Here in the UK, the government is offering grants to encourage householders to switch to low carbon and more energy-efficient solutions.
The Energy Company Obligation or ECO policy puts the onus on energy companies to work with installers to provide low income and fuel poor households with more efficient heating.
If you have old inefficient electric heating and want to replace it with a more energy-efficient storage heaters and if you meet the current government criteria, obligated installers may be able to install one for free under the grant scheme.
Here we answer the main questions people have regarding electric storage heater grants, including:
If you are on a time-sensitive electricity tariff such as Economy 7 you pay a cheaper tariff if you access energy overnight, between midnight and 7 am. Electric storage heaters utilise ceramic blocks that can be heated up during these hours. The stored heat is then released during the day at a lower cost.
Electric storage heaters vary from simple models that work automatically to release their heat to ones that are digitally controlled and connected by Wi-Fi to devices such as your phone.
These grants are designed to benefit those on low income who have an existing, inefficient electric heating. The grants are awarded directly to obligated installers, companies that have committed to delivering the government’s ECO policy.
The amount that you can get for a grant will depend on a wide range of different factors. Assuming you are eligible, this could include the size and type of property you live in, whether you have solid walls or cavity walls, and how well insulated your home is. Typically, the bigger energy savings you can achieve with a new installation, the higher the grant you are likely to get.
When the installer assesses your application for the storage heater grant in most cases they will also check whether you might be entitled to insulation grants such as loft insulation, roof insulation, cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation (including both internal wall insulation and external wall insulation) and underfloor insulation.
Often if insulation is available at your property and you’d like it to be installed, the installer will make arrangements for the insulation to be installed alongside the upgrade to your electric heating.
You need to be a homeowner or private tenant who has the permission of the landlord, have existing electric heating at the property and be on income-related benefits.
If you meet the government’s criteria, you can apply to have a new electric storage heater installed in your property to replace an older, less efficient one. You cannot replace gas central heating with an electric storage heater under the scheme.
You must be receiving one of the following state benefits, tax credits or allowances:
* Child Benefit is a qualifying benefit for the ECO scheme, but if Child Benefit is the only benefit you receive, you will also need to meet additional income rules detailed on the Ofgem site here
Following updates to the ECO policy, local councils can make additional provisions for householders they believe are suffering from fuel poverty or are low income but don’t exactly meet the income support criteria. This can be done under the new Flexible Eligibility or LA Flex rules.
Homeowners can apply for different grants to cover any installations under the ECO scheme. That means you could apply for an electric storage heater grant and an insulation grant, for example, or something else that is covered under the agreement.
You cannot apply for the same measure twice or two similar installations (such as two different heating grants).
You need to contact an approved ECO installer who will assess your home and apply for the grant on your behalf. They will let you know whether that application is successful and how much it is worth. It’s important to choose an obligated installer who is part of the scheme.
Installers on the ECO scheme must be registered with Trustmark. Many installers will also be PAS 2030:2017 (Publicly Available Specification) accredited and they will have a registration number for this. They might also be Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited.
If you think you are eligible for an electric storage heater grant, contact our team today with your details.
We’ll arrange a free survey and find the energy-efficient solution that fits your property.