Central Heating Grants are now only available for homes which have an existing mains gas supply. This rule was introduced on 1st April 2022 with the start of ECO4.
Central Heating Grants from the Government's ECO4 Scheme
Central Heating Grants are available to install Central Heating Systems in Homes which have Never had Central Heating Installed Before
Central Heating Grants are available to home owners and tenants in homes owned by private landlords.
To qualify, your home must never have had central heating installed before, (that is why the official name for the scheme is First Time Central Heating Grants)
You (or someone living permanently with you) must receive one of the qualifying benefits, tax credits or other allowances OR you qualify under ECO Flex rules.
In most cases Central Heating Grants pay for the full cost of installing a new central heating boiler, radiators, associated pipework and a room thermostat.
Central Heating Grants Qualifying Criteria
1. You must be a home owner or rent your home from a private landlord
Only homes with an EPC rating of D, E, F or G for home owners and E, F or G for private tenants are eligible for Central Heating Grants. You can see the EPC rating of your home by clicking HERE for England and Wales or HERE for Scotland.
Central Heating Grants are not available if you rent your home from the local council or housing association, or if you live in shared ownership home.
2. Your home must have one of the following heating systems installed OR no heating system at all:
- Electric room heaters, including direct acting room heaters or fan heaters
- Inefficient electric storage heaters
- Gas room heaters; including fixed mains gas room heaters
- Gas fire with back boiler
- Mains gas warm air system
- Solid fossil fuel fire with back boiler
- Electric underfloor or ceiling heating (not part of an electric boiler)
- Bottled LPG room heating
- Solid fossil fuel room heaters
- Wood or biomass room heating
- Oil room heaters
The heating system used to assess your eligibility for First Time Central Heating Grants is that which appears as the ‘Main Heating’ system on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your home.
3. You must receive at least one of the Qualifying Benefits, or qualify under ECO Flex Rules
To qualify for Central Heating Grants, either you or someone living permanently with you, must receive one of the following State Benefits, Tax Credits or Other Allowances. Alternatively, you may qualify under ECO Flex Rules (please see below):
- Pension Credit – Guarantee Credit
- Pension Credit – Savings Credit
(Over one million pensioners are entitled to Pension Credit but don’t claim it. To check whether you are eligible click HERE go to the Government website.)
- Universal Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income-Based Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income Support
- Child Benefit (subject to maximum household income thresholds)
- Housing Benefit
ECO Flex Rules (sometimes called LA Flex Central Heating Grants) allow local councils to recommend that a householder qualifies for a grant even if they don’t receive one of the qualifying benefits.
Each local authority is allowed to set its own rules for ECO Flex Central Heating Grants.
New ECO Flex Rules introduced by ECO4 from 1st April 2022
ECO Flex Rules allow local councils to recommend that a householder qualifies for central heating grants even if they don’t receive one of the qualifying benefits.
There are four ways in which you can qualify under ECO Flex rules but it has to be first approved by your Local Authority:
1. Your total household income is below £31,000
2.Your home has an EPC rating of E,F or G AND one of the following applies:
a. You receive a Council Tax rebate (other than single person rebate);
b. a member of your household is vulnerable to living in a cold home;
c. a member of your household is referred under a Local Authority run scheme which supports low income and vulnerable households,
d. a householder receives free school meals or
e. your household is identified as struggling with sustained debt on utility bills and mortgage payments and has been referred to the Local Authority for support by Citizens Advice, your energy supplier or your mortgage lender.
3. You are referred to your Local Authority by the NHS because you could be severely impacted by living in a cold home. The conditions which normally apply are respiratory problems, cardiovascular problems, limited mobility or immune suppressed conditions.
4. This is a wide ranging option which allows Local Authorities to devise their own scheme to target a high proportion of households suffering from fuel poverty. Your Local Authority would need to submit their proposals to the Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for approval.
Central Heating Grants FAQs
Who can apply for Central Heating Grants?
Central Heating Grants are available to home owners and tenants in privately rented homes.
Unfortunately, ECO4 doesn’t permit tenants in council owned homes, in housing association homes and householders living in shared ownership homes to qualify for Central Heating Grants.
I don't receive any benefits, can I still apply for for Central Heating Grants?
If you do not receive any of the qualifying benefits you may qualify for first time central heating grants under ECO Flex Rules.
Local councils can recommend that you receive a central heating grant if you satisfy their rules under ECO4 which started on 1st April 2022.
Do I need to have a mains gas supply to my home?
Under ECO4 rules, which started on 1st April 2022 only those home with an existing mains gas supply will qualify for Central Heating Grants.
If there is a capped gas supply you need to get a “Live / Dead” check done by Cadent. If Live, you need to arrange for a gas meter to be installed, if dead, this means that a new gas feed is required. Cadent live/dead check number is 0845 835 1111.
How do I apply for a central heating grant?
Householders wishing to apply for Central Heating Grants should first of all complete the form on this website page.
We will call you back to let you know whether you qualify for first time central heating grants based on the information you provide.
We will then arrange a survey of your home and its existing heating system and the surveyor will complete the official grant application form on your behalf. Also, with your permission, an electronic check will be made with information from the Department for Work and Pensions that you receive one of the qualifying state benefits, tax credits or other allowances.
If you do not receive one of the qualifying benefits for central heating grants, we will check with your local council to see whether they can approve your application under ECO4 ECO Flex rules.
Your grant application is submitted to the ECO Scheme and if approved, money is allocated from the ECO Fund.
The ECO authorised installation company which arranged the free survey will carry out your central heating installation at a convenient time. They will then apply for your first time central heating grant to be paid to them from the ECO Fund.
What do central heating grants cover?
Central Heating Grants cover the cost of supplying and installing a central heating boiler together with radiators, the necessary pipework and heating control systems.
If any plaster work is damaged during the installation this will be repaired but the grant does not cover redecoration.
What if central heating has been fitted to my home previously but has been removed?
Central Heating Grants help to pay for the installation of central heating systems in homes which ‘do not have and have not previously had any kind of central heating system’ fitted before, even if it has been removed.
Will I have to pay anything towards the cost of installing central heating in my home?
In most cases, Central Heating Grants will cover the full cost of installing a central heating system in your home.
In some cases however, particularly in smaller homes, householders may have to make a contribution. You will not know this until a free survey of your home and existing heating system has been carried out and if you are not happy with the amount you have to pay, your application can be cancelled without costing you anything.
Are central heating grants available throughout the whole of the UK?
Central Heating Grants are available to householders in England, Scotland and Wales.
Northern Ireland has its own scheme but we do not deal with that here.
How long will central heating grants be available?
Central Heating Grants are funded by the Government’s ECO Scheme.
A new version of the ECO Scheme, ECO4, started on 1st April 2022 and it is expected to continue until March 2026.
Central Heating Grants from the Government’s ECO4 Scheme for homes which have never had a central heating system fitted before.