The low down on ECO and FREE insulation

ECO (the Energy Company Obligation) is a £1.4 billion pot of money to support a wide range of property owners from the poorest and most vulnerable to property owners who own hard to treat homes. Therefore, almost anyone can benefit from ECO and free insulation. It is worth finding out about your property and whether you qualify for free energy efficiency improvements on your home.

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) has taken over from the existing grants, the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), from the beginning of 2013. The Energy Company Obligation places legal obligations for larger energy suppliers to provide energy efficient measures to domestic energy users. This is intended to run alongside the Green Deal. The Green Deal helps people to make energy efficiency improvements to buildings by allowing home owners to pay the costs of installation through their energy bills instead of upfront!

ECO targets:

  1. 1.       Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation

Energy companies must focus on hard-to-treat homes and measure that are not fully funded by the Green Deal such as hard to treat cavity wall and solid wall insulation. Other insulation measures and connections to district heating systems are also eligible if combined as part of the package including solid wall and hard to treat cavity wall insulation.

This is available to everyone. Therefore, if you live in a solid wall or hard to treat cavity walled property you could have the following: external solid wall insulation, internal wall insulation, heating systems and loft insulation installed at your property and up to 100% funded so £10,000 + of work done for free at your home.

  1. 2.       Home heating cost reduction obligation

Energy suppliers are required to provide measures to improve the ability of low income and vulnerable households to heat their homes, this is also known as the affordable warmth group. These measures include for example the replacement and repair of a boiler.

Are you eligible for the Affordable Warmth funding?

Firstly, you must own your own property or rent the property privately and have the owner’s permission for the work to go ahead.

Secondly, you must also get one of the following benefits:

  • Pension Credit Child Tax Credit (and your income is £15,860 or less.
  • Working Tax Credit (and your income is £15,860 or less) – plus one of the extra conditions below
  • Income Support – plus one of the extra conditions below
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance – plus one of the extra conditions below
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance – plus the support or work related element, or one of the extra conditions below

Extra conditions: 

For certain benefits, one of the following must also apply:

  • Your responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they’re in education or training)
  • You get Disabled Child Premium
  • You get Disability Premium
  • You get Pensioner Premium
  • You’re 60 or over (only if you get Working Tax Credit)

If you meet the criteria above for the affordable warmth group you could get free loft insulation, a free boiler and other energy efficient measures and systems all for free.

Therefore, if your property is a solid wall construction, a hard to treat cavity wall construction or you are on certain benefits then you are eligible to have thousands of pounds worth of property efficiency improvements installed at your home completely free. Get in touch with your local Green Deal assessor to find out what you are entitled to for free.

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