The government’s ECO scheme could help you reduce your fuel bills and enjoy a warmer home if you receive Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).
If you also own your own home or live in a rented property and have the support and permission of your landlord, your social housing provider or management company, you could think about applying for help to upgrade your home heating through the Energy Company Obligation scheme. This could be through improving the insulation in your home or upgrading your central heating boiler.
ECO features the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation, which is specifically aimed at reducing your outgoings on domestic heating. The whole thing is part of a bigger government plan to reduce carbon emissions in a bid to protect the planet and to tackle the problem of fuel poverty in Britain.
In short, obligated energy companies have to pay out for eligible people to have their home’s energy efficiency improved. This could be through the installation of insulation such as solid wall insulation, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, boiler replacement or the fitting of an energy-efficient boiler.
If you qualify, you have to find the best deal for you as different installers or companies offer different kinds of support. They all have the aim of improving heating or energy efficiency measures but this can come in different forms.
Obligated companies are chosen for being the largest energy suppliers operating in Britain. They have to meet targets in terms of the number of people they help and, remember, you don’t have to change energy supplier to apply.
The number of people each obligated company helps depends on how much of the British domestic energy market they hold. These obligated companies then use installers to carry out the work to provide better heating measures in your home.
You can find more information about obligated suppliers on the Ofgem website as Ofgem administers the ECO scheme on behalf of the government’s Department for Energy, Business & Industrial Strategy. Other sources of advice include the Each Home Counts website, which features information if you live in Wales or England, and Home Energy Scotland.
The obligated suppliers include a wide range of different companies, including Avro Energy, Bristol Energy, British Gas, E.ON Energy, Ecotricity, EDF Energy, Green Star, nPower, Octopus Energy, Pure Planet, ScottishPower, Shell Energy (formerly First Utility), The Co-operative Energy, The Utility Warehouse, and Utilita. This is not an exhaustive list, however, and so it could be worth checking out the Eco supplier contact details list on the Ofgem website.
Could you get a new boiler if you receive Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)?
Under the latest version of ECO, you could be eligible for a new boiler under the scheme. To be eligible for a replacement boiler, you must have previously had a boiler that has broken down and is not economically viable to repair. There is a cap on replacing broken heating systems, although some measures are not included in this cap. These include:
FTCH or First Time Central Heating
A district heating system
Renewable heating systems
A secondary measure of heating that is installed alongside insulation.
Heating control installation.