Our customers rate us

Excellent

Google stars

Rated 4.7 on

Google logo

What is the ECO+ Scheme?

Eco + scheme for houses

What is the ECO+ (ECO Plus) Scheme? (Benefits, Eligibility and How to Apply)

Like many other countries, the UK has been doubling its efforts to make energy usage cleaner and cheaper for its residents. To this end, the government has formulated policies, programmes, and schemes to ease homeowners into a more energy-efficient way of living.

The ECO Plus scheme is another initiative for eco-friendly energy consumption in the country. But if you’re only hearing about this scheme now, you might be wondering, “What is the ECO+ (Eco Plus) Scheme?” and “How will it benefit me as a homeowner?”

Here, we cover every detail of this brand-new scheme from the government. We’ll walk you through its benefits and eligibility requirements and break down the steps you’ll need to take to apply.

Overview of the ECO+ (Eco Plus) Scheme

The ECO+ (Eco Plus) Scheme is a new government initiative announced in November 2022. The programme falls under Ofgem’s energy-efficiency initiatives and complements the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme introduced in 2013.

Much like ECO4, the ECO+ scheme’s design seeks to tackle the country’s fuel poverty, reduce energy bills, decrease carbon emissions and increase home’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings. The goal is to upgrade the least energy-efficient homes in Great Britain by giving financial support to install new home insulation. Energy efficiency measures like insulation are a great way to save money and reduce energy prices you pay each month.

The UK government set aside £1 billion for the Eco Plus funding. Set to launch in April 2023 and end in 2026, it’s estimated to benefit hundreds of thousands of homes in England, Scotland, and Wales by offering a single insulation measure capable of increasing your energy efficiency rating through government support.

However, in April 2023, the government decided to move the scheme’s opening to summer 2023. They also rebranded the programme as the Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) to increase consumer awareness of the support on offer.

20% of the £1 billion budget will target low-income and vulnerable households. These are often homeowners ineligible for other ECO scheme support because of their property’s condition.

The other 80% will be available for the least energy-efficient households. These are domestic buildings on the lower Council Tax Bands with a low Energy Performance Certificate rating (EPC).

With this update, the government hopes to forward its plan to reduce the UK’s total energy demand by 15% between 2021 and 2023 as a part of its Net Zero campaign.

What Can You Get From the Great British Insulation Scheme?

Depending on the insulation you need, you may get full or partial funding for insulation installation. For example, if you have a detached home in need of wall insulation, the scheme can cover the full or a portion of the estimated £1,000 to £2,000 cost.

However, it’s worth noting that as a homeowner, you won’t get the money to buy the insulation materials for your house. Your energy company will instead manage everything, from receiving the funds to purchasing materials and insulating your home.

Still, while you won’t receive upfront money, the government expects beneficiary households to save up to £400 per year on energy bills. That’s over 20% of the new £1,926 yearly gas and electricity price cap (as of 1 January 2024 to 31 March 2024) as reported by Ofgem.

What Types of Insulation Does the Great British Insulation Scheme Cover?

Since the goal is to help as many homes as possible, the scheme will primarily provide cheaper insulation measures like wall and roof insulation. The full range of insulation under the Great British Insulation Scheme includes the following:

  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Solid wall insulation
  • Loft insulation
  • Pitched roof insulation
  • Flat roof insulation
  • Solid floor insulation
  • Under-floor insulation
  • Room-in-room insulation
  • Park home insulation

 

The scheme also allows secondary measures, such as room thermostats, smart heating controls and boiler programmers, for domestic buildings with functional insulation owned by a low-income beneficiary.

This additional technology will ensure that low income and vulnerable households are better able to control their energy use to keep bills down with their new insulation measures.

Who Is Eligible for the Great British Insulation Scheme?

The programme aims to support over 450,000 British homeowners. But how do you know if your house is eligible?

