Grants for Heating and Insulation: Eligible Benefits in ECO4

Grants for Heating and Insulation: Eligible Benefits in ECO4

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme is a government initiative that helps people improve the energy efficiency of their homes. It provides generous heating and insulation grants and aims to reduce fuel poverty and carbon emissions.

The current phase of the scheme is called ECO3 and it finishes at the end of March. The new phase, ECO4, starts on 1 April 2022. The Government is removing a number of disability benefits from the scheme, and as the eligible benefits in ECO4 are different to ECO3 it is worth seeing if you should apply now before the rules change!

1. What is the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme?

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme is a government initiative that helps people improve the energy efficiency of their homes. It targets low-income or vulnerable households and aims to reduce energy bills and carbon emissions. There are grants for heating and insulation available, and the scheme is open to people who claim benefits or are considered eligible under council flexible energy rules.

2. What is ECO3 and ECO4?

ECO3 is the third and current phase of the Energy Company Obligation scheme and it ends on 31 March 2022. The next and final stage is ECO4 and will run from 1 April 2022 until March 2026. At the time of writing, full details of the scheme haven’t been finalised. However, there are a number of significant changes being proposed to the list of eligible benefits.

3. What are the eligible benefits in ECO3?

Under ECO3, the qualifying benefits for grants are:

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child Benefit*
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – Income Based
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) – Income Based
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • War Pensions Mobility Supplement
  • Working Tax Credit

 

You don’t need to be currently claiming these benefits, you will also qualify if you have had a successful claim within 18 months of the grant completion (usually when the installation takes place).

*If Child Benefit is the only benefit you receive, you will also need to meet an income test (there are no income requirements if you have claimed any of the other benefits listed).

4. What are the eligible benefits in ECO4?

Under ECO4, the qualifying benefits for grants are expected to be:

  • Child Benefit*
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – Income Based
  • Housing Benefit – new eligible benefit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) – Income Based
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Pension Credit Savings Credit – new eligible benefit
  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

s

*If Child Benefit is the only benefit you receive, you will also need to meet an income test (there are no income requirements if you have claimed any of the other benefits listed).

5. Which benefits were included in ECO3 that are no longer in ECO4?

Under ECO4, the benefits that are no longer eligible (subject to confirmation by BEIS) but were eligible under ECO3 include:

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • War Pensions Mobility Supplement

s

Therefore, for anyone who claims one of these benefits and not any of the other benefits, you will need to apply as soon as possible

6. What income limits are there if I only claim Child Benefit under ECO4 rules?

The Child Benefit income thresholds (this is the maximum amount that the household can earn in the financial year in order to qualify) if you only receive Child Benefit are as follows:

  • A single adult with 1 child: £19,800
  • A single adult with 2 children: £24,600
  • A single adult with 3 children: £29,400
  • A single adult with 4 or more children: £34,200
  • Couple with 1 child: £27,300
  • Couple with 2 children: £32,100
  • Single with 3 children: £36,900
  • Single with 4 or more children: £31,700

7. What is the ECO3 transition period?

The ECO3 transition period is the time between the ECO3 scheme finishing and the new ECO4 scheme starting. Originally, the ECO4 scheme was due to start on 1 April 2022, but the Government has announced a transition period of three months from 1 April 2022 until 30 June 2022. At the time of writing, it is expected that the ECO3 transition period will not include ECO3 benefits that are being removed from the scheme, but it will instead use the same scoring. We are expecting details to be announced in March.

8. When do ECO4 grants become available?

The Government has committed to ECO4 (thankfully!) and it is due to start on the planned date of April 2022 (with some modifications in the transition period).

While the ECO scheme is funded by energy companies, it is delivered by registered installers. This requires you to make sure you connect with installers that cover your area and can install grants that your home is eligible for. It can be tricky finding the right installer that has capacity for the grants required, so if you can use a provider that works with multiple reputable installers it can save time making individual enquiries.

