Welcome to our 5-minute guide to free boiler replacement grants for pensioners.
If your boiler is on the blink and you don’t have the cash upfront for a new one (who does?), there are a few options.
Below we’ll cover:
- Free boiler replacement options
- The application process
- Boiler installation costs for those that aren’t eligible
We’ve also included some quick references towards the end for some further savings that are available, by applying to Government schemes offering supplements for UK residents on their fuel bills.
Free Boiler Replacement Options For Pensioners
Not all pensioners are eligible for a free boiler.
However, below we’ll explain who is eligible and how you can apply.
Essentially, you’ve got two options here:
- ECO Boiler Scheme – England, Scotland & Wales
- Age Concern Boiler Replacement Grant – Northern Ireland
Free Boilers In England, Scotland & Wales
For England, Scotland and Wales, the option of a free boiler is limited to the ECO scheme setup by the UK Government.
The ECO (Energy Company Obligation) Boiler Scheme
The Government’s ECO Scheme isn’t just limited to boiler installation.
If you qualify for a free boiler, there’s a good chance you might also qualify for:
- Free boiler repairs
- Free property insulation
If you’re looking for more details on the insulation segment of the ECO scheme, you’ll want to search the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO).
For boilers, the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) section of the ECO scheme is designed to help those that need it when it comes to heating their home.
So, that’s boiler replacements and boiler repairs.
Who Funds The ECO Grant, And Am I Guaranteed A Free Boiler?
The ECO boiler scheme is supported by the biggest six energy suppliers. Not everyone (even when eligible for a Grant) is guaranteed a payment that results in a free boiler.
On many occasions, the payment is likely to contribute to the replacement cost, rather than cover it.
Either way, it’s free money!
The eligibility criteria specifically for pensioners is simple.
You’ll need to be receiving Pension Guarantee Credit, and be over 60 years old.
However, if you’re a pensioner that doesn’t receive Pension Guarantee Credit, you or your family might be eligible if you receive:
- ESA (Employment Supporter Allowance)
- JSA (Job Seekers Allowance)
- A regular form of Income Support
- Tax Credits (There are conditions here based on household income)
- Universal Credit (Like Tax Credits, there are conditions limiting eligibility based on household income)
The Government will replace boilers that are:
However, the boiler needs to be more than 10 years old.
If you have a boiler that isn’t 10 years old (or older) and is condensing, it’s unlikely you will be eligible.
Living arrangements that are not currently covered for a free boiler are:
- Social housing
If you are a pensioner living in either of the below living arrangements, you could be eligible for an ECO funded boiler:
- Privately Rented
- Property Owner
How To Apply For A Free Boiler (ECO Funded)
If you are eligible (or aren’t 100% sure if you are), the best thing you can do is speak to an adviser.
If you’re a pensioner looking for a free boiler, you can start the application process here.
An adviser will be able to determine if you’re eligible.
Free Boilers For Pensioners In Northern Ireland
So, the ECO scheme is one that provides thousands of pensioners with a new boiler in the UK.
But, what if you’re in Northern Ireland?
Age Concern Free Boiler Replacement Scheme
Like the ECO Boiler Scheme in the UK, the Age Concern Scheme is designed to help pensioners improve the energy efficiency of their property.
Although Age Concern advertises this as a free boiler replacement, their website states that eligibility will lead to a Grant of up to £1,000.
This Grant is certainly not enough to cover the cost of a complete boiler installation.
The scheme has helped over 18,000 people in N.I. upgrade their central heating systems since it was launched.
So, which pensioners are eligible for the Age Concern free boiler replacement scheme?
- Household income of less than £40,000 (for the full £1,000 Grant)
- Household income of less than £20,000 (for a Grant of up to £700)
- Household income of £20,000-£40,000 (for a Grant of up to £500, or £400 if no new controls are installed)
For gas boilers, the mains connection needs to have been made over 15 years ago.
The upgrade Grant can be used for converting the current boiler to a more efficient gas or oil boiler.
It can also be used to convert your existing central heating system to an eco-friendly wood pellet boiler (bio-mass).
Properties need to be owner-occupied.
How To Apply For A Free Boiler
Speak to Age Concern by following this link: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/northern-ireland/home–care/improving-your-home/boiler-replacement-scheme/
You can also call them on 03448 920900, or email the free boiler replacement team: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boiler Replacement Costs (Without Grants)
If you’ve determined you’re not eligible for a free boiler (for instance, you’re not on benefits or Guaranteed Pension Credit), here’s a quick guide to understand boiler installation costs.
A typical 2-3 bedroom property is likely to cost anywhere between £1,800-,£2,500.
Now, that might seem slightly vague. But, there are a range of things that affect the cost of a boiler replacement. This might include:
- The size (and therefore cost) of the boiler
- Type of boiler (for instance, oil boilers are more expensive than gas boilers)
- Additional pipework needed
- Upgrading a boiler to a combi from a regular or system boiler
- Converting a boiler to or from LPG, gas, oil or bio-mass
If you’re confused, the best thing to do is get a few quotes which you can do here.
We’ve also produced a boiler installation cost guide that you can read through.
This tries to account for a few different scenarios to give a more accurate cost estimate for boiler replacement.
Energy Bill Supplements
So, now you’ve sorted out your new boiler, there are a few other ways for you to save money on your boiler’s fuel bills.
The Government runs a range of schemes designed to supplement payments, and not just for pensioners.
Warm Home Discount
As a pensioner, you’ll be eligible for the Warm Home Discount if you get a Pension Credit Guarantee.
The Warm Home Discount is for pensioners and low-income households and provides a utility discount of up to £140.
You can find out more about the Warm Home Discount here.
Cold Weather Payment
Cold Weather Payments are specifically for the colder weeks in the year.
The Government subsidise utility payments by £25 for every 7 days of extreme cold weather.
The Government website has more details on Cold Weather Payment eligibility.
Thanks for reading our 5-minute guide to free boiler replacement Grants for pensioners.
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