Do you have a property that needs a central heating system? A first time central heating grant may be the answer to your prayers. A first-time central heating grant is available for properties that have never had central heating before where the home owner or tenant meets eligibility rules. This FAQ list answers all of your questions about central heating grants and will tell you everything that you need to know before applying.
This blog was updated in March 2023 to include updates from the latest phase of the Energy Company Obligation grant scheme called ECO4. This scheme requires properties to show an existing gas connection and gas meter that was installed prior to 31 March 2022. If the property wasn’t connected to mains gas or if they can’t evidence the gas connection the property is not eligible for mains gas central heating but could instead qualify for first time central heating with a heat pump or high heat retention storage heaters.
What types of first time central heating grants are available?
There are two main types of first time central heating grants available under the Government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) grant scheme:
- First time central heating (mains gas) – for properties that had a mains gas connection and gas meter installed prior to 31 March 2022
- First time central heating (heat pump) – for properties that didn’t have a gas line before the deadline or that aren’t connected to the mains gas network
There are also grants for insulation, electric storage heaters, heat pumps, solar, non-condensing boiler upgrades. Check eligibility using our free grant checker.
Is there a central heating grant scheme?
Yes. The UK Energy Company Obligation Scheme is a grant scheme that provides funding for energy-efficiency measures such as heating upgrades or insulation. To be eligible for a first time central heating system your property needs to have never had central heating before and you can get either mains gas central heating installed or a heat pump central heating system installed. If your home has had central heating previously you won’t be eligible for a full system but you might be eligible for other grants and you can check your eligibility here.
Would I qualify for the first time central heating scheme?
There are lots of ways to qualify for these grants. The easiest way to check if you are eligible is to use our free grant checker at https://energysavinggenie.co.uk/ECO4-Free-Grant-Checker/quiz-home.html
Do I get radiators with the first time central heating grant?
Yes. Radiators are included in a first time central heating grant and you’ll also get fitting, installation and warranties included in the service. The funding is provided by a government scheme called the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).
Do I need to be a homeowner to qualify for first time central heating grant?
No! You can be either a homeowner or a private tenant or social housing tenant, providing your household is eligible and you live in a home that meets the criteria. Landlords can get first time central heating grants too providing that their tenants are eligible. If you are not sure what this means you can use our free grant checker to see if you are eligible. We’ll show you if your home is eligible and how to apply too!
Are private tenants eligible for first time central heating grants?
Yes. If you are a tenant living in a rented property you can apply for a grant. Grants are only available at properties with an EPC rating of E, F or G and landlord permission is always required when completing the grant application process (the installer will arrange this and take care of all of the paperwork).
Are housing association tenants eligible for first time central heating grants?
Yes. If you live in a Housing Association you might be eligible for a grant for first time central heating. However, grants are only available on properties with Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E, F or G. If you don’t know the EPC rating for your property you can look it up on the EPC Register (England or Wales) or the Scottish EPC Register if you are in Scotland. You can also use our free grant checker as that also checks the EPC register.
What if I don’t have an EPC?
It isn’t a problem if your property doesn’t have an EPC as the installer will arrange the assessment as part of the application process. They advise not to obtain your own EPC as that can affect the application process.
How much could I get for a first time central heating grant?
The cost of installing central heating for the first time can vary and will depend on the type and size of the property you live in. It could cost anything between £2,300 to £5,500 to have it installed in your home. The grants are generally fully-funded if viable. You’ll find out what you are entitled to when your home meets the criteria. For more information on eligibility, use our free grant checker.
What is a first time central heating grant for?
The grant will be spent on things like fitting, installation and parts such as the boiler, pipes and radiators. The funding is paid directly to the installer by the energy company and comes with a range of warranties and industry standards that dictate how the central heating is installed. For example, the number of radiators, the type of piping used, the presence of thermostatic radiator valves.
Do I qualify for a grant for first time central heating?