Most installers are accepting applications and surveying eligible properties so that they can submit applications and give their customers respite from high energy bills. You can check your eligibility and connect with installers in your area at https://energysavinggenie.co.uk/apply-for-grants/

9. Can I still get heating and insulation grants under the new ECO4 rules if I don’t claim benefits?

Yes! There are three main ways to qualify for these grants. The most common is being in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits. The second way to qualify is through receiving Child benefits (providing you meet income rules). The third way to qualify, if you don’t claim benefits, is through eligibility for your council’s local authority flexible energy rules. Every Council has been tasked with setting its own rules, so your eligibility may vary depending on where you live.

During ECO3, installers could only accept 10% of applications through council applications. However, with ECO4 installers can submit 50% of applications, which will result in more people that don’t claim benefits being able to receive grants. The simplest approach to determine eligibility via one of these options is to use our online grant eligibility checker at https://energysavinggenie.co.uk/apply-for-grants/

10. How do you know if you’re eligible for a grant, and how do you apply?

The easiest way to determine your eligibility is to use our energy grant checker. The form takes a few minutes to complete, and you’ll receive an immediate indication of eligibility. Check if you are eligible at https://energysavinggenie.co.uk/apply-for-grants/

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get ECO funding?

You can get ECO funding by applying online, either directly with a registered installer, or by using an organisation such as ours that works with multiple installers. Applying for a grant is usually a simple process. You will be asked a few questions to see if you and the property meet the scheme eligibility criteria. Grants are available to help with the cost of insulation, heating and energy efficiency measures, and usually you can get an immediate indication regarding your eligibility.

How much money can I get from an energy efficiency grant?

The amount of money you can access from an energy efficiency grant varies according to the type of heating or insulation grant that is suitable for your home. For example, if you are eligible for first time central heating the grants can be worth up to £7000, and grants for external wall insulation can be worth up to £14,000. The grant amount can be more if there are multiple measures installed at once, resulting in thousands of pounds worth of home improvements. The grant is paid directly to the installer who then uses the funding to pay for the installation (rather than the grant being paid to the applicant).

What is the government’s ECO scheme?

The government’s ECO scheme is a policy designed to improve the energy efficiency of homes in the United Kingdom. The policy is delivered through the Energy Company Obligations (ECO) scheme by placing regulatory obligations on energy companies. The ECO programme has different phases, each with its own set of eligibility criteria for households. The current phase is called ECO3 and it runs until 31 March 2022. The next phase is called ECO4 and runs from 1 April 2022 until March 2026.

Is ECO funding still available?

The short answer is yes, ECO funding is still available. The long answer is that the eligibility criteria for receiving funding changes from one phase of ECO to the next, and the rules around which benefits are accepted as proof of need also change.

Is the ECO scheme free?

For some applicants the grants are completely free and don’t require any contributions. However, for some properties there could be contributions required towards the cost. The easiest way to see which grants you can may be eligible for is by using an online grant checker like ours at https://energysavinggenie.co.uk/apply-for-grants/

Is the Green Homes Grant still available?

Unfortunately the Green Homes Grant is no longer available as it finished in March 2021 for new applications. The main alternative to the Green Homes Grant is the new Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). This starts in April 2022 and provides £5,000 for Air Source Heat Pumps and £6,000 for Ground Source heat Pumps. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is available to anyone regardless of whether you claim benefits. There is more information at https://energysavinggenie.co.uk/boiler-upgrade-scheme-grant/

Is ECO4 available in Scotland?

Unfortunately we don’t know the answer to that yet! The Scottish Government hasn’t confirmed whether they’ll be supporting the scheme.

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme is a government initiative that helps people in the UK who are struggling to pay their energy bills. It does this by providing grants for insulation, heating, and other home improvements.

The rules for the scheme are changing, and some people will be better off under ECO3 rules, whilst others would be better to apply under ECO4.

You can use our energy grant checker to see if you are eligible for a grant under both phases of the scheme. The form takes a few minutes to complete, and you’ll receive an immediate indication of eligibility.

Check now at: www.energysavinggenie.co.uk/apply-for-grants/