By Christabel Watts - posted on October 1, 2018

Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

You may be eligible for free or subsidised energy efficiency improvements if you meet certain eligibility criteria. Support may be available to owner-occupiers, private tenants and in some cases social housing tenants.

Eligibility criteria

The eligibility criteria for ECO are based on your financial situation. For a list of the means-tested benefits, disability benefits and armed forces benefits eligible see the table below. Child benefit can also be eligible, with an income threshold (see table) and self-declaration.

ECO eligibility table

Measures

A range of measures may be available for those eligible for help:

  • Insulation
  • Broken heating repairs and replacements (doesn’t include coal, but does include oil)
  • First time central heating (doesn’t include oil, and if replacing electric storage heaters these must be broken or inefficient)
  • Inefficient heating replacements (doesn’t include coal and oil), alongside certain insulation measures (wall insulation, Room in Roof insulation, flat roof insulation, insulation of a mobile home and under floor insulation, but not loft insulation)
  • Efficient heating replacements if replaced by renewables
  • District heating

The availability of measures and funding depends on the tenure type and may vary during the scheme so please contact us for up to date information. With the introduction of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) in April 2018, landlords will not be able to use ECO to meet minimum standards (EPC rated E or above), apart from the hard to treat measures of solid wall insulation and renewable heating.

Social housing

Only the most inefficient houses (with an E, F and G rated EPC) are able to take advantage of insulation measures and first-time central heating (including district heating and renewable heating).

ECO flexibility

The government has recognised that some of those most in need aren’t receiving the eligible benefits so are missing out, particularly those who have long term health conditions and other vulnerabilities. In response the government has allowed energy companies to adopt a ‘flexible’ approach in delivering 25% of their ECO commitments. This approach will be delivered with support from participating local councils.

Local councils can identify and put forward households they consider to on a low income and vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home or low income with high energy costs but not receiving eligible benefits. Please contact your council to find out if they are participating.