The Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

ECO is a Government initiative provided by the big six energy suppliers to help people keep their homes warm. ECO can provide heating and insulation improvements for low-income and vulnerable households. Social housing tenants are not eligible and there are eligibility criteria for this means-tested scheme.

Measures covered include:

  • loft insulation
  • cavity wall insulation
  • boiler repair or replacement

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) places legal obligations on energy suppliers to deliver energy efficiency and heating measures to eligible households. The main objective of ECO4 is to reduce fuel poverty by improving the least energy efficient homes occupied by low income, vulnerable and fuel poor households. It also seeks to contribute towards a reduction in carbon emissions.

Eligible households can receive funding from obligated suppliers towards a range of measures including the replacement of broken heating systems, the upgrade of inefficient systems and the installation of insulation. 

The Electricity and Gas (Energy Company Obligation) Order 2022 (ECO4 Order), or the “ECO4” scheme, covers the period from 1 April 2022 until 31 March 2026. Customers who are part of the ‘core group’ of the Warm Home Discount scheme or are in receipt of certain benefits are eligible for ECO.  Local authorities can also declare that households are eligible for ECO through ECO4 flexible eligibility or “ECO4 Flex”. 

Where can I find out more information?

Ofgem (the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) administers the scheme on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) who set the overall policy for the scheme.

You can find answers to common questions about the ECO scheme here: www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/eco/support-improving-your-home 

Who is eligible under ECO4 Flex and how do I apply?

For a household to be assessed for ECO4 Flex eligibility we require a completed application form, along with supporting documents, such as proof of income. The ECO4 Flex eligibility criteria are detailed in our Statement of Intent.

Once we have confirmed a household’s eligibility, we will provide a written declaration that a household qualifies for support under ECO4 Flex. 

To make an application for an ECO4 Flex declaration of eligibility, households will need to apply through an approved contractor. 

Residents in East Sussex who are struggling to keep warm at home, and who would like to improve the energy efficiency of their home, can get advice from the Warm Home Check service.

If you are a contractor and you wish to obtain a declaration of eligibility for a household in East Sussex, please email fuelpoverty@hastings.gov.uk for an application form. Please be aware that prior to considering any applications, you will need to provide a letter from the energy supply company funding the ECO Flex measure(s) confirming you are acting directly on behalf of the energy supplier and you have authorisation to install ECO Flex measure(s) on their behalf.

Statement of Intent

Our joint Statement of Intent for ECO4 Flex sets out flexible eligibility criteria used by all local authorities in East Sussex for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme from April 2022 – March 2026 and was published on 14 October 2022.

Hastings Borough Council assesses applications and issues the ECO4 Flexible Eligibility Declaration for its own residents and for the residents of other districts/boroughs on behalf of Eastbourne Borough Council, Lewes District Council, Rother District Council and Wealden District Council only.

This Statement of Intent replaces the previous ECO3 Flex versions which can also be downloaded below.

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