Most vulnerable missing out on free boiler replacement

by Search Gate staff. Published Thu 22 Jan 2015 10:38
Problem of faulty or less-than-efficient boilers becomes more acute during cold spells

Organisers of a scheme set up to assist pensioners, low-income families and other vulnerable households to replace old, inefficient boilers are concerned that many of those most in need are unaware of the grants or their own eligibility.

Boiler Grants is part of the Government’s ECO (Energy Companies Obligation) scheme, launched at the start of 2013 to place a legal obligation on the larger energy companies – including the Big Six – to provide funding to help low-income households become more energy efficient.

The grants are available to homeowners and tenants in privately rented accommodation (with the landlord’s permission), if they meet specific criteria. In these circumstances, they could receive a grant to replace the gas boiler in their home if it is over eight years old, broken or classed as inefficient. The grant is put towards installing a brand-new Worcester, Vaillant, Baxi or Ideal A-rated condensing boiler, which will cut the household energy consumption and reduce heating costs, making staying warm affordable to more people.

During severe wintry spells, such as that much of the UK is currently experiencing, the problem of outdated, faulty or less-than-efficient boilers becomes acute – in some cases critical. Boiler Grants wants to reach all those at risk or already living in fuel poverty and ensure they are aware of the assistance that may be available to them, where possible allowing them to improve their existing homes in situations where the only alternatives might be to move or struggle in a dangerously cold, unhealthy environment. Boiler Grants has already helped in excess of 30,000 households in this way.

Recipients of an ECO grant must be in receipt of Pension Credit, Child Tax Credit (with an income of £15,860 or less), Working Tax Credit (with an income of £15,680 or less), Income Support, Income-Based Job Seeker’s Allowance or Income-Related Employment Support Allowance.

For anyone applying on the basis of Working Tax Credit, Income Support, Job Seeker’s Allowance or Employment Support Allowance, further conditions must also be met. There is a full list of criteria on the Boiler Grants website at, where potential applicants can also fill in a quick online form to find out whether or not they qualify.

They will then receive a phone call to confirm their eligibility for a grant, before a qualified surveyor is allocated to visit the property and ensure everything is in order ahead of a new boiler being fitted. Recipients are required to provide proof of income, benefits and tenancy agreements. When all criteria are satisfied, Boiler Grants will put the householders in touch with a Gas Safe registered and approved installer.

The whole assessment and assistance service offered by Boiler Grants is completely free of charge to potential applicants, regardless of whether they go ahead. The ECO operates in conjunction with the Government’s Green Deal scheme, but does not require signing up for Green Deal Finance. In most cases, householders will be asked to make a contribution towards the cost of installing a brand-new, energy efficient boiler, which is not generally met by the grant in its entirety. However, in some circumstances the costs will be covered in full.

The ECO scheme will run until March 2017, providing around £1.3bn of support each year.

Boiler Grants can also be followed through their social media feeds at:

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Comments about Most vulnerable missing out on free boiler replacement

the help is only for gas boilers. no help if you live in an area without gas
amy, norfolk around 4 months, 4 weeks ago
Handy stuff, but I got my ECO grant sorted out via STL Heating (as they're local to me (I live in Chester)). I think ECO is so useful!
Paul Whitehouse, UK around 5 months, 1 week ago

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