You might be eligible if you’re on a low income or are getting certain benefits. Benefits that automatically qualify you for the grant with no income rules 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
If you receive one of these benefits , you are eligible for the grant and you don’t need to be currently claiming providing you had a successful claim that was above £0 to the property address within 12 months prior to installation completion.
Other ways to qualify: Child Benefit
Child Benefit is an eligible benefit but if Child Benefit is the only benefit you receive you also need maximum income thresholds. There’s more information about the income requirements for Child Benefit guide.
Other ways to qualify: Vulnerable and health-related eligibility
Other benefits that could mean you qualify (through either the vulnerable or health-related routes) are:
– Armed Forces Independence Payment
– Attendance Allowance
– Carer’s Allowance
– Constant Attendance Allowance
– Disability Living Allowance
– Industrial injuries disablement benefit
– Mobility supplement
– Personal independence payment
– Severe disablement allowance
– War Pension Mobility Supplement
A full list of the ways you can qualify are detailed in our 6 Ways to Qualify guide.
If I don’t claim benefits could I be eligible for a grant for first time central heating?
Yes! You might be able to get a central heating grant even if you don’t claim benefits. The main ways to qualify are:
- Household income is under £31,000 per year
- Vulnerable people live in the home
- Health-related conditions that are made worse by living in a cold home
The various ways to qualify are detailed in our 6 ways to qualify guide.
If mains gas central heating isn’t possible in my area can I still get a grant for first time central heating?
Yes! You can still get a grant for central heating but if your property didn’t have a gas connection and gas meter prior to 31 March 2022 you would need to look at heat pumps rather than mains gas central heating. Plus there’s loads of funding for insulation in off gas properties and they are usually fully-funded which means they’ll be nothing for you to pay. Just free upgrades that will save you heaps on your energy bills.
What if I don’t have a gas supply or gas meter at my property?
If you didn’t have a gas connection prior to 31 March 2022 you can still get a grant. Your options would include either first time central heating with a heat pump or high heat retention storage heater grant. These grants often come with insulation and sometimes solar PV.
What if I have a gas supply but I don’t have a gas meter at my property?
You need to show evidence of both the gas meter and connection in place prior to 31 March 2022 to be eligible for a gas central heating grant. If you don’t have evidence of this you can instead apply for heat pump central heating or storage heaters.
What if I have an electric heating system and can’t access mains gas?
There are grants for storage heaters or for first time central heating with a heat pump. Check your eligibility here.
How do I know if my property has a gas supply or gas meter?
If you don’t know whether your property has a gas supply or gas meter you can look it up on the Find My Supplier website at https://findmysupplier.energy/
What evidence can I produce to show my property had a gas meter and gas connection prior to 31 March 2022?
You can evidence the gas connection by providing:
- Gas meter installation paperwork
- Gas bills to the property dated prior to 31 March 2022
- Gas meter photos (sometimes they will have an installation date on a sticker on them)
What heating qualifies for first time central heating grants
If your home is heated by any of the following and has not previously had central heating you could qualify:
✓ Back boiler
✓ Bottled LPG heating
✓ Gas fire
✓ Gas room heaters
✓ Gas warm air systems (new for ECO4)
✓ Electric fan heaters
✓ Electric room heaters
✓ Electric storage heaters
✓ Electric underfloor or ceiling heating (not part of an electric boiler)
✓ Oil heaters
✓ Solid fossil fuel fires
✓ Solid fuel fires
✓ Wood or biomes heating
If your home doesn’t have radiators hopefully it will qualify!
How do I apply for a free first time central heating grant?
Okay that question is easy. Use our free grant checker to see if your property qualifies. If it does you will be connected with a registered installer with a contract for funding in your area. Check eligibility and apply here.
If you think that a central heating system might be the answer for you and your property, then we encourage you to check whether you are eligible. The application process is quick and easy and we recommend applying as soon as you can as the rules can change at any time. Our form asks all the important questions so you can see straightaway if you qualify.
Apply for a grant
Check eligibility for grants
Fill in the short form to see if you are eligible for Government grants.