What is the ECO Scheme?

In 2023, the ECO scheme is evolving and more people will qualify for the money-saving scheme.

And with new EPC regulations coming in 2025, a property upgrade could be useful for homeowners living in an energy-inefficient property.

But who qualifies for the ECO scheme? Keep reading to find out more.

What is the Energy Company Obligation Scheme?

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme is a £4 billion energy efficiency programme started by the UK government in 2013.

Grants are available to the UK’s most vulnerable homes in an attempt to tackle fuel poverty and reduce the country’s carbon emissions.

Energy suppliers are obligated to offer energy-saving grants to these homes as a way of reducing their carbon footprint. If these targets are not met, the Government will issue them a sizable fine.

The strategy seems to be working, as a staggering £4 billion has already been spent in order to avoid these fines.

Through the ECO scheme, some of the UK’s most energy-inefficient homes could have insulation, a heat pump, solar panels or an upgraded boiler installed at a minimal cost, sometimes even for free.

What is the Difference Between ECO4 and The Great British Insulation Scheme?

Currently, there are only two government energy-efficiency schemes running: the ECO4 scheme and The Great British Insulation Scheme (formally called the ECO Plus scheme). There are some differences between ECO4 and the Great British Insulation Scheme consumers must be aware of.

The fourth phase of the ECO scheme, ECO4, began in July 2022 and will run until March 2026 and is aimed at supporting the UK’s low-income homes into becoming more energy efficient. To be eligible for ECO4 funding, you need to receive certain government benefits and live in an energy-inefficient home – but more on that in the next section.

Meanwhile, The Great British Insulation Scheme is the newest phase of the ECO scheme, starting in April 2023. This variant of the scheme is aimed at those who are ineligible for ECO4 but live in inefficient homes.

Who is Eligible for ECO Funding?

Unfortunately, the ECO isn’t available for everyone. There are certain criteria that must first be met before your property can receive an energy efficiency upgrade.

To be eligible for ECO4 funding, you must be living in a property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of D or below and be receiving at least one government benefit.

The Child Benefit criteria for ECO4 depend on your living situation:

Those looking to apply for the ECO4 Scheme may be able to appeal to their Local Authority to widen the eligibility criteria to match the needs of the respective area through ECO4 Flex.

This could be due to having a total house income of less than £31,000 per annum, being a vulnerable person or having health issues that are made worse by living in a cold home.

On the other hand, the eligibility requirements for the ECO Plus scheme are not as lengthy.

Those living in a home with an EPC of D or below are eligible for a Great British Insulation Scheme grant, with no government benefit being required.

ECO Scheme Property Requirements

As mentioned, both ongoing variants of the ECO scheme require homes to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of D, E, F or G.

However, with only 15% of the ECO budget being spent on D-rated properties, there are different criteria depending on your living situation.

To be eligible for the ECO scheme, you must:

  • Live in your own home with an EPC of D, E, F or G.
  • Rent a home from a private landlord or housing association that has an EPC of E, F or G. Social housing can receive grants if they have a D EPC rating, but only for ‘innovation’ measures.
  • Be the main residence of the property. You cannot get an ECO grant for a second home, but you could receive a grant for a buy-to-let property.
  • Have an inefficient heating system that needs replacing or upgrading.

How to Apply for ECO Funding

To apply for an ECO grant, you first need to check your eligibility. That can be done simply by filling out our ECO funding application here – this will only take a few minutes.

From here, we’ll check your eligibility for an ECO grant and locate an installer in your region that could upgrade your property.

Next, the installer will need to conduct a survey of your property and will decide on what ECO measures depending on the results of the survey.

All Great British Insulation and ECO4 scheme providers will discuss with your what this cost could be and any suitable dates for this work to start.

And congratulations! The EPC of your property has been improved and now your property is more energy efficient.

Who are the Obligated Suppliers?

The energy suppliers obliged by the government ECO scheme are:

  • British Gas
  • E (Gas & Electricity) Limited
  • E.ON Energy (including Npower)
  • Ecotricity
  • EDF
  • Octopus Energy
  • Outfox the Market
  • OVO (including SSE Energy Services)
  • Scottish Power
  • Shell Energy (including First Utility and formerly Hudson)
  • So Energy (including ESB Energy)
  • The Co-operative Energy
  • The Utility Warehouse
  • Utilita Energy Ltd

Save Money with So Eco

Thank you for reading our post. Now you know who qualifies for the ECO scheme, it’s time to check your eligibility.

It only takes a couple of minutes and could see you save hundreds on home improvements, both from the installation and the following effects on your energy bills. Fill out our quick and easy eligibility checker here.

The So Eco team are always on hand to answer any questions you may have about the ECO scheme, insulation grants and more, so don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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