FREE Boilers
Scotland

Boiler Grants Scotland

Envirohomes Renewables is renowned for being one of Scotland’s leading boiler installers and we have carried out hundreds of boiler installations in Scotland. Our impeccable online reviews are a testament to our exceptional service. Our qualified boiler engineers have acquired all the key industry accreditations, including:

• Qualitymark Protection
• Gas Safe Register
• PAS 2030 Certification
• Elmhurst Energy Assessment Accreditation

Envirohomes Renewables is focused on reducing your energy bills, improving your personal carbon footprint, and helping Scotland achieve its Net Zero goal. With our vast experience and highly qualified team, you can trust us to safely install your next boiler.

Our boiler installation service focuses on providing low-income houses on benefits with a fully funded boiler installation service through the Government’s ECO 4 Grant. Please see the eligibility requirements below.

The ‘Free Boiler Scheme’ or ‘Free Boiler Replacement Scheme’ in Scotland falls within the government-funded ECO4 programme.

It aims to eliminate fuel poverty – especially for pensioners or lower-income homes – by upgrading heating systems and/or having new boilers installed.

Let’s take a look at what this entails.

Who Qualifies For The Free Boiler Scheme?

For more than 10 years, both the UK and Scottish governments have been offering free boiler grants and financial support for home energy relief across the UK.

The Free Boiler grant, which falls under the ECO4 boiler scheme, aims to provide various energy-saving improvements to UK households. The scheme aims to reduce heating bills and energy costs by providing eligible homeowners with free boilers or a free boiler replacement when certain criteria are met. These criteria include:

  • Total household income of less than £19,720 per annum.
  • You are a homeowner.
  • Individuals who receive benefits (such as Child Benefits and Income Support).
  • Pensioners (over 60 years old) who receive Pension Credit Benefits or the like.
  • Your current gas boiler is more than 15 years old.
  • Your boiler has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or lower.
  • Your boiler is broken or faulty.

What is
The ECO4 Scheme?

The Energy Company Obligation 4 (ECO4) scheme is the latest government policy to enhance energy efficiency in homes across the UK.

Launched in April 2022, this scheme is the fourth instalment in a series of government initiatives that first began in 2013. The ECO3 scheme ended in March 2022.

The new ECO4 scheme is due to run until March 2026.

The ECO4 scheme takes a comprehensive approach to energy efficiency, focusing primarily on upgrading heating systems in UK homes. While the ECO scheme does not aim to provide warmth, it aims to reduce carbon emissions, helping the UK reach its carbon-neutral goals by 2050.

Since the start of the ECO scheme in 2012, over 2.3 million homes have benefitted from the improved energy efficiency standards.

The scheme’s primary legislation is designed to hold large energy companies accountable for supporting low-income households, including:

  • Offering hardship grants to single parents
  • People with disabilities
  • Financially struggling families

Companies like UK Energy Support work side-by-side with Ofgem – the UK’s energy regulator – and other energy suppliers to ensure the standards of the ECO scheme are met. Local authorities are pivotal in referring eligible households that would benefit from this scheme.

What does the ECO4 scheme cover?

The ECO4 scheme offers financial support that covers a wide range of energy efficiency improvements for UK homes, such as:

  • Free boilers
  • Central heating systems
  • Boiler replacement
  • Solar panels
  • Air source heat pump
  • Storage heaters
  • Various types of insulation grants (e.g. loft, underfloor, external and internal wall, cavity wall, and roof insulation)

What boilers can you get under the Free Boiler grant?

  • Conventional boilers
  • Combi boilers
  • System boilers
  • Air-source heat pumps

Which Types Of Boilers
Are Not Eco-Friendly?

Gas boilers

  • Environmental impact: Gas boilers are one of the most common types of boilers as they require minimal electricity to fire up. However, they are one of the least eco-friendly types of boilers. This is because they rely on natural gas, a fossil fuel, which, when burned, releases carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

  • Efficiency: Older gas boilers have a G-grade EPC rating with only 70% energy efficiency. While modern gas boilers are becoming more efficient, they can’t beat the efficiency levels of combi boilers or heat pumps.

  • Regulatory changes: Due to environmental factors, gas boilers have many regulations to comply with, such as having 86% or higher efficiency ratings. This may see gas boilers being phased out in the near future.

Back boilers

  • Environmental impact: Back boilers are often much older models and are highly inefficient (78%) when compared to modern versions, such as a combi boiler (over 90%). While these boilers were incredibly popular in the 60s and 70s, they produce higher levels of emissions (usually installed behind fireplaces). Additionally, if they leak, it could result in carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Outdated: Parts are scarce, due to the inefficiency and phasing out of back boilers. Making them less sustainable for long-term use.

  • Regulatory changes: When installing a new boiler, government regulations require an 86% efficiency rating, making back boilers null and void.

Oil boilers

  • Environmental impact: Oil boilers operate on heating oil – another fossil fuel. The heating process releases a significant amount of CO2 and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Efficiency: Older, non-condensing oil boilers have efficiency rates of 60-70%. In comparison, modern versions have made strides in efficiency (with rates of over 90%), making oil boilers lacking in terms of eco-friendliness.

Which Types Of Boilers
Are Eco-Friendly?

Combi boilers

A combi boiler, short for combination boiler, is a highly efficient heating unit and a central heating system in one.

Combi boilers heat water straight from the mains and eliminate the need for a separate water storage tank. This is a highly energy-efficient boiler and its compact size can be particularly helpful for smaller homes.

Notable features of combi boilers include:

  • Space saving (due to smaller size)
  • Energy efficient
  • On-demand hot water
  • Simple installation and lower maintenance required

Heat Pumps

To clarify, a heat pump is NOT a boiler, as they do not generate heat or use fossil fuels.

Instead, they are devices that transfer (move) heat from one place to another. They work well with various distribution systems like ductwork, radiators or underfloor heating. For example, transferring heat from the outside to the inside of a building for heating or vice versa for cooling.

They typically use electricity to operate but can be powered by renewable systems, such as solar panels or wind power. This makes them highly energy-efficient for both central heating and cooling purposes, while also being more environmentally friendly in the long run.

A few other notable features of heat pumps include:

  • Some heat pump systems allow for zoning, meaning you can control the temperature in different areas of the house independently.
  • They can be integrated into existing central heating systems to improve overall efficiency.

Types of heat pump systems for central heating:

  • Air-source pump: These are the most common types. They transfer heat between the indoor and outdoor air. They are generally easier and less expensive to install.

  • Ground-source pumps: These use the stable temperature of the ground as a heat source. They are more efficient but are more expensive and complex to install.

What Are The Advantages Of An Eco-Friendly Combi Boiler?

FAQs

The grant falls under the ECO scheme.

The ECO scheme provides funding to eligible households that meet the necessary criteria. This allows them to qualify for a free boiler/boiler replacement, central heating systems, free solar panels, heat pumps, etc.

While combi boilers provide many benefits, they do have a few downfalls that need to be considered before having one installed.

The most prominent issue is that these boilers can struggle when there is a high demand for water in a household at one time. If two people are showering in two different bathrooms at once, you may notice a decrease in water pressure. This is because a combi boiler does not have a backup tank, like a conventional boiler, to meet high water demands.

Benefits are one of the most important criteria to have in order to qualify for the Free Boiler grant; however, you may still be eligible if you do not receive any benefits. Envirohomes Renewables can easily help you figure out if you qualify to receive a free boiler under the ECO4 scheme, whether you receive benefits or not.
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