Free Boilers, Boiler Grants, ECO Boilers, Carbon Emission Reduction Target, Energy Company Obligation, Free boilers for pensioners, Free Boilers for people on benefits, etc.
The number of energy grants available in the UK over the last two or three years for replacement gas boilers, loft insulation and cavity wall insulation, the way they keep changing their names, and more importantly the confusing grant qualification criteria could quite possibly have some of us throwing our hands in the air with frustration.
Although the intent behind all of the Free boiler grant schemes is doubly noble - to reduce Carbon emissions whilst helping much of the UK keep their homes warm more cheaply, the unorthodox manner in which the grants and schemes keep changing leaves many of us finding it difficult to stay abreast of whether we qualify or not. So - here it is - an Idiots Guide to Government Free Boiler Grants (and insulation grants) UK 2013.
Energy Company Obligation
The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) which supplied many of us with free and discounted loft insulation and wall insulation was phased out towards the end of 2012. After a stuttering start the revamped Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) was introduced early in 2013, and is now in full swing.
Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) grant funding is provided by the “Big Six” - The major energy suppliers in the UK, who are, in no particular order-
- British Gas
- Scottish Power
ECO grant funding is a concession demanded by the UK Government as part of a wider scheme, the Green Deal. The Green Deal provides home energy improvement loans for those who are in a position to repay (although in theory there would be no repayment as any cost would be met by savings on domestic energy bills). ECO grant funding runs in parallel with the Green Deal and is for those in poorer sections of society, and those who live in what are termed “Fuel Poverty Areas”
Lost? Good. Keep Reading…
The Energy Companies Obligation is made up of three components.
Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation
Energy Companies are obligated to help reduce domestic heating costs for vulnerable homes by providing free energy improving measures including grants for free boilers and insulation products.
Carbon Saving Community Obligation
The Carbon Saving Communities Obligation provides ECO grant funding for free gas central heating boilers, home insulation products and connections to domestic heating grids in rural areas and areas of low income.
Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation
The Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation is not means tested and is aimed at providing free insulation for “Hard to treat” cavities. This includes external wall insulation for properties without cavity walls and multistory buildings.
More information on the Green Deal and ECO boiler grants and insulation grants can be found at OFGEM’s Website. OFGEM are the official regulators of the Energy Companies Obligation - OFGEM ECO Grants
If you are unsure whether you qualify for a free boiler grant or any other type of home energy grant you can find out here - Boiler Grants Criteria