With the Green Homes Grant (GHG) coming to an end 31st March 2022, remaining financial help for installing home insulation will come from the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme only, for those that are eligible.
Even if you are not within the bracket, it is still well worth looking into installing insulation in your home if you have not already. It is typically the quickest and easiest ways of reducing energy usage in the form of heat loss around your home, and could save you a surprising amount on your bills.
In some cases, you may even be able to install it yourself DIY-style. Have a read of our article here to learn more about installing insulation around your home.
ECO3 Will Become ECO4 1st April 2022
ECO was divided into phases, in order to improve targets and fine-tune the scheme. The current phase, ECO3, will come to an end 31st March 2022, with ECO4 taking over thereafter. ECO4 brings a number of changes to eligibility, measures and limitations of the scheme. In this article we discuss ECO4; for further details about ECO3, visit the ofgem website.
What is On Offer?
The aim of the ECO scheme is to reduce carbon emissions and address fuel poverty in the UK. It is not truly a grant, rather a responsibility of medium and large energy companies to reduce the cost of heating your home by installing energy efficiency measures. A list of obliged suppliers can be found here.
Under the scheme, obliged suppliers are assigned a target to work towards by ofgem, which is tracked and reported here. If you’re considering the ECO scheme, it may well be worth comparing companies to see who is truly working toward and meeting their targets.
The energy efficiency measures on offer include loft, cavity wall and solid wall insulation, but also boiler replacement (although extremely limited under ECO4), first time central heating (i.e. in properties there has been none previous) and storage heater replacement.
As ECO is not a typical grant, the type of measure, amount of funding and level of installation support is decided by the individual energy companies. For this reason, it is well worth shopping around to find which company will offer you the best deal.
Am I Eligible?
- Under ECO4, you are eligible if you receive any of the following benefits:
- Warm Home Discount
- Income-based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support (IS)
- Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
- Working Tax Credit (WTC)
- Child Tax Credits (CTC)
- Universal Credit (UC)
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit Savings Credit
- Note that there are thresholds for child benefit income, which will be available on the ofgem website from 1st April 2022
- If you are living in social housing with an Energy Performance Certificate of D, E, F or G, you may also be eligible
- You must own your home or have express permission from your landlord, in the form of a Private housing FTCH declaration and landlord permission – a template for which is available on the ofgem website
- Local authorities also have the ability to refer residents in their area to the scheme, setting their own eligibility criteria via Local Authority Flexible Energy rules (LA Flex)
How Can I Apply?
- Applications for ECO should be made directly to your chosen supplier
- Your supplier will guide you through the process if approved, in terms of the process and documentation they require
- Many templates for documentation can be found on the ofgem website
What Should I Be Aware Of?
It’s worth noting that ECO support can come from any obliged energy supplier – it does not have to be the energy company you are with. Green Homes Grant (GHG) Voucher Scheme funding and ECO funding cannot be used on the same energy efficiency measure, but can be used on different ones, for example of a GHG voucher was used for your loft insulation, you can still claim ECO support on your wall insulation. We also recommend reading through the full guidance for ECO on the ofgem website, before making your application.