ECO Insulation Grants in Scotland
Homeowners, private tenants and landlords in Scotland can claim Government insulation grant funding to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. Insulation grants can be claimed via the Government led Energy Company Obligation scheme (ECO).
The ECO grant scheme is designed to tackle fuel poverty and lower carbon emissions in Scotland, England and Wales. The scheme began in 2013 and has been amended over time. The latest version has been named ECO2t which started in April 2017. It consists of two obligations or funding initiatives –
- Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO) Under CERO, obligated suppliers must promote ‘primary measures’, including roof and wall insulation and connections to district heating systems. Some CERO must also be delivered in rural areas.
- Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO)Under HHCRO, obligated suppliers must promote measures which improve the ability of low income and vulnerable household to heat their homes. This includes actions that result in heating savings, such as the replacement or repair of a boiler. OFGEM
Who provides ECO Grant funding?
Although ECO is a Government energy efficiency scheme it is not the Scottish or UK Governments who pay for the home insulation grants. The cost is met by the major energy suppliers known as the “Big Six.” The big six are British Gas, Scottish Power, EDF, SSE, E.ON and NPower.
You do not have to be signed up with one of these suppliers to receive a home insulation grant. As long as you are a domestic electricity user in Scotland any one of these providers can carry out the work required in your home.
Am I eligible for an ECO grant?
ECO is was started with two purposes in mind. To help the environment by reducing emission levels and to help reduce fuel poverty in Scotland and Great Britain. Under ECO2t there are two different funding obligations through which households can qualify for free loft insulation and / or cavity wall insulation.
CERO is currently aimed at larger detached properties and houses which are non-gas heated. These types of properties are more difficult to heat and more energy is wasted if they are not insulated correctly. Therefore by installing insulation in this type of property a greater reduction in emissions can be achieved.
If you live in a property which is off the main gas grid and heated by electric, coal or LPG, the chances are that you will qualify for free loft or wall insulation. The same applies to detached properties which are heated by mains gas. i.e. there must be enough carbon reduction potential in your home to make the improvement worthwhile.
Unfortunately if you live in a council house or rent from a housing association you can not apply. Local authorities in Scotland currently have their own energy efficiency targets to meet with regards to housing stock.
What if I claim benefits or tax credits?
HHCRO is a different route you can take to claim an insulation grant. This is aimed at households which are deemed to live in “fuel poverty.” The Government has instructed energy suppliers that a certain percentage of all measures installed under the scheme must be for households in this category.
You must be in receipt of one of the following benefits to apply for a grant:
- Pension Guarantee Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
- Income-Related Employment Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
If you claim Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit your income must be below a certain threshold to qualify for free insulation: