The Government’s latest energy efficiency grant scheme is the ECO (Energy Company Obligation) scheme, which provides people who meet certain criteria with free or heavily subsidised boilers.  As part of ECO, the Affordable Warmth Scheme also makes provision for other energy saving measures such as cavity wall insulation or loft insulation. Do you know enough about the grants that might be available to your customers? Here’s the lowdown, including how installers can get involved.

What's ECO?

ECO creates a legal obligation on the ‘Big Six’ energy companies to help those on low incomes and certain benefits make their homes more energy efficient, reducing heating bills and helping to keep them warm.  The grants are funded by the energy companies who will receive hefty fines if they fail to meet set targets. It’s part of our overall commitment to reducing greenhouse gases as an EU country.

What Installations Can You Get?

Funding is available for three energy-saving installations under the ‘Affordable Warmth’ Scheme:
  • A new energy-efficient boiler – savings of up to £310 per year*
  • Loft insulation – could save up to £180 per year*
  • Cavity wall insulation – potential savings of £140 per year*
* figures from Energy Saving Trust

Who's Eligible?

The grants are available to homeowners or tenants living in privately rented accommodation (with their landlord’s permission) who receive certain benefits.  These include pension credit, working tax credit, child tax credit, income support etc. Depending on which benefit your customer receives, other conditions may apply, so the easiest way to find out if they can get any funding is to for them to apply directly and see where it leads. Check the government’s energy grants calculator will give you an idea of what funding might be available.

How Does It Work?

The energy companies offer various schemes in different areas, but you do not have to be an existing customer to qualify for funding.  After making an initial enquiry, a surveyor will come to undertake a short assessment which takes about 30 minutes.  In the weeks following the survey the recommended energy savings measures will be installed. The process is normally completely free to the customer. If a contribution is required, this will be agreed before any works commence.

How Can Installers Get Involved?

Because the energy suppliers are responsible for delivering the energy saving measures, installers must be affiliated with the scheme to carry out work. Installers who are interested in working under the ECO scheme need to get in touch directly with one of the obligated energy suppliers. You can find their details on the Ofgem website. If you need more help with this, a quick google search will lead you to companies that offer help to both installers and customers.

Time Is Running Out!

The ECO scheme will end in March 2017! It’s important for installers to be up to speed with the latest government grants in your industry so you can help your customers get value for money. It is all part of providing them with a great customer service. Find out more about government grants at
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