Who Qualifies for a Boiler Grant in 2024?

Last updated: July 11, 2024

Through a non-repayable grant, you can qualify to have your current, broken, or inefficient boiler replaced with an A-rated boiler free of charge.

To qualify, you only need to be an eligible homeowner receiving various income-related benefits.

Data from the Energy Saving Trust shows the costs of installing a new boiler can range from £3,700 to £5,500, depending on the type of boiler.

The costs can be higher if the installation is complex or requires additional work, making it too expensive for many UK residents.

Fortunately, anyone who qualifies for a boiler grant can get a free, energy-efficient boiler and save money on the initial costs.

Various boiler grants and schemes are available to help you install a new boiler for free or at a subsidised price.

Installers fitting a Worcester Bosch boiler free of charge for anyone who qualifies for a boiler grant
Image by Worcester Bosch

This guide explores the boiler schemes available in the UK in 2024 and their eligibility criteria to help you understand who qualifies for a boiler grant.

Can You Get A Free Boiler Grant?

Yes! The UK government supports various schemes allowing you to qualify for a free boiler replacement.

You can also access funding to cover the full costs of installing an efficient boiler.

Initiatives like the Energy Compliance Obligation (ECO4) scheme obligate energy suppliers to cover the costs of upgrading your home by installing energy-efficient measures like boilers.

You don’t have to pay a penny since the grants are funded by energy suppliers. The energy suppliers get most of the funds for the scheme through the Green Levy.

The Green Levy is a tax on all energy bills. It usually amounts to 8% of your bill and helps raise funds for government-supported energy-efficiency schemes like ECO4.

Despite controversies on whether or not green levies should be scrapped, the benefits cannot be disputed.

They allow vulnerable and low-income households to get free grants for energy-efficient measures like A-rated boilers and save money on heating costs while reducing carbon emissions.

Will I Qualify for A Free Boiler As A Single Parent?

Yes! If you’re caring for a young family without the help of a spouse and are struggling with high energy bills, a free boiler can be just what you need.

Single parents receiving income-related or child-tax benefits can qualify for the free boiler grant scheme or ECO4.

You must be a homeowner and have an old, broken, or inefficient boiler to qualify.

You’ll also need to meet the single-parent income thresholds if you’re qualifying through Child Benefits.

A free energy-efficient boiler can make your home more comfortable for you and your kids, reduce your annual energy bills, and help ease the burden of rising living costs.

Will I Qualify for A Free Boiler Grant As A Pensioner?

Yes! Pensioners can qualify for a free boiler grant through ECO4, provided they meet the eligibility requirements.

The scheme focuses on vulnerable and low-income households, including pensioners.

ECO4 has also extended support to those receiving Pension Credit Savings Credit to enable more low-income pensioners to qualify for support.

The scheme also allows you to qualify through referrals from the National Health Service (NHS).

You can be eligible for a free boiler if you’re a pensioner suffering from a severe or long-term health condition that could be severely impacted by living in a cold home.

The condition can be cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, or involving limited mobility.

Which Schemes Are Available for A Free Boiler Grant?

ECO4 and the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) are UK government schemes that can help you get a free boiler grant.

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The Energy Compliance Obligation Scheme (ECO4)

ECO4 is a government-led scheme that requires energy suppliers to install energy-saving measures to help households reduce home heating costs and decarbonise.

Such measures include helping fuel-poor, low-income, and vulnerable households get new boilers.

If you’re a homeowner who qualifies for a boiler grant, ECO4 can help cover the cost of replacing, repairing, or upgrading your boiler.

According to government guidance, the scheme obligates energy suppliers to replace 5,000 broken heating systems annually, including efficient, broken boilers that they can’t repair economically.

ECO4 requires suppliers to upgrade inefficient boilers with efficient boilers that comply with Boiler Plus measures.

These measures raise boiler installation standards and help reduce carbon emissions and bills.

Facts on who qualifies for a boiler grant and how to apply

Who Qualifies for a Boiler Grant Under ECO4?

