Would you like to make your home warmer?
Are you thinking of insulating your walls or loft?
Would you struggle to pay for the work without financial help?
Then you might benefit from the energy company obligation scheme.
The energy company obligation (ECO) scheme was introduced by the government in 2013. It’s designed to encourage energy suppliers to help customers make their homes easier and cheaper to heat.
The idea is that the energy companies offer grants to customers on low incomes, to help them pay for energy-saving home improvements. This should then save them money on gas and electricity bills.
ECO works in tandem with the government’s Green Deal scheme to help people borrow money, or apply for grants, to pay for improvements like insulation, boiler repairs or solar panels.
The government believes around 230,000 homes would qualify for energy company obligation funding.
You could qualify for energy company obligation funding if you are thinking about making your home more energy efficient and:
You need to own the property you want the grant for – or you can apply to improve a privately rented property if you get your landlord’s permission first.
If you don’t get either Pension or Child Tax Credit, you might still qualify if you receive one of these benefits:
AND meet one of these conditions:
To find out whether you qualify for energy company obligation funding, get in touch with the Energy Saving Advice Service. You can call them 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 can talk you through the criteria for energy company obligation eligibility so you can decide whether it’s right for you.
There are three separate ‘obligations’: the affordable warmth obligation, the carbon emissions reduction obligation, and the carbon saving communities obligation. Read on to find out what these snappy titles could mean to you and your home.
This obligation means that your energy company should offer to upgrade the heating and insulation in low-income homes (although this doesn’t include social housing).
It could pay to repair or replace your boiler, or provide loft or wall insulation.
It’s designed to help people who might be vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home, like pensioners or young children.
This is sometimes called the carbon saving obligation. It means your energy supplier could help you financially with:
This initiative is designed to improve home insulation and connection to district heating systems in low-income areas. Energy companies have to use 15% of these energy company obligation grants to improve homes in villages or the countryside.
Start by contacting the Energy Saving Advice Service. You can call them 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.
If you can’t start improving your home yet or you’re waiting for energy company obligation funding to come through, here are some other cost-cutting suggestions to tide you over.
To start with, you could reduce the amount of energy you use and cut down your bills by making sure your home and all your electrical appliances are working as efficiently as possible.
Here are six ways to become more energy efficient:
See our full energy saving guide for more details.
Energy company prices go up and down, so it’s always worth taking a look at the comparison sites regularly to see whether you could pay less with a different supplier.
At OVO, we work hard to keep our costs down and offer you a fair price. We also offer you a 3% OVO Interest Reward whenever your account’s in credit.
It’s quick and simple to compare your current provider’s prices with our range of energy plans – whether you’re interested in electricity or gas on its own, or a dual fuel plan. They’re based on a medium user, paying by Direct Debit, averaged across all UK regions.
Take a look to find out what you could save now.
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1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount. All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas). All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
3Pay Monthly Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYM OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
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