ECO4 Scheme Grants
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is now in its fourth iteration after launching in July 2022. Find out how our ECO grant experts can help you upgrade your home, fully funded by your energy provider.
The ECO4 scheme has entered the final part of an ongoing Government-backed scheme to support low-income households in upgrading their homes to become more energy efficient. The aim of this scheme is to improve the energy efficiency of UK households in order to lower their energy bills and also make our homes greener.
Below, we explain how you might be eligible to claim an ECO4 grant completely free of charge, how the ECO4 scheme works, and how The Tenants’ Voice expert panel of ECO4 specialists can help. If there are any questions we have not answered, please get in touch.
What is The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Scheme?
The Energy Company Obligation is a Government energy efficiency scheme launched in the UK which is designed to tackle fuel poverty and help reduce carbon emissions from inefficient homes.
The scheme has had four iterations, ECO1, ECO2, ECO3 with ECO4 being the final phase. ECO1 ran from January 2013 to March 2015.
The ECO scheme centres around placing a Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) on medium and large energy suppliers. Under the HHCRO, energy suppliers must implement measures to improve the ability of low-income, fuel-poor and vulnerable households to better heat their homes.
These measures include initiatives that result in reduced energy usage, such as installing insulation or upgrading heating systems. Its aim is to make large energy companies accountable for supporting income-restricted households.
Since its inception, the ECO scheme has helped over 2.3 million homes.
What is the ECO4 scheme?
Following on from ECO1, ECO2, and ECO3, ECO4 follows similar cost-saving measures that are being placed on the energy companies, with only certain households eligible. ECO4 measures were launched from 1st April 2022, and the scheme will run until 31st March 2026.
The scheme can help those who are:
- On a household income of £31,000 Gross or under, or;
- Referred by their doctor/energy provider or;
- Qualify through a specified benefit, see below
The grant funding means eligible households will not have to pay back any money if they are accepted for heating improvements. The improvements that are available on the ECO4 scheme if they are accepted for heating or any insulation measures include:
- Air-Source Heat Pump
- Solar PV
- Replacement Storage Heaters
- High Retention Storage Heaters
- Loft Insulation
- Room in Roof Insulation
- Cavity Wall Insulation
- Internal Wall Insulation
What are the eligible benefits in ECO4?
There are a number of qualifying benefits that meet the criteria for ECO4 grants.
- Child Benefit*
- Child Tax Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – Income Based
- Housing Benefit – new eligible benefit
- Income Support
- Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) – Income Based
- Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
- Pension Credit Savings Credit – new eligible benefit
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
*If Child Benefit is the only benefit you receive, you will also need to meet an income test (there are no income requirements if you have claimed any of the other benefits listed).
Are there benefits that have been removed from ECO3?
Yes, unfortunately there are a few benefits that have been taken off the eligiblity criteria list. Under ECO4, the benefits that are no longer eligible but were eligible under ECO3 include:
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- War Pensions Mobility Supplement
If you do claim one of these benefits you might still qualify for funding through a new ‘ECO4 Flex’ category that provides funding to vulnerable households and anyone with health conditions made worse by living in a cold home.
When do ECO4 grants become available?
The ECO4 grants began in July 2022, though heating improvements can be backdated to April 2022.
The ECO4 scheme is funded by energy companies, but it is delivered by registered installers. This means you will need to contact installers that cover your area and can install grant-approved improvements that your home is eligible.
Can I get ECO4 Grants if I don’t claim benefits?
Yes, there are many ways to qualify for ECO4 grants. Many people will qualify through qualifying benefits or child benefits, but many councils have flexible energy rules. Every council has been told to set its own rules within the criteria, so your eligiblity may vary depending on where you live.
The positive of this is that under ECO3, installers could only accept 10% of applications from the local council. With ECO4 being launched, installers can install 50% of applications, which means that many more people who don’t qualify through claiming benefits will be able to receive the grant.
How can I get ECO4 funding?
You can apply for ECO funding by applying online, either directly with a registered installer, or by using an organisation like ours who work with installers and understand the application process.
Applying for a grant can be a simple process, but it is vitally important you get all of the application process correct to avoid any problems further down the line. The panel of ECO4 experts at The Tenants’ Voice can assist you with your ECO4 funding application and we can get you an immediate indication regarding your eligibility.
How much money can I get from an energy efficiency grant?
Every ECO4 energy grant varies according to the type of heating or insulation grant that is suitable for your property. For example, if you are eligible for first-time central heating, the grants could be worth up to £7,000 to get the work done. If the grant shows you are eligible for external wall insulation, the grant could be worth up to £14,000 to complete the work.
Each grant can be multiplied by the amount of work done at any given time, meaning ECO4 grants can be worth thousands of pounds for home improvements.
The grant is paid directly to the installer who then uses the funding to pay for the installation, rather than going directly to the applicant.
How is ECO4 funded?
The Government scheme requires major energy suppliers to fund the ECO4 scheme from their massive profits. This means the large companies are required to enhance energy efficiency across UK homes in order to reduce the country’s carbon emissions and provide some much-needed savings from fuel.
How can The Tenants’ Voice Help?
Are you ready to discover whether you are eligible to apply for ECO4 grants. The Tenants’ Voice are able to help you through the process, step by step:
- First Step – We can help you discover whether you are eligible or not for the ECO4 scheme. You can use our online eligibility checker, completely free of charge.
- Second Step – Our ECO4 panel can then arrange a survey of the property by a qualified and certified surveyor. This consists of a 10-15 minute inspection of your home’s energy efficiency measures.
- Third Step – Our panel will then speak to approved installers and discuss the identified measures that can be implemented.
If you would like to find out if you are eligible for ECO4 grants, contact us today by filling out our eligibility checker below.
This article is provided as a guide. Any information should be used for research purposes and not as the base for taking legal action. The Tenants' Voice does not provide legal advice and our content does not constitute a client-solicitor relationship.
We advise all tenants to act respectfully with their landlords and letting agents and seek a peaceful resolution to problems with their rented property. For more information, explore the articles in our Rights and responsibilities category.
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