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What Is The ECO4 Scheme?

Eco 4 Scheme

If you’re looking into eco home improvement grants then the likelihood is you will have come across the ECO4 scheme. Unfortunately for many, you will have also come across ECO3, ECO2, and ECO+ during that research, too, and that can leave many people scratching their heads about what the ECO4 grant scheme even is and how it differs from other similar grants and schemes. 

Below we’ll cover what the ECO4 scheme is, what eco home improvements it covers, who it is most relevant to, its eligibility criteria, and how it differs from other grants. Essentially, we’ll make sure Eco Grants is your one-stop-shop for all things ECO4, so you know exactly what it’s all about. 

ECO4 Grant Scheme Explained 

ECO4 (Energy Company Obligation) is a scheme backed by the government that aims to tackle energy efficiency issues in Great Britain. It is the fourth phase of the government’s plan, with ECO4 starting in August 2022, and running until the end of March 2026. 

The idea is that the ECO4 grant scheme will offer free, or significantly cheaper, energy efficiency measures to vulnerable households. This will help improve their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating, showing that their home’s energy efficiency and performance is greatly improved. 

When a house’s energy efficiency increases, the amount of carbon emissions it produces decreases, and that’s obviously good for the planet. It also helps the government on their journey to Net Zero by 2050 – a legally binding target.  

Essentially, ECO4 is the government’s way of ensuring the largest energy suppliers (those energy companies with 150,000 or more customers) support their most vulnerable customers, and those with the least energy efficient homes, with energy efficient upgrades to reduce energy bills and carbon emissions. 

What Eco Home Improvements Does ECO4 Cover? 

Now you know what the ECO4 scheme is, it’s worth knowing what sort of energy efficient improvement measures it will cover:

 

How Does ECO4 Differ From ECO3, ECO2 & ECO+? 

With any home improvement grant, it’s vital that you stay up to date with the most relevant information. That’s why it’s really important that you keep in mind that ECO4 is the latest iteration of the Energy Company Obligation scheme – ECO3 came before that, ECO2 before that, and naturally, ECO was the first version of the scheme. 

Now, it’s important to note that the eligibility criteria for ECO3, etc, was different to ECO4. So, if you’re wondering if you qualify for ECO4 grant support from the energy companies funding, make sure you’re focussing on ECO4 only.

For example, ECO3 focussed far more on government benefits than ECO4 does. With ECO4, the eligibility criteria seems to be focused around household income, and those likely to be in fuel poverty, rather than specific benefits – but we’ll cover more of this in the ECO4 eligibility criteria below. 

What About ECO+?

ECO+ is different to the other iterations because it is actually an ongoing scheme even now, albeit under a different name, and it’s separate from the other ECO schemes in that its sole focus is on insulation, particularly loft insulation and cavity wall insulation, rather than eco home improvements more widely. 

Now known as the Great British Insulation Scheme, its aim is to target the most vulnerable households with the lowest incomes living in energy inefficient homes to improve their insulation and increase thermal efficiency in the home to reduce their energy costs. 

ECO4, on the other hand, focuses on multiple different eco home improvements to improve energy efficiency and has different eligibility criteria.

ECO4 Eligibility Criteria 

In order to qualify for support under ECO4 you’ll need to meet certain criteria. The scheme targets low income households in poor performing homes in terms of energy efficiency, so the eligibility criteria reflects this. 

If you meet the following criteria then you’ll likely qualify for support under the government’s energy company obligation for energy efficiency measures. You should have a household income below £31,000 per year, AND: 

  • Be in receipt of government benefits OR someone in your household/a tenant is (we’ll cover the full list of applicable government benefits below, as well as the benefits that previously entitled you to support under previous ECO schemes but no longer do) OR
  • Have a property with energy efficiency rating (EPC rating) of D-G OR
  • Receive child benefit AND your household income falls below a specific threshold (we’ll cover this in greater detail below, too)

 

Applicable Government Benefits VS Previously Applicable Benefits

Applicable Government Benefits Under ECO4 No Longer Applicable Under ECO4
Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance Armed Forces Independence Payment
Income-Related Employment & Support Allowance War Pensions Mobility Supplement
Income Support Attendance Allowance
Pension Credit Guarantee Constant Attendance Allowance
Working Tax Credit Personal Independence Payment
Child Tax Credits Carer’s Allowance
Universal Credit Disability Living Allowance 
Housing Benefit Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
Pension Credit Savings Severe Disablement Allowance

 

It’s important to note the difference here. The list of ‘No Longer Applicable Under ECO4‘ benefits were previously eligible under ECO3, which is why keeping up to date with the most relevant information is vital when applying for grants and schemes like ECO4.

Child Benefit Household Income Thresholds

If you’re in receipt of child benefit then you could qualify for ECO4 support for an eco home improvement. However, receiving child benefit alone isn’t enough for you to qualify, you also need a household income below a specific threshold. 

