Home grants Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
As part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, gas and electricity suppliers serving more than 250,000 household customers - including British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon, Npower, SSE and Scottish Power - are obliged to help reduce carbon emissions by improving households' energy efficiency.
Find out more about insulation and how it can improve the energy efficiency of your home. Learn about loft insulation.
What is the Energy Company Obligation?
Under this scheme, the big energy suppliers are legally obliged to help households with energy-efficiency measures in their home. These measures will save households money and reduce carbon emissions.
Each obligated supplier has to contribute to a certain amount of home energy efficient improvements, based on its market share. You can find ECO support from any obligated supplier, not just the company you buy your energy from.
Free insulation and other ECO energy efficiency improvements
Under ECO, grants are available to cover all or part of the cost of energy-efficiency measures; most commonly loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation, double glazing or a new boiler.
Installation of loft insulation and cavity wall insulation is usually done by a contractor. For loft insulation you will probably have to clear your loft first and take up any boards, as this is not normally included (but there are exceptions).
It is quite complicated to work out if you are eligible for ECO funding - it depends on what improvements your house needs, where you live and if you receive any benefits. Your energy supplier should advise you if you are eligible for a ECO grant. You can also contact the Energy Saving Trust for more details.
ECO saves money and reduces carbon emissions
ECO is the government's umbrella term for its programme to make houses in the UK more energy efficient. It covers the affordable warmth obligation, the carbon saving obligation and the carbon saving communities obligation. The scheme replaced Carbon Emission Reduction Target (Cert) and Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) that ended in December 2012.
As part of ECO, the government estimates that £1.3bn per year worth of energy efficiency and heating measures will be delivered across Great Britain.
The suppliers who are obliged to help households through grants are British Gas, Eon, Npower, EDF Energy, Scottish and Southern Energy, Scottish Power, First Utility, The Co-operative Energy, Utilita, Ovo Energy, and Utility Warehouse.
Save money on your energy bills
Make sure you're on the cheapest tariff possible. If you're on a standard tariff with one of the Big Six energy companies - and most people are - you can save up to hundreds of pounds by switching to a better deal.
Use our independent switching site, Which? Switch, to check you're on the cheapest energy deal.