If your old boiler has broken down or if you think you may be paying over the odds on your heating bill because your old boiler is inefficient and in need of replacement then it makes sense to see if you can get a free boiler or a grant towards a new boiler.
Boilers don’t come cheap so you’ll want to see if you can get any help with buying a new boiler. If you find out you aren’t eligible for a boiler grant then come back and get a WarmZilla boiler quote, we guarantee to offer the lowest prices on your new boiler.
In this guide, we’ll explain the different options available to you so you know what boiler schemes are out there and what alternative ways there are of getting a new boiler that suits your budget.
What is a boiler grant?
A boiler grant is a subsidy that covers the cost of a new boiler in full or in part depending on the grant. Some grants will cover the entire cost of a new boiler while some will require you to contribute a certain amount.
Boiler grants are available to help low-income families get access to the heating and hot water needed and to help escape fuel poverty from paying higher heating bills. Older, more inefficient boilers incur higher heating costs and can be responsible for keeping low-income families in fuel poverty.
Boiler grants are free, in as much as whatever you are awarded is yours, it is not a loan so you do not need to pay anything back. However, you may not be granted the full amount of the cost of your new boiler and you may need to make up the shortfall yourself.
According to the Energy Savings Trust, a new boiler could help save up to £200 on annual energy bills when switching from an old inefficient G-rated boiler to a modern, A-rated boiler.
A boiler grant is beneficial in helping families out of fuel poverty and also helping the government reach its carbon emissions targets by replacing older boilers, which produce more carbon emissions than newer boilers.
Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme
The Energy Companies Obligation or ECO scheme as it’s more commonly known is a government scheme to help certain homeowners and private tenants replace their old boilers with more efficient A-rated energy-efficient boilers.
The current scheme, called ECO3, was launched in December 2018 and runs until 31st March 2022. The free boiler grant is still available but the acceptance rate is much lower than it once was and the entry criteria are fairly strict.
In total, 6.5m households are eligible for a boiler grant. The scheme’s plan is to make energy-saving improvements to 900,000 homes. Each year up to 35,000 homes with broken heating systems will have them replaced.*
In addition to boiler grants, you may also be eligible for insulation and other grants to improve your home heating.
The ECO scheme is run in conjunction with the big energy companies in the UK:
- British Gas
- Co-operative Energy
- EDF Energy
- Shell Energy
- Scottish Power
- Utility Warehouse
LA FLEX Scheme
LA FLEX scheme is the extension of the government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO).
Under this scheme, the qualifying criteria are defined by your Local Authority. This has allowed local councils to extend the criteria beyond household income and benefits received (but it doesn’t mean that they are able to just pick and choose based on requests though!).
The eligibility for the scheme depends on your council’s statement of intent. The surveyor will assist you in filling in your council’s application form and assessing your eligibility to see if you would qualify. You can find the list of Local Authority Statement of Intent (SoI) here.
Affordable Warmth Obligation
The Affordable Warmth Obligation is part of the ECO Scheme. The Affordable Warmth scheme replaced the Warm Front and is one of three targets of the ECO (Energy Companies Obligation) scheme.
The Affordable Warmth Obligation is a part of the ECO scheme that is focused on tackling fuel poverty in low-income families.
Savings with the Affordable Warmth Obligation tend to be made in the long rather than the short term. Under the scheme, energy efficiency improvements are made to your home for free and these changes will lead to lower bills down the road. Typical savings for households can be a few hundred pounds every year in reduced heating costs.
You can get help with the cost of replacing or repairing your boiler, as well as other energy-saving improvements through the Affordable Warmth Obligation.
For more information on the Affordable Warmth Obligation scheme visit – https://www.gov.uk/energy-company-obligation
Can I apply for the Green Homes Grant?
The government announced in its Summer Statement (8th July 2020) a £3billion Green Homes Grant that will allow homeowners and landlords to apply for up to £10k vouchers towards making their homes more energy-efficient.
As part of the Green Homes Grant scheme, eligible homeowners will be able to spend vouchers with installers who are accredited to the PAS2030 or Microgeneration Certification Scheme for solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulation, air source or ground source heat pumps, solar thermal.
Energy-saving measures can include double or triple glazing/secondary glazing, upgrading to energy-efficient doors, plus hot water tank/appliance tank thermostats and heating controls.
The scheme is likely to start in September 2020 and will run for a year until September 2021. For more information, read our blog on the Green Homes Grant.
Boiler Scrappage Scheme
The boiler scrappage scheme has used up its government funding and is no longer running. Some companies may offer a similar boiler scrappage scheme but we recommend you shop around as some companies just inflate their costs to cover the scrappage fee.
Artificial pricing was always the issue with the scrappage scheme, as companies would offer a £400 scrappage fee and just add it on to the total price, meaning the customer wouldn’t save any money, making the scheme worthless.
Each home partaking in the scrappage scheme would receive a grant for £400 toward the cost of their new boiler. This would allow the purchase of a more energy-efficient boiler which could potentially save up to £200 per year on energy bills.
The scheme was initially available to everyone but the 125,000 scrappage vouchers available were gone in a few months. Subsequent scrappage schemes targeted benefit claimants only.