For single-parent households:

  • 1 child: £19,800
  • 2 children: £24,600 
  • 3 children: £29,400
  • 4+ children: £34,200

 

For two-parent households: 

  • 1 child: £27,300
  • 2 children: £32,100
  • 3 children: £36,900
  • 4+ children: £41,700

 

What If I Don’t Qualify For The ECO4 Scheme?

If you don’t qualify for ECO4 support, then that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t qualify for any support at all. If you’re a low income household living in an energy inefficient home then you may still qualify for support under LA Flex. 

Here, local authorities and councils are given greater flexibility to offer support to people in their local communities who need it most. Energy suppliers can also use LA Flex to better support customers who are struggling to pay high energy bills due to their home’s poor energy efficiency driving up the cost of heating their homes, but who might not qualify under ECO4.

Although each local authority and council can set different eligibility criteria, they do aim to support vulnerable households in energy inefficient properties – so their eligibility criteria will usually reflect this. 

Read more about LA Flex.

How Do I Apply For ECO4 Funding? 

If you think you might be eligible for ECO4 funding for an eco home improvement, then it’s worth checking your eligibility with Eco Grants today. We’ll be able to tell you with certainty if you qualify or not, and if you do, we can even support you through the application process so you can receive the funding you’re entitled to. 

Working with Eco Grants is the best way to find out if you qualify quickly.

ECO4 Summary 

The Energy Company Obligation ECO4 scheme is an excellent way for energy suppliers to provide support to customers who are struggling with high energy bills due to their poor energy efficiency. Although you’ll need to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria in order to receive support, it’s still an incredible avenue of support for those who need to make certain eco home improvements to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. 

Check if you qualify with Eco Grants today. And if you do, we can support you through the application process and even carry out the eco home improvement installation(s) ourselves. At ZOA Energy Solutions we have years of experience installing a range of energy efficiency measures, so why not check if you qualify for grant support today? 

ECO4 Scheme FAQs

Will ECO4 cover the full cost of my eco home improvement installation? 

It’s difficult to say exactly how much support you’ll receive when you apply for an ECO4 grant, largely because it’s decided on a case by case basis. The energy supplier providing you with your support will take a look at your specific circumstances, and then determine which eco home improvements you need to raise the EPC rating of your property. Most energy inefficient properties would benefit from some insulation measures as a bare minimum, although other measures could be available under the ECO4 scheme.

After that, they’ll decide exactly how much of the cost of the installation(s) you require they’ll cover. You may receive an eco home improvement completely free, or at a fraction of the cost. Either way, you’ll be making significant savings on the cost of your eco home improvement with ECO4 grant support. 

How much can I save on energy bills with eco home improvements? 

That depends on a few different factors, such as your home size, your current energy efficiency measures, and how much you’re home during the day etc. However, Energy Saving Trust have put together multiple guides on energy efficiency measures that could show you exactly how much you’ll save each year on your energy bills. We’ve compiled the most relevant information for you below. 

 

Energy Efficiency Measure Potential Annual Savings*
Solar panels (with Smart Export Guarantee payments) £350-£565
Energy efficient boiler (based on detached house) £285-£630
Underfloor insulation (based on multiple property types) £60-£155
Roof & loft insulation (from 0mm of insulation to 270mm) £260-£475

 

*Figures correct based on Energy Saving Trust calculations made in July 2023 reflecting fuel prices at the time.

What are the other benefits to making eco home improvements? 

Depending on the eco home improvements you make, there will be a range of different benefits you can expect, besides the obvious energy bill savings each year. These may include:

  •  A more comfortable home that’s better able to hold on to the heat
  • A greener home with fewer carbon emissions
  • An increased home valuation 
  • Better health in a warmer home in winter, and cooler home in summer 
  • Low maintenance and less wear and tear than older systems
  • Better energy efficiency 
  • Quieter operation than older systems

 

Can I use ECO4 grant support in conjunction with other grants and schemes? 

No. Measures that are funded under ECO4 can not be part or fully funded by any other grants or schemes. This is to prevent people from claiming support more than once from different grants and schemes for the same energy saving measure. 

Besides, the support on offer from ECO4 is substantial, and should cover all or most of the cost of the installation so multiple grants and schemes to cover the same eco home improvement wouldn’t be necessary. 

How much support is available with ECO4? 

ECO4 runs from August 2022 to March 31 2026, and will deliver grants and support amounting to £4 billion in that time – £1 billion of funding per year. During this time, the government is aiming to ensure ALL homes in the UK reach an EPC rating of at least D, so anybody living in an home with an EPC rating below this ought to seek out ECO4 support. 

Check if you qualify for ECO4 scheme support with Eco Grants today. 

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