ECO Scheme Heating and Insulation Grants

First Time Central Heating Grants from the Government's ECO4 Scheme

First Time Central Heating Grants from the Government's ECO Scheme

First Time Central Heating Grants are available for the installation of central heating systems into homes which DO NOT have, and have NEVER previously had a central heating system.

For the purposes of the ECO Scheme and to qualify for first time central heating grants, the new central heating system to be installed must be a system which provides space heating through a boiler, connected to radiators.

First Time Central Heating Grants Qualifying Criteria requires that the new central heating system is installed in domestic premises which has never had a central heating system.

You must also receive one of the qualifying State Benefits, Tax Credits or Other Allowances unless you qualify under ECO Flex Rules, please see below.

Please see the comments from one of our successful applicants below:

First time central heating installation

Qualifying Criteria for First Time Central Heating Grants

1. You must be a home owner, or a tenant in a privately rented home.

Only homes with an EPC rating of D, E, F or G for home owners and E, F or G for private tenants are eligible for Central Heating Grants. You can see the EPC rating of your home by clicking HERE for England and Wales or HERE for Scotland.

Householders who rent their home from a local council or a housing association, and those in shared ownership homes do not qualify for the first time central heating grants scheme.

IMPORTANT

With the introduction of ECO4 on 1st April 2022, to qualify for a First Time Central Heating Grants your home MUST HAVE an existing mains gas supply. This is in line with the Government’s policy to phase out gas boilers in the coming years.

2. Your home must have either no heating at all or one of the following heating systems:

  1. Electric room heaters, including direct acting room heaters, fan heaters or inefficient electric storage heaters
  2. Gas room heaters; including fixed mains gas room heaters; or
  3. Gas fire with back boiler; or
  4. Solid fossil fuel fire with back boiler, or
  5. Mains gas warm air heating system, or
  6. Electric underfloor or ceiling heating (not part of an electric boiler); or
  7. Bottled LPG room heating; or
  8. Solid fossil fuel room heaters; or
  9. Wood/biomass room heating; or
  10. Oil room heaters

The relevant heating system used to assess your eligibility for First Time Central Heating Grants is that which appears as the ‘Main Heating’ system on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your home. You can see your EPC (if one has been prepared) HERE if you live in England or Wales and HERE if you live in Scotland.

3. You must receive at least one of the Qualifying Benefits, or qualify under ECO Flex Rules

To qualify for First Time Central Heating Grants, either you or someone living permanently with you, must receive at least one of the following State Benefits, Tax Credits or Other Allowances unless you qualify under ECO Flex Rules:

  • Pension Credit – Guarantee Credit
  • Pension Credit – Savings Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income-Based Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Child Benefit (subject to maximum household income
  • Housing benefit

ECO Flex Rules allow local councils to recommend that a householder qualifies for a grant even if they don’t receive one of the qualifying benefits.

There are four ways in which you can qualify under ECO Flex rules but it has to be first approved by your Local Authority:

1. Your total household income is below £31,000

2. Your home has an EPC rating of E, F or G AND one of the following applies:

a.  You receive a Council Tax rebate (other than single person rebate);

b.  a member of your household is vulnerable to living in a cold home;

c.  a member of your household is referred under a Local Authority run scheme which supports low income and vulnerable households,

d.  a householder receives free school meals or

e.  your household is identified as struggling with sustained debt on utility bills and mortgage payments and has been referred to the Local Authority for support by Citizens Advice, your energy supplier or your mortgage lender.

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

3. You are referred to your Local Authority by the NHS because you could be severely impacted by living in a cold home. The conditions which normally apply are respiratory problems, cardiovascular problems, limited mobility or immune suppressed conditions.

4. This is a wide ranging option which allows Local Authorities to devise their own scheme to target a high proportion of households suffering from fuel poverty. Your Local Authority would need to submit their proposals to the Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for approval.

4. Your home must be well insulated

To qualify for First Time Central Heating Grants your home must have adequate loft insulation installed and if it has cavity walls, it must have cavity wall insulation installed.

If it does not have either of these installed at the time of your application, the installer of your new central heating system may arrange it for you.

irst Time Central Heating Grants is a Government Backed Scheme

First Time Central Heating Grant Application Form

Step 1 of 3

  • 1. Your Details:

  • We need this to confirm that you qualify for a central heating grant
First Time Central Heating Grants
First time central heating grants - installing central heating
First time central heating grant
First Time Central Heating Grants from the ECO Scheme
First Time Central Heating Grants fund the installation of the following central heating systems:

First time central heating grants provide funding to install the following types of central heating boiler plus radiators, pipework and heating control systems.

  1. Mains Gas Boiler
  2. Biomass Boiler
  3. LPG Boiler
  4. Air Source Heat Pump
  5. Ground Source Heat Pump
  6. Electric Boiler
First Time Central Heating Grants FAQs

Who can apply for first time central heating grants?

First Time Central Heating Grants are available to both home owners and tenants in privately rented homes.

Tenants in council owned homes, in housing association homes and householders living in shared ownership homes do not qualify for First Time Central Heating Grants.

