Boiler Grants For Pensioners In Scotland

Having to replace a boiler can be expensive, especially for pensioners on a tight budget. Luckily, Scotland’s ECO 4 scheme offers a beacon of hope for pensioners aiming to improve their energy efficiency and reduce heating bills through boiler replacement and insulation.

What's Covered

You Could Be Eligible For A Free Boiler

Fill-out our quick eligibility test. It takes less than 1 minute!

How Can Pensioners Benefit From The ECO 4 Grant?

The Affordable Warmth Scheme states that “energy suppliers must install free replacement boilers for households that meet the qualifying criteria and cannot afford a new boiler”. Essentially, the Affordable Warmth Scheme falls within the government-funded ECO 4 initiative.

ECO 4 is the fourth instalment of the UK and Scottish governments’ funding programme aimed at reducing fuel poverty. The £4 billion scheme provides energy efficiency improvements and heating system upgrades to qualifying households, who meet the relevant criteria.

This initiative is one way the Scottish Government aims to assist struggling or low-income households (including pensioners) with their energy bills and reach net-zero emissions by 2045. ECO 4 funding is available until March 2026.

The ECO 4 grant can be used for:

  • Various types of insulation (e.g. free cavity wall insulation)
  • Boiler upgrades (including a new or replacement boiler)
  • An upgraded central heating system
  • New heat pumps (e.g. air source heat pump or ground source heat pump)
  • Solar panels
  • Storage heaters

The ECO 4 scheme offers free boiler replacements to Scottish homes, specifically targeting those on benefits and vulnerable groups, like pensioners.

Pensioners can benefit from ECO 4’s energy-saving improvements in many ways:

  • It could help reduce energy and heating bills.
  • Homes are more environmentally friendly with lower carbon emissions.
  • Energy-saving home improvements make your home warmer and more comfortable.
  • An energy-efficient boiler is a heating system that provides on-demand hot water.
  • Various home improvements, such as wall insulation and solar panels, can increase the value of your property.
  • Energy efficiency improvements eliminate unnecessary energy consumption.

For example, a new boiler can potentially save a household up to £620 per year on energy costs, cavity wall insulation can save a household up to £690 per year, and installing free solar panels can reduce your reliance on the grid.

boiler replacement

Boiler Grant For Pensioners: Am I Eligible?

Pensioners – over the age of 60 – can automatically qualify for a free boiler grant. Eligibility for free boiler grants revolves around two main factors: pension benefits and property ownership.

Even if you aren’t receiving specific pension benefits, you might still qualify if:

  • You receive other benefits, such as Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Employment Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support, Child Tax, etc.
  • Your total household income is less than £19,720 per year
  • You are a homeowner (or are a private tenant)
  • Your current boiler is broken or faulty
  • Your home has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or lower

How Do You Apply For A Free Boiler As A Pensioner?

Applying for a free boiler under the ECO 4 grant scheme is relatively straightforward. It can be beneficial to seek help from energy advisors, such as Envirohomes Renewables, when applying. The ECO 4 scheme has already assisted over 35,000 applicants!

Before you begin your application, you will need to complete a free boiler grant application form. Once your application has been received, you will be referred to a local ECO-approved boiler installation company. They will conduct a thorough survey of your current heating system and will apply for the new boiler grant on your behalf.

They will be able to tell you if you qualify for a free boiler. Upon approval, an installation date will be arranged for installing your new boiler.

Alternatively, you could fill out the eligibility form on Envirohomes Renewable’s website. Thereafter, an ECO 4 specialist will be in contact to guide you through the entire process.

How Long Does it Take to Fit a New Boiler?

Fitting a new boiler isn’t an easy job. It requires incredible precision and expertise. Usually, the installation process can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day. However, this can vary depending on how hard the job is and the type of boiler being installed. The best approach is to have a Gas Safe registered engineer handle the installation.

Steps to install a boiler:

  1. Location selection: Choose a suitable location for the boiler. Generally, the best place is close to water lines, gas lines, and an electrical outlet, and has provisions for flue ventilation. The ground or floor should be level.
  2. Dressing the boiler: This involves adding pipes to the boiler system. Attach the circular pump to the boiler unit, followed by the riser nipple, which will give proper water flow.
  3. Feed and return pipes: Install the feed and return pipes, positioning the circulator pump on the return side and the flow-check on the feed side.
  4. Flue installation: Proper ventilation is a must. Connect the boiler to the flue or smoke pipe using a sheet metal pipe, then check that you’ve got a secure fit.
  5. Attaching the gas line: Engineers typically use a black threaded pipe to connect the appropriate gas line to fuel the boiler.
  6. Start the boiler: Once everything is connected, it’s time to start the boiler. A professional plumber should handle this step, as they can do it safely, check the CO2 output, and make adjustments as needed.

Remember that although some homeowners might be considering a DIY installation, doing so with a gas boiler in the UK isn’t legal, as the main work has to be done by a registered professional.

Boiler Scheme For Pensioners: Is My Boiler Eligible?

To qualify for the boiler scheme, your boiler should be:

  • At least 8 years old
  • Broken or faulty

The aim of the free boiler grant is to replace boilers that are not energy efficient, as these lead to higher energy bills.

Gas Boiler

The ECO 4 Application Process

The ECO boiler scheme application process involves three steps:

  1. Apply: Fill out the online application form on the ECO website, or fill out the eligibility form on Envirohomes Renewables’s website.
  2. Eligibility check: Your eligibility will be reviewed based on the benefits you receive, your age, and the ratings of your current central heating system – among other criteria.
  3. Home survey: If you meet the criteria, a free home survey will be done by an ECO-approved installation company.

The Home Survey

During an ECO home survey, a qualified assessor will visit your property. They will:

  • Conduct a thorough analysis of your current boiler and central heating system condition (if applicable), considering its age and efficiency.
  • Check the insulation of your home and possibly make some suggestions, such as installing roof or solid wall insulation.
  • Determine the EPC rating of the property.
  • Provide recommendations on the type of boiler that would be most suited for your home.
  • Report their findings to the relevant ECO supervisor on your behalf.

What happens once the survey is finished?

  1. If you are eligible, the relevant upgrades will be scheduled.
  2. Qualified installers will install the new boiler.
  3. The ECO Grant usually covers the total costs of installing a new boiler. In rare cases, a small co-payment may be needed.
  4. Once the boiler has been installed, you can enjoy the benefits of a more energy-efficient home.

FAQs

Yes. Pensions who receive a Pension Benefit (or other types of benefits) can automatically qualify for a free energy-efficient boiler in Scotland.

Conclusion

The ECO 4 scheme is a commitment to Scotland’s pensioners, ensuring them warmth, reducing their energy costs and providing them with energy-efficient home improvements, such as free boilers.

For more information, let Envirohomes Renewables assist with your ECO4 scheme eligibility and installation.