East Northamptonshire Council Flexible Energy Rules for Energy Company Obligation grants

East Northamptonshire Council Flexible Energy (LA Flex)

East Northamptonshire Council has a flexible energy policy that allows residents to apply for Energy Company Obligation (ECO) grants.
A set of rules published by the council will allow you to install insulation or upgrade heating on your property- so if this sounds interesting, keep reading!

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

Local Authority Flexible Energy or LA Flex is a way for those who are living on the lowest income levels to access grants that may help with heating and insulation. Fuel poverty has become an increasingly harsh reality in East Northamptonshire as we face increasing energy bills during this pandemic, but there’s still hope!
 
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) provides funding to vulnerable and low-income households. East Northamptonshire Council has published their eligibility rules for the grant scheme in an easy read Statement of Intent that explains what you need to do if your household is eligible!

2. What grants are available?

The types of grants available to residents living in the East Northamptonshire 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, a housing association tenant or a private renter you could benefit from this scheme. You will need to receive a benefit or have a low income to be eligible for funding and the types of grants you can get depends on a range of factors. 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.

East Northamptonshire Council

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

Criteria for East Northamptonshire Council eligible households

Criteria for identifying households in fuel poverty

  • Households will be considered at risk of fuel poverty if they are determined to be on a low income and are likely to live in a home with high energy costs.
  • To be eligible for assistance the household income after housing costs (rent or mortgage payments) must fall within threshold levels reflecting household composition indicated in Table 1

Criteria for Identifying Households on low income and vulnerability to the cold

  • Cardiovascular disease (e.g. ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease)
  • Respiratory conditions including childhood asthma
  • Moderate to severe mental illness (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder)
  • Substance misusers
  • Dementia
  • Cancer
  • Limited mobility
  • Aged 65 and over
  • Child under the age of 5
  • Is pregnant
  • people who are terminally ill and people with suppressed immune systems (for example from cancer treatment or HIV).
  • people who move in and out of homelessness
  • people with addictions
  • people who have attended hospital due to a fall
  • recent immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees (if living in private tenure)

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

5. How much could you get?

The amount of your grant depends on a range of factors. One big consideration is the heating at your property as it will be used in calculating how much money can possibly save you over time with energy-efficient windows and doorways that are more durable too! The other key information, such as wall type or the number of bedrooms have an impact also so don’t hesitate to ask for help from an installer if needed when applying for this wonderful opportunity.

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

Download your EPC

The grant is paid directly to the Registered Installer and because it’s a one-time payment, there are no strings attached. Where contributions might be required towards installation costs, your installer will quote them in advance so that you can make an informed decision before proceeding with any work on-site – this way we know what kind of funding could potentially help us achieve our goal together! The free no-obligation survey also gives will give all information needed for the program!

Apply for a grant

Check eligibility for grants

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