Updated: Feb 1, 2022
In April 2022, the government will be implementing changes to their ECO scheme. If you’re a homeowner currently benefiting from the ECO3 scheme, or looking to benefit from the scheme in the future, here’s what you need to know about the changes and the new ECO4 scheme
What is the ECO scheme?
ECO is the Energy Company Obligation scheme that requires energy suppliers to improve energy efficiency in UK homes and to tackle fuel poverty by targeting homes that struggle to pay their heating bills. As a result, this helps to lower carbon emissions in the UK in order to meet carbon reduction targets. Energy suppliers will provide heating solutions that are more energy efficient in homes across England, Scotland and Wales. The scheme began in 2013, and since then has helped over 2.3 million homes lower their energy bills.
What is ECO4?
Since 2013, there have been three previous ECO schemes. We are currently in the ECO3 phase of the scheme which is due to end on the 31st of March 2022. This means ECO4 will take over with the following changes proposed:
– Changes to qualifying benefits – The government plans to remove a number of disability benefits from the scheme and add Housing Benefit and Pension Credit Savings Credit.
– Changes to the number of measures to be installed under Local Authority Flexible Energy – Suppliers can now provide up to 50% of their obligation through Local Authority Flexible Energy.
– Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) improvement requirements – The energy efficiency rating after the measures have been installed will need to meet new requirements. For example, houses at band F or G will need to be improved to at least band D.
– Boiler grants removed from the scheme – A large number of boiler grants will be removed from ECO4. Under ECO3 134,000 boilers were installed but under ECO4 it will be limited to only 5,000.
Who will this affect?
If you are under one of the qualifying benefits that are being removed from the ECO4 scheme, it’s a good idea to apply as soon as possible to receive your grant before ECO3 ends in April. This doesn’t include those that receive housing benefits alongside any of the following.
The benefits being removed are:
● 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
It’s also a good idea to apply soon if you have an inefficient boiler as most boiler grants are being removed from the scheme and very few boilers will qualify.
Are you a low income or vulnerable household looking for funding for heating upgrades? UK Energy Management (NE) Ltd specialise in supporting these households to get the funding they need to have a more energy-efficient home and lower their energy bills. For more information, visit our website.