According to the government’s boiler grant scheme, which is in place in the UK, homeowners and private tenants could be eligible for a free replacement boiler from one of the UK’s Big Six energy companies: British Gas, SSE, Scottish Power, npower, E.ON and EDF Energy.

What is the boiler grant scheme?

The ECO (Energy Companies Obligation), which is the official name for the free boiler scheme, means that low-income households could be able to upgrade their old boiler to an energy-efficient model, heavily subsidised or even free of charge. This can also apply to landlords with low-income tenants.

When you consider the fact that it costs £2,300 on average to replace an inefficient gas boiler, this is definitely something that’s worth exploring further. In fact, you may even be entitled to other benefits that enable you to lower your heating bill further, including cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation, loft insulation, and heating control.

The current scheme

It’s worth noting that the boiler grant scheme was first introduced in April 2013. It was only supposed to last for two years, however, it was extended, with the ECO2 scheme being created. Now, we are in stage three, which is known as the ECO3 scheme, and it runs until March 2022.

Although this scheme is similar to the first two, there are some slight differences. The main difference is that free boiler grants are only applicable to gas boilers. In the previous schemes, electric heaters, LPG boilers, and oil boilers were also included. However, the introduction of the Affordable Warmth Obligation Scheme is designed to help families lower their gas bills overall. It is a £6bn scheme, which is helping over one million property owners overcome fuel poverty. Installing an energy-efficient boiler is one of a number of options available to those eligible.

Will you qualify for a replacement boiler grant?

You need to satisfy the following criteria in order to apply for a replacement boiler grant:

• You must own your home or, if you are a private tenant, you must have permission from your landlord
• Your property must have a gas supply
• Your existing boiler needs to be more than five years old
• You must receive a combination of government benefits

Let’s expand on the latter point. Applicants need to have a combination of the following benefits from the government:

• Pension credits
• Universal tax credits
• Income support
• Income-related JSA
• Income-related ESA
• Working tax credits
• Child tax credits

How to get a free boiler installed

As mentioned, this scheme is currently being funded by the big six energy companies in the UK. This means that you need to be registered with one of the six companies mentioned earlier in the guide in order to apply for a free replacement boiler. If you are currently not with one of these companies, yet you satisfy all of the other criteria mentioned, it is worth looking into the prospect of switching supplier.