ECO Scheme Heating and Insulation Grants

First Time Central Heating Grants from the Government's ECO 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 not 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.

Qualifying Criteria for First Time Central Heating Grants

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

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.

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
  5. Electric underfloor or ceiling heating (not part of an electric boiler); or
  6. Bottled LPG room heating; or
  7. Solid fossil fuel room heaters; or
  8. Wood/biomass room heating; or
  9. 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:

  • Guaranteed Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income-Based Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Child Benefit (subject to maximum household income thresholds)
  • War Pensions Mobility Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

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. Currently we only cover Liverpool, Leicester, Nottingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Dudley for ECO Flex.

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

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  • 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 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.

If you do not have a gas supply but you live in Liverpool, Liverpool City Council may fund a gas supply connection. More information can be found on the Liverpool Central Heating Grants page of this website, HERE.

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. An example would be where you have to spend more than 10% of your income to heat your home.

Each council can set their own rules and we only work with councils in Liverpool, Leicester, Nottingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Dudley.

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?

First Time Central Heating Grants do not cover the cost of installing a gas supply to your home but other grants may be available to cover the cost of this. For example, Liverpool City Council offer grants for connecting a gas supply to householders who qualify for First Time Central Heating Grants. More information can be found on the Liverpool Central Heating Grants page of this website.

You will also need to arrange to have a gas meter installed in your home.

If a gas supply cannot be connected to your home, first time central heating grants will fund one of the following:

  1. Biomass Boiler
  2. LPG Boiler
  3. Air Source Heat Pump
  4. Ground Source Heat Pump
  5. Electric Boiler

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 the payment of your first time central heating grants 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.

If your home does not have a gas supply but you live in Liverpool, Liverpool City Council may fund a gas supply connection to your home. More information can be found HERE.

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 a central heating system’.

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 of around £30 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 should be available until March 2022.

This is when the current version of the ECO Scheme, ECO3, is scheduled to end. However, since the ECO Scheme was first introduced in 2013 there have been many changes, some of which were introduced with very little notice.

Householders who think that they may qualify for First Time Central Heating Grants should apply immediately, whilst funding is available.

On a positive note, the Government has indicated that funding for the installation of heating systems and insulation will be supported in some form until at least 2028. This is part of the Government’s plan to help reduce carbon emissions from homes whilst helping low income households to heat their homes adequately.