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.