ECO grants, which replaced the Warm Frontscheme in 2013 are funded by the UK’s biggest energy companies to give vulnerable and low-income people access to replacement boilers. Households in receipt of Pension Credit and Child Tax Credit* automatically qualify for a free boiler.
Eligibility for a free boiler grant will depend on several factors. Firstly, a permanent resident within the property needs to be in receipt of a means-tested benefit, such as:
- Child tax credit
- Working tax credit
- Pension credit
- Job seekers allowance
- Universal credit
- Employment and support allowanc
Additional qualifying criteria
There are additional criteria for each of the above; the most important of which is that the total household income amongst all working-age residents must not exceed £16,010. This figure was decided by the government as being low enough to qualify for funding assistance.
Secondly, the property must of a size to generate sufficient savings from installing such measures. Unfortunately, the resulting carbon savings generated from upgrading a boiler within a flat are not deemed significant enough to justify the funding required to cover such work.
Lastly, there must be an existing low-efficiency boiler within the property. All boilers are rated by their energy efficiency. Most modern units will work at around 90% efficiency (only losing 10% output when converting fuel to heat). A boiler installed around 10 years ago will most likely be around 65-80% efficient. So, by upgrading this old boiler to a new one, the carbon savings will be significant enough to warrant the cost and therefore will qualify under the free boiler scheme.
As part of the 2013 Autumn Statement, funding for the free boiler scheme was cut as part of an agreement that utility companies reduce their customer’s fuel bills by £50. This has made it harder to find installers with funding available, particularly as most of the big 6 utility companies have already met their targets for 2014/15. In 2016, we expect this trend to continue, however, it is still possible to receive a free boiler grant and we can help you find approved installers in your area to arrange a survey.
If you do not qualify for a grant you can compare quotes for a new boiler in order to get the best possible price.