ECO Scheme Heating and Insulation Grants

ECO Flex Grants from the Affordable Warmth Scheme, approved by your Local Authority

Local Authority Approved Heating and Insulation Grants under ECO4 Flexible Eligibility Rules

ECO Flex Grants

Before ECO Flex Grants were introduced, successful applicants were required to receive one of the qualifying State Benefits or Tax Credits.

The problem with this is that a high proportion of householders suffering from fuel poverty do not receive one of the relevant benefits. Fuel poverty is generally accepted as the need to spend more than 10% of your income to heat your home to an acceptable level.

ECO Flex Grants were introduced to change this situation.

Now, householders may still qualify for First Time Central Heating Grant, a Boiler Grant or a Storage Heater Grant even if they don’t receive State Benefits or Tax Credits.

The ECO Flex Grants Scheme helps those householders who are not in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits but who are living on a low income and are vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home.

Local Authorities and Energy Suppliers

Under the ECO Scheme Flexible Eligibility arrangement, Local Authorities and Energy Suppliers are permitted to identify and designate households as eligible under the Affordable Warmth Scheme.

Local Authorities can set their own criteria to decide who should qualify for a boiler grant or storage heater grant under the ECO Flex Grants scheme but four aspects are considered:

  1. Health – Health can be a major factor when assessing how much heat is required in your home and the following factors are considered: Cardiovascular conditions, Respiratory conditions, limited mobility or immune suppressed conditions.
  2. Age – Older householders can be particularly affected by exposure to the cold so any household will be considered where someone over 60 years of age live there.
  3. Type of Property – Some homes require more heat than others due to their particular characteristics and properties with an EPC rating of E, F or G may qualify.
  4. Household Income – Householders on a low income spend a proportionately greater amount of their income to keep their homes warm. Consequently, low income households who do not receive one of the qualifying benefits may be approved for eligibility by their Local Authority.

You can contact your local authority to ask them about the detailed qualifying criteria they adopt when considering ECO Flex Grants (also known as LA Flex Grants) but they may ask you to apply with us first.

ECO Flex Grants Scheme

ECO Flex Grants for Boilers
ECO Flex Grants from ECO4

We only cover the following council areas for ECO Flex Grants:

Barrow, Bolton, Cheshire East, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dudley, Flintshire, Halton, Knowsley, Leicester, Powys, Salford, Sefton, St. Helens, Wigan, Wirral and Wolverhampton. We plan to add Liverpool council area soon.

If we do not cover your local council area please contact them directly and ask about their LA Flex scheme.

ECO Flex Grants Scheme

ECO Flex Grants approved by your Local Authority or Energy Supplier

There are four separate qualifying routes to identify low income and vulnerable households under ECO Flex Grants Rules. Each Local Authority can choose to adopt one or more of these options. Option 2 can be used by Energy Suppliers.

ECO Flex Grants Scheme

ECO Flex Grants – Route One – Household Income 

In line with other energy efficiency policies set up by the BEIS (Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Efficiency) a household income cap of £31,000 is used as the first method of identifying low income households who would benefit from ECO Flex Grants.

For simplicity, the same amount is used regardless of property size or region but in many cases a household income of £31,000 would include many households who are just above the benefits threshold.

Although a single income cap may not take into account those households with high running costs but there are three other routes which could include those potential applicants.

ECO Flex Grants Scheme

ECO Flex Grants – Route Two – Targeting Low Income and Vulnerable Households 

Households could qualify for ECO Flex Grants if they live in a property which is in EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) band E, F or G and meet a combination of two other factors.

Householders must have a low income, or have a low income and be vulnerable form living in a cold home.

Your energy supplier may be able to refer you to your Local Authority for consideration under this option or it could be approved directly by your Local Authority.

You can see the EPC for your home HERE if you live in England or Wales and HERE if you live in Scotland.

ECO Flex Grants

ECO Flex Grants Scheme

ECO Flex Grants – Route Three – NHS Referrals

This route could be used where a householder has a severe and / or long term health condition which could be severely affected by living in a cold home.

The conditions which would be included are cardiovascular, respiratory, limited mobility or immune suppressed conditions.

This option has been added to help those householders who would have qualified due to the receipt of one of the disability benefits included in ECO3 but which are excluded from ECO4 qualifying benefit criteria.

ECO Flex Grants Scheme

ECO Flex Grants – Route Four – Bespoke Targeting

Under this option your energy supplier or Local Authority could submit a proposal explaining how they would identify a high proportion of households suffering from fuel poverty.

The proposal would be submitted to the BEIS (Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Efficiency) for approval and households who qualified via this route may receive slightly higher grants.

ECO Flex Grants Scheme

LSOA Areas explained

Lower-layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs) are geographical areas with an average population of around 1,500 people or 650 households.

There are 32,844 Lower-layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs) in England. They were produced by the Office for National Statistics for the reporting of statistics in similarly sized areas of population.

In so far as ECO4 is concerned LSOA areas 1 – 3 represents the 30% most deprived LSOAs in England. The bottom 10% most deprived is known as level 1, 10% to 20% is level two and 20% to 30% is level 3. Which means that the ECO4 qualifying criteria shown in ECO Flex Grants Route 2 is targeting the 30% most deprived small population areas.

The factors used to determine levels of  ‘deprivation’ are:

  • Income Deprivation
  • Employment Deprivation
  • Education, Skills and Training Deprivation
  • Health Deprivation and Disability
  • Crime
  • Barriers to Housing and Services
  • Living Environment Deprivation

ECO Flex Grants Scheme