ECO Plus Scheme: What is it and How to Apply?

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December 19, 2023

More funding avenues have opened up with the introduction of the ECO+ scheme allowing several more households who were overlooked in earlier schemes to benefit from energy efficiency installations in their homes which will reduce their energy consumption, carbon footprint and save them a lot of money on heating bills.

The scheme which was delayed to begin in summer 2023 has been rebranded to the Great British Insulation Scheme. The aim of the scheme is to help UK households get access to energy efficient systems at a very pocket friendly price.

With the UK having some of the least energy-efficient homes in Europe, the introduction of the scheme is vital to help the UK government achieve its goal of hitting net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Eco Plus Scheme UK Explained

The eco plus government scheme comes on board as the next phase of the Energy Company Obligation Scheme and was introduced so as to expand the reach of the already existing eco4 scheme. The goal is to help many more households become more energy efficient through grant-funded insulation measures and energy efficiency improvements. The eco plus scheme 2023 has been rebranded and is now known as the Great British Insulation Scheme(GBIS).

Through the scheme, eligible UK households are able to save on their energy bills. At a time when electricity bills are at an all-time high, ECO mandates energy suppliers to provide support to vulnerable UK households and other energy-inefficient households in lower Council Tax bands so as to reduce their energy consumption and by extension their energy costs.

The main difference between the ECO plus scheme and the ECO4 scheme is that unlike where you have to be in receipt of some government benefits to be eligible for the latter, the ECO plus scheme does not need you to be a recipient of such benefits.

The GBIS is a £1 billion grant scheme builds on the already existing £6.6 billion ‘Help to Heat’ energy schemes which includes the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, Home Upgrade Grant and Local Authority Delivery Scheme. It is targeted at homes with a low energy efficiency rating in lower Council Tax band areas and will cover as much as 75% of costs of installation of these energy efficient measures.

The eco plus scheme will assist more than 300,000 homes to upgrade their insulation at an affordable cost.

As part of the eco plus scheme UK, there will be an £18 million public information campaign which is aimed at providing counsel and expert advice to households on how they can reduce their energy consumption this winter.

Some of these measures include:

  • Turn down radiators in empty rooms

  • Reduce a boiler’s flow temperature from 75⁰C to 60⁰C

  • Install draught-proof windows and doors to minimise heat loss in the property

Here are some of the main details of the Eco+ Scheme 2023

There are some important details you should know about the eco plus scheme in the UK

  • It is a £1 billion funded scheme and now known officially as Great British Insulation Scheme

  • An estimated 70,000 homes are expected to be recipients of this scheme over its three-year period

  • The Eco+ scheme began in September 2023 and will continue to March 2026

  • Grants of up to £1,500 are available and will benefit homes which are not currently benefiting from government support.

  • The scheme will also involve grants funded by the larger energy companies

  • 80% of funding available on the GBIS will be made available for households who are in some of the least energy-efficient homes in the country.

  • The scheme will take care of households with an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of D or below or those in the lower Council Tax bands.

  • Additionally, 20% of this fund will go to the most vulnerable homes, including those on means-tested benefits or in fuel poverty.

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What does the ECO Plus Scheme Cover?

Since 2013, the Energy Company Obligation Scheme has been able to make over 3.5 million home improvements and the Great British Insulation Scheme aims at increasing this number significantly.

Between the summer of 2023 and March 2026, the ECO+ scheme will be in operation increasing the total amount of insulation as well as other improvements in eligible UK households. It is estimated that UK households will be able to save about £310 on their yearly energy bills.

ECO plus is intended to give out grants to as many UK homes as possible with the main focus on installing lower-cost insulation measures such as loft wall insulation, and cavity wall insulation. Other types of home insulation are also available under the ECO4 and ECO+ scheme.

Insulation grants that could potentially be covered by the ECO+ scheme include:

  • Internal and external solid wall insulation

  • Secondary heating controls

  • Loft insulation

  • Room in a roof insulation

  • Underfloor insulation

  • Cavity wall insulation

  • Solid floor insulation

  • Under floor insulation

  • Pitched roof insulation

  • Flat roof insulation

  • Park home insulation

It must be noted that the Great British Insulation Scheme is a grant and not a loan which means that you are not expected to make any refunds for home improvements apart from the statutory payments for installation and this can be negotiated before the installation is done.

This is welcome news as almost 30% of people who live in energy-inefficient homes are not able to make the needed upgrades because of the cost implications.

eco+ scheme

Eligibility Criteria for the ECO+ Scheme

Those who will benefit from the Great British Insulation Scheme are low-income households, including those with low energy efficiency who are not eligible for the ECO4 scheme.

It is expected that 80% of the funds will be spent on properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rated D or below as well as those in the lower Council Tax Bands.

The scheme will also make grants available to those who do not have any prior government funding towards the cost of improving the energy efficiency rating of their homes.

As it stands now, 54% of the UK’s homes will be eligible for the Scheme as there are 46% of UK homes which have an EPC rating of C or above.

Below are households who will also benefit based on their location;

  • Households with Council Tax bands A-D in England

  • Households with Council Tax bands A-E in Scotland

  • Households with Council Tax bands A-E in Wales

The funding for installation of these energy efficient systems come from main energy suppliers who are obligated to contribute towards insulating households so that they become energy-efficient. Eligible households may a single insulation measure and sometimes they may also be required to contribute towards the cost of installation.

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Landlords can also Benefit from the ECO Plus Scheme

Landlords can also be recipients of the GBIS funding as long as their tenants meet the required criteria- which includes being low income earners and living in a property with an Energy Performance Certificate rating of D or below.

In the private sector, figures show that 60% of homes are within this EPC rating which means that many UK landlords will be beneficiaries. Landlords now have the opportunity to make their properties greener for little or no cost and make needed upgrades which will help them save money on energy bills. They can now do this within the required time as EPC regulations expect that all properties will have an EPC rating of C or higher by 2025.

Energy Bill Savings with the ECO+ Scheme

When the scheme was introduced, it was said that by installing insulation measures. households could cut down their yearly energy bills by £300 to £400.

However, savings on annual energy bills depends on several factors which include-

  • Location of property

  • Type of property

  • Type of roof space

  • The insulation measure being installed

  • Current energy prices.

For instance, 25% of energy from heating systems are lost by lofts; therefore, insulating the loft can reduce energy loss while also reducing the effects of fuel poverty.

Here in this table we see how much you can cut down on your energy bills and carbon footprint every year-

Type Of Insulation Typical Cost Of Insulation Energy bill savings (£ per year) Carbon dioxide savings (kgCO2 per year)
Cavity Wall insulation £1,000 £265 650 kg
Solid wall insulation Varies £360 880 kg
Floor insulation Varies £75 185 kg
Loft insulation £640 £250 620 kg

How to Apply for the ECO Plus Scheme?

To apply for the Eco+ Scheme, please kindly follow the steps as outlined below-

  1. Check Your Eligibility Status: 
  2. Prior to apply, you need to be sure that you are actually eligible. We have stated the eligibility criteria in this guide, you can look at it again to be very sure. Also, you can make use of the online eligibility checker available on the official Eco+ Scheme website to confirm your eligibility:

  3. Make Available all Necessary Documents: 
  4. You will need several documents to support your application and prove that you qualify to benefit from the scheme. You will need to present proof of address, evidence that you are a tenant or owner of the property as well as evidence of your income or benefits. Your promptness in making the documents ready speeds up the entire process. So, we encourage you to keep them handy.

  5. Reach Out  to a Qualified and Licensed Installer: 
  6. Only licensed installers are qualified to carry out any home energy-saving improvement and energy-efficient installations. You can click on the ECO+ scheme website to search for accredited installers in your area. Accredited installers should be installers registered with industry bodies such as the National Insulation Association (NIA) or the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).

  7. Get a Quote: 
  8. Having chosen and contacted your preferred installer, discuss the energy-saving improvements you wish to make in your property and arrange for a survey of your home. You will be provided with a quote which will outline the entire cost of the improvements as well as how much you can get as a grant through the ECO+ scheme.

  9. Complete your Application Form and Submit: 
  10. The application form is available on the official ECO plus scheme website. Complete it and submit at attaching all the necessary documentation and the quote you received from your licensed installer.

    While the application process is typically the same, there could be slight variations depending on the energy supplier in charge of your area. Do well to adhere to all instructions you are given by your installer as well as those provided on the official website.

  11. Wait for Approval of your Application:
  12. Your application will be reviewed after submission to ensure that you are qualified to benefit from the scheme. It will also be checked to see if the energy-saving improvements proposed for your home are suitable for your home. It may take several weeks to complete this process.

  13. Arrange for a Date to Make the Installations:
  14. As soon as you are notified either by your energy supplier or the accredited installer that your application is approved, you can then schedule a date for the required installations. Your installer will help ensure it is a smooth process for you.

  15. After Installation:
  16. As soon as the installation has been done, you will be given all necessary documents which may include a certificate of compliance and warranties. The Eco+ Scheme administrator or your energy supplier may also carry out post-installation checks to verify that the work done met the required standards.

Summing Up

The Eco plus government insulation grant provides many more UK homes with the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint and make appropriate energy-saving improvements in their properties. This will help the UK government meet its target of net zero carbon emission by 2050 thus helping the environment become greener.

If you have further enquiries to make, you can reach us via our helplines. We can help you with your applications while also connecting you to top rated accredited installers who will give you the best quote and high-quality installation without any hassles. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

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