ECO Scheme Heating and Insulation Grants


or a FREE BOILER from the Affordable Warmth Scheme?

If you receive certain state benefits you may qualify for a Government Grant to replace your faulty electric storage heaters or your faulty boiler.

We have helped over 15,000 householders with Affordable Warmth Scheme Grants

Affordable Warmth Scheme FAQs

What is the Affordable Warmth Scheme?

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The Affordable Warmth Scheme is part of ECO (Energy Companies Obligations), set up by the Government to help householders reduce their heating bills.

Affordable Warmth does this by providing grants to fund the replacement of inefficient and faulty electric storage heaters and central heating boilers.

It also provides funding to install cavity wall insulation and loft insulation where there is currently none installed.

The scheme’s funding is targeted at low income households which are suffering from fuel poverty and to qualify, you must receive certain State Benefits.

Full qualifying criteria for Affordable Warmth Scheme grants can be found HERE.

What is ECO short for?

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ECO is the abbreviation of the Energy Companies Obligations which was approved by Parliament in December 2012 with the passing of the The Electricity and Gas (Energy Companies Obligation) Order 2012.

There are three Energy Companies Obligations: the Carbon Saving Obligation, the Community Carbon Saving Obligation and the Affordable Warmth Obligation.

The new ECO Scheme which started on 1st April 2017 was subject to another Parliamentary Order dated 2017.

Who qualifies for a storage heater grant or a boiler grant?

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To qualify for a Storage Heater Grant or a Boiler Grant you must satisfy ALL 3 of the following criteria:

1. You must live in your own home or one you rent from a private landlord. (Different rules apply to householders in council properties and housing association properties).

2. You must receive one of the following State Benefits:

  • Guaranteed Pension Credit (Savings Credit and ordinary State Pension do NOT qualify on their own).
  • Child Tax Credit*
  • Working Tax Credit*
  • Universal Credit*
  • Income Support
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-Based Job Seeker’s Allowance

* Maximum household income thresholds (based on the number of adults and children who live in your home) apply to these State Benefits and these can be found in the table below.

3. You must have at least one existing electric night storage heater installed in your home which is faulty.

Full details of qualifying criteria for Storage Heater Grants and Boiler Grants can be found HERE.

Where does the money come from for the ECO Affordable Warmth Scheme?

The Government has set carbon emission reduction targets for energy suppliers such as British Gas, EDF Energy, E-On UK, Scottish Power and SSE and fines can be levied for failure to meet these targets.

As part of their efforts to meet carbon emission targets, energy suppliers agreed to make up to £1.3 billion per year available (to March 2015) to pay for new electric storage heaters, energy efficient boilers, cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation and loft insulation in certain households.

A levy is placed on every householder’s electricity bill.  It is collected by the energy companies and paid into an ECO Fund, from where ECO grants are paid.

The original ECO Scheme was due to end in March 2015 but was extended to 31st March 2017.  A new ECO Scheme started in 1st April 2017 and although less overall funding will be available, a higher proportion of will be directed to the Affordable Warmth Scheme.

Do I have to pay anything towards the cost of electric storage heaters or a boiler under the Affordable Warmth Scheme?

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In some cases, yes.

On 1st January 2015 the way that the Government allowed the energy companies to calculate the amount of money they pay installers under the Affordable Warmth Scheme changed.  As a result, the installer may have no alternative but to ask for a contribution towards the costs of installing your new storage heaters or central heating boiler.

Being a Government scheme, the reasons behind this are complex but in short, although funding for the Affordable Warmth Scheme comes from the major energy companies, they are not actually paying for boiler installations, they are buying carbon based on the amount of carbon emissions which are saved by installing energy saving, efficient boilers. The problem lies in the fact that the value of this ‘traded carbon’ can fluctuate.

As long as you meet all of the qualifying criteria for the Affordable Warmth Scheme you will not have to contribute anything at all to the initial free survey.

