Millions of households are getting a free or discounted boiler. Here's how.

Find Energy Savings, 1st July 2016

As part of the UK's Energy Company Obligation (ECO), low-income households in receipt of certain benefits may be entitled to a free or subsidised boiler paid for by the big 6 energy companies.

Do you qualify for a grant?

Enter your postcode to check

Am I eligible?

If you receive Child Tax Credit or Pension Credit then you will automatically qualify. If not, you will need to receive another qualifying benefit as shown below:

Automatic qualification
Pension credit
Child Tax Credit (household income must be less than £16,000)
Qualifies with additional component Additional component
Income support
  • Disabled child premium
  • Disability premium
  • Child under 16
  • Child under 20 (in full time education but not University)
Income based job seekers allowance
Income related employment and support allowance
Working tax credit
  • Over 60 years old
  • Receive disabled worker element
  • Receive severe disability element
  • Child under 16
  • Child under 20 (in full time education but not University)

Child tax credit and working tax credit

For families in receipt of child or working tax credit a grant is available to help towards replacing an existing boiler. The scheme is designed to help low-income households to reduce their fuel bills and so the total income received within the home must not exceed £16,000 per year. This figure is printed on page 3 of your tax credit award notice and a surveyor will need to check this in order to confirm your eligibility for the grant funding. In addition to this, your boiler must not A or B rated.

If you receive working tax credits but do not have a child in the property, you must be over 60 years old, or receive a disabled worker element to qualify for the funding.

Boiler grants for pensioners

For pensioners looking for help towards replacing their boiler, free boiler grants are available if you receive pension credit in addition to your state pension. Pension credit is top-up payment from the Government if you receive a less than £148 per person or £278 per couple, per week. The pension credit payment will top-up your income to this amount. You must be in receipt of pension credit in order to qualify for a free boiler grant.

Both Guaranteed Pension Credit and Savings Pension Credit are eligible.

Other eligible benefits for the grant

If you do not receive tax credits then you may still be eligible for the grant funding. Income support, income related employment and support allowance and job seekers allowance all require a child to be living in the property in order to qualify for the boiler grant funding.

Benefits that do not qualify for the boiler grant

Unfortunately you will not be eligible for the grant if you only receive Disability Living Allowance.

If you do not qualify for a free boiler

For those who do not receive sufficient benefits, or where the boiler is too efficient to qualify, there are many competitive offers from boiler installers to help spread the cost of a new boiler over time. A brand new A-rated boiler can cost between £1,500 and £2,500, but a monthly finance package and help to make this more accessible to households by splitting the amount into payments of £20-£30 per month. In fact, when replacing a boiler that's more than 10 years old, the savings in your energy bills may actually cover this cost in full!

Why should I upgrade my boiler

Replacing a G rated boiler will save you £310 a year on average. Source: Energy Saving Trust

Older boilers will cost significantly more to heat your home compared with a more efficient modern boiler. The technology has improved dramatically during recent years, resulting in less fuel being needed to produce the same amount of heat within your home.

A boiler replaced under grant funding will be a condensing boiler. This technology is more efficient than traditional boilers as they release gas at just 55 degrees Celsius (rather than 180 degrees) requiring less fuel to generate heat.

The application process

Applying for a free boiler grant is relatively straight forward. First, complete the application form to determine whether you are eligible for a free boiler. Your application will then be referred to an approved contractor in your area with funding available to carry out the work. They will contact you within a few days to arrange a suitable time to visit your property and check both your paperwork and your existing boiler and confirm your eligibility for the grant. If successful, they will then carry out an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to calculate how much funding is available under the scheme and inform your of the outcome. The last step is to arrange a date to replace your boiler. The whole process usually takes around 4-6 weeks but can be quicker depending on how quickly the survey can be arranged.

Where does the funding come from?

Funding for replacement boiler grants is provided by the big six energy companies as part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). These companies are required to meet targets for reducing the amount of CO2 generated from UK homes. Priority is given to those most in need of assistance, which includes those in receipt of income related benefits.

Boiler grants are free and do not need to be paid back. An approved installer will replace your boiler and their costs will be paid by the energy companies. The level of grant funding will vary between properties and on some occasions a contribution may be required.

Apply now
Energy firms fund the ECO scheme