You can qualify for ECO4 if:

  • You’re a homeowner in the UK.
  • You have an inefficient boiler that’s at least 8 years old. The boiler can be between 5 and 8 years old if it’s broken or has a fault affecting its operation and efficiency.
  • You’ve connected your property to the mains gas supply.
  • You receive a qualifying benefit.

According to Ofgem, the scheme administrator, qualifying benefits include:

  • Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) – Income based
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – Income related
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Guarantee Credit
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Work Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Child Benefits – depending on income threshold

What Are The Income Thresholds?

The table below presents Ofgem’s income thresholds that allow you to qualify for a boiler grant through Child Benefits:

Claimant TypeNumber of children or qualifying young persons
 1234 or more
Single-parent Household£19,800£24,600£29,400£34,200
Two-parent Household£27,300£32,100£36,900£41,700

Qualifying for a Boiler Grant Through ECO4 Flex

If you don’t receive any of the above benefits, you can qualify for a boiler grant through ECO4 Flex.

ECO4 Flex allows local authorities to tailor energy efficiency schemes to the area by widening the eligibility criteria for ECO4.

Authorities can refer households living on a low income, in fuel poverty, or are vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home.

According to Ofgem, suppliers can deliver up to 50% of their obligation through ECO4 Flex. Most importantly, it offers them more flexibility to focus on vulnerable and low-income households not on means tested benefits.

ECO4 Flex provides various routes that allow you to qualify for funding to pay for a new boiler. These include:

  • Route 1 (Low household income): An annual household income under £31,000.
  • Route 2 (Health): Long-term or severe health conditions that worsen due to cold living conditions. These can include cardiovascular, respiratory, and mobility issues or immune-suppressed conditions.
  • Route 3 (Multi-proxy eligibility): A household with E, F, or G energy bands and meeting any two of the following criteria:
    • The householder receives a low-income Council Tax rebate
    • The householder is vulnerable to living in a cold home, as identified in the NICE Guidance.
    • The household has received referrals from the Local Authority scheme.
    • Household members get free meals in school.
    • The household struggles to cover debt payments for their mortgage and utility bills.

How Do I Apply for A Free Boiler Grant?

Installer fitting a Worcester Bosch boiler for homeowner who qualifies for a boiler grant
Image by Worcester Bosch

Applying for a free boiler grant involves a few simple steps:

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Step 1: Check Eligibility

Ensuring you and your home or property qualify for the scheme is crucial.

It involves answering questions about yourself, your home or property, and the heating system you’re using to determine whether you can claim a free boiler or boiler grant.

Review the eligibility requirements detailed above or on the official ECO4 website or consult an energy advisor to clarify your standing.

Step 2: Find An Approved Provider/Supplier

Once you confirm eligibility, identify an accredited and approved energy-efficiency provider or supplier.

These are usually vetted and authorised to undertake the works under the scheme and can help assess your eligibility and apply.

Ofgem provides a list of approved suppliers and their contact details.

Step 3: Submit the Application

Get in touch with the supplier and express your interest in applying for a free boiler grant.

The supplier will work with you to complete the application paperwork for ECO4.

It can include providing required documentation, such as an Energy Compliance Certificate (EPC), proof of home ownership, and evidence of income or benefits.

Step 4: Home Energy Assessment

Once you submit your application, the provider will schedule an energy assessment of your home.

The assessment can involve inspecting your home’s heating system, insulation, and other energy-related features. It helps determine which energy-saving measures are suitable for your home.

Ensure you’re available to give the assessor access to different areas and have your energy bills or any energy improvement records handy.

Step 5: Get An Energy Saving Plan

You’ll receive a report after the assessment outlining the energy efficiency improvements recommended for your home, which can include a boiler replacement.

Review the plan to ensure you understand the proposed upgrades, the expected impact on your comfort and energy bills, and the cost, if any.

The provider will calculate the grant funding you can get and whether it covers the full cost of a boiler or the majority of the cost.

It’s usually free to inquire with suppliers or providers and you’ll not face any obligation to proceed.

Which Energy Companies Are Involved?

