ECO3 Interim Measures and ECO4 – Effective Heating Solutions

eco3-interim-and-eco4

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ECO3 Interim and ECO4 are two energy programs in the UK launched to give a hand to families facing financial challenges. But compared to ECO4, ECO3 interim is a temporary solution. However, both are government grants that provide heating system upgrades.

Now if you’re looking for support to replace your old boiler, get insulation, air-source heat pumps or even solar panels, ec03 interim and eco4 are here to fulfill your dream. Keep reading this blog as we are about to explore why these two funding sources exist and how they can help you with home upgrades.

Transition to ECO4: A New Era for Fuel-Poor Households

Eco3 interim and eco4 scheme help fuel-poor households to save energy and money on heating costs. Because the approval for ECO4 was delayed, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) introduced an interim period called ECO3. This is to keep things going between the two schemes and make sure there’s ongoing activity.

The ECO3 interim and ECO4 play a critical role in supporting low-income families by meeting their energy needs. The core purpose of the ECO3 scheme is to provide financial assistance for heating system upgrades to fuel-poor households. 

On the other hand, ECO4 is the newly introduced scheme set to operate from April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2026. This will continue the mission of aiding those in need. Undeniably, both schemes are bridging the gap between energy poverty and financial support. They ensure that vulnerable households upgrade their homes.

ECO4 rules

Undeniably, the government will keep changing the rules for ECO3 interim and ECO4, just like it did for ECO2. But, the benefits for households will stay the same for both programs. Also, dual measures can happen, but only when replacing an old and inefficient boiler or heating system. On top of that, the rules for a property to get its first-time central heating will stay. Moreover, there’s a limit on replacing inefficient heating. However, what counts as efficient heating might change, following the current ECO3 definition.

Main Features of ECO4

Compared to the eco3 initiative, the eco4 scheme is more wide-ranging.  It is worth £4 billion, delivering energy efficiency and heating measures to maximum eligible households. Some of the things from ECO3 will be used in ECO4, but only a small part, like 10%. This can happen if certain things are not included, to help with delivering supplies. 

Between April 1, 2022, and June 30, 2022, the government might do some things differently with ECO3 rules. But only if we follow some special rules. Now, energy supplier companies can start doing things from ECO4 a bit early. But only when there is an interim period or a break between the rules of ECO.

Exploring ECO3 Interim and ECO4 Transition

Let’s Explore the ECO3 interim period and the shift to ECO4. The interim period lasts for 3 months, starting from April 1 to June 30, 2022. ECO4 won’t start until at least July 1, 2022. For funding confirmation during the interim, the government will use ECO3 scoring. And guess what? Local Authority (LA) Flex hasn’t changed.

Now, we are still waiting for the ECO4 declaration and its need for the ECO3 interim. Just remember any declarations signed before April 1, 2022, won’t work; you’ll have to redo them. If you’re still unsure, feel free to ask questions.

Inclusion of Scotland in the Interim Period

Without a doubt, Scotland is now part of the Interim period. Now, let’s talk about the measures. All current ECO3 measure types are eligible, except for:

  • Installation of Oil and LPG fuelled heating systems
  • Solid Wall Alternative Measure (SWAM)

Have you got a broken boiler? Well, energy companies will only accept broken boilers as replacements for inefficient ones during the interim period. However, eco4 caps replacing efficient broken heating. So apply accordingly.

Why eco3 interim and eco4?

Because ECO4 took longer to approve the application, BEIS made an ECO3 interim period to fill the gap. We updated our tool to make it easier for you during this time. Now, there’s an ECO3 Interim option.  Launched in October 2018, this program brings many benefits for homeowners. The main points are

ECO3 Target: The overall target for ECO3 is now higher by 7%, reaching £8.235 billion in lifetime bill savings. This increased goal fits within a £640 million “spending cap,” a bit more than what they suggested before. Plus, there won’t be any “interim targets.” Suppliers just need to meet their total obligation by March 2022.

