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The Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

energy company obligation scheme

How we could help reduce your bills

Energy companies, like us, can potentially subsidise improvements that make your home more energy-efficient – and cheaper to heat. The catchy name for this is the ‘Energy Company Obligation (ECO)’. It’s been around for a while, but this version began in April 2017. 

How do I qualify for help?

The good news is everyone qualifies for some kind of help. There are just certain improvements, such as replacement boilers, that are only available if you meet certain criteria based on income, receipt of benefits and tax credits. For a brand new boiler, you’d probably need to either live in a low-income or vulnerable property, receive Pension Credit or receive Child Tax Credit with a yearly income of £15,860 or less.

How do I apply?

Contact the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 – Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm or Saturday 10am – 2pm. Visit this page to see how much the call might cost you. They’ll help you work out whether you qualify for Energy Company Obligation funding. If you do, they’ll explain what to do next and how to apply.

Types of help

Affordable warmth subsidy

This provides help for people who might be vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home, like pensioners or young children.
Your energy company could repair or replace the boiler, or provide loft or wall insulation. 

Carbon emissions reduction subsidy

Your energy supplier could help you financially with:

  • Insulating solid walls (usually on older buildings) that might need cladding on either the inside or outside
  • Cavity wall insulation for homes built after the 1930s
  • Loft insulation
  • Connections to district heating systems
  • Double glazing
  • Draught proofing

How else can I cut my energy costs?

It’s easy to make sure energy isn’t being wasted – you probably know all of these tips, it’s just about putting them into practice:

  • When you boil a kettle, only use as much water as you need
  • Turn appliances off at the wall – don’t leave them on standby
  • Use energy-saving light bulbs
  • Defrost your freezer regularly
  • Use draught excluders outside doors, windows and letterboxes.
  • Only do 30°C washes on your washing machine.
  • See our full energy saving guide for more details.

You could also speak to the Centre for Sustainable Energy who will give you free, impartial advice on saving energy, renewable energy and applying for subsidies and financial support at 0800 408 6601 and [email protected]

What are my rights as an energy consumer?

Boost is all about honesty, and being straightforward – but if you ever want to seek free, independent advice, it’s easy. You might want to find out about getting a better deal, how to make a complaint, or get advice about the quality of your electricity or gas supply. You can also ask for help if you're struggling to pay your bills. Just visit Citizens Advice online or contact them on 03454 04 05 06. You can also call us to get a copy of the “Know your rights in a changing energy market” leaflet posted. 

This guide is intended to provide general guidance only. It is not intended to give you advice on your personal financial circumstances. You should seek independent professional advice if you’re unsure about anything mentioned in this guide or what choices to make.