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Wealth
8 Aug 2023
Everything you need to know about the energy company obligation and ECO4
Anna Dearden
Home sector specialist
blogPost

If you’ve thought about investing in a more efficient and environmentally-friendly heating system for your home, you will have likely come across the ECO4 scheme before. But what exactly is the scheme and is your household eligible for an ECO4 grant for solar panels?


What is ECO4?


The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a UK government energy efficiency scheme that’s designed to help low-income households afford an eco-friendly heating system in their homes. The Energy Company Obligation scheme has been in effect since 2013, with the ECO4 grant being the most recent iteration of this, and will run until March 2026. 


Under the ECO4 scheme, energy suppliers are required to provide energy efficiency measures to eligible households free of charge or at a heavily subsidised cost. These measures can include insulation, new boilers, solar panels and more. The scheme is designed to support the UK government's target of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by reducing carbon emissions from households.


ECO4 is also designed to target fuel-poor households, which are defined as those who spend more than 10% of their income on energy bills. The scheme aims to help these households reduce their energy bills and improve the energy efficiency of their homes, which can have a significant impact on their quality of life.


Who is eligible for the ECO4 scheme?


To be eligible for the ECO4 scheme, households must meet certain criteria. The scheme is designed to target the most vulnerable households, including those on certain benefits, those living in social housing, and those with a low income.


The eligibility criteria for the ECO4 scheme include:


  • Receiving certain benefits, including Universal Credit, Income Support, and Pension Credit, among others.


  • Living in social housing that has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or lower.


  • Having a household income below a certain threshold, which varies depending on the size of the household.


  • In addition to these criteria, households must also have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or lower to be eligible for the scheme. This rating indicates the energy efficiency of the home, with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient.


In addition to these criteria, households must also have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or lower to be eligible for the scheme. This rating indicates the energy efficiency of the home, with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient.


What are the benefits of the ECO4 scheme? 


he ECO4 scheme offers a range of benefits to eligible households, including:


  • Reduced energy bills: By improving the energy efficiency of their homes, households can reduce their energy bills and save money on their monthly expenses. This can be especially beneficial for low-income households, who may struggle to pay their bills.


  • Improved comfort: By insulating their homes and installing more efficient heating systems, households can improve the comfort of their homes and reduce drafts and cold spots. This can have a significant impact on their quality of life, especially during the winter months.


  • Reduced carbon emissions: By reducing the amount of energy used in their homes, households can also reduce their carbon emissions and contribute to the UK's efforts to combat climate change.


  • Increased property value: Improving the energy efficiency of a home can also increase its property value, which can be beneficial if the household decides to sell the property in the future.


  • In addition to these benefits, the ECO4 scheme can also help to create jobs in the energy efficiency sector, as suppliers and installers are needed to carry out the work.

author
Anna Dearden
Home sector specialist
I'm driven by curiosity, and constantly seeking to unravel and explore the ever-evolving trends in the realms of lifestyle, finance, and well-being.
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