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Boiler Replacement Schemes For Over-60s

Boiler replacements scheme for over 60s

If you’re over 60, government-backed schemes and grants are available to fund a boiler replacement or cover a large part of the cost.

The main initiative you’ll be interested in is the Energy Company Obligation Scheme. Under this programme, pensioners can claim a grant for a new boiler, if they get pension credit or Working Tax Credits.

If you’re over 60, but haven’t reached state pension age, you could still get financial help to install a new boiler if you’re in receipt of any one of a number of eligible government benefits. Even if you’re not receiving any type of benefits you may still be able to get funding from the local authority to replace an inefficient boiler.

 

Free Boilers for Over-60s Under the ECO Scheme

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Scheme is a government-backed scheme administered by Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) and funded by the main energy companies. It’s in its fourth and final phase – the £4 billion funded ECO4 – which is expected to run until March 2026.

Under the initiative, major energy providers commit to providing funding to help households reduce carbon emissions and impact on their heating bills to counter fuel poverty. They do this with a broad spectrum of grants for home energy efficiency improvements, including in some cases free boiler replacement.

If you’re over 60 and have an old boiler, you may be able to get government boiler grants to cover all or a substantial part of the cost of installing a new energy efficient boiler. The funding does not cover boiler repair.

 

ECO4 Boiler Grants for Pensioners

To qualify for an ECO4 grant under the free boiler scheme you need to have an old inefficient boiler and be receiving an income-related government benefit.

Receiving the state pension in itself doesn’t make you eligible for funding, as the pension is not an income-based benefit, but instead is triggered automatically once you reach the age of 66, regardless of your income. 

However, if your pension is supplemented by pension credit – Pension Savings Credit and/or Pension Guarantee Credit – you do meet the eligibility criteria for financial support for a replacement boiler or heating system. You may also be eligible for a boiler grant if you receive Working Tax Credit.

 

Free Boiler Grants for Over-60s

If you’re over 60 but under state pension age, you could qualify (like any other adult) for funding for a boiler replacement if you claim any of the following government benefits:

  • Universal Credit.
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support.
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC).
  • Warm Home Discount Scheme rebate.
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

  

ECO Scheme Boiler Grant Eligibility Criteria

Besides getting benefits, to qualify for funding for free boilers, you need to meet the following conditions:

  • You’re a homeowner or a tenant in privately rented accommodation.
  • Your gas boiler is more than eight years old.
  • Your boiler is highly inefficient
  • Your home has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D, E, F or G.

 

ECO4 Boiler Grant Applications

You can apply for a free boiler grant from any one of the energy suppliers taking part in the Energy Company Obligation programme. The company doesn’t have to be your energy provider. Participating energy suppliers are:

  • Octopus Energy.
  • British Gas.
  • E.On.
  • EDF.
  • OVO.
  • Scottish Power.
  • Shell Energy.
  • Outfox the Market.
  • E (Gas & Electricity) Ltd.
  • So Energy.
  • The Utility Warehouse.
  • Utilita Energy Limited.

 

Boiler Replacement for Over-60s Through the Local Authority Flexibility Scheme

Over-60s not getting any benefits may be able to get a free boiler replacement under the Local Authority Flexibility (LA Flex) programme. This allows local councils to expand eligibility of ECO4 beyond just those households receiving government benefits.

Under the scheme, boiler replacement grants are available to homeowners, including over-60s, not getting a means-tested benefit but on a low income or considered in ‘fuel poverty’ and at risk from living in a cold home.

To qualify for LA Flex funding, your current boiler has to be a non-condensing model and your annual household income must be less than £31,000. Your home must also have an EPC rating of G, F or E or no Energy Performance Certificate at all.

You may also be eligible for an LA Flex boiler grant if you have a serious health problem likely to be made worse by living in a cold home.

 

Benefits of a Boiler Replacement

There are plenty of benefits from accessing funding under what is in many cases effectively a free boiler replacement scheme. Having a new boiler installed will save money for those eligible for the financial assistance.

Gas boilers power heating and hot water in most homes. Older boilers are generally more inefficient boilers and cost more to run. Some waste up to 40% of the fuel (in most cases gas) they use. This can add more than £300 to annual energy bills. 

Then there’s the added cost of boiler service, maintenance and repairs needed (Surfer optmised) to keep an old boiler operational. These will be necessary to ensure your boiler is running as efficiently as possible. This may increase the lifespan of your boiler but won’t make it as efficient as a newer boiler.

The alternative is to replace your outdated boiler with a modern condensing boiler A+ rated for energy efficiency. This could save up to 30% on energy bills – around £600 in some cases.

New boilers can also be key in avoiding or getting out of fuel poverty by providing households with energy efficient heating systems that will bring bill savings year after year.

Another route is to pursue funding from the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, but this is aimed at households replacing boilers with energy efficient heat pumps. These can be expensive to install, and with grants of up to £7,500 available, households could be expected to find significant investment themselves to cover the remainder of the cost. This could put it outside the affordability of many over 60s in fixed incomes.

 

Fuel Poverty and Older Households

High energy prices hit low-income households hard, especially those in energy inefficient homes, which use more gas and electricity.

Homes of older people are more likely to lack sufficient energy efficiency measures, and an estimated 2.1 million pensioners in the UK are considered to be living in poverty. 

Medical conditions increase with age, and campaigners working to combat fuel poverty say people with insufficient money to heat their home properly are more vulnerable to physical and mental health problems.

According to National Energy Action (NEA), around 10,000 people die each year as a result of living in a cold home. The fuel poverty charity says cold homes trigger or aggravate serious health issues such as bronchitis, heart attack, stroke, and asthma.  Fuel poverty is also a known risk factor for suicide.

In November 2023, Age UK, which champions the rights of older people, reported that 60% of over-60s on low incomes were cutting back on heating or powering their homes because they feared being unable to pay energy bills.

Free boiler replacements can be an important factor in countering fuel poverty among the over-60s by reducing energy use and costs. You can use this free eligibility check to find out whether you qualify for a free or subsidised replacement boiler.

CHECK ELIGIBILITY

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