Grants for Heating and Insulation: Eligible Benefits in ECO4

Grants for Heating and Insulation: Eligible Benefits in ECO4

Overview

  1. What is the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme?
  2. ECO3 vs ECO4 – What’s Changed?
  3. ECO4 Scheme Eligibility: Explore Qualifying Benefits
  4. What benefits were part of ECO3 but not ECO4?
  5. What income limits are there if I only claim Child Benefit under ECO4 rules?
  6. How is the ECO scheme delivered?
  7. Can I still get heating and insulation grants under the new ECO4 rules if I don’t claim benefits?
  8. How do I know if I’m eligible for a grant?
  9. Frequently Asked Questions

What is the eco grant scheme?

1. What is the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) Scheme?

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme is a government initiative that helps people improve the energy efficiency of their homes, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions, through grants for heating and insulation upgrades. It targets low-income or vulnerable households, where the property’s EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating is D, E, F or G. Once you’ve been assessed as eligible, ECO4 grants can cover measures such as loft or roof insulation and cavity wall insulation, along with energy-efficient measures to reduce heating costs.

The eco grant scheme illustrated

2. ECO3 vs ECO4 – What’s Changed?

The previous scheme was called ECO3 and it finished at the end of June in 2022. The new scheme, ECO4, started on 27 July 2022 and will run until 31 March 2026.

At the start of the current scheme, the Government removed a number of benefits from the scheme, along with other significant changes to the rules. It’s important for you to know what ECO4 qualifying benefits are part of the current scheme and how they are different from those which applied in the ECO3 scheme. We don’t want anyone missing out if they’re eligible.

3. ECO4 Scheme Eligibility: Explore Qualifying Benefits

ECO4 Qualifying Benefits
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

*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 benefits were part of ECO3 but not ECO4?

Under ECO4, the benefits that are no longer eligible 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

The good news is that if you do claim one of these benefits you might still qualify for funding through a new ‘ECO4 Flex’ category that provides funding to vulnerable households and anyone with health conditions made worse by living in a cold home, such as a respiratory condition.

5. 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:

Child Benefit Eligibility ECO4

Child Income Benefit Thresholds – Figures updated to Ofgem’s Administration Consultation released on 13 June 2022

6. How is the ECO scheme delivered?

While the ECO scheme is funded by energy companies, it’s delivered by registered installers. This requires you connect with installers who cover your area and who 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 it’s best to use a supplier who works with multiple reputable installers to save time.

Most installers are accepting applications and surveying eligible residences so that they can submit applications to energy suppliers and give their customers respite from high energy bills. As part of the process, you’ll be required to provide all relevant documents such as proof of ownership or tenancy, income statements, and any benefit entitlements.

It only takes a few minutes to check your eligibility and connect with installers using our grant checker.

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

Yes! There are three methods of qualification for these grants. While the most common method is being in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits, allowances also apply:

  • by receiving Child Benefits (providing you meet income rules).
  • 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 up to 25% of applications through council applications. However, with ECO4, installers can submit 50% of applications, resulting in even more households that don’t claim benefits being able to receive grants for upgrading.

8. How do I know if I’m eligible for a grant?

The easiest way to determine your eligibility is to use our website’s energy grant checker. The form takes a few minutes to complete, and you’ll receive an immediate calculation of eligibility. Check if you qualify or email us with your question.

Case study:

Jill received a fully funded grant under the ECO scheme for:

  • first time central heating
  • solar PV
  • internal wall insulation
  • flat roof insulation

She’s now saving a whopping £2,311.80 on annual energy bills, with £0 out of pocket costs. Additionally, the property’s EPC rating has been boosted from Low G to High B.

ECO4 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 like us which 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.

How much grant money can I receive?

The amount of money you can access from an ECO4 grant varies according to the type of heating or insulation grant that is suitable for your home.

  • For example, if you are eligible for heating and insulation, grants could be worth more than £20,000.
  • 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).

Who administers the 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 ECO4 and it runs until March 2026 (or whenever the obligation is met).

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.

Read the latest report about how UK energy suppliers are performing against their ECO4 targets and what funding has already been allocated.

Is the ECO scheme free?

For some applicants, the grants are completely free. However, for some properties there could be contributions required towards the cost of upgrades. The easiest way to see which grants you may be eligible for is by using our online grant checker.

Is the Green Homes Grant still available?

Unfortunately, the Green Homes Grant ended in March 2021 for new applications. The main alternative to the Green Homes Grant is the new Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). This started in April 2022 and provides £7,500 for air source heat pumps and £7,500 for ground source heat pumps. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is available to anyone regardless of whether you claim benefits. Learn more about the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

Is ECO4 available in Scotland?

Yes! ECO4 grants are available in England, Scotland and Wales.