fbpx

Last Updated: 6 November 2023

Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) Scheme (Including LA Flex) 2023

The current UK government Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Scheme Phase 4 (ECO4) which is managed by Ofgem focuses on improving the country’s least energy-efficient homes and is primarily aimed at low-income and vulnerable households in the Great Britain. Through the ECO4 scheme, larger energy suppliers like British Gas, E.ON, EDF Energy, Octopus Energy, OVO, Scottish Power, etc. must provide energy efficiency measures for their UK customers who live in non-energy efficient homes.

The full list of the energy suppliers who are part of the ECO4 Scheme are:

British Gas

E (Gas & Electricity) Ltd

E.ON UK Solutions

Ecotricity

EDF

Octopus Energy

Outfox the Market

OVO

Scottish Power

Shell Energy (formerly First Utility and formerly Hudson)

So Energy (Including ESB Energy)

The Utility Warehouse

  • The Utility Warehouse, Network HQ, 333 Edgware Road, London NW9 6TD
  • Phone: 0333 777 0777
  • Website: https://uw.co.uk/

Utilita Energy Ltd

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme has gone through a series of phases in regard to eligibility criteria and the focus of the scheme. ECO4 is the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Scheme Phase 4 and replaces the ECO3 scheme. You could be eligible for the new Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) funding if you receive any of the following UK Government benefits:

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Pension Credit Guarantee
  • Pension Credit Savings Credit

The Child Benefit income threshold to qualify for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme varies depending on how many children you have and whether you’re a single parent or two-parent household. The follow income thresholds are:

Single-parent Households:

  • One child – £19,900
  • Two children – £24,800
  • Three children – £29,600
  • Four or more children – £34,500

Two-parent Households:

  • One child – £27,500
  • Two children – £32,300
  • Three children – £37,200
  • Four or more children – £42,000

Those claiming additional UK Government Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits, regardless of whether you receive Universal Credit (UC), may also be eligible for funding under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme. It’s worth making a quick phone call and checking with your energy supplier to see if you qualify for ECO4 funding.

The ECO4 grant’s focus is primarily on homes occupied by their owners. However, the scheme can also be extended to support energy-inefficient social housing and privately rented properties (this is so long as the property owner or landlord agrees to the sitting tenant applying to the ECO4 scheme, check with the property owner or your landlord before applying).

LA Flex (Local Authority Flexible Eligibility) Scheme

LA Flex (Local Authority Flexible Eligibility), is an extension of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme, that allows local authorities to identify households that may not have met the current criteria or not been eligible under the national criteria for the standard ECO4 scheme. Through the LA Flex scheme local authorities have the power to individually decide eligibility for energy efficiency improvement, this is usually based on the following:

  • The household is defined as low-income and is at risk of fuel poverty.
  • The property is hard to heat, often due to poor insulation or lack of a central heating system.
  • The residents are vulnerable in some way, such as being elderly, disabled, or having young children.

For private tenants to be eligible for LA Flex, they would need their landlord’s permission. Those residents who are eligible under the ECO4 scheme or the LA Flex scheme could be entitled to up to 100% off their solar panels, so they would be free.

How To Apply For ECO4 Funding

You can apply directly via your current energy supplier such as British Gas, E.ON, EDF Energy, Octopus Energy, OVO, Scottish Power, etc. or assess your eligibility by filling out the Energy Company Obligation ECO4 scheme eligibility questionnaire here: ECO4 Eligibility Requirements Form v1.0. A surveyor will then be sent out to evaluate your home and determine whether it’s suitable for solar panels based on the roof orientation, roof pitch, roof location/facing and any roof shading amongst other criteria for installing solar panels. The surveyor may also suggest other energy efficiency upgrades as part of the Energy Company Obligation ECO4 scheme.

To learn more about the ECO4 scheme grant application process, we spoke with Mr. Kevin Henney, the Director of ECO4 Hub. Mr. Henney has been managing the activities related to the ECO4 funding programme, including funding applications, local authority coordination and client installations for almost two years, so he is in an ideal position to give some advice and tips on what to expect when you apply for ECO4 funding.

Here is the advice and tips from the Director of ECO4 Hub to help the process go smoothly:

Applying for ECO4 funding is easy, provided you avoid these mistakes

  • Helpful Tip #1: When applying, make sure you have all the necessary documentation to hand. You’ll need your local authority council tax bill, ID, and evidence that the household income is under £31,000 per year – this can be in the form of a pension statement, three months’ worth of payslips and bank statements or a P60 dated in the last six months. If you are in receipt of benefits, you are required to sign a consent form which is verified by the Energy Saving Trust and provide a copy of a utility bill to confirm your details.
  • Helpful Tip #2: Double check that your full name is spelled correctly at every step of the application process. Mistakes can hold up the process.

