Herefordshire County Council Flexible Energy Rules for Energy Company Obligation grants

Herefordshire County Council Flexible Energy (LA Flex)

Herefordshire County Council has a new initiative! Residents who are eligible for the ECO grant can apply to get the money that will help them with their installation or upgrade of heating and insulation in Herefordshire.

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

Local Authority Flexible Energy or LA Flex is a program for those who are living on low income and vulnerable to cold homes but don’t receive benefits. The Government has obligated energy suppliers to provide funding through the ECO, which helps these households that may need assistance with their bills due to high costs of fuel prices.

There’s relief in the air as they have committed to some measure of helping with our duty. These measures include improving home efficiency so people can live comfortably without wasting too much money on utilities, and also providing financial aid for those who need it via a program called Local Authority Flexible Program. LA Flex provides funds if someone needs them.

The Herefordshire County Council has published a statement of intent for the grant program. This post explains how you’re eligible under their guidelines and what kind of grants are available to residents in need!

2. What grants are available?

The types of grants available to residents living in the Herefordshire County Council area include:

3. Who is eligible for grants?

In fact, the grant will be there for all homeowners- those renting from a housing association and private renters alike. 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.

Herefordshire County Council

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

Criteria for Herefordshire County Council eligible households

1. Low-Income and High Cost

  • Households must have an annual income under the thresholds in the table AND 
  • an EPC rating of E, F, G to be eligible

 

2. Low-Income and Vulnerability

  • Households must have an annual income under the thresholds in the table AND 
  • aged over 65,
  • children under 5 and pregnant mothers
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Moderate to severe mental illness
  • Substance misusers
  • Dementia
  • Neurobiological and related diseases
  • Cancer
  • Limited mobility
  • Haemoglobinopathies
  • Severe learning disabilities
  • Autoimmune and immunodeficiency diseases

 

5. How much could you get?

The amount of the grant you are eligible for will depend on a range of factors. One consideration is how efficient your property’s heating system was before installing new equipment, and whether it qualifies under Ofgem rules which place an emphasis on existing or previous systems.

Other considerations include what type of wall materials were used to build your home as well as its size – such details help installers calculate lifetime savings based upon installation costs in order to determine how much funding they can get from available grants by local authorities. If that sounds like too many numbers, you are not alone!

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

Download your EPC

The grant is paid directly to the installer, so you don’t have to repay! The installer will quote costs in advance and explain them before proceeding with the installation. Once installed we can also provide funding information through our free no-obligation survey!

Herefordshire 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.