The ECO4 funding scheme or boiler grant scheme is operated by energy companies and the government. The energy companies currently operating the scheme include:

  • Avro Energy
  • Bristol Energy
  • British Gas
  • Bulb
  • Co-operative Energy
  • E
  • Economy Energy
  • Ecotricity
  • EDF Energy
  • Eon
  • Extra Energy
  • Flow Energy
  • Green Network
  • Green Star
  • iSupply
  • Npower
  • Octopus Energy
  • OVO Energy
  • Pure Planet
  • Scottish and Southern Energy
  • Scottish and Southern Energy
  • Scottish Power
  • Shell Energy
  • So Energy
  • Spark Energy
  • SSE
  • Utilita
  • Utility Warehouse
  • Utility Warehouse

What size boiler is right for your home? If you are considering a combi boiler, it is largely determined by the number of radiators in your home. Check out our complete guide to new boiler installation here if you are wondering about the best type of boiler for your home. 

How much may a new boiler cost? Are you considering converting from a conventional to a combi boiler? Use our boiler installation cost calculator to get an estimation.

Check out our video on how to vet boiler brands/models in the UK:

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS)

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is a government initiative that aims to encourage and increase the deployment of low-carbon heating systems in homes in the UK.

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BUS offers grants to replace fossil fuel heating with low-carbon, efficient heating systems like biomass boilers.

BUS supports small, non-domestic, and domestic buildings in England and Wales and will run until December 2027.

Anyone who qualifies for a boiler grant under BUS can get up to £5,000 to cover the upfront costs of installing a biomass boiler.

Ofgem reports show BUS has already paid grants worth £126,928,000 and has an annual budget of £150m per financial year.

Who Qualifies for A Boiler Grant under BUS?

You can qualify for a boiler grant under BUS if:

  • You own the property you’re applying for, including a second home, business, or rental property.
  • Your property is in a rural location and not connected to the gas grid.
  • Your property has no outstanding insulation recommendations and has a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Changes to the grant eligibility rules allow you to qualify even with recommendations from May 2024.
  • You have an emissions certificate for your boiler showing you keep polluting emissions to a minimum.
  • You have a property with an installation capacity of up to 45kWth.

Which Properties Don’t Qualify for A Boiler Grant Under BUS?

Grants are not available under the scheme for:

  • Properties already supported or funded by the government for a biomass boiler or heat pump.
  • Social houses like rentals or accommodations provided at lower market value
  • New build properties apart from particular self-builds. If you own a self-build property and wish to be eligible, you must have built it or paid a builder to do the job. You’ll need to provide proof that the property is self-build.

How Do You Apply for A Boiler Grant Under BUS?

BUS is an installer-led scheme, meaning you’ll need an installer to apply for the grant on your behalf.

Your installer will advise on the suitable heating system for your property, apply to Ofgem for a grant voucher, and complete the installation according to scheme requirements and industry standards.

Low-carbon heating systems installed, thoroughly checked, and commissioned by the installer on or after 1st April 2022 are eligible for funding under the scheme.

The new heating system must:

  • Replace an existing fossil fuel heating system like an oil, gas, electric, or LPG boiler.
  • Be capable of meeting your home’s whole space hot water and heating requirements.
  • Meet specific technical standards like minimum efficiency requirements. The installer will advise you on these.

If you want to learn about the best way to heat your conservatory, you may want to check out our guide on which electric heater is cheapest to run. You may be surprised to find out that it is not a halogen heater.

Final Thoughts on Who Qualifies for A Boiler Grant

Knowing who qualifies for a boiler grant allows you to use available funding schemes to help you cover the upfront costs of installing a modern, efficient boiler. If you receive various benefits and struggle with an old, inefficient boiler or a broken, efficient boiler, consider applying for a grant through ECO4, ECO4 Flex, or BUS.

It’s worth mentioning that boilers on finance schemes are also available. For instance, some boiler installation companies allow you to spread the cost of a new boiler over several years, enabling you to pay for it in monthly increments.

Sources and References

  • https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/boilers/
  • https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1010366/eco4-consultation.pdf
  • https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-and-social-schemes/energy-company-obligation-eco/homeowners-and-tenants
  • https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-and-social-schemes/energy-company-obligation-eco/local-authorities
  • https://www.find-government-grants.service.gov.uk/grants/boiler-upgrade-scheme-1#summary