Boilers & energy efficiency improvements
Note: If you are renting, generally your landlord is responsible for keeping in repair: water and gas pipes, electrical wiring, water tanks, boilers, radiators, gas fires, fitted electric fires or fitted heaters. See here for further information.
If you own your own property, or if you rent and would like to replace your boiler (i.e. it is working but inefficient), or install insulation to the property, see below for help with funding. If you are self-funding, please make sure you use a Gas Safe registered installer for boiler work.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government energy efficiency scheme in Great Britain to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty. ECO can help partially or fully fund insulation measures and boiler repair/replacements. In order to benefit from ECO you must own your own home or have the permission of your landlord.
Contact the Energy Saving Advice Service (in England) 0300 123 1234 if you have questions about the scheme and to find out whether you are eligible. You will need to have several pieces of information when you call, such as:
- Household income including details of any welfare benefits
- The name of your energy suppliers
- The approximate age of the property
- Type of property (e.g. flat, semi-detached, terraced etc)
- Number of bedrooms
- Make and model of current boiler (this should be written on the boiler)
- Age of boiler if known (you may find this on an installation sticker on your boiler)
- Details of who lives in the household
You can also contact any of the obligated suppliers to find out how they may be able to help you. You can benefit from ECO regardless of who you purchase your energy from since you don’t need to buy energy from an obligated supplier in order to benefit.
Shortfalls in funding
ECO funding sometimes leaves a shortfall to pay. In rented accommodation, landlords are sometimes happy to pay this cost as it means they still get a new boiler at a heavily subsidised price in their property. If you own your property or if your landlord is not willing to fund the shortfall, you might consider a loan from your local credit union. A credit union is a financial co-operative which provides savings, loans and a range of services to its members. You might also consider applying for a grant to contribute towards these costs, see Turn2Us Grant Finder.
If you are not eligible for ECO funding
ECO funding is the first port of call. If you are not eligible for ECO funding, you may be able to apply for boiler funding through one the energy suppliers’ trust funds. See Charis Grants for details.
Many local authorities fund local schemes to help with energy efficiency improvements, so it is worth contacting your local authority or looking online to find out more. Some schemes operating in the south west of England are:
Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire – Warm and Well
Dorset, Poole & Bournemouth – Healthy Homes Dorset
Wiltshire – Warm & Safe Wiltshire
Swindon – Safe & Warm Programme
Bath & North East Somerset – Energy at Home
Bristol and Somerset – Home Energy Team
Not eligible for ECO or for local authority grants?
You might consider a loan from your local credit union. A credit union is a financial co-operative which provides savings, loans and a range of services to its members. You might also consider applying for a grant to contribute towards these costs, see Turn2Us Grant Finder.
Further help from an Adviser
For an energy appointment with a local Citizens Advice adviser in Dorset, please call 01929 775500 or email email@example.com