In April of this year, the ECO4 scheme replaced ECO3 and is a continuation of the government-backed initiative to support low-income households by supplying inexpensive, energy-efficient heating upgrades and insulation. Everyone deserves to be warm without worrying about the cost; energy efficiency is key to running a cheaper home to heat and makes for a more comfortable living environment, whatever the income. The ECO4 government grant means that vulnerable individuals and low-income households don’t have to pay for heating upgrades, avoiding fuel poverty and saving money on bills. Read on to find out if you’re eligible, what heating upgrades you might be entitled to, and how UK Energy Management can help.
Am I Eligible?
Since ECO3, disability benefits no longer make you eligible, with the new criteria being:
● Income based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
● Income related Employment & Support Allowance
● (ESA) Income Support (IS)
● Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
● Working Tax Credit (WTC)
● Child Tax Credits (CTC)
● Universal Credit (UC)
● Housing Benefit
● Pension Credit Savings Credit
● Child Benefit
The ECO4 scheme aims to improve the efficiency of E, F, and G property bands, support a wide range of low-income households, and combat climate change. If you’re still unsure whether you fit the criteria, contact us to check your eligibility.
What Is Flexibility Eligibility?
The Local Authority Flexible Eligibility (also known as LA Flex) is a new part of the ECO4 government grant. It allows councils to widen the eligibility criteria of the scheme, allowing them to help more households within the local area. LA Flex was established in order to ensure the government has entirely met their commitment to tackling fuel poverty.
For LA Flex to work, councils must submit a statement of intent with revised eligibility criteria, whilst local energy suppliers help identify households that need improvement in energy efficiency. UK Energy Management can also help councils get this helpful and dynamic scheme underway. This means that the following can also be eligible for support:
● Private tenants and homeowners living in fuel poverty
● Vulnerable individuals (i.e. those with weakened immune systems),
● Those living in a property adjacent to one that meets the criteria
What Does ECO4 Funding Entitle Me To?
If you’re eligible for the ECO4 government grant, there is an array of heating upgrades and insulation solutions you are entitled to.
With energy prices at their current height, outdated radiators and heaters can make bills incredibly expensive. A high heat-retention electric storage heater can be an excellent solution to this problem, saving you money in its efficient application of energy. The electric heating options at UK Energy Management boast speedy fan-assisted temperature control and are incredibly energy-efficient. Not only this, but it is cool to the touch, ensuring you can’t burn yourself on the heater, whilst also being a quiet, small, and easily programmable device. The device even boasts climate auto-adjustment, which ensures heat isn’t wasted by turning on in off-peak hours, taking advantage of cheaper, off-peak tariffs, and saving extra money on your electricity bills.
Gas prices usually skyrocket because of inefficient boilers, and you can save up to 30% on bills with an A-rated boiler whilst lessening the effects of future price increases. Boilers are reliable and effective sources of heat, warming homes evenly and comfortably. However, they suffer from very high upfront costs, making the ability to get a world-leading gas boiler for free through an ECO4 government grant an excellent opportunity.
Cavity Wall Insulation
Cavity walls are made up of two layers with a gap in between them, a common feature of homes built after the 1920s, and the gap (or ‘cavity’) in these walls allows for heat to escape easily. To counteract this issue, they can be insulated by injecting a form of insulation (usually mineral wool, polystyrene beads, or polyurethane foam) into the cavity through drill holes in the outside walls.
This heating upgrade excellently compliments a new gas boiler, as it ensures heating devices are efficient at retaining heat. Homes can lose up to 35% of their heat through uninsulated cavity walls, wasting energy and raising the price of bills. Cavity wall insulation will retain heat effectively, keep bills cheap, and can raise the price of your property too.
The ECO4 grant can entitle you to Smart Controls, an innovative heating upgrade which allows you to wirelessly control your heating anywhere in the world on your smartphone. With UK Energy Management, the Wiser Smart Controls multi-zone system means you have independent room temperature control with the ability to schedule when specific heating devices are switched on and off. This can save up to £450 on your energy bills, as heat can only be used where necessary, and is ideal for properties such as bungalows and large detached housing. A Wiser Smart Control heating upgrade can even integrate with smart home devices such as voice assistants, making your heating system easy to control, as well as simple to understand where heat is being applied in the home.
Loft insulation can drastically increase the thermal efficiency of your home by reducing heat loss through your roof. It works by preventing the movement of (warm) air upwards, whilst also stopping the trapped air from circulating and causing convection currents. This heating upgrade, available with an ECO4 grant, can save up to £280 a year on energy bills and can reduce your household’s carbon footprint, creating a warmer, more comfortable home.
Air Source Heat Pumps
This heating upgrade transfers heat energy outside of the home into it, like a fridge in reverse. Air source heat pumps are very efficient, as they deliver more heat energy than the electrical energy needed to run them. They are simpler and can cost less to run than a traditional heating system. With reduced bills, lower carbon emissions, and low maintenance costs, air-source heat pumps are an excellent heating upgrade option.
Cavity Wall Removal
Whilst cavity wall insulation can be a beneficial way to make your home warmer, on certain occasions, insulation can go damp and damage the structural integrity of your home. This can arise from inadequate insulation installation, where the insulation might not be an effective material or the cavity wasn’t properly prepared before. At this point, it is more effective to remove the insulation, and it can be replaced by a new heating upgrade.
Solid Wall Insulation
If your home has solid walls, you might not think they can be insulated, as they have no ‘cavity’ for insulation to be installed. However, solid wall insulation can be placed around the external walls, disguised with a fully plastered finish. According to the Energy Saving Trust, an estimated 45% of your home’s heat could be lost through solid walls, making solid wall insulation an excellent heating upgrade which can dramatically reduce heat loss and the cost of energy bills.
When used correctly, storage heaters can be the most cost-effective heating upgrade, using off-peak electricity to provide heat all day, keeping you warm whilst also maintaining temperature in the building fabric. The Ecombi HHR storage heater, available with an ECO4 grant at UK Energy Management is different from traditional heaters, being smaller, more efficient, cooler ‘to the touch’, and temperature accurate.
Solar panels have been available with the ECO4 government grant since April 2022, and are a remarkable energy solution for your household. Using natural energy, solar panels are a sustainable option which drastically reduces your carbon footprint and positively benefits the environment. They can produce energy even on cloudy days, and by being less reliant on the National Grid for electricity, you can enjoy cheaper electricity throughout the day.
Whilst insulative heating upgrades improve the energy efficiency of a home, it is always important to ensure there is adequate ventilation and air permeability. Stale air in a home can contain pollutants, meaning typically wet spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms have extract ventilation fans to provide fresh air. When installing heating upgrades, at UK Energy Management, we ensure your home has good ventilation, and can even install ventilation systems. For ‘wet’ rooms, there are a series of ventilation options available, and for dryer spaces, we can fit air-box vents to windows, which are easy to install, don’t require drilling, and can provide your home with a controllable airflow.
UK Energy Management
UK Energy Management (NE) Ltd can help see if you’re eligible for an ECO4 government grant and can install any of these excellent heating upgrades for your home. With nationwide coverage, we can help you keep warm, live comfortably, and for cheaper, all in our effort to combat fuel poverty in the UK. Give us a ring at 0191 466 1185 for more information, and we can check your eligibility for a free energy-efficient heating upgrade.