The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) was introduced in 2013 to make UK homes more energy efficient and tackle fuel poverty. It does this by offering financial assistance for insulation and other energy-saving improvements. To date, over 3.1 million home improvements have been made under the scheme, but the fourth and final phase, ECO4, aims to better this.
Find out what ECO4 covers, who qualifies, and how to apply below.
What Does the Scheme Involve?
The ECO4 scheme is the latest stage of the government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) initiative, which has been extended for an additional four years as part of the Sustainable Warmth Strategy. The ECO4 grant provides financial assistance to low-income households who are unable to upgrade their homes and heating systems, to help them reduce their energy consumption and costs. In turn, this will help the government meet its net zero by 2050 emissions target.
The ECO4 grant can be used to fund a variety of improvements, including insulation, boiler replacements, and the installation of renewable heating systems. And with the grant being available until March 2026, there is plenty of time for eligible homeowners to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.
What Is the Difference Between ECO4 and the Previous Schemes?
One of the main aims of the ECO4 Scheme is to reach more people than in previous phases. To do this, the government has introduced several changes, including a buy-out mechanism that will allow smaller energy companies to participate in the scheme. The government has also changed the eligibility criteria for ECO4, making it easier for low-income families to receive support. By removing barriers and making it easier for people to access the scheme, the government is hoping to make a real difference in the fight against fuel poverty.
What Does the Scheme Cover?
You may be able to get a variety of home improvements, depending on the energy supplier you choose. Here are some examples of the types of support you can get with the ECO4 grant.
The ECO4 scheme is a government initiative that takes a fabric-first approach to energy efficiency. This means that the primary focus is on improving the building itself, rather than installing new heating or cooling systems. One of the key ways to improve a building’s energy efficiency is through insulation. By installing insulation in the walls, roof, and attic, you can dramatically reduce heat loss and lower your energy bills. The ECO4 scheme specifically targets solid wall insulation, which can be more expensive and difficult to install than other types of insulation. However, the investment in solid wall insulation can pay off handsomely in terms of reduced energy bills and a more comfortable home.
The ECO4 scheme is designed to incentivise the repair of broken heating systems, rather than the replacement of efficient ones. This is because replacing an efficient system before the end of its expected lifetime can be costly and cause disruptions to people’s lives. The scheme will provide support for repairing systems that are beyond repair, ensuring that people can keep their homes warm and comfortable without incurring unnecessary costs.
Eco-Friendly Heating Systems
The government’s ECO4 scheme is focused on replacing old, inefficient boilers with greener alternatives. Under the scheme, coal- and oil-fired boilers will be replaced with heat pumps and biomass boilers. Solar photovoltaic panels will also be installed in all electrically heated homes. The scheme is part of the government’s efforts to meet its net zero carbon emissions target by 2050. By replacing inefficient boilers with clean, renewable energy sources, the ECO4 scheme will help to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment.
Who is Eligible?
The focus of the scheme is on low-income and vulnerable households; however, owner-occupied homes, social housing, and private rented housing will also be eligible for support if the landlord permits it.
How to Apply for EC04
Households across the country are struggling to keep up with rising energy costs, but there is help available in the form of ECO4. This government-backed scheme provides financial assistance to low-income households and those who are struggling to pay their energy bills.
To be eligible for ECO4, you simply need to get in touch with one of the participating energy suppliers. You will then be taken through a telephone assessment, during which you will be asked questions about your income, benefits status and property’s energy efficiency rating. Once the assessment has been completed, an installer will visit your home to confirm whether it is suitable for the grant. So, if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a participating supplier today.
The recent energy crisis has been a cause for concern for many people, particularly those who are struggling to make ends meet. 8.5 million households may become fuel-poor due to the crisis, which means they will not be able to heat or power their homes. The UK government has announced that it will extend the ECO scheme for another four years. The scheme provides support for vulnerable people who need help paying their energy bills. If you think you’re eligible for the ECO scheme, there’s no time to waste.