ECO+ is a scheme to provide funding to help many more households become more energy efficient through grant funded insulation measures. The funding is intended to help bring down people’s energy bills at a time when energy prices are at unprecedented levels
ECO+ provides support to those on the lowest incomes, but also extends it to energy inefficient households in lower Council Tax bands, in an attempt to help some of the most vulnerable bring down their energy costs – at a time when bills are at unprecedented levels.
The £1 billion scheme builds on the existing £6.6 billion ‘Help to Heat’ energy schemes, including the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, Home Upgrade Grant and Local Authority Delivery Scheme.
The funding is targeted at low income and vulnerable households, including those with low energy efficiency, considered an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of D or below.
It will also assist those in low council tax bands depending on their location on the following lines:
The scheme is intended to provide grants to those who haven’t previously had any government funding towards the cost of improving their home’s energy efficiency.
Funding for insulation grants comes from the main energy suppliers, who are obliged to make a contribution towards helping households insulate their homes to become more energy efficient. All grants are free and do not have to be paid back.
The scheme is complementary to the current ECO scheme and will help a wider group of households to insulate their home than previously under the ECO scheme.
Already under 3.5m energy-efficiency measures have been installed in over 2.4 million homes since the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) was launched in 2013. The existing ECO4 scheme is targeted at those who need support most; those in social housing, on a low-income or fuel poor.
ECO+ is intended to help as many households as possible so the main focus will be on installing lower cost insulation measures such as loft insulation and cavity wall insulation.
That said, there will still be opportunities for other types of home insulation where relevant under ECO+.
Potential insulation measures that could be covered by an ECO+ grant include:
Announcing the scheme, the government suggested that households could save around £310 annually on energy bills by installing insulation measures. However savings will depend on a number of different factors including location, type of property and the insulation measure being installed.
The Energy Saving Trust provides some comprehensive figures relating to bill and CO2 savings. For comparison, we’ve looked at figures relating to a gas-heated semi-detached property (based on fuel prices as of October 2022).
|Typical installation cost
|Energy bill savings (£/year)
|Carbon dioxide savings (kgCO2/year)
|Cavity Wall insulation
|Solid wall insulation
While costs of insulation can vary widely, you could benefit not only by getting the cost of your insulation covered, but also by enjoying the long-term annual savings, as well as reducing your overall carbon emissions. With some types of insulation being effective for up to 40 years, this can mean decades of savings for households.
When applying to the scheme, you’ll be told the grant amount that you will receive. You may have to make a contribution towards some of the costs if you are having a more complex insulation installation, but with more straightforward measures such as loft insulation, it is likely that it will cost you nothing at all.
ECO+ funding is available to landlords, if their tenants meet the criteria. With the majority of homes in the private rental sector having EPC ratings of D or lower, it could be that many landlords and their tenants will be able to benefit – the landlord seeing their property being properly insulated and the tenants enjoying the cost savings on their energy bills. With an overall aim that homes meet EPC band C by 2035, this could see more and more rented properties better insulated over time.
The ECO+ scheme will run from spring 2023 for up to 3 years, and extends that support even further to hundreds of thousands of households who could receive new insulation measures for their home but who are not currently eligible for support under existing government-backed schemes.
Alongside the ECO plus scheme, the government is running a £18 million public information campaign to give the public advice on how they can cut down on their energy use and save on their energy bills. Some of the advice includes:
If you haven’t previously benefited from government funding for energy efficiency home improvements, and you fall into the categories outlined above, there is a good chance that you’ll be able to benefit from ECO Plus funding. This will allow you to improve your home’s energy efficiency, minimise your energy bills, and reduce your carbon footprint. With the funding being free, it’s a no-brainer to see if you are able to get an insulation funding grant when the ECO+ scheme properly gets underway.