HELP WITH HOME HEATING - THE ECO4 SCHEME
Energy bills are going through the roof, so how to reduce the amount we use while staying warm, especially if we are on a low income? Replacing old, inefficient heating systems and improving home insulation are the best ways to do this, but they cost money to install. Fortunately for those on limited incomes, there is a government scheme, ECO4, that requires energy suppliers to contribute all or part of the costs of insulating homes and upgrading heating systems for those who are eligible. The scheme, which replaces a previous scheme called ECO3, is due to start in July 2022.
SO WHAT’S ON OFFER?
*Wall and loft insulation *First-time central heating
*Gas boiler replacement/upgrade *Electrical heating upgrade
Properties off the gas grid may be eligible for electric storage heaters or air source heat pump with photo-voltaic (solar) panels.
WHAT’S THE CATCH?
You must be a home owner or a tenant renting from a private landlord
The property you live in must have an energy performance rating of E, F or G (What’s this? See below)
Any improvement in insulation or heating system must be calculated to improve the rating significantly – from F or G to at least D, and from E to at least C
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
If you live in a property with an energy performance rating below D you may be eligible if you are in receipt of any of the following benefits:
*Universal Credit *Income Support *Child Tax Credit/Work Tax Credit
*Housing Benefit *Pension Credit *Pension Credit Savings Credit
*Income-based Job Support Allowance *Child Benefit depending on household income
*Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
HOW DO I APPLY?
You can apply to any large energy supplier, i.e. one that has 150,000 or more customers. It does not have to be your current supplier, so you can shop around for what best suits you. A list of companies is available at https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/grants or at https://www.theecoexperts.co.uk/blog/eco-4-scheme
If you don’t receive benefits you may still be able to qualify for assistance in certain circumstances; see overleaf.
WHAT IF I DON’T RECEIVE BENEFITS?
If you are not receiving benefits but have a household income of under £31,000 p.a. or your situation is one where you are at risk from living in a cold home, you may also be eligible for help with insulation and heating under a part of the scheme called LA FLEX, which is administered by local authorities such as Leicestershire County Council.
You can visit the website at https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk but it is currently out of date as it has not yet been updated from ECO3 to ECO4, although it should be by July 2022.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ECO4 AND LA FLEX?
To find out more about ECO4 assistance, go to one or more of the following:
or any major energy supplier’s website.
Energy Performance Rating is a measure of how energy efficient your house is, i.e. how much energy it needs to light and heat it. The most efficient properties are rated A and the least efficient G. The measure is recorded on an Energy Performance Certificate which home owners must produce when they sell their property. If you are unsure whether your home has an energy performance certificate, you can find out by visiting https://www.gov.uk/find-energy-certificate