In its latest iteration, the scheme’s budget will be subdivided into two types of homeowner groups: general and low-income. So, to qualify, you’ll have to fall into one of these categories.

General Group

The general group refers to households with an annual income higher than the median with poor building insulation installed. In other words, those living in properties with an Energy Performance Certificate of D to G.

Another requirement for the general group is your property’s Council Tax Band. Currently, the Great British Insulation Scheme only accepts applications from households with properties belonging to Council Tax bands A to E.

Low-Income Group

As the name suggests, the low-income group are households earning less than £30,000 every year. It also means homeowners or tenants currently benefiting from the following government means tested qualifying benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Universal Credit
  • Tax Credit (for child and work)
  • Child Benefit
  • Pension Credit
  • Saving Credit
  • Income-related Allowance
  • Jobseeker Allowance
  • Pension Guarantee Credit

 

You can check your eligibility and scheme group through the GOV.UK website or energy suppliers participating in the programme. The nearest local authorities should help you contact energy suppliers as well.

Here’s a tip:

The quickest way to identify if you qualify is by working with Eco Grants. Within a minute, you’ll know if you can benefit from a scheme, and we’ll even help you through the application process if you qualify.

How to Apply to the ECO+ (Eco Plus) Scheme

Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to apply for the Great British Insulation Scheme in 2023:

Step 1: Confirm Your Eligibility

To apply for the support, you’ll want to check if you qualify per the scheme’s requirements. You can use online tools like Eco Grants to verify your eligibility.

The assessor will ask for personal details, including your name, contact information, address, house type, existing insulation status, and energy supplier. After confirming your eligibility, you’ll get a referral to an energy supplier for the next step.

Step 2: Contact Energy Supplier

The energy supplier will contact you for another assessment. They’ll arrange a date to visit your home and examine your property’s situation.

An installer will determine the appropriate insulation measures needed for your home. They’ll also provide a quote outlining the details of the installation, including its overall costs and if you’ll need to pay anything.

Step 3: Proceed with Quote

After the assessment, it’s up to you to disagree or agree with the quote and proceed. But if you disagree, you can opt not to continue and find another energy supplier.

Here’s a valuable tip:

The type and level of support you’ll get will vary between installer companies. As such, it’s best practice to “shop around” to ensure you get the best deal.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the Great British Insulation Scheme last?

The Great British Insulation Scheme will run for three years until 2026. This date corresponds with the ECO4, Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, and the Home Upgrade Grant.

Is the Great British Insulation Scheme available in Northern Ireland?

No. The Great British Insulation Scheme won’t be available to homeowners in Northern Ireland. The initiative’s fund allocation only accounts for people living in Wales, England, and Scotland.

Will the British Insulation Scheme cover the whole cost?

The level of funding you receive will depend on the assessment of the energy companies. For this reason, they may ask you to pay a small portion of the installation costs.

That said, the government proposed to cover at least 75% of the total charges. So, homeowners will only need to pay for the remaining 25%.

Can you blend the Great British Insulation scheme with other grants?

Unfortunately, Ofgem doesn’t permit blending the Great British Insulation Scheme with other grants and energy-efficiency programmes. As such, any other measures or support a household will receive should be done before or after the insulation scheme and should be focussed on other energy saving measures away from insulation upgrades.

ECO Plus/The Great British Insulation Scheme Summary

The increase in gas prices has led to an alarming energy crisis affecting homeowners and businesses in the UK. And with energy costs skyrocketing, many of us are looking for cheaper energy alternatives.

The Great British Insulation Scheme is an excellent initiative to achieve an energy-efficient household. It reduces your household’s bills and contributes to the UK’s carbon reduction campaigns. It’s your chance to upgrade your home and help with your bills and the environment.

If you’re considering applying to the Great British Insulation Scheme (formerly known as ECO+) then work with Eco Grants by ZOA Energy Solutions today and we can help with the application process if you qualify for support, and then install the insulation for you, too!

Table of Contents