The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) was introduced in January 2013 to reduce the UK’s energy consumption and support people living in fuel poverty. It does this by funding energy efficiency improvements worth around £1.3 billion every year.
Parliament passed the Electricity and Gas Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Order 2012 on 4 December 2012 and it is now in effect. The ECO, ECO2 & ECO2t schemes ran until October 2018, supporting the installation of energy efficiency measures in low-income households and areas, and in properties that are harder to treat. It worked alongside the Green Deal to give consumers support and funding for energy efficiency improvements in their homes.
The continuing ECO scheme (and formally The Green Deal – now closed) will help reduce carbon emissions from the UK’s domestic building stock, which is an essential part of the UK’s plan to meet its statutory domestic carbon emission reduction targets by 2050.
ECO is funded by energy suppliers and you do not need to be a customer for the funding to be applied.
The New ECO3
ECO3 commenced in October 2018 with the Government redoubling their efforts to lift millions out of fuel poverty with the Affordable Warmth Scheme.
To do this the Carbon Emissions Reductions Obligation (CERO) have been stripped from ECO3 with all of the funding going to the Affordable Warmth Scheme. For reference, under ECO2t only 70% of the funding was allocated to the Affordable Warmth Scheme. The change under the new scheme means approximately £450m per year is now allocated in heating improvement schemes and Home Insulation solutions.
In line with above changes under ECO3, and in order to reach as many people as possible, the Government has broadened the current eligibility criteria to include child benefit and disability benefits as seen below:
ECO3 qualifying benefits:
- Tax Credits (Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits)*
- Universal Credit*
- Child benefit*
- Pension Credit (Guaranteed)
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Disability Benefits (specific benefits listed below)
Social Housing properties with EPC ratings of E, F or G can qualify for ECO funding regardless of the resident’s benefits eligibility. The measures available however, are limited to insulation and first time central heating systems.
*Additional conditions are required to qualify for ECO grants. See details below.
ECO3 Qualifying Disability Benefits:
|Department of Work and Pensions Benefits|
Additional Conditions for Child Benefit
To qualify for ECO grants using Child Benefit, your annual gross income from all sources before taxes must be below or equal to the following criteria:
|Number of children*||1||2||3||4|
|Single claimant income†||≤ £18,500||≤ £23,000||≤ £27,500||≤ £32,000|
|Couple combined income†||≤ £25,500||≤ £30,000||≤ £34,500||≤ £39,000|
*The children must be under 16 years old and living in the property. The age requirement can be increased to below 21 years of age if they are in approved education or training.
†Income is determined based on the preceding annual tax year which runs from the April to 5th April of the following year. Proof of entitlement is made by a self-declaration followed by a recorded phone call confirming eligibility.
What to do next?
If you’re still unsure if you qualify, or would like to talk in general about the options available to you, Please call us for a no obligation chat on 01482 588591 Or you can send us a message on our Contact Page and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible