Free First Time Central Heating Grants

Apply today to have your old & inefficient Central Heating for FREE.

Apply Online

Check Your Eligibilty

First Time Central Heating Grants - what is it?

This is one of the government heating grants schemes funded by utility companies. The First Time Central Heating grants are part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) which is designed to help vulnerable households gain access to central heating.

To clarify, this is not a loan - it’s a grant. You won’t have to worry about paying back a penny for installing your new central heating system. Depending on the conditions and a number of factors, the grant can cover all or a large part of the cost of installing central heating in your home. Sometimes, the grant can cover the entire installation costs and even costs for repairing any plaster damage done during the installation while in other cases, households are expected to make some contribution to the costs.

It therefore lies on eligible households to compare deals presented by different ECO Approved Installers and go for the best.

The main focus of the First time central heating grants (FTCH) is to reduce fuel poverty. The idea is to move properties from electric or other less energy efficient gas heating sources in order to reduce carbon emission, thus making homes more comfortable and energy efficient.

Try the Free Eligibility Checker

What does the First Time Central Heating Grant provide?

There are different types of central heating boilers you can get when you get a grant for gas central heating. These include;

  • Mains Gas Boiler

  • Biomass Boiler

  • LPG Boiler

  • Air Source Heat Pump

  • Ground Source Heat Pump

  • Electric Boiler

Installing Heating Systems:  How do I qualify for Central Heating Grants? 

Please note that for you to qualify for the First time central heating grants, the type of house you live in such as the number of rooms or number of people living there is not really the case. What matters more is whether you live in a private home, rent from a private landlord and if your home is well insulated.

Homes which are not insulated are not eligible for the grant but this is not usually a problem as you can always reach out to professional installers to install appropriate insulation before your new central heating system is installed.

Additionally, if you do not have a gas connection and a gas metre, you will need to arrange to get these in place before the central heating system can be installed.

Those who have had no prior central heating in their houses and are in receipt of a qualifying benefit will generally be eligible for this government heating grant scheme.

Here are the Qualifying Criteria for First Time Central Heating Grants

1. You must be the owner of a property that has an EPC rating of D, E, F or G. If you have a higher EPC rating, you will not qualify.

2. A tenant in a private home. In this case, the eligible home must have an EPC rating of E, F or G to be eligible for Central Heating Grants.

Please note that tenants who rent their home from a housing association or a local council as well as those in shared ownership homes are not eligible.

3. Your home must have had no prior heating at all. However, if you have any of the following heating systems, you will qualify for the grant;

  • Electric room heaters, which include room heaters, fan heaters or inefficient electric storage heaters

  • Gas room heaters; including fixed mains gas room heaters;

  • Gas fire with back boiler or solid fossil fuel fire with back boiler, or

  • Mains gas warm air heating system

  • Electric underfloor or ceiling heating

  • Bottled LPG room heating; or

  • Solid fossil fuel room heaters, Wood/biomass room heating; or Oil room heaters

4. You must be in receipt of one of these qualifying benefits or alternatively, qualify under the ECO Flex Rules. You or someone living permanently with you must be a recipient of at least one of the following State Benefits, Tax Credits or Other Allowances.

  • Pension Credit – Guarantee Credit

  • Pension Credit – Savings Credit

  • Universal Credit

  • Child Tax Credit

  • Working Tax Credit

  • Income Support

  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

  • Income-Based Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA)

  • Child Benefit (subject to maximum household income)

  • Housing benefit

first time Central Heating grants
  1. Homeownership or Private Rental: You must either own your home or be a tenant living in privately rented accommodation.

  2. Receipt of Certain Benefits: You must receive certain benefits such as Pension Credit, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income Support, Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Employment and Support Allowance. Eligible benefits can vary depending on the specific grant program

  3. No Central Heating: You must not have an existing central heating system in your home or the current system must be broken or inefficient.

  4. Low Income or Vulnerable: You may need to demonstrate that you are on a low income or vulnerable, such as being elderly, disabled, or having young children.

  5. Property Eligibility: Your property must be eligible for the grant program. For example, some programs may only be available for certain types of properties, such as those with solid walls.

  6. Other Requirements: You may be required to meet additional criteria, such as living in a specific geographic area or having a specific type of heating system installed.

Under the ECO Flex Rules, local councils can recommend a householder for a grant even if they are not in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits. The underlisted are four different ways whereby you can qualify under the ECO Flex Rules. Please be aware that your Local Authority has to give its approval first.

  A. The income of your entire household is not up to £31,000.

  B. In addition to your home having an EPC rating of E, F or G, you should be a recipient of Council Tax rebate (other than single person rebate). Additionally, you have a member who falls under one of the following categories;

  • Is allergic to living in a cold home;

  • Is referred under a Local Authority run scheme which supports low income and vulnerable households;

  • Receives free school meals or

  • Your home has been marked to be having difficulties and struggling to pay debts from utility bills and mortgage payments. Additionally, your energy supplier, mortgage lender or Citizens Advice has referred your household to the Local Authority for support.

  C. You can also receive a First Time Central Heating grant under the ECO Flex Rules if the NHS has referred you to your Local Authority because your health has been significantly impacted by the cold living conditions of your home.

  D. Also, Local Authorities are allowed to design their own scheme to benefit households who suffer from fuel poverty. In this case, your Local Authority would need to submit their proposals to the Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for approval.

5. Your home must have appropriate cavity wall insulation installed if it has cavity walls as well as adequate loft insulation.

Your installer may however arrange to have these installed for you if you do not have them prior to installing your Central heating System.

Prior to this time, homes which do not have an existing mains gas supply qualified for a First Time Central Heating Grant under the ECO3 which ended on 31st March 2022. However, under the ECO4 which started 1st April 2022, only homes which have an existing mains gas supply prior to 31st March 2022 are eligible to have a new mains gas central heating system installed in their homes.

However, if your home does not have a mains gas supply before the commencement of the ECO4, you may qualify for the installation of an air source heat pump instead, still under the First Time Central Heating grant.

What happens when someone else in my home apart from myself is in receipt of the qualifying benefits?

As we have mentioned, you can be eligible if someone who is permanently resident in your home receives one of the qualifying benefits. In this case, the application you make will have to be in their name and not in your name. Furthermore, you will have to provide proof that shows that they live with you permanently.

It is also important that your address is registered as their address with the Department of Work and Pensions. That way, their benefit letters will also have your address on them.

central heating system

How much does a Full Central Heating System Cost?

On average, it will cost you between £3,500 and £7,000 to have a new central heating system installed in your home. This will include costs of pipework, radiators, boilers as well as heating controls. Sometimes you may also need a hot water storage cylinder as well as feed and expansion tanks in the loft depending on the type of boiler to be installed in your home.

Be aware that installation cost varies from one ECO installer to another. Additionally, the price of the respective elements differs from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Factors that affect the cost of a central heating system include;

  • Fuel

  • Type of boiler

  • Boiler manufacturer

  • Boiler size

  • Pipework and radiators

  • Heating controls

  • Complexity of the installation

  • Labour costs

In the table below is a breakdown of an estimated cost of installing a central heating system in a 3-bedroom house.



New boiler (supply & installation)

£1,000 - £1,500

9 radiators (supply & installation)

£3,000 - £3,500

Water tank (supply & installation)

£600 - £700

Miscellaneous parts & labour

£150 - £200

Pipework (supply & installation)

£800 - £1,000

Total Cost

£5,650 - £6,900

You can always compare deals from different installers and choose the best for your home.

Take the First Step toward a Cozy Home

Don't let another winter pass with inadequate heating. Upgrade to a modern and energy-efficient central heating system with the help of First Time Central Heating Grants. Take the first step today by filling out our eligibility check form or contacting our friendly team directly. Stay warm, comfortable, and worry-free with First Time Central Heating Grants by your side!

Check Your Eligibility

Frequently Asked Question

In the previous Energy Company Obligation scheme (ECO3), you will be eligible for a Central Heating Grant even if you do not have a gas supply to your home but with the changes made Affordable Warmth Scheme introduced by ECO4 which started in April, 2022, you can only be eligible for the First Time Central Heating Grants if you have an existing mains gas supply.

Usually, you will not have to contribute to the cost of installing a central heating system in your home as the First Time Central Heating Grants will cover the entire installation cost. However, there are some homes which may have to cover some part of the installation cost. Professionals who come to carry out a survey on your home will inform you if you have to make some contribution.

The following are covered by the First Time Central Heating Grant;

  • The costs of supplying and installing a central heating boiler together with radiators

  • The needed pipes for the installation

  • The heating control system

  • Repairs for any plaster work damaged or other damages done during the installation

NB: The First Time Central Heating Grant does not cover redecoration.

In such a case, you will not be eligible for First Time Central Heating because it is designed only for those who do not have, nor have they had any type of central heating system fitted before even if it has been removed.

Usually, a declaration form is given to homeowners to sign before they can qualify for First Time Central Heating Grant when they affirm that to the best of their knowledge, there had not been any installation of a central heating system, district heating system, or renewable heating system.

It is a requirement that you should have cavity wall insulation and roof insulation / loft insulation must be installed in your home for you to qualify for First Time Central Heating Grants. The reason for this is so that you can enjoy the full benefits of the central heating system without loss of heat unnecessarily through the walls and roof of your home.

The length of time for a gas central heating installation is dependent on what is being installed in your home. Sometimes it may just take a few days but may also take up to a week or even two especially where a complete new central heating system and combi boiler is to be installed. Installing a central heating system involves lifting carpets and floorboards, laying pipes as well as installing radiators.

When you complete your application, we will reach out to you and inform you of your eligibility status as well as provide any other information as you may require about the scheme. With your permission, we will carry out an electronic check with the DWP to confirm if you are eligible. This will usually take a couple of days to get the result.

Within a week of getting the DWP confirmation that your home qualifies for the grant, we will carry out a survey of your home. After this an ECO approved installer will schedule with you a convenient time for the central heating installation.

The First Time Central Heating Grants is only available in England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland has its own different scheme.

You should check with your local authority to know which ECO Approved Installer is available to service your area as not every Installer can cover the entire England, Scotland and Wales.

Central heating comes with so many benefits.

They make the room comfortable with the pleasurable feeling of warmth. They also heat the home evenly.

They are healthier and will not cause you respiratory problems as the gentle radiant heat does not blow dust or other particles which can trigger allergic reactions. This helps prevent various health issues including asthma, bronchitis, etc.

It also reduces condensation in your property, which minimises the risk of mould and mildew.

The central heating system is not noisy as the underfloor and radiator heating are silent while doing their work.

Of course, they are eco-friendly. The whole point of the whole scheme is energy efficiency. Central heating systems produce a lot less carbon dioxide while also using less energy than other heating systems.

You also save money in the form of reduced utility bills.

Furthermore, having a central heating system in a home boosts the value of a home. A home with a heating system will more likely attract a buyer faster.

Generally, a central heating system will last about 15 years. However, it all depends on how well you maintain it. Ensure you regularly get an expert to look at them and service them appropriately. This will help you enjoy your home for a long time.

Enquire Online

This Cookies Policy explains what Cookies are and how We use them. You should read this policy so You can understand what type of cookies We use, or the information We collect using Cookies and how that information is used. Read More