Am I eligible for a boiler grant?
Government funding has become extremely limited for boiler grants, such has been the popularity of the scheme.
The stipulations to qualify have always been quite exacting, but the latest measures in the 2020 ECO3 update state that boiler grants are now only available for homeowners, in properties with mains gas. Private tenants/landlords can no longer apply for a new boiler grant.
You will automatically qualify if you receive Pension Credit or Child Tax Credits (households with income below £16,010 per year).
To qualify you will need to be claiming one or more of the following benefits:
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit
- Pension Guarantee Credit – you will not be eligible if you only claim Pension Savings Credit
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence
- Payment (PIP)
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits
- War Pensions Mobility Supplement
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Child Benefit
Additionally, you must fulfil the following criteria to qualify:
- Earn less than £20,000 a year as a household
- Own your home
- Your boiler will need to be over 8 years old
You may get help with the cost of:
- Insulation work, for example to your loft or cavity walls
- Replacing or repairing your boiler – or other upgrades to your heating
If you meet the qualifying criteria above then you can apply for a boiler grant to help with the costs of repairing or replacing your boiler or to upgrade your insulation or other heating upgrades.
It’s quite complicated to work out if you’re eligible for ECO funding. It depends on what improvements your home needs, where you live, the level of carbon or cost savings made, and if you receive any benefits.
If you pass the initial application then an energy-assessor will be sent to your house to check the energy performance to ensure that you would benefit from being a part of the ECO scheme.
How do I apply for a boiler grant?
There are a few different ways to apply for your boiler grant through the ECO scheme. You can either contact one of the participating energy suppliers directly – British Gas, Co-operative Energy, EDF Energy, Eon, Shell Energy, Npower, Ovo, Scottish Power, SSE, Utilita, and Utility Warehouse.
Please note that you don’t have to be supplied by the energy supplier in the participating list to be able to receive a grant from them.
You can also apply by contacting the Energy Saving Advice Service (0300 123 1234), or Home Energy Scotland (0808 808 2282) if you live in Scotland.
How do I get a new boiler if I’m eligible?
It is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain a boiler grant, even if you do meet all the eligibility criteria. If you don’t meet the criteria and you are in a low-income bracket this can be quite a stressful situation.
Don’t worry, there are other alternatives. WarmZilla offers flexible finance options on new boilers with payment terms from 1 – 10 years, meaning you can spread the payments to a monthly amount you can afford. No deposit options are available, so if you don’t have any money for a boiler deposit, you can just spread it out over the monthly payments.
Monthly payments start at £10.68 per month, which is often lower than the price of boiler cover or boiler rental – for a brand new boiler with a guarantee, system filter, smart thermostat and system cleanse.
Our finance providers have a high acceptance rate, even for customers with bad credit history.
Here are some boiler finance package examples to give you an idea of cost**
11.9% APR – Worcester 12Ri Boiler:
Representative Example: Amount of Credit £825.00. Deposit £825.00. 120 Month Agreement. Total Purchase Price £1650. 120 Monthly Payments £10.68 p.m. Interest £456.04. Interest rate 11.9% p.a. Representative APR 11.9%. Total amount Repayable £2106.04. Example boiler: Worcester Bosch 12ri. WarmZilla Limited acts as a credit broker and not a lender. Any credit is subject to our lender’s criteria.
0% APR – Worcester 25Si Boiler:
Representative Example: Amount of Credit £1089.50. Deposit £1089.50. 24 Month Agreement. Total Purchase Price £2179. 24 Monthly Payments £45.40 p.m. Interest £0. Interest rate 0% p.a. Representative APR 0%. Total amount Repayable £2179. Example boiler: Worcester Bosch 25si. WarmZilla Limited acts as a credit broker and not a lender. Any credit is subject to our lender’s criteria.
Other options for getting a new boiler outside of the ECO scheme include renting but we don’t recommend this way of purchasing as it’s more expensive than just buying a boiler on finance.
Some companies will offer no upfront cost of installation and then charge you £39.99 per month as a service charge (plus an additional 3% price increase per year). This method can see you paying 5 times the amount you would pay buying a boiler on finance from WarmZilla.
You should have a good inclination whether you’re eligible for a boiler grant to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your old boiler.
Even if you are eligible it does not guarantee acceptance onto the scheme. In our experience, the acceptance rates onto the scheme are very low as of writing and will continue to decline until the scheme is discontinued.
We recommend you shop around and get some quotes on your new boiler to make sure you get the best deal available. We’ve made it easy by offering a ‘Best Price Guarantee’ – our prices are monitored to ensure we offer the best boiler prices on the market. If you find a cheaper like-for-like boiler quote elsewhere – we’ll beat it by £50.
You can get an instant fixed price boiler quote from WarmZilla in just a few minutes by answering some simple questions in our online survey about your home. Our system will calculate your heating and hot water requirements and suggest suitable boilers for your home.
We can install a new boiler within 48 hours of purchase, sometimes even sooner if it’s an emergency.
We hope you find a solution that suits your needs. If you have any questions about boiler grants or anything else boiler-related please use our live chat or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
** Boiler finance packages correct at time of blog publication