Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government energy efficiency scheme, where qualifying homeowners could get financial support for home improvements and have their inefficient boilers or electric storage heaters replaced free of charge or heavily subsidised.
The aim of this initiative is to lower the cost of heating homes and reduce the carbon footprint of low-income households. This is a non-repayable grant.
Who funds ECO?
The government has made it a requirement that the large energy suppliers provide the funding to pay for the energy efficiency improvements to your homes. The funds are passed directly to private installer who must be a PAS2030 and a TrustMark accredited company to be able to install energy efficiency measures in your home.
What is our role?
Our role is to assess the eligibility of a household we are not involved or responsible for issuing the funding, appointing contractors or installing the works.
ECO Flex is run by private companies (installers) and the funding for the improvements are awarded by the energy suppliers.
Who qualifies for ECO funding?
In order to be eligible to apply for the ECO funding, you must own your own home or have the permission of your landlord.
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property must have a rating of E, F or G (in some cases D rating). If you do not know your EPC rating, find out on the GOV.UK - find an energy certificate webpage.
You must receive at least one of the following benefits and satisfy the relevant income requirements, where applicable:
Households need to receive one or more of the following benefits to qualify:
- income based jobseekers allowance
- income related employment and support allowance
- income support
- pension credit (guarantee credit and/or savings credit)
- child benefit (subject to an income cap)
- housing benefit
- working tax credit
- child tax credit
- universal credit
If you do not meet any of the criteria above, you could qualify through ECO 4 Flex as local authorities have the power to widen the eligibility criteria for ECO.
What if I do not receive a qualifying benefit?
If you do not receive a qualifying benefit then you might still qualify through ECO's flexible eligibility mechanism, known as ECO Flex. To be assessed for ECO Flex you must complete and sign a short application form that is then submitted to us along with supporting documents, such as proof of income, for determining eligibility. The ECO Flex eligibility criteria is detailed on our .
You cannot send the application form directly to us. We will only accept applications from the household's chosen installer.
Once we have confirmed eligibility, we will provide a written declaration that a household qualifies to the installer, who will then pass this onto an energy supplier along with supporting evidence requested by the supplier, such as proof of occupancy/ownership (utility bills etc).
We charge an administration fee of £50 for each address an installer asks us to assess. This charge covers our checking, processing and approval procedures and is paid by the installer. An installer should not charge you as a household.
How do I find an installer?
You are responsible for choosing an installer and carrying out checks to ensure you are satisfied with the installation company. Your chosen installer must be TrustMark registered.
Please see below a list of accredited installers that Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council have worked with previously:
Marshall and McCourt
Rothwell Plumbing Services
0845 058 0170
Once you have chosen your installer, we recommend you request to see their company ID when they visit your property. Make sure they leave you with their contact details in case you want to check on the status of your application after they leave because we will not have access to this information.
What else do I need to check?
It is your responsibility to carry out the following checks:
- do you need planning permission or building regulations approval: certain types of insulation such as external wall insulation might need planning permission and building regulations approval and as a homeowner or landlord it will be your responsibility to apply for this
- find out if the installer is a member of a competent person scheme related to electrics or insulation work, like the MCS, NICEIC, CIGA or Stroma schemes, if they are then they will be able to self-certify their work, rather than needing to get building regulations approval from your local council
- make sure they are Gas Safe registered, by law all engineers installing gas boilers must be on the Gas Safe Register
- check if they provide any guarantees or warranties on the installation and make sure you are provided with these and any other associated paperwork upon completion of an install
How will I know if I qualify?
The installer working on behalf of the energy supplier will decide what level of support and type of improvements you could receive.
A signed declaration of eligibility from us does not guarantee the installation of any improvements, as the final decision considers the suitability of the improvement for your house and if the improvement will increase your homes levels of energy efficiency or not.