Is your home feeling a bit chilly, but your energy bills are increasing to new heights? It might be time to repair or replace your boiler. Thankfully, there are funds available to help you with the cost – you may qualify for a boiler grant from the Government’s Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme.
Our trusty boilers do a lot for us, each and every day. Each hot shower, warm bath, hygienic handwash, and bit of washing up is made possible by our boiler. That’s not to mention the toasty warm air emanating from our radiators in the cooler months! Without your boiler, your home would be uninhabitable. That’s why it’s so important to keep your boiler in top working order.
What is the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme?
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a British energy efficiency scheme that can help people like you replace your boiler. It has been implemented to reduce carbon emissions and help the environment. The ECO scheme is also designed to address and reduce fuel poverty.
If you qualify, you could receive a grant to replace your inefficient boiler with a more modern and effective one. The ECO scheme is administered by the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers. These are:
- British Gas
- EDF Energy
- Scottish Power
What is an ECO Boiler Grant?
Many people want to replace their older or failing boilers with a newer appliance, but they simply don’t have the extra funds to do so. That’s where boiler grants become very useful. Boiler grants are subsidies available to help homeowners replace their old boilers with new, more efficient models that are A-rated for energy efficiency.
In addition to helping protect the environment, boiler grants offer new boilers to low-income families at little or no cost. Not only do they receive the much-needed appliance without a big financial outlay, they then save loads of money on their utility bills.
These extra pennies can really add up. According to data from the Energy Savings Trust, an A-rated boiler can help the average household save around £200 per year. Boiler grants are non-repayable. That means that recipients will never be presented with a bill, and you won’t have to make any payments now or in the future.
Who Qualifies for an ECO Boiler Grant?
You could be eligible for an ECO Boiler Grant if you meet the following criteria:
- You are the homeowner of the property
- Your property is connected to a mains gas supply
- Your boiler is more than five years old
If you live in a council-owned property or privately rented home, you will not qualify for the Boiler Grant. Those who receive Pension Credit or Child Tax Credits automatically qualify (those households who earn less than £16,010 per year).
How to Apply for a Boiler Grant
It’s simple to apply for an ECO Boiler Grant. Call the Energy Saving Advice Service (0300 123 1234) to check your eligibility or get in touch with your energy provider.
What are Insulation Grants?
Of course, our boilers can work hard day and night, but if your home isn’t properly insulated, all of that heat goes (literally) out the window. Most homes built in the 20th century have a gap between the internal and external walls. To keep your heat inside, you also need to ensure that your walls, loft, and cavities are all properly insulated with mineral wool and foam. This measure won’t just keep you comfortable, it will save an average of £255 per year.
Thankfully, the Big Six also offer a number of insulation grants to help people in certain groups keep their homes warm and energy-efficient. If you receive universal credit, tax credits, pension credit, or income-based benefits, you may qualify.
What is the Green Homes Grant?
In England, homeowners and residential landlords could qualify for a Green Homes Grant, up to £10,000 to make energy-efficient home improvements (Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland have their own schemes). You can use this money to install low-carbon heating systems, double glazing on your windows, or other energy-saving measures. Even if you are not on benefits, you could still qualify for up to £5,000 per household, which can cover up to 2/3 of your home improvement.
What Are the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payment, and Cold Weather Payment?
Even if you don’t qualify for the Green Homes Grant or the ECO Boiler Grant, you might still be eligible for a number of other discounts. These include the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payment, and Cold Weather Payment. Receiving one of the discounts does not make you ineligible for the others.
- Warm Home Discount – If you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit or you’re on a low income, you could be eligible for the Warm Home Discount, paid directly to your supplier. For 2020/2021, you could qualify for up to £140 off your electricity bill.
- Cold Weather Payment – If you receive certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest, you could qualify for the Cold Weather Payment. You’ll receive a £25 payment for every seven-day period of cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.
- Winter Fuel Payment – You could get up to £300 for the Winter Fuel Payment if you were born on or before 5 October 1954, regardless of your income. The payment will be issued automatically if you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit). If you do not receive it automatically but were born before this date, you can make a claim here.
Everyone deserves a home with working heat and hot water. These payments, discounts, and the ECO boiler grant all help reduce inequalities while also protecting the planet by lowering emissions. Do you qualify?