!

The government is obligated to power suppliers to provide funding for energy efficiency measures in homes like cavity wall insulation or loft insulation! Durham County Council has published their eligibility rules on the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) grant scheme which enables residents of Durham County to apply to this valuable opportunity.

2. What grants are available?

The types of grants available to residents living in the Durham County 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?

Homeowners, renters and people who are living in housing associations will find the program both comprehensive and helpful. The easiest way to see if you are eligible is to use our eligibility checker here.


eco scheme eligibility rules for pensioners


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.

Durham County Council

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

Criteria for Durham County Council eligible households

1. Option A – Low Income and in receipt of Benefits

  • Households in receipt of:
    Housing Benefit
    AND / OR
    Council Tax Reduction Benefit
    AND / OR
    Pension Savings Credit

2. Option B – Low Income and NOT in receipt of Benefits 

  • Households who are not in receipt of Benefits must have a Total Gross Household Income not exceeding 30,000 p.a. (Employed and/or Pensionable income)

3. Option C – Health Condition and NOT in receipt of Disability Benefits and Low Income 

  • Respiratory disease (COPD, asthma)
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Moderate to severe mental
  • Health conditions
  • Substance misusers
  • Dementia
  • Neurobiological and related diseases
  • Cancer
  • Limited mobility
  • Haemoglobinopathies
  • Severe learning disabilities
  • Autoimmune and immunodeficiency disease
  • People with disabilities


Elvet and Gilesgate
Neville's Cross
Esh and Witton Gilbert
Durham South
Framwellgate and Newton Hall
North Lodge
Chester-le-Street North
Chester-le-Street West Central
Chester-le-Street South
Chester-le-Street East
Trimdon and Thornley
Shotton and South Hetton
Bishop Middleham and Cornforth
Willington and Hunwick
Leadgate and Medomsley
Consett North
Delves Lane
Consett South
Craghead and South Moor
Annfield Plain
Burnopfield and Dipton
Barnard Castle East
Aycliffe East
Barnard Castle West
Bishop Auckland Town
Tow Law
West Auckland
Woodhouse Close
Shildon and Dene Valley
Aycliffe North and Middridge
Aycliffe West
Peterlee East
Peterlee West


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

5. How much could you get?

The grant you are eligible for is dependent on a number of factors, one being the heating in your property. The Ofgem rules place an emphasis on existing or previous heating which can determine how much money will be allotted to installers and give them more funding value. Choosing where you live could also affect whether there are any grants available nearby as they depend largely on what type of installation services providers exist near that area.

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

Download your EPC

With LA Flex, you won’t have to worry about whether or not your new home improvement project will turn into an unexpected expense down the road. Qualified contractors will install a heating insulation system and provide upfront and honest estimates of any additional expenses you need in order for everything to go smoothly.

Durham County 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.