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Free Boiler Replacement Grants For Pensioners In 2021 [Explained]

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. So welcome to our 5-minute guide to free boiler replacement grants for pensioners.

Below we’ll cover:

  • Free boiler replacement options
  • Eligibility
  • 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.

Update: The Government has tightened up on boiler grants and who they give free boilers to. Keep reading to find out if you’re eligible, but if you’re not, we’d suggest getting a fixed price on screen from WarmZilla. They’re a new kid on the block focusing on technology rather than salespeople to keep costs down, so they have some great deals on new boilers.

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!

Your Eligibility

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)

Boiler Eligibility

The Government will replace boilers that are:

  • Gas
  • Oil
  • LPG

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.

Property Eligibility

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, 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.

Your Eligibility

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)

Boiler Eligibility

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).

Property Eligibility

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: [email protected]

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 £2,000-,£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

Those are estimated costs from a local installer for a mid-tier to premium brand, with a 5-year+ warranty.

However, if you’re looking for a cracking deal, we’d suggest visiting WarmZilla. Whilst they don’t offer free boilers, they are extremely cheap.

You’ll be able to get a fixed price from £1,649, like the one we got below, by using their clickable quote form. As these are Worcester Bosch boilers, fitted by accredited installers, you’ll get up to a 10-year warranty.

And, as you can see from the image, you’ll be able to get finance, starting from £10 per month!

If you’re still confused, the best thing to do is read our boiler installation cost guide.

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.

What’s Next?

Thanks for reading our 5-minute guide to free boiler replacement Grants for pensioners.

Found this useful? Pass it on to someone else that might find it useful too.

Got questions about applying for a free boiler? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.



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  1. i am having a new boiler installed tomorrow oct 1st and have just seen your site; i am 64 receive esa and have annual income less than 25k. would i be eligible for assistance or is it too late as its being fitted tomorrow by brit gas?

  2. I am 60 yrs old work 30 hrs a week on no benefits ,but on a low income, boiler is more than 10 yrs old and i am a home owner.

  3. why dont i qualify, i get guarenteed pension credit and am 67 years old.

  4. Hi i am a 62 yr old woman working three days a week with low pay .I need a new boiler but not on benifits so told i am not entitled to one .I am going to find out about benifits to see if i should be getting some as i have no money left over a month

  5. my boiler not working .my husband gets pension credit.do we qualify for a free boiler

  6. My parents qualify for a free boiler. They get pension guarantee credit, own their own home. Present boiler is more than 22 years old. A company dealing with the government funding are still asking my parents for over £1000 towards the cost. Is this correct or are certain companies ripping pensioners off. Please could you reply asap as i am very concerned about this. Thank you

  7. My dad has a broken boiler in his park home. He is really cold but he is still waiting for a claim for pension credit to go through (which we know he will get). How long does it take to get a new boiler once he applies?

  8. can I get help with my boiler replacement ? 68 male here

  9. Hi i.m 84 years old and my boiler is broken. Can you give me new boiler please.
    Or call me [***]

  10. I tried emailing regarding getting help to replace our oil boiler .My Husband is 71 and I will be 70 this year .we own our home ,I’m on a small pension and my husband receives the full state pension.He is also still in employment.Our son lives with us and he receives ESA . I just wondered if we can apply for a grant to change to gas heating.Our oil has been in over 25 years Many thanks Jean Allely

  11. I’m a 66 year old pensioner have never claimed money off the state
    My boiler blew up 3weeks ago I’ve no heating or hot water I suffer from hypertension stress and cold
    I’ve never asked for anything in my life the first time I do a boiler the answer is no

  12. My dad is 70 years old and lives alone. He own’s his house and is not in receipt of pension credits because he gets a small amount each month from the private pension which was my late mums. He is a widower and the amount he gets covers his bills each month. His boiler has been on the blink for months now and he can not afford a new one, with winter coming I am hoping to get something which will make his bills more efficient and that he will be able to afford to pay monthly. Can you help?

  13. I am a pensioner and on pension credit and need help with the boiler which is over 10 years
    Could you please call me on

    1. You should find an advisor and apply for a grant. But please note, we are awaiting guidance from the government over new funding – so actually applying may be a bit complex at the moment.

  14. How do I apply.

    1. By finding an advisor – please read the eligibility paragraph of our guide.

  15. Hi ,I am coming up 63 would I qualify for a free boiler replacement ,I have ms and receive p I p

  16. Really useful, honest information

  17. My mother is 89 . Her oil boiler is leaking water and is not repairable. Loft has been insulated. She is on pension credit

    1. As per our eligibility paragraphs above, the boiler must be 10+ years.

      If that’s the case and you check all other, then find an advisor and apply for a grant. Should work.

  18. would my 82 year old mother be eligible.she has a pension and also attendance allowance.

    1. I am 77 yrs on pension credit garenteed and no savings can you help no heating of any kind since March

    2. Hi Elizabeth,

      I’m afraid only an advisor can do that. If you think your eligibility passes and the boiler’s and property’s eligibility, too, I think you should apply for a grant, yes.

  19. hi we are pensioners of 76 and 73 do not have any benefits coming in only our state pension we need a new boiler my husband still works but he is disable he gets a car
    would we be able to get any help for this

    1. Hi Barbara, to be totally honest the answer is we don’t know yet. Not much has been announced in terms of law. We’ll update the story as soon as we know more for 2019/2020.

  20. hi I am a 71 year old lady.back in febuary/march I had covic 19. at the same time my boiler stoped working and I had to have a new one .I am on penstion credit so had to borrow the money £2 500 a lot of money for me. please can you tell me if I can get any help at all

    1. We’ll have someone reach out. Thank you Kathleen.

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