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Eco Scheme

ECO is short for Energy Company Obligation. The ECO Scheme, which started in 2013, was introduced by the Government to help householders who can’t afford to heat their homes adequately. To achieve this, boiler grants were offered to householders who receive State Benefits so that they can replace faulty and inefficient gas central heating boilers with new energy efficient boilers.

 

By making your home more energy efficient, your energy bill will fall and carbon emissions from your home will also be reduced. In August 2016, the ECO Scheme was extended to include the replacement of oil boilers, LPG boilers, solid fuel boilers and electric storage heaters.

 

There are three parts to the Energy Company Obligation but the one which provides grants for storage heaters is the Affordable Warmth Scheme.

 

Across England, Scotland and Wales we have helped over 12,500 householders apply for their Affordable Warmth Scheme Heating Grant – Apply for YOURS today!

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ECO Scheme FAQs

How do I apply for a Storage Heater Grant?

 

Simply complete the form on this page and we’ll telephone you to confirm the information you have provided, explain how the ECO Scheme works and answer any questions you have.

 

We will then arrange to survey your heating system and prepare an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) for your home. You may need to let your surveyor take copies of your current State Benefit award letters.

 

We will complete the paperwork for your application and present it to the ECO Funding provider who will check that you qualify. Once your ECO Scheme Grant has been approved we will contact you to arrange the installation by qualified electricians.

 

What are the ECO Scheme qualifying criteria for a Storage Heater Grant?

 

There are three aspects to Storage Heater Grant qualifying criteria and you must satisfy all three of these.  They refer to YOUR HOME, YOUR STATE BENEFITS and your STORAGE HEATERS.

 

1.Your Home

 

You must be either:

 

A. A home owner.

 

OR

 

B. A tenant in a privately owned property. Social housing and Housing Association properties are excluded from the Affordable Warmth Scheme.

 

2.Your State Benefits

 

You must receive at least ONE of the following benefits A, B, C, D or E AND meet any other criteria associated with it:

 

A. Pension Credit

You receive Pension Credit, either Guaranteed Credit or Savings Credit.  Ordinary state pension does not qualify on its own.

 

OR

 

B. Child Tax Credit

You receive Child Tax Credit AND your total household income is below £16,010.  Your household income is shown on your current Tax Credit award letter and is the figure used to calculate how much Child Tax Credit you receive.

 

OR

 

C. Income Based State Benefits

You receive one of the following income based state benefits:

 

  • Income Based Job Seeker’s Allowance (Contribution Based JSA does not qualify)

  • Income Related Employment & Support Allowance (Contribution Based ESA does not qualify)

  • Income Support (IS)

 

AND at least one from the following list also applies:

 

  • You receive Disabled Child Premium (this is an add-on to JSA or IS and is shown on your award letter in the benefit breakdown)

  • You have parental responsibility for a child under 16 who lives with you

  • You have parental responsibility for a child aged 16 or over but under 20, who lives with you and is in full-time education (not in higher education, such as at a university)

  • You receive Pension Premium, either Higher or Enhanced. (These are add-ons to Income Support and are shown on your award letter in the benefit breakdown)

  • You receive Child Tax Credit which includes a Disability or Severe Disability element

  • You receive a Disability Premium payment, either Higher or Enhanced.  (These are add-ons to JSA, ESA or IS and are on your award letter in the benefit breakdown.  They are normally indicated on the form with the comment ‘you are sick / disabled’)

  • You receive an additional amount for Work Related Activity or Support Component (this applies to Income Related Employment & Support Allowance only)

 

OR

 

D. Working Tax Credit

You receive Working Tax Credit AND your total household income is below £16,010.  Your household income is shown on your current Tax Credit award letter and is the figure used to calculate how much Working Tax Credit you receive.

 

AND at least one from this following list also applies:

 

• You have parental responsibility for a child under 16 who lives with you

 

• You have parental responsibility for a child aged 16 or over but under 20, who lives with you and is in full-time education (not in higher education, such as at a university).

 

• You receive the Disabled Worker Element or Severe Disability Element payment

 

• You are aged 60 or over

 

OR

 

E. Universal Credit

You receive Universal Credit with a monthly earned income of £1,250 or less in any assessment period within the previous 12 months.

