Energy efficiency

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) requires large energy companies to help improve the energy efficiency of domestic homes by reducing the cost of improvement works

What is the Energy Company Obligation (ECO)?

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government energy efficiency scheme in Great Britain to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty. You can find out more about the ECO scheme on the Ofgem website.

ECO Flexible Eligibility

The ECO scheme now allows local authorities to identify the most vulnerable households who could benefit from energy efficiency improvements; this scheme is called ECO Flexible Eligibility (also known as the Help to Heat scheme).

Funding may be available to households who are in fuel poverty, struggling to pay their bills for:

  • replacement heating
  • help with a heating problem (for example, current heating is inefficient)
  • insultation

Who can claim?

To claim you must be:

  • an owner occupier, or
  • renting from a private landlord

You must have a low income, and you must meet either our:

  • high costs criteria, or
  • vulnerability to the cold criteria

Low income

For this scheme, you’ll be considered as having a low income if you receive one of the following:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Support
  • Child Tax Credit (no income cap)
  • Working Tax Credit (no income cap)
  • Universal Credit (no income cap)
  • Pension savings credit

If you’re not on one of the benefits above, you may still qualify if your overall income is below a certain threshold. You can find more information about our thresholds, in our statement of intent document.

High costs

Your costs are considered high if:

  • you live in a property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G
  • you achieve a score of over 80 on our questionnaire within our statement of intent document (if an EPC is not available)

Vulnerability to the cold

We’ll consider you as vulnerable if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • you receive Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Incapacity Benefit or Attendance Allowance
  • you’re aged 65 and over
  • you’re pregnant or have a child under 5
  • you’re on the energy companies’ priority service register
  • you have a health or vulnerability condition that can be worsened by living in a cold home (you’ll need a letter from a medical professional to prove this)


To apply for the scheme, you’ll need:

  • supporting documents that prove you meet the qualifying criteria
  • landlords name, address and contact number (if applicable)
Apply for the ECO Flexible Eligibility scheme

What happens next?

If your application is successful, we’ll issue a declaration to you, or directly to an ECO installer, in order to allow you to access available ECO funding.

Please note; meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee the installation of measures. This will depend on the energy suppliers and their contractors.