ECO+ was announced to extend the support offered by the existing ECO4 Scheme, which helps the UK’s most energy-inefficient homes save on their energy bills. The key difference between ECO4 and ECO+ is that individuals do not need to be receiving government benefits to receive the latter.
Since its initial announcement, ECO Plus has been rebranded to the Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS).
The GBIS is a £1 billion grant targeted at homes with a low energy efficiency rating in lower Council Tax band areas. This grant will cover up to 75% of costs of installation of these energy efficient measures.
Through this scheme, over 300,000 homes could upgrade their insulation at a minimal cost.
There will also be an £18 million public information campaign as part of the Great British Insulation Scheme. This program is aimed at offering advice on how households can effectively cut down on their energy use this winter. Some of the government’s tips include:
Turn down radiators in empty rooms
Lower a boiler’s flow temperature from 75⁰C to 60⁰C
Draught-proof windows and doors to reduce a property’s heat loss.
News of the GBIS comes shortly after the announcement that an additional £1.5bn funding will be spent as part of the government’s £6.6bn Heat and Building Strategy, which aims to reach a nationwide carbon net zero by 2050.
What does the Great British Insulation Scheme cover?
Over 3.5 million home improvements have been made through the ECO Scheme since 2013, and the Great British Insulation Scheme is set to increase the total amount of insulation and other improvements across the country.
The new scheme will run from summer 2023 until March 2026 and is estimated to save UK households around £310 a year on their energy bills.
Each household is expected to benefit from £1,500 of spending on improving energy efficiency measures, such as:
Internal and external solid wall insulation
Room in a roof insulation
Cavity wall insulation
Solid floor insulation
Under floor insulation
Pitched roof insulation
Flat roof insulation
Park home insulation
A key reason why nearly 30% of people living in energy-inefficient homes don’t consider upgrading is that these home improvements cost too much money.
Fortunately, the Great British Insulation Scheme is a grant and not a loan, meaning that you won’t have to pay anything back for the home improvements, besides the pre-established payments for installation. These will all be decided before any work commences.
Who is eligible for the Great British Insulation Scheme?
The Great British Insulation Scheme is aimed at low income and vulnerable homes that are not eligible for the ECO4 scheme.
Funds will be spread across different groups, with 80% of the funds will be spent on properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or below, and in the lower Council Tax Bands.
To apply for the Great British Insulation Scheme you must:
Be living in a home with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or below.
Be living in a home that falls within Council Tax bands A-D in England or A-E in Scotland and Wales.
Those who are eligible may receive a single insulation measure and a contribution may be required towards installation costs.
How is the Great British Insulation Scheme different from ECO4?
There are some differences between ECO4 and the Great British Insulation Scheme consumers must be aware of.
The Great British Insulation Scheme is a scheme that allows households that are ineligible for the ECO4 Scheme to gain free or discounted energy saving measures, such as insulation.
The ECO4 scheme is aimed at low-income households who cannot pay for upgraded insulation or heating system.
One key way to measure who’s eligible for the ECO4 Scheme is to see if the household is receiving government benefits, such as; Income-based Jobseekers Allowance; Universal Credit; Income Support; and Child Tax Credits.
On the other hand, the Great British Insulation Scheme is mainly targeted at those who currently don’t benefit from other government support schemes but live in a vulnerable household (EPC rating of D or below and in a lower Council Tax band).
How landlords could benefit from the Great British Insulation Scheme
Fortunately, Great British Insulation Scheme funding is available to landlords, provided the tenants meet certain criteria, such as earning a low income and living in a property with an EPC-rating D or below.