The UK government is always implementing energy-efficient services and schemes with the aim of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the UK’s carbon footprint. The plan is to ensure that the UK greenhouse gas emissions are lowered by 80%, by 2050.
Thus, the British government founded the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme with the aim of reducing the amount of fossil fuel pollution from homes, making houses more energy efficient and to deal with fuel poverty. The ECO scheme works by putting energy-efficient measures to lower the heating and cooling costs of a home. The ECO scheme initiative obliges the medium and large gas or electricity suppliers to assist households in implementing energy-efficient measures.
What Are The Efficient Energy Measures Available Through The ECO Scheme?
The energy-efficient measure available through ECO is designed to help people save money they use on the energy bill, keep homes warm, and reduce carbon emissions. Some available measures include;
The Obligation of the Energy Company
The ECO scheme was launched in 2013 as an initiative for energy-saving measures. The ECO initiative has put legal obligations on the medium and large energy supplies company to deliver fuel that is energy efficient to the domestic customer. The scheme supports the vulnerable consumer group by reducing carbon emissions, maintain security or the energy supply, and helping to reduce fuel poverty across the UK.
Do I Qualify For The ECO Scheme?
Even though the ECO scheme has been around for some time, since 2013, many people were not eligible because of the high requirements to qualify for the grants. But in 2017, the eligibility criteria changed. Therefore, those who were not suitable at the beginning of the scheme can now qualify. If you are eligible for the ECO scheme, then you could get a free boiler and central heating system & a range of insulation grants.
However, the eligibility criteria can be complicated, making it difficult for you to determine if you are eligible or not. To find out if you could qualify for a central heating grant, then read through our guide on who qualifies for a central heating grant and to find out if you qualify for an insulation grant then read through our guide on who qualifies for the free insulation grant.
In case you are not sure if you qualify for the scheme, here are some pointers to help you:
- You need to be a customer of one of the medium to large energy providers in the UK.
- Own or rent a home with an EPC rating of A to E. However, if you are renting, you will only get the insulation services but not the boiler unless you have permission from your landlord. Social housing properties are not eligible to qualify for the boilers or central heating grant.
- Qualify for a range of UK benefits allowances – to see a full list of benefits needed click here.
Most of the people who qualify under the ECO scheme are home owners and private tenants (where they have permission from the property owners) who are of low income, have dependents, are in receipt of benefits and who have a low energy home rated E-G.
It is easy for you to find out if you qualify for a grant under the ECO scheme; all you need to do is fill out our application form. Once you fill in the data, you will find out if you qualify for the scheme. Click here to apply.
Another way you can find out if you qualify for the scheme is by asking your installer. Thus, this is the reason when you are choosing an installer; you need to get a reliable one. The right installer will survey your home and inform you if you are a suitable candidate for free or subsidised home improvements. You will also learn of any funding that will be available to you.
What Is Fuel Poverty?
Fuel poverty is a situation where a household has above average energy costs. When the energy cost is paid, then the remaining family income is below the poverty line. However, several factors can be used to determine whether your household is classified as poverty low.
- Fuel Prices
The prices of fuel play a significant impact on fuel poverty. If the prices are high, then chances are most households will be poverty poor. If the prices reduce expenses, homes remaining income after paying the energy bill will be above the poverty line. It is also possible for you to shop around for tariffs that are lower than the price caps. If so, you will reduce the amount of energy you spent even further.
- Household Income
If your household income is low, then the chances are that you will spend a high amount of the portion on fuel. If so, you will have all the remaining income being low. This might end up pushing your household over the poverty line.
- Energy Efficiency
In case you live in homes that are not energy efficient, the amount of energy you use is likely to be wasted. Thus, this will result in you getting a high energy bill. You can reduce the amount of money you spend on energy bills using energy-efficient measures in your home.
How Can I Fight Fuel Poverty?
There are some measures you can put in your home to help you with the energy costs. Some ways that you can use to cut on the energy bills are
- Turning off appliances from the plug and do not leave them on standby
- Washing your clothes at a lower setting
- Use barriers to keep out the draught
However, if you find that the fuel payment is still high, you can use the government scheme to help you with fuel payment and cut your home’s energy cost.
How Does The ECO Scheme Work?
If you qualify for an ECO scheme, you need to complete the application and apply for a free boiler grant. When you use the boiler, the supplier will inquire about the benefits you get, the type of property you have, and the existing boiler’s age. The boiler should be below 85.9% efficiency for you to get the grant.
Before installing the boiler, the supplier you are using will assess the property and review the benefits paperwork to tell you which energy measures you can qualify for. They will then arrange for a boiler to be installed by a qualified expert. The expert will tell you to expect from the installation aid if you should make any financial contribution to the fitting.
However, in most cases, the fitting can be free of charge, but if some changes need to be made, like changing the boiler’s position or adding more radiation, you might have to pay for the expenses.