The Governments ‘new’ Energy Efficiency Scheme – Who’s Eligible and What Does it Cover?

The Energy Secretary Grant Shapps announced new grants for energy efficiency measures to be installed in homes in late November 2022.  The ECO4 scheme is to become the ECO+ scheme from April 2023.

Although this is widely reported as not providing any additional funding, it widens to scope to cover more households.  

From April 2023 any household in council tax band A-D in England, with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of D and below, will be eligible for funding of up to £15,000, although the average is expected to be £1,500.

This article gives you a summary of how it works and how you could use this to improve your home with most information drawn from the current consultation.  Do note that the current scheme may change – we will update this article when that happens.


Anyone in an average size house in an inexpensive area will be eligible for the scheme.

ECO+ will continue to support low income households (income less than £31,000) in less energy inefficient properties (EPC D or less).  The eligibility is usually established if a member of the household receives benefits (see below), and there is a preference to improve homes with E-G EPCs.  This scheme will continue to provide a greater amount of funding, covering more expensive retrofit works, up to the full cost.

The ECO+ will include a larger group, covering homes in Council Tax bands A-D in England, A-E in Scotland and A-C in Wales, with an EPC of D and below.  75% of costs will be covered under this scheme obligating home owners to pay for some of the installation measures.

Landlords will also be eligible to apply for the scheme, using similar criteria as ablow for eligibility.  Under ECO+ they will need to pay for less expensive energy efficiency measures such as cavity wall and loft insulation themselves, but will receive subsidy for other measures.

To see what council tax band you are search here using your postcode.

To see what energy performance certificate you have search here using your postcode.

Benefits that support claim for ‘low income households’: Child Benefit*, Child Tax Credit, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – Income Based, Housing Benefit – new eligible benefit, Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) – Income Based, Pension Credit Guarantee Credit, Pension Credit Savings Credit – new eligible benefit, Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit

Measures you can get funding for

The scheme uses a ‘fabric first’ approachm, focusing on improving the energy retention of the building through insulation.  The scheme (for both low income and the general group) will cover: 

  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Solid wall insulation (both external and internal)
  • Loft insulation
  • Pitched roof insulation
  • Flat roof insulation
  • Under floor insulation
  • Solid floor insulation
  • Park home insulation
  • Room-in-roof insulation 

In addition to this heating controls (e.g. such as thermostatic radiator valves) will also receive subