ECO4 is a scheme put in place by the UK government to do 2 things. First, ECO4 is part of the governments commitments to achieving its Net Zero targets by 2050. Second, it has been designed to target the most vulnerable households in the UK, and the most fuel poor who may not otherwise have access to measures that can improve their home’s energy efficiency.
ECO4 is the fourth, and most likely final, phase of the Energy Company Obligation scheme that has been running in different phases since 2013. The funding for the ECO scheme comes from the largest energy suppliers in the UK, with £1 billion allocated to provide the measures available under ECO4 (we’ll explain more on these later).
ECO4 is in place to improve the energy performance of homes throughout the country, with measures available completely for free for eligible homes to achieve that goal. Improving the energy efficiency of qualifying homes means that they will use less energy to heat them and retain more of that energy through things like insulation. This in turn will ensure that the carbon footprint of the country goes down, as well as lower the energy bills of the most vulnerable in society.
ECO4 is available to a large group of people throughout the UK, who fit a specific set of criteria. The two main parts of qualifying criteria are your homes EPC rating, and whether you are on a qualifying benefit.
Your EPC rating refers to the score you have for your homes Energy Performance certificate. Put briefly homes with an EPC of D, E, F, or G are eligible for ECO4 funding, as long as the occupants are also on a qualifying benefit. These homes have been chosen as they are the least energy efficient homes in the country and the ones that can benefit most from improving their EPC. We have more information on EPC ratings and why they’re important for your home here, to help explain why the government has chosen EPC ratings and energy efficiency as their criteria for measuring ECO4’s success.
The list of qualifying benefits for ECO4 is comprehensive and specific to ensure that in the government’s own words “to help better target households which are more likely to be on low incomes”. As long as you are in receipt of one of the following benefits that you have met that half of the criteria for ECO4:
Despite ECO4 being available to a large section of households in the country, there are still even more who unfortunately don’t meet the criteria for ECO4. For example, home’s already rated C or higher on their EPC are excluded from the scheme. Naturally when you need to be in receipt of a qualifying benefit to be eligible for ECO4 then those who aren’t in receipt of one of those benefits will be excluded also.
However, there are instances where some households that don’t qualify for ECO4 under the eligibility criteria can get access to some of the ECO4 improvements. This is thanks to a part of the scheme called LA Flex.
LA Flex stands for Local Authority Flexibility Eligibility. It is a part of the ECO4 scheme that allows local authorities to make decisions that allow certain members of the public who are not in receipt of an eligible benefit to still get access to funding. This is so that as many people who genuinely need the help and support can get it. People who are under NHS referrals, people living in fuel poverty, and people who are deemed as vulnerable are often among those considered for funding under LA Flex.
Local authorities are allowed to set their own criteria to determine who should receive the funding, so an application is the best way to find out whether you would be eligible in your area.
ECO4 offers a wide variety of measures that can be taken to improve your home’s energy efficiency and raise your EPC rating. There is also a wide range of criteria for installers to follow that determines what measures can be installed in homes, as well as the order that measures have to be prioritised to hit the goals of the ECO4 scheme.
Ensuring that homes are insulated properly is the highest priority for ECO4, with Cavity Wall, Loft, and External/Internal Wall insulation being among the most common measures installed through ECO4. There are also a wide range of draught proofing options such as improved window glazing options that could potentially be installed.
Beyond improved insulation, measures such as boiler upgrade and replacement, green heating solutions, and even solar installations are all measures that can be installed to boost energy performance and efficiency under ECO4.
ECO4 is a great scheme, but being so new it can be a little confusing. We’ve put together some guides to go into more detail about all aspects of ECO4 and help arm you with as much knowledge as possible.
© HonestQuotes 2023 – All Rights Reserved