ECO3 is to widen the criteria for First Time Central Heating (FTCH).What this means to you.
Good news really, you’ll stand more of a chance of qualifying. ECO3 states that FTCH can be installed into any property and it will be uncapped. Social Housing properties however will still have to have an EPC rating of E, F or G. It has to be noted that some concern has been expressed about electric heated properties being installed with gas heating as it was felt that basically modern day electric heaters are not that much more carbon intensive than gas heaters.
Utility companies have deemed this as a priority and have allowed more funding towards this measure allowing most to be installed totally free of charge to the client.
15% of the ECO3 fund has been set aside for rural measures.What this means to you.
This is very good news for those living in rural areas which quite often are off the mains gas network. It was felt by many who gave a response to the ECO3 consultation that people living in rural areas should not be discriminated with regard to funding because of where they live.
Income thresholds for all householders in receipt of Universal Credit or Tax Credits have now been removed.What this means to you.
This means that you will always be eligible for funding when in receipt of these benefits regardless of household income, so no means testing required.
ECO3 intends to carry on allowing funding for solid wall insulation. In the past it has been felt that people living in houses with solid walls have missed out on ECO funded insulation measures because of high costs and lack of options & technologies. ECO3 will not be increasing the current number of 17,000 homes treated per year. This has caused a lot of disagreement as it’s felt that the UK is way behind other countries such as France who currently support around 200,000 installs per year.What this means to you.
Basically, you will still be able to get ECO funding but the numbers are very limited (17,000 homes per anum), so don’t waste any time in getting your property surveyed. There will also be funding available for other technologies for solid walled properties which meet the same or greater lifetime bill savings.
Please note : Current funding levels for solid wall insulation to properties heated by mains gas is still quite low. For example : to install external wall insulation to a 3 bed semi-detahced house would cost in the region of £12,000+, of which you could expect to receive approximately 25% funding. The level of solid wall insulation funding is however much better for properties heated off the mains gas network.
ECO3 is to continue funding oil boiler replacements throughout this full phase of funding.What this means to you.
This is good news, as it was initially proposed that oil boiler replacements be stopped. UK Government made this decision because phasing out oil boiler replacements could impact off mains gas network low income and vulnerable households.
ECO3 is now only available to people classed as in ‘fuel poverty’. Fuel poverty basically means any household struggling to heat their home. The qualifying criteria has been widened to include more benefits, see point 8 below for details. Some interested parties have expressed concerns that although this is a good move many households will still miss out on funding and a scheme like the one currently running in Scotland should be introduced.What this means to you.
Very simply put, if you are not in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits then you will NOT be eligible for ECO funding of any kind apart from through local authority schemes such as LA Flex. This is probably the biggest difference in ECO funding especially when you concider that ECO3 will run until 2022.
Through our extensive network of accredited installers HouseWrapped are able to help you receive funding via the LA Flex method if you are not in receipt of a qualifying state benefit.
ECO3 increases funding for certain heating system upgrades when they are delivered alongside certain insulation measures.What this means to you.
Basically this means that you will receive more ECO funding to upgrade your current heating system when a secondary insulation measure is also installed. You would still receive some funding for a heating system upgrade on its own but the amount you would have to potentially contribute would be much higher. By installing an insulation measure alongside your boiler upgrade you will greatly reduce your contribution or even remove it altogether.
The main insulation measure which is not included is loft insulation. This proposal is intended to encourage householders to achieve much better carbon efficiency which will in turn reduce energy costs.
ECO3 has widened the qualifying benefits for fuel poverty to include various disability & MOD benefits.What this means to you.
This is a really good step forward as it greatly widens the amount of householders who qualify for ECO funding. These new qualifying benefits include DLA, Cares Allowance, PIP, Constant Attendance Allowance, Armed Forces Independence Payment, industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit & Severe Disablement Allowance. So, if in the past you have missed out on any insulation measures you will now qualify.
ECO3 will continue to only be available to Social Housing properties with an EPC band of E,F or G.What this means to you.
So, although the UK Government have decided to keep the qualifying criteria the same they have however allowed Social Housing properties with an EPC rating of D to receive new innovative measures to be installed under ECO. This is possibly because a few energy saving related organisations stated that a person living in social housing should not be excluded from the ECO fund. They also stated that there are probably more people classed as in fuel poverty who live in social housing.