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The ECO Schemes and Grants Complete Guide 

Saving money on home heating is a top priority for everyone. Fortunately, the UK government launched the Energy Company Obligation Scheme, also known as the ECO scheme, in 2013. The ECO scheme ensures that households nationwide benefit from affordable and energy-efficient solutions. The ECO scheme will expand in 2024, making more people eligible. Furthermore, with new EPC regulations set to take effect in 2025, upgrading an energy-inefficient property could benefit homeowners. If you’re wondering who qualifies for the ECO scheme, keep reading to learn more.

What is the Energy Company Obligation Scheme?

The Energy Company Obligation Scheme is a £4 billion energy efficiency program launched by the government of the UK back in 2013. The scheme aims to provide grants to the most vulnerable homes in the UK to fight fuel poverty and reduce the country’s carbon emissions. The program obligates energy suppliers to offer energy-saving grants to these homes to decrease their carbon footprint. Non-compliance with these targets will result in a considerable fine from the government. The ECO scheme has successfully achieved its objectives, with an astounding £4 billion already spent to avoid such penalties. Through the ECO scheme, some of the UK’s most energy-inefficient homes can have insulation, heat pumps, solar panels, or upgraded boilers installed at a minimal or no cost.

Who is Eligible for ECO Funding?

To qualify for ECO4 funding, you must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or below and receive at least one government benefit. Eligibility for Child Benefit varies based on your living situation. You can appeal to your Local Authority for ECO4 Flex if you have a total household income of less than £31,000 per annum, are vulnerable, or have health issues exacerbated by living in a cold home. For ECO Plus, you are eligible for a Great British Insulation Scheme grant if your EPC rating is D or below, with no government benefit required.

How Does ECO4 Work?

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme mandates energy suppliers registered under the scheme to financially contribute towards installing energy-efficient measures in eligible UK households. As a customer, you can receive these measures for free or with a small contribution. The ECO4 scheme offers various measures, including loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation, heating upgrades, and solar panels.

Grants For Energy Efficiency Upgrades

The UK government is taking steps to assist homeowners in achieving the goal of 100 per cent carbon neutrality through various initiatives, such as the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. Under the ECO4 program, households can apply for grants to support home upgrades that increase energy efficiency. The ECO scheme operates on the principle that energy suppliers should install measures to reduce energy bills. Large energy distribution companies can fund eligible UK households to install energy-efficient measures as part of the Energy Company Obligation scheme.

What is the ECO4 grant?

The UK government has launched ECO4, the fourth stage of its Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, which aims to support low-income households struggling to upgrade their homes and heating systems. This grant is part of the government’s Sustainable Warmth Strategy. It has been extended for an additional four years until March 2026. The main objective of this initiative is to provide financial assistance to people in need so that they can power their homes and improve the energy efficiency of their properties. The government believes this scheme can help vulnerable households and contribute towards the country’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

What Are the Eligibility Criteria for Energy Efficiency Grants In The UK?

The ECO4 scheme is designed to assist households struggling with high fuel poverty. It aims to improve energy efficiency and reduce monthly energy costs. The eligibility criteria for the ECO4 scheme cover low-income households. To qualify for the ECO4 scheme, the person must meet the following requirements:

They must be a homeowner, social housing tenant, or a private tenant.

They must receive at least one qualifying benefit, such as child tax credit, pension credit, universal credit, income-based job seekers allowance, and working tax credit.

The energy company must deem the home “in fuel poverty”.

The house should have an EPC rating of E, F, or G.

Difference Between ECO4 and The Great British Insulation Scheme

Two government energy-efficiency schemes are running: ECO4 and The Great British Insulation Scheme. ECO4 is aimed at low-income homes and requires certain government benefits and energy-inefficient homes. The Great British Insulation Scheme is for those ineligible for ECO4 but living in inefficient homes.

ECO Scheme Property Requirements

Homeowners and tenants with Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings of D, E, F, or G can receive financial grants to improve their home’s energy efficiency through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. Funding may be limited for D-rated properties. Tenants can apply if their property has an EPC rating of E, F, or G, while social housing may also be eligible for grants if they have a D EPC rating but only for ‘innovation’ measures. The ECO scheme aims to reduce carbon footprint, lower energy bills, and improve living conditions.

How to Apply for ECO Funding

Before applying for an ECO grant, it’s essential to check if you are eligible. Once you have confirmed your eligibility, the ECO grant provider will help you find an installer in your region who can upgrade your property. 

The installer will survey your property to determine the most effective ECO measures. They will then discuss the cost of the work and possible start dates with you. 
Congratulations on finishing the work! Your property’s EPC rating has improved and is now more energy-efficient.

Who are the Obligated Suppliers?

Energy suppliers obliged by the government in the Energy Company Obligation scheme are below:

  • British Gas
  • E.ON Energy (including Npower)
  • Ecotricity
  • Octopus Energy
  • Scottish Power
  • Shell Energy (including First Utility and previously Hudson)
  • E (Gas & Electricity) Limited
  • OVO (including SSE Energy Services)
  • EDF
  • The Co-operative Energy
  • Outfox the Market
  • Utilita Energy Ltd
  • The Utility Warehouse
  • So Energy (including ESB Energy)
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