 

AND at least one from the following list also applies:

 

  • You have parental responsibility for a child under 16 who lives with you

  • You have parental responsibility for a child aged 16 or over but under 20, who lives with you and is in full-time education (not in higher education, such as at a university)

  • You receive an additional amount for Work Related Activity or Support Component

  • You receive Disability Living Allowance payment (DLA)

  • You receive a Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

 

State Benefits and Allowances which are NOT part of Storage Heater Grant qualifying criteria:

 

  • Basic State Pension

  • DLA (Disability Living Allowance) on its own

  • PIP (Personal Independence Payment) on its own

  • Carer’s Allowance

  • Attendance Allowance

  • Motability Support

  • Housing Benefit

  • Contribution-related Employment & Support Allowance

  • Contribution-based Job Seeker’s Allowance

  • Child Benefit

 

3.Your Electric Storage Heaters

 

You must have at least one electric storage heater installed in your home which is faulty.

 

However, your application will fail if you also have a ‘wet’ central heating system with radiators. That is, one which has a boiler to heat water which is pumped around pipework to radiators in your home.

 

How long will the ECO Scheme run for?

 

The Energy Company Obligation started early in 2013 and although it was initially scheduled to run to March 2015, it was extended to March 2017.

 

The Government has not announced what will happen to the ECO Scheme after March 2017. The ECO Scheme could end altogether, be extended in a different format or be replaced completely. It is therefore important that if you think you may qualify for a storage heater grant or a boiler grant, you apply immediately; before ECO funding is withdrawn completely or changes to exclude householders in your situation.

 

Where does ECO Scheme funding come from?

 

The ECO Scheme placed a legal obligation on large energy companies to provide funding for storage heater grants and boiler grants. These energy companies include British Gas, EDF, E-on, nPower, Scottish & Southern Energy and Scottish Power. Each energy company has a target to reach for the storage heater grants they offer and if they fail to hit these targets, they can be fined.

 

Of course, the money actually comes from their customers in the form of a levy on every householder’s energy bill. The Government has instructed energy companies to reduce this levy in order to keep energy bills down but this in turn reduces ECO funding. Consequently, householders who qualify for a storage heater grant or a boiler grant may have to contribute to the cost of upgrading their heating system.

Which areas does the ECO Scheme operate in?

 

The ECO Scheme for boiler grants and storage heater grants operates in England, Scotland and Wales.

 

Northern Ireland has its own scheme called Warm Home Grants.

 

Does the ECO Scheme offer Free Boilers and Free Storage Heaters?

 

When the ECO Scheme was first introduced, the amount of individual boiler grants being offered was so high that virtually everyone who qualified received a free boiler. However, the Government came under pressure to keep household energy bills down so the levies imposed by energy companies was reduced. This in turn reduced the amount of money available for boiler grants.

 

The situation now (September 2016) is that the amount of your storage heater grant is based on how much you can save on your energy bills by having new, energy efficient storage heaters installed. The higher your Long Term Savings, the higher your storage heater grant. Your storage heater grant can only be calculated after an EPC has been prepared for your home, but this is free of charge.

 

Consequently, although some households may qualify for free storage heaters or a free boiler, other may have to contribute to the cost of installation. Remember though, modern storage heaters are up to 30% more energy efficient than old ones, so you should save money in the long term.

 

Which products are ECO Grants available for?

 

There are three parts to the Energy Company Obligation, all dealing with a separate group of potential qualifying applicants and different home heating and insulation products.

 

1. Home Heating Carbon Reduction Obligation (HHCRO)

This is more commonly referred to as the Affordable Warmth Obligation. HHCRO provides funding for storage heater grants and boiler grants to private householders who receive certain state benefits.

 

2. Carbon Savings Community Obligation (CSCO)

CSCO provides funding to install loft insulation and cavity wall insulation for households who live in certain post code areas. These post code areas are deemed to be areas where there is a high proportion of low income families who are more likely to suffer from fuel poverty.

 

3. Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO)

CERO provides funding to install loft insulation and cavity wall insulation for households who live outside CSCO post code areas. Although insulation grants are available under CERO, households are more likely to be asked to contribute towards the cost of their insulation.

 

The ECO Scheme provides funding for storage heater grants

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You must receive state benefits to qualify for a storage heater grant