Thanks to a government initiative, certain people in the UK might be eligible for a free boiler.
It almost sounds too good to be true – boilers are notoriously expensive, and it is rare to be given something for free nowadays.
In fact, the average cost of a new boiler is around £1800, which means for most families struggling with already rising bills, it can prove a costly expense.
The answer, to cut a long story short, is that you may be eligible for a free boiler using the government’s “ECO initiative”.
But who is eligible for a boiler grant, and what are the criteria? Let’s find out.
Commonly known as the ‘boiler grant scheme’, but what the government term the ‘Energy Companies Obligation’ (ECO) scheme, families and households in receipt of certain benefits can get a free boiler. There is more technical information about the ECO scheme on the Ofgem website.
Naturally, being a government hand-out, there are some catches. We will try to explain what they are, and what loopholes to avoid.
What is a free boiler grant?
A boiler grant is a form of government subsidy that lets certain families and individuals with low incomes to have their old boiler system replaced with a brand new boiler at little to no cost. Yes, really.
The scheme was developed to not only help underprivileged families access the heating and hot water they need, but also to aid government initiatives in increasing energy-efficiency. After all, nobody should be in a situation where they cannot afford to replace a broken boiler.
By getting new boilers installed into homes, the government helps to reduce households’ carbon footprint as most modern boilers are A-rated for energy efficiency.
What’s the catch? Am I eligible?
The following requirements must ALL be met, in order to qualify for a free boiler grant:
- You must be the property’s homeowner
- Your property must be connected to a mains gas supply
- Self builds are usually not eligible but check here.
- Your current boiler must be over 5 years old
- You will automatically qualify if you receive Pension Credit or Child Tax Credits (households with income below £16,010 per year).
Unfortunately, new boiler grants are not available for council owned or privately rented properties at this time.
This means that if you are living in council housing then you are not eligible at this moment in time. However, by law, council-owned (housing association) housing must meet or exceed certain legal requirements, and if your boiler is very old, the local authority may replace it.
What other options are available to me?
If you are not eligible for a ‘free’ new boiler grant, then thankfully there are still some other options for you to look at. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for a few of these, rather than just one.
You may also be eligible for discounts on your mobile phone or broadband using the government’s recently-announced Social Tariff system.
Where do I start with my boiler grant application?
The first thing to do is run a quick price comparison on a new boiler install. You may be surprised at how cheap and affordable a new boiler can be – and all of the boiler cover companies that we compare, offer financing from as little as £14 a month.
Companies like HomeServe offer a number of flexible payment options to help you manage your payments to suit your budget.
If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills, and think that an old boiler is part of the reason for the higher costs, speak to your landlord or housing authority.
Remember to investigate all options available, as a lot of the time these are not well-known but entirely possible to replicate.
How do I apply for a boiler grant?
You can apply for a Boiler Grant or find out whether you are eligible for funding by contacting the Energy Saving Advice Service (0300 123 1234)
What about boiler grants in Scotland?
There is a government website that lets you instantly check your eligiblity for a free boiler grant, whether you are in Wales, Scotland or England – see the .GOV.UK website here.