ECO 4 Funding

Ecofine > ECO 4 Funding

The Complete Guide to the ECO4 Scheme in Scotland

Homeowners in Scotland and the wider UK all share a common goal: keeping their homes warm and energy-efficient while saving on heating bills.

That's where the government energy efficiency scheme, ECO4, comes in. It's more than just another energy programme; it's a chance for you to take the reins on your energy usage and help build a more sustainable future.

Through the ECO4 scheme, homeowners have the opportunity to add heating systems, solar panels, and various types of insulation to their homes. The result? Tangible savings on energy expenses and a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions. The good news is that the ECO4 scheme is open for applications from homeowners like you. Envirohomes Renewables is here to guide you through everything you need to know about this scheme in Scotland and how it can benefit you.

What is the ECO4 Grant?

ECO4 is the fourth and latest addition to the UK Government's Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, which started in 2013. The government has decided to extend this grant for four more years, until March 2026, as part of its Sustainable Warmth Strategy.

So, what's the ECO4 grant all about? At its core, it's designed to provide support to low-income or vulnerable households that struggle with the costs of upgrading their homes and heating systems. This way, people can enjoy warmer homes without high energy bills.

However, the ECO4 grant is more than just a financial relief programme. It's a strategic effort to combat fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions across the country. It's a win-win for both homeowners and the country. With the ECO4 scheme, Scotland residents can benefit greatly given the country's often harsh and cold climate, leading to high heating demands.

ECO4 Scheme For Heating Systems

ECO4 is here to support your shift to more sustainable heating options, like air-source heat pumps or combi boilers in your home. These are not only a smart update from older, less efficient boilers, but they can also cut your energy bills by 25%! However, not all boilers need to be replaced.

Sometimes, a good repair is all they need. That's why ECO4 also offers funds to repair and upgrade current boilers, helping them last longer and work at their best. Plus, 'boiler repair' under ECO4 isn't just a quick fix. It encompasses a range of services, including diagnostics, cleaning, and necessary repairs.

In addition to this, ECO4 also provides qualifying households who have never had a central heating system before with the chance to get an air-source heat pump. This aspect of ECO4 is known as the 'First Time Central Heating Grants Scheme'.

Designed to replace traditional boilers, air-source heat pumps are the latest in renewable heating. They don't rely on gas or oil but use electricity to pull heat from the outside air. It's incredibly efficient and better for the planet.

ECO4 Scheme For Insulation

Proper insulation is key to keeping your home warm and your energy bills down. It keeps the heat inside, meaning you don't have to spend as much on heating. With the ECO4 scheme, the priority is a "fabric-first" approach. This means the focus is on making the building's very structure better at keeping heat in, even before thinking about updating the heating systems.

If your home's energy-efficiency rating is 'E' or lower, it must have loft insulation, roof insulation, internal wall insulation, and cavity wall insulation installed.

Did you know that roughly 25% of the heat generated by your boiler and heating system escapes through the roof and attic? It is a major loss, both in terms of warmth and energy bills. Thankfully, the ECO4 scheme covers the cost of adding insulation material to lofts to the recommended 277 mm depth.

Additionally, if you have a functional room in your roof, like a loft conversion or attic room, you may qualify for a room in roof insulation too.

What about the walls? They're just as crucial. Cavity wall insulation serves as a barrier to heat loss, helping to reduce your energy bills and carbon emissions.

However, not all properties have cavity walls, especially older ones. Here, solid wall insulation offers a practical alternative.

ECO4 Scheme for Solar Panels

Solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular choice for many looking to embrace renewable energy. By using solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, you're both generating your own eco-friendly electricity and reducing your reliance on the national grid.

Solar panels capture sunlight, transforming it into energy that powers household appliances, while even trimming heating bills by up to 60%. This makes them an excellent fit for buildings that receive regular sunlight, especially those in the southern regions of Scotland.

For homes falling into the E, F, or G bands of the energy performance certificate (EPC) rating system, which typically face steep electricity bills, the ECO4 scheme might cover a major portion, if not all, of your solar panel costs.

Is the ECO 4 Scheme Different
From the ECO 3 Scheme?

Despite sharing similarities, the transition from ECO3 (which concluded in March 2022) to ECO4 in the government's energy scheme comes with several changes.

One significant change in the ECO4 scheme is the eligibility criteria. Some benefits, notably those for disabilities, are no longer counted. But, this is balanced by the introduction of Housing Benefits and tweaking the LA Flex rules, allowing more people to join.

Another change is that, instead of setting up new LPG and oil boilers, there's more focus on fixing and repairing existing heating systems, like gas heating and electric storage heaters. There's also a big push for using more renewable energy sources like air-source heat pumps and solar panels.

With ECO3, grants focused on long-term savings from insulation and heating upgrades. But with ECO4, grants are now based on how much your home's energy rating improves. The bigger the improvement, the better the grant.

Even with these changes, the ECO4 scheme's main goal stays the same: help more homeowners afford their heating, lower carbon emissions, and cut down the cost of energy bills.

Who Qualifies for ECO4?
ECO4 Scheme Eligibility

The ECO4 scheme is here to help homeowners with energy efficiency improvements, particularly those in the low-income bracket, in fuel poverty, or with vulnerable residents.

Now, how do you know if you qualify for this support?

Eligibility for this scheme depends on several specific criteria.
You could be eligible for funding if you currently receive any of the following government benefits:
• Income Support
• Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
• Income-related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
• Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
• Working Tax Credit (WTC)
• Universal Credit (UC)
• Child Tax Credits (CTC)
• Housing Benefit
• Pension Credit Savings Credit

If you're not a recipient of any of the above benefits, you might still be in luck. The ECO4 Flex rules, implemented by local councils, provide a potential pathway for households not on these benefits but with an income under £31,000 per year. It also applies to residents with health conditions worsened by cold homes or those especially vulnerable to the cold.

In addition to receiving one of the benefits listed above, your eligibility also depends on the energy rating of your home - mentioned on your EPC. Under ECO4, your property should ideally have an EPC rating of D, E, F, or G.

FAQs

Most of the large energy suppliers, specifically those with over 150,000 customers, fund the ECO4 scheme, including Scotland’s major energy suppliers like Scottish Power, OVO Energy, and SSE.

ECO grants can fund various home improvements for better energy efficiency, including insulation (like loft, wall, underfloor, or roof), heating upgrades, and renewable systems like air or ground source heat pumps. The exact options may vary based on your eligibility.

Get In Touch

Copyright © Envirohomes Renewables Limited.
Registered office address: 12 Somerset Place, Glasgow, Scotland, G3 7JT.
Company No: SC708370. VAT No:396823742