Will I have to contribute to the cost of the central heating installation?

In most cases, First Time Central Heating Grants will cover the full cost of installing central heating in your home.

However, householders in some homes may have to make a contribution. You will not know this until a free survey of your home and existing heating system has been carried out.

I don't receive any of the qualifying benefits can I still apply?

In some cases, yes.

If you do not receive any of the qualifying benefits you may qualify for first time central heating grants under ECO Flex Rules.

Local councils can recommend that you receive a central heating grant if you satisfy their rules regarding fuel poverty.

Each council can set their own rules and we work with most Local Councils across the UK.

I don't receive any of the qualifying benefits but someone in my home does, can I still apply?

Generally yes.

If someone who is permanently resident in your home receives one of the qualifying benefits we can still help. The First Time Central Heating Grants application will have to be in their name and you will need to prove that they live with you on a permanent basis.

Also, your address must be registered as their address with the Department of Work and Pensions so that their benefit letters have your address on them.

What if I don't have a gas supply to my home?

Changes to the Affordable Warmth Scheme introduced by ECO4 which commenced on 1st April 2022 mean that your home must have an existing mains gas supply to qualify for First Time Central Heating Grants.

How do I apply for a first time central heating grant?

Householders wishing to apply for First Time Central Heating Grants should first of all complete the form on this website page.

We will call you back to let you know whether you qualify for first time central heating grants based on the information you provide.

We will then arrange a survey of your home and its existing heating system and the surveyor will complete the official grant application form on your behalf. Also, with your permission, an electronic check will be made with information from the Department for Work and Pensions that you receive one of the qualifying state benefits, tax credits or other allowances.

Your grant application is submitted to the ECO Scheme and if approved, money is allocated from the ECO Fund.

The ECO authorised installation company which arranged the free survey will carry out your central heating installation at a convenient time. They will then apply for your first time central heating grant to be paid to them from the ECO Fund.

What does a first time central heating grant cover?

First Time Central Heating Grants cover the cost of supplying and installing a central heating boiler together with radiators, the necessary pipework and heating control systems.

If any plaster work is damaged during the installation this will be repaired but the grant does not cover redecoration.

How long does it take for central heating will be installed in my home?

Once you apply for a grant with us we will call you back to let you know whether you qualify and to answer any questions you may have about the scheme.

With your permission an electronic check will be carried out with the DWP to confirm that you qualify, this can take a few days to get the result back.

Once it has been confirmed that you qualify, a survey of your home and existing heating arrangements will be carried out. This normally takes place within a week or so of receiving DWP confirmation.

The ECO Approved installer will then book your central heating installation at a convenient time. Actual installation will take a few days.

What if central heating has been fitted in my home but has been removed?

First Time Central Heating Grants are their purely to help pay for the installation of central heating systems in homes which ‘do not have and have not previously had any kind of central heating system’ fitted before, even if it has been removed.

What if I am not sure whether central heating has been fitted in my home before but removed?

To qualify for First Time Central Heating Grants home owners need to sign a declaration confirming the following:

“I, the owner of the premises, declare that to the best of my knowledge, at no point prior to the installation of the first time central heating, first time district heating system or first time renewable heating system, did the premises have a central heating system, district heating system, or renewable heating system nor, immediately prior to the installation, did the premises did have a working, efficient electric storage heater(s).”

Do I have to insulate my home before central heating can be installed?

To qualify for First Time Central Heating Grants, cavity wall insulation and roof insulation / loft insulation must be installed in your home unless it is already present prior to the installation of the central heating system.

This is to ensure that you benefit fully from the central heating system without unnecessary heat loss through the walls and roof of your home.

Are First Time Central Heating Grants available throughout the whole of the UK?

No,  First Time Central Heating Grants are available in England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland has its own scheme but we do not deal with it here.

Also, currently we are unable to process applications for First Time Central Heating Grants in all areas of England, Scotland and Wales.

The situation is changing regularly and you should apply using the form on this page. If we can help we will call you back, if not, we will contact you as soon as we can process grants in your area.

If you live in Liverpool, please apply on the Liverpool Central Heating Grants page, HERE.

Where does the money come from for first time central heating grants?

First Time Central Heating Grants are provided through the Affordable Warmth Scheme part of the Government’s ECO Scheme.

A levy is placed on every household’s electricity bill. This money is collected by your energy supplier and fed into an ECO fund.

Householders who qualify for first time central heating grants are allocated funding from the ECO fund based on the results of the free home survey. The grant funding is paid directly to the ECO authorised installation company after your central heating installation is completed.

How long will first time central heating grants be available?

First Time Central Heating Grants from the Government’s ECO Scheme have been available since 2018 and under ECO3 were available until March 2022.

ECO3 ended on 31st March 2022 and ECO4 started on 1st April 2022 with a new set of qualifying criteria.

ECO4, which provides first time central heating grants is expected to run until March 2026 however, funding could be withdrawn at any time so it is important that you apply as soon as possible.

FIRST TIME CENTRAL HEATING GRANTS are available to householders whose home has NEVER had a central heating system fitted before.