A new boiler install with either underfloor or room in roof insulation
Free Boiler Grants
FREE BOILER GRANTS
Free boiler scheme - what is it?
The free boiler scheme was launched in January 2013 with an aim to reduce the UK’s energy consumption and provide grants to low-income households in order to help them improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
The scheme is part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Electricity and Gas Order, which was passed in parliament in 2012 and will run until 2022. It primarily funded by the largest UK utility companies.
ECO is made up of one primary obligation: the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) and funding for the free boiler scheme is part of this.
Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO)
The Home Heat Cost Reduction Obligation provides free boiler and insulation grants to private homeowners who receive certain means-tested benefits. It aims to reduce fuel poverty amongst low-income households by ensuring that heat is generated as efficiently as possible and is prevented from escaping from the home.
Eligibility for a free boiler grant will depend on several factors. Firstly, a permanent resident within the property needs to be in receipt of one of the following benefits, such as:
- Child tax credit
- Child benefit (with a qualifying household income)
- Working tax credit
- Disability Living Allowance
- Pension credit
- Job seekers allowance
- Universal credit
- Employment and support allowance
Additional qualifying criteria
There are additional criteria for each of the above; the most important of which is that the total household income amongst all working-age residents must not exceed the required maximum amount. This will vary according to the type of benefits being received and the number of adults and children living within the property. This figure was decided by the government as being low enough to qualify for funding assistance.
Secondly, the property must of a size to generate sufficient savings from installing such measures. Unfortunately, the resulting carbon savings generated from upgrading a boiler within a flat are not deemed significant enough to justify the funding required to cover such work.
Lastly, there must be an existing low-efficiency boiler within the property. All boilers are rated by their energy efficiency. Most modern units will work at around 90% efficiency (only losing 10% output when converting fuel to heat). A boiler installed around 10 years ago will most likely be around 65-80% efficient. So, by upgrading this old boiler to a new one, the carbon savings will be significant enough to warrant the cost and therefore will qualify under the free boiler scheme.
Funding for the free boiler scheme has been reduced in recent years, as part of an agreement that utility companies reduce their customer’s fuel bills. This has made it harder to find installers with funding available, particularly as most of the big 6 utility companies have already met their targets. We expect this trend to continue, however, it is still possible to receive a free boiler grant and we can help you find approved installers in your area to arrange a survey.
Who qualifies for a boiler grant?
- You receive a government benefit
- The existing boiler is over 6 years old
- It is not a condensing boiler
- Home is heated by mains gas
- You are a homeowner
What happens next?
We help to fast-track the process by matching you with an installer in your area who can process your application further. If you qualify, you will be referred to an approved local installer. We will contact you to arrange a free survey to check if your existing boiler is eligible. A date will then be arranged for your A-rated replacement boiler to be installed.
Why replace your old boiler?
With energy bills more expensive than ever, your boiler needs to be heating your home for the lowest possible cost and your old boiler could be losing you on average around £305 a year.
Boilers installed in the UK are required to be condensing boilers. These are far more efficient than traditional boilers as they release gas at just 55 degrees Celsius (rather than 180 degrees), therefore requiring less energy to generate the same amount of heat.
Less energy means lower bills and if you meet the qualification criteria you may be eligible for a free boiler grant.
Benefits that qualify automatically
ECO grants, which replaced the Warm Front scheme in 2013 are funded by the UK’s biggest energy companies to give vulnerable and low-income people access to replacement boilers. Households in receipt of Pension Credit and Child Tax Credit* may automatically qualify for a free boiler.
FREE BOILER GRANTS
Benefits that require additional factors to qualify
Replacement boiler grants are available to recipients of Working Tax Credit*, Income-based Employment Support Allowance, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance and Income Support or Universal Credit, though in these circumstances other factors must also be met in order to qualify for a free boiler.