ECO (Help to Heat)
Qualifying householders can access funding for energy efficiency improvements to their homes through the central government’s ECO scheme.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a central government energy efficiency scheme available throughout Great Britain. Its aim is to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty by improving the energy efficiency of homes occupied by low income, fuel poor and vulnerable households.
The government has made it a requirement that the large energy suppliers provide the funding to pay for the energy efficiency improvements to your homes. The funds are passed directly to the ECO providers or installers who must be a PAS2030 or TrustMark accredited company to be able to install energy efficiency measures in your home.
Ofgem administers the scheme on behalf of the Department for Energy, Business & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Ofgem’s duties include allocating targets to obligated suppliers, monitoring supplier progress and deciding whether they’ve achieved their obligations, reporting to the Secretary of State, auditing, ensuring compliance and preventing and detecting fraud. BEIS sets the overall policy for the ECO scheme.
The following improvements are available under the scheme, but only if your property is suitable for them. If you already have an improvement and it’s in good order, then you won’t be able to receive it again.
- Loft insulation
- Cavity wall insulation
- Gas boiler replacements
- Oil boiler replacements
- External wall insulation
- Internal wall insulation
- Room in roof insulation
- Underfloor insulation
- Electric storage heaters.
Low income households who are in fuel poverty qualify for ECO. To qualify you will need to be in receipt of benefits and live in a property with a low energy efficiency rating. There might be some income thresholds you need to meet. For more information visit the Ofgem website.
If you do not receive a qualifying benefit then you might still qualify through ECO’s flexible eligibility mechanism, known as ECO Flex. The ECO Flex criteria is set by local authorities based on their knowledge of the households in their area.
Our role as the council is to confirm if a household is in fuel poverty based on the criteria detailed in our ECO Flex - Statement of Intent which is published on this webpage. On confirmation of eligibility, we can provide a Local Authority Flex Declaration to an ECO provider/installer which they use to claim back the installation costs from an Energy Suppliers’ ECO Funds.
All householders accepting the installation of energy efficiency improvements to their homes are responsible for instructing/hiring the installer and must carry out their own checks on the installation company. Checks you should carry out:
- Check if you need planning permission or building regulations approval: Certain types of insulation such as external wall insulation might need planning permission and building regulations approval and as the homeowner it will be your responsibility to apply for this.
- Check if the installer is a member of a competent person scheme related to electrics or insulation work, like the NICEIC, CIGA or Stroma schemes. If they are then they will be able to self-certify their work, rather than needing to get building regulations approval from your local council.
- Check they are Gas Safe registered. By law all engineers installing gas boilers must be on the Gas Safe Register.
- Check if they provide any warranties on the installation.
There are many ways to apply. Either by:
- Contacting any of the large industry energy providers (for example, British Gas, Eon, Npower). You don’t need to be the energy company’s customer to apply to their ECO scheme.
- Applying via a local or national PAS2030/TrustMark accredited installation company or ECO provider.
First check our statement of intent to make sure you meet the eligibility criteria. Then you will need to contact one or more of the installers listed below on the webpage for an assessment and property survey. They will then apply to the council on your behalf where we will provide a declaration to the installer to confirm your household qualifies for ECO Flex. (Please note: You won’t receive any written or verbal confirmation from us that you do or don’t qualify)
Please note: These companies are not contracted by us and are not working on the council’s behalf.
All householders accepting the installation of energy efficiency improvements to their homes from one of the below companies do so at their own risk and should carry out their own checks on the installation company before proceeding.
If you are not in receipt of an ECO qualifying benefit and wish to see if you are eligible for ECO Flex, you will need to contact one of the below companies for an assessment. They will then apply to us on your behalf.
Each company will be able to tell you which type of home improvement they specialise in, some only provide insulation, whereas others might offer a whole range of improvements. Most companies have a website where you can find out more about them.
The following installers and ECO providers can currently receive LA Flex Declarations from us:
- Alba Insulation Ltd
- All Seasons Interiors Ltd
- Area ECO
- Arktek Group Ltd
- Baxter Kelly Ltd
- B-Eco Smart
- Berkshire Insulation Ltd
- Broad Oak Properties Ltd
- City Energy Network Ltd
- DJB Installs Ltd
- Dyson Energy Services Ltd
- ECOWarm Energy Ltd
- Effective ECO Ltd
- Effective Heating
- Elipse Energy Ltd
- Energy Savings Group
- Energy Specifics Ltd
- Euro Installations Ltd
- GoGreen Alliance Ltd
- Golden Globe Merchants Ltd
- Green Deal Centre Ltd
- Green Deal First Ltd
- Greener Skies UK Ltd
- Infinity Property Management Ltd
- Installers UK Ltd
- J&J Crump & Son Ltd
- JM ECO Installers Ltd
- Next Energy UK
- Origin Energy Services
- Polar ECO Services Ltd
- RMS Energy Solutions Ltd
- Simple Green Energy Ltd
- Simple Heating Services Ltd
- Skilled Force Ltd
- Smart Energy West Midlands Ltd
- South Coast Insulation Services
- Sustain Energy UK Ltd
- Think Energy Ltd
- UK Energy Saving Experts Ltd
- UK Energy Management (NE) Ltd
- Urban Renewable Power Ltd
- Victorian insulation Ltd
- Work Work Ltd
Initial complaints about an installation should firstly be made to the company who installed the measure, but if problems persist you should contact Citizens Advice Consumer Services for free impartial advice.