Your ECO4 Funding could be approved in under a week

  • Helpful Tip #3: If you’re receiving eligible government benefits, a survey can be arranged with the solar panel installer soon after this is verified. This process could take less than a week.
  • Helpful Tip #4: The Local Authority Eligibility Flexibility (LA Flex) scheme has different eligibility criteria depending on your local council authority and this could take a few weeks for approval to be granted, depending on your local council.

Your solar panels could be installed within a week

  • Helpful Tip #5: Once your ECO4 funding is awarded and you’re happy with the proposed work, and you have checked all the paperwork, a date will be arranged for the installation with your solar panel installer.

Funding over £80,000 has been awarded for large-scale projects

  • Helpful Tip #6: The amount of money that you could be awarded will vary depending on what work is required to maximise your property’s energy efficiency rating (EPC Rating).
  • Helpful Tip #7: The project can involve a single-measure installation, such as a boiler replacement worth £5,000, right up to a comprehensive energy makeover involving internal wall and loft insulation, an air source heat pump and a solar panel installation, with a total value exceeding £80,000.

There’s been an increase in ECO4 Funding applications in 2023

In the last year, increasing numbers of UK households are applying for Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) funding. This has been attributed to rises in the cost of living, higher than normal energy prices, and a greater awareness of the ECO4 fund.

Conclusion

Don’t miss this opportunity to get solar panels for free with the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme. If your energy supplier is on the list above, contact them today and find out how you can apply. You will not only save money on your energy bills, but also help the environment by reducing your carbon emissions. It’s a win-win situation for you and the planet. 

If you need a free no-obligation quote and a free solar PV system design service to send with your Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) Scheme Application Form we are here to help you and support you with your ECO4 Application with free advice and help on all aspects of solar panel installation with or without solar battery storage.

Remember we are a MCS Certified Solar PV (Panels) Installer and a MCS Certified Battery Storage Installer, so we can install your complete solar PV system to the high standards as required by MCS Certification. We are also registered and accredited with HIES, NAPIT and TrustMark for our excellent service. NXTGEN Energy are your trusted solar energy partner and solar panel installer with a 5-Star Google Review rating and an ‘Excellent’ rating on TrustPilot. Check your installer is genuine at https://mcscertified.com. An MCS Certified Installer can issue you with an MCS Certificate which you are required to have to join the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme to sell electricity back to the National Grid.

Frequently Asked Questions about the ECO4 Scheme

What is the ECO4 scheme?

Through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) Scheme, homes could receive discounted (or free) home insulation, an upgraded boiler, green heating system or solar panels. However, only the most energy-inefficient homes can benefit from ECO4, meaning that your property must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of D, E, F or G.

Is the ECO4 scheme legit?

Rest assured, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme is not a scam or catch. The UK Government genuinely backs this initiative, which is run by Ofgem, and aims to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and tackle fuel poverty for some of the poorest homes in the UK.

Does ECO4 include solar panels?

Under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme, you may be eligible for free Solar Panel installation which can help you generate your own electricity and save you up to 70% on your energy bills.

What is the ECO4 scheme for landlords?

ECO4 is the name of the current Energy Company Obligation scheme and was introduced in April 2022, superseding ECO3 . The energy efficiency measures that can be funded under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme will depend on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of your property.

Who pays for the ECO4 scheme?

Who pays for ECO4 funding? Energy companies are obliged to pay for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme, not the government. This is because the UK government has committed to reducing carbon emissions, and one of the ways they plan to do this is by making homes more energy efficient. The ECO4 scheme is part of this plan.

What is the difference between ECO3 and ECO4?

Unlike in ECO3, the ECO4 scheme promotes a fabric first approach to home energy improvements. This involves assessing a property’s current energy efficiency rating (EPC Rating) with the aim of increasing this by as many bands as possible with the installation of various insulation, heating and energy generating measures.

Latest Solar Panel Grant Posts

  • Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme
    Last Updated: 28 February 2024 What is the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme? The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme is a UK Government-backed initiative that launched on 1 January 2020. It requires the larger electricity suppliers, known as SEG Licensees, to pay small-scale generators, known as SEG Generators, for low-carbon electricity which they export back […]
  • Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) Scheme 2023
    Last Updated: 6 November 2023 Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) Scheme (Including LA Flex) 2023 The current UK government Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Scheme Phase 4 (ECO4) which is managed by Ofgem focuses on improving the country’s least energy-efficient homes and is primarily aimed at low-income and vulnerable households in the Great Britain. Through the ECO4 […]
  • Home Upgrade Grant UK 2023 (HUG2)
    How to Get Free Solar Panels with the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2) If you live in England and meet certain criteria, you may be eligible for a Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2) that can cover up to 100% of the cost of installing solar panels on your roof. The Home Upgrade Grant Phase 2 (HUG2) is […]
  • Solar Panel Grants UK 2023/2024
    Last Updated: 28 February 2024 Are you looking for the latest information on solar panel grants UK in 2023/2024? Did you know that solar energy is one of the most eco-friendly and cost-effective ways to power your home or business. But installing solar panels can be a big investment that not everyone in the UK […]