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Home & garden.

12 October 2021

Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) could help you get financial support from your energy supplier to make your home more energy efficient
SI
Sarah Ingrams
Modern house 477458

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government scheme to help cut carbon emissions and reduce fuel poverty.

The biggest energy suppliers have targets to help households with energy efficiency measures.

The types of measures available through ECO can include loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation and boiler replacement or repair. 

What is the Energy Company Obligation?

It's a requirement for energy suppliers to help households reduce the costs of their home heating by fitting energy-saving measures.

They should focus on ways to help low income, fuel poor or households in vulnerable situations to heat their homes. 

Energy companies can choose what energy-saving measures they want to install, how much funding they provide and the installer that does the work.

Can I get ECO funding?

Parents and child on sofa under a blanket

To qualify for ECO you must own your home (or have the permission of your landlord). 

Different companies provide different amounts of support and will fund different energy efficient improvements. So it's quite complicated to work out if you can get ECO funding. There are several factors that make it more likely you'll qualify:

  • if you get the Warm Home Discount in the 'core' group, get eligible benefits and fit the income requirements
  • live in social housing with an EPC rating of E or lower (check your energy performance certificate or ask your landlord or social housing association)
  • you meet the criteria set by your Local Authority.

But you'll still need to check with your energy provider for their exact criteria. Even if you are eligible, the energy supplier doesn't have to install an energy efficient measure in your home.

Depending on where you live, there are different ways to check your eligibility:

If you’re not eligible for help making your home more energy efficient via ECO, read our tips for saving money on your energy bills.

Energy efficient home improvements with ECO, including free insulation

hand adjusting hot water temperature control on boiler

Energy suppliers offer different ECO measures. They can choose what they focus on.

Some of the most common are:

Companies can also pay for homes to be connected to district heating systems, where appropriate, or to install heating controls.

Proportions of each measure installed as part of the ECO3 scheme from October 2018 to July 2021

  • Gas boiler replacement – 27% of ECO measures installed
  • Other heating* – 31% of ECO measures installed
  • Cavity wall insulation – 14% of ECO measures installed
  • Floor insulation – 14% of ECO measures installed
  • loft insulation – 10% of ECO measures installed
  • Solid wall insulation – 4% of ECO measures installed

*Other heating includes heating controls.

Ofgem data for ECO3 measures

Which energy suppliers offer ECO?

Gas and electricity suppliers with more than 150,000 customers must fit ECO measures. You don't have to approach your current energy supplier.

They are: 

The amount of ECO measures each company has to fit depends on their market share. 

Suppliers must deliver 15% of their ECO measures to homes in rural areas, and 10% of them can be installing ‘innovative’ products, such as devices to help homeowners manage their energy use.

Make your home more energy efficient

Even if you're not able to get ECO funding, there's plenty you can do to save energy at home – and cut your bills in the process.

Insulation, double-glazing, draught-proofing and low-energy lighting are all important.

Find out how to make your home more energy efficient.

Plus check whether you're on a good--value energy tariff. Though cheap deals are hard to come by at the moment, use our independent switching site, Which? Switch, to compare gas and electricity prices and check you're not overpaying.