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Who Qualifies For Boiler Grants? [HHCRO & ECO Schemes Explained]
1,000s of people in the UK are eligible for free boiler grants, repairs or a subsidised boiler installation.
Below we’ll cover the different types of funding available in the UK, eligibility criteria, and how to apply.
Table of Contents
What Is ECO?
The most common route to getting free boiler grant, is the ECO government scheme.
ECO (Energy Company Obligation), is a Government objective to reduce emissions for low income families, and reduce fuel poverty across the UK. This doesn’t just include grants for boilers, but repairs and other installs that help improve efficiency and reduce bills, such as cavity wall insulation.
The initiative is backed by medium to large energy companies. Their annual quota will be based on current market share.
Below is a list of all participants in ECO, although some aren’t relevant to boiler replacement grants or repairs:
- British Gas
- E.ON Energy
- EDF Energy
- Scottish and Southern Energy
- Scottish Power
- First Utility
- The Co-operative Energy
- The Utility Warehouse
- Economy Energy
- Green Star
The list is subject to change, and can be found on ofgem’s website.
It’s the job of ofgem to monitor the progress of these companies when it comes to their obligation.
The focus of the ECO scheme is the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO), which has been explained below.
From this, there have been a range of ECO boiler grants available (the initial ECO scheme started in 2013, with criteria changing as the scheme has evolved).
What Is HHCRO?
The Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (also known as HHCRO and ECO3) focuses on heating improvements.
The aim here is to help:
- Low income families
- Vulnerable households (the disabled and pensioners, for instance).
For HHCRO grants, there are strict qualifying criteria, but they’re available for:
- Privately rented properties (you’ll need the landlord’s permission to have work completed)
- Owner occupied properties.
Generally, HHCRO boiler grants aren’t currently available for social housing tenants. However, those living in social housing with a EPC rating of E, F or G, could qualify (check the GOV.UK site here).
To qualify for HHCRO and ECO grants, the Government takes into account:
- Current benefits
- Level of income
- Tax credits
- The list continues…!
Who Qualifies For A New Boiler?
As we’ve mentioned, qualifying for a free boiler isn’t easy, but this list gives a breakdown of the accepted benefits to qualify for an ECO boiler grant or to have a HHCRO boiler subsidised:
- Working Tax, Universal or Pension Guarantee Credit
- Job Seeker’s, Employment and Support, Disability Living, Severe Disablement, Attendance, Constant Attendance or Carer’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Industrial Injuries Disablement or Child Benefits
- Armed Forces Independence or (PIP) Personal Independence Payment
- War Pensions Mobility Supplement
Qualification criteria is subject to change. Please see the GOV.UK website for the full and up to date list.
Which Boilers Are Eligible For Replacement?
The ECO scheme is subject to change, but the current outline means that if you have an old boiler that’s running on gas, oil or LPG, you could qualify for grants or a free installation.
If in doubt, visit the ofgem ECO page, or contact them:
- Email: [email protected]
- Visit the Government backed advice site: https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/
- Phone Home Energy (Scotland): 0808 808 2282
Boiler Grants For Pensioners
We’ve already covered in detail, how to get free boiler grants as a pensioner. This covers boiler grants for pensioners in England, Scotland, Wales and parts of Ireland.
There, we’ve also covered some additional information, explaining how to reduce your energy bills.
Currently, schemes that offer a reduction in energy bills include:
- Warm Home Discount
- Cold Weather Payment
Boiler Grants For The Disabled
The only specific grant for the disabled available that could entitle the beneficiary to a free boiler, is the Disabled Facilities Grant (remember, you can still check the criteria for the ECO/HHCRO grants mentioned above).
This grant scheme isn’t specifically for boilers. Instead, it’s designed to make a property suitable for living, which includes providing a heating system that is suitable for your needs.
To apply for a free boiler grant, or an upgrade to your existing heating system visit the .GOV.UK application page here.
Boiler Grants For Landlords
Believe it or not, there are free boiler grants available for landlords. The qualifying criteria is based on the tenant, and not the landlord.
So, if a tenant was to qualify based on income and the receipt of benefits, it could mean a free boiler installation, or at the very least, access to boiler grants for repairs and upgrades.
You’ll need to speak to your tenant and visit this page here, to see if they qualify.
Boiler Grants For Charities
It’s a little thin on the ground when it comes to boiler grants for charities, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any options.
Currently, the best option available is the Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme, or, the Energy Redress Scheme.
What’s The Energy Redress Scheme?
Rules get broken.
When the rules around the ECO Government scheme are broken? Large companies get fined.
The Energy Saving Trust has been appointed by OFGEM to distribute the funds from these fines efficiently, via Red Ress.
If you run a charity that doesn’t have close links to an energy company, your charity may be eligible for a boiler grant.
You can find more about Energy Red Ress and your charity’s chance of getting a free boiler grant here.
I Don’t Qualify For A Free Boiler Grant, Now What?
As we’ve mentioned, it’s only a small percentage of the population that qualify for boiler grants. If that’s you, we suggest you make the most out of it.
For everyone else, there’s never a good time to replace a boiler; it’s a large upfront cost. For that reason, you should do as much research as possible; you’d be surprised at how much money you could save by shopping around. Check the new boiler deals.
We’d suggest doing two things, and in both scenarios, finance will be available (usually from around £12-17 per month).
Get A Fixed Price Online
First, we’d go to BOXT. They’re part owned by Bosch, meaning installations on Worcester boilers here are usually the cheapest, when compared to other quotes online, as well as lots of local installers.
Due to the nature of their relationship, you’ll also get things like a boiler filter, smart controls and a long warranty.
Get A Quote From Local Installers
However, we’d not discount local installers just yet. You can jump over to here, book in up to 3 quotes, and compare them back to back with the quote you got online above.
A few things worth asking include:
- How long the warranty is on your new boiler (we’d suggest 5 years or more, BOXT offer up to 10 on Worcester boilers)
- Whether they’ll hot flush the system (this protects your new boiler)
- If smart (or at least new) controls are included in the price.
Thanks for reading our guide to boiler grants.
Got questions about the ECO scheme, or anything else on this page? Managed to obtain a boiler grant and want to share your experience?
Drop us a line, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.