Affordable Warmth: This part focuses on helping low-income, vulnerable, and fuel-poor households. The government set criteria in ECO3, making around 6.6 million households eligible. Also, up to 25% of the obligation can be met through measures delivered under Local Authority Flexible Eligibility.

Reducing fuel poverty in rural homes

To help rural households, the government has set a rule for suppliers: they must fulfil at least 15% of their duty by helping out in rural areas. To make the connection stronger with the Fuel Poverty Strategy, they’re also giving extra support for measures to low-income homes with F and G ratings under the Flexible Eligibility part of the plan.

Now, because landlords have some rules to follow in the Private Rented Sector Minimum Standard Regulations, the government wants to make sure ECO is used properly. They don’t want landlords using it just to meet the basics, so there are some limits in certain situations.

Key policies of eco3 interim and eco4 scheme

The scheme has some important rules, including:

Lowering the supplier obligation threshold

They’re gradually reducing the number of customer accounts suppliers must help, from 250,000 to 150,000 from 2020.

  • Lowering the supplier obligation threshold: They’re gradually reducing the number of customer accounts suppliers must help, from 250,000 to 150,000 from 2020.
  • Innovative products: Suppliers can use up to 10% of their duty to introduce new, cool products.
  • Helping broken heating systems: They’re allowing the replacement of 35,000 broken heating systems each year.
  • Encouraging multiple measures: If you’re changing an inefficient heating system alongside insulation, you can do so, even beyond the broken heating system limit.
  • Treating solid-walled homes: At least 17,000 homes with solid walls should get improvement each year, either with solid wall insulation or a mix of technologies.

The focus of ECO3 Interim and ECO4 Scheme

First, ECO3 mainly concentrates on insulation and heating for vulnerable groups. Secondly, the whole ECO program fundamentally aims to cut carbon emissions. Moreover, it keeps the energy supply secure and lessens fuel poverty. On top of that, the previous period, ECO2, finished in March 2017, and now we’re in the ECO3 interim and ECO4 scheme. If you want to know more or need help accessing these programs, contact us.

Besides helping low-income families, the goal is to pay more attention to homes that use a lot of energy. The plan is to upgrade these homes completely. So this is awesome news for these families because it means they’ll get more improvements than ever before. This will make their homes more energy-efficient, and they’ll save even more money on their energy bills.

Who Is Eligible For ECO4?

You can get this funding in different ways. Usually, if more than 10% of your money goes to energy bills, it’s called fuel poverty. Now, in ECO4, your home’s EPC rating matters. Moreover,  there are other ways to get funds based on benefits, low income, or poor health. This means there are many ways to get ECO4 funding. Check below to see if any of these fit your situation.

Who Can Get ECO4 Funding?

To be eligible for ECO4, you need to meet these criteria:

  • If you own your home, it should be in EPC bands D, E, F, or G.
  • For private renters or landlords, the property must be in EPC bands E, F, or G.

So if you’re not sure about your home’s EPC rating, you can check it and seek our services if you’re in England, Wales, or Scotland.

Moreover, to be eligible for ECO4, someone in your household should receive one of these benefits:

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Housing Benefit (new eligible benefit under ECO4)
  • Pension Credit Savings Credit (new eligible benefit under ECO4)
  • Child Benefit (Income Related)
  • Support for Low-Income Household

But, even if you or someone in your household doesn’t get these benefits, there might still be funding available.

Additional Ways to Qualify for ECO4 Funding

You may also be eligible for ECO4 funding if:

  • Your household income is less than £31,000.
  • You get a Council Tax rebate based on a low income (excluding single-person rebates).
  • You’re at risk of living in a cold home.
  • Local Authority scheme refers you because of your being in a low-income and vulnerable household.
  • You get free school meals due to low income.
  • Your household is struggling with ongoing debt on utility bills and mortgage payments.

Remember, the rules might still change, and we’ll keep you updated as soon as we know more! If you have any questions now, feel free to reach out to us below.