Also, if you ask the installer to carry out extra work at the same time or your heating system needs to be upgraded to allow a modern boiler to be installed, then additional charges can be levied by the installation company.

How much can I expect to save on my heating bills by having new electric storage heaters, a new boiler or insulation installed?

Future savings in your heating bills will depend on many factors, including your existing heating system, how well insulated your home is, how much energy you use and the cost of energy.

Typical savings can be estimated however and they are:

  • Replacing old electric storage heaters with modern, energy efficient heaters could save you up to 30% on your heating bills.
  • Replacing a ‘G’ rated boiler with an ‘A’ rated boiler would save about £300 per year
  • Installing 270 mm of loft insulation where you had none before would save about £175 per year
  • Installing an extra 170 mm of loft insulation where you had 100 mm before would save about £25 per year
  • Installing cavity wall insulation where you had none before would save about £150 per year
  • Installing solid wall insulation where you had none before would save about £500 per year

(These figures are estimates based on a typical three bedroom semi-detached property)

How do I apply for a storage heater grant or a boiler grant from Affordable Warmth?

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CLICK HERE to apply for your Electric Storage Heater Grant.

CLICK HERE to apply for your Boiler Grant.

How long will the Affordable Warmth Obligation last for?

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The Affordable Warmth Scheme was originally scheduled to run until March 2015 but it was extended to March 2017.

A new ECO Scheme started on 1st April 2017 and will run for 18 months.  The Government’s intention is to carry out a consultation into ways of improving the scheme and implement them in a new ECO Scheme which will probably run for a further 4 years.

However, each time the ECO Scheme has been extended, funding has been reduced. So it is important to apply for a storage heater grant or a boiler grant from the Affordable Warmth Scheme before the funds run out.

Who installs electric storage heaters, boilers and insulation under Affordable Warmth?

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Only accredited, professional installers who have been properly vetted and who have been granted funding to carry out installations under the Affordable Warmth Scheme are allowed to carry out the work.

If you are applying for a storage heater grant from Affordable Warmth, the installer will be on the NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) register.

Free Boiler Scheme FAQs

If you are applying for a gas boiler grant from Affordable Warmth, the installer will be on the Gas Safe Register.  All of the oil boiler installation companies are accredited by the Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC)

Free boiler scheme FAQs   Free boiler scheme FAQs

For cavity wall insulation, free solid wall insulation or free loft insulation the installer should be a member of NIA (National Insulation Association) or CIGA (Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency).

Free boiler scheme FAQs   Free boiler scheme FAQs

Which boilers qualify for replacement under the Affordable Warmth Scheme?

Boiler Grants are available for:

To qualify for a boiler grant your existing boiler must be:

  • Less than 86% efficient and faulty OR
  • More than 86 % efficient, faulty AND cost more to repair than to replace.

You can check your boiler’s efficiency rating HERE.

A boiler is classed as faulty under the Affordable Warmth Obligation if it has one of the following faults:

  • Burner does not light
  • Burner lights but will not work up to full operating pressure
  • Boiler operates but then over heats causing it to shut down
  • Boiler operates but is excessively noisy or makes banging noises
  • Boiler lights but suffers Vitiation (lack of oxygen)
  • Boiler has a gas or water leak which cannot be stopped without fitting a new part
  • Operating the boiler causes an RCD or similar to cut out, either completely or intermittently
  • Boiler fails a flue gas analysis test 24 hours after being serviced
  • Boiler’s burner operates intermittently for no obvious reason
  • Boiler operates but when it reaches the set temperature, the burner shuts off
  • Integral central heating pump will not run even though the spindle is not stuck
  • Boiler suffers severe corrosion which affects or is likely to affect its sealed nature, or in any way makes it unsafe to use
  • Other faults with your central heating boiler or the condition of your heating system may also qualify. The Technical Surveyor will report the condition and an officer involved with the ECO Affordable Warmth Scheme will make a decision.