The best way to cut your energy bills, minimise your carbon footprint and keep cosy in winter and cool in summer is to have a well-insulated, energy efficient home. But making 'green' improvements to your home can be costly.

What is ECO-4?

ECO (Energy Company Obligation) is a UK Government policy administered by OfGEM that obliges energy suppliers to provide funding to support energy improvements in homes across the UK.  ECO was first introduced in 2013 and ECO-4 is the fourth iteration of this scheme running from 2022-26.

ECO provides significant annual investment into the energy efficiency sector and the energy suppliers obligations are too large for an ‘in-house’ delivery model.  As such, the energy suppliers utilise existing supply chains by forming agreements with energy efficiency installers across the UK.

To install measures under ECO, an installer must be registered with Trustmark and install to the UK’s most recognised Retrofit Standard, PAS 2035.

The funding is specifically targeted to assist low income households, and householders that are vulnerable to effects of living in a cold home. 

Eligibility is determined by two factors:

  • The existing energy efficiency of your home
  • Your personal circumstances

Does my home qualify?

Funding is calculated on an individual basis. This is determined by the current energy efficiency of your home and the fuel bill savings a package of energy efficiency measures can achieve.

The energy efficiency of a home is determined by a survey which produces an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property. You may already be familiar with EPC’s as they are mandatory in Scotland when buying/selling a property. The EPC rates the energy efficiency of the home on a scale of A-G, with ‘A’ being the most efficient and ‘G’ being the least efficient.

For your home to qualify, the current EPC rating of your home must be in band D, E, F or G.

Installers will undertake a survey to determine a package of works for your home and they must be able to achieve an increase in EPC rating of at least two bands. For example, if the current EPC rating is band E, the package of works must achieve band C.

Does my household qualify?

ECO-4 has two eligibility groups:

  1. The Help to Heat Group
  2. The Flexible Eligibility Group

Help to Heat Group

The Help to Heat Group includes any household that receives a means tested benefit as set out in the ECO Order. OfGEM’s website provides up-to-date information. 

Flexible Eligibility Group

The Flexible Eligibility Group is a broader group of consumers that do not quality under the Help to Heat Group but considered to be low income households, or households that are vulnerable to effects of living in a cold home. 

Our Statement of Intent provides further detail.

How do I access ECO-4 funding?

ECO is an energy supplier/installer led scheme administered by OfGEM. Installers will enter into commercial agreements with energy suppliers to deliver a quantity of works at a determined rate.

Marketing activity is undertaken by Installers through their own marketing campaigns or via lead generating/advertising companies. Before entering into a contract with an Installer, you should always undertake your own research and satisfy yourself that the Installer is able to meet your requirements.

If you qualify under the Help to Heat Group, any Installer in the UK that has an agreement with an energy supplier can offer you subsidised or fully funded works.

However, the Flexible Eligibility Group or ‘ECO-Flex’ is slightly different.

If you qualify under ECO-Flex, it is the Local Authority’s responsibility to check that you are eligible based on information provided to us by the Installer. This means that the Local Authority must issue a signed Declaration to the Installer that allows the energy supplier to authorise the funding. 

Due to the Local Authority’s role in this, we have been more selective over the Installers that can operate under ECO-Flex in our region. We have set up an Approved Installer Scheme and only Installers registered on this scheme can access ECO-Flex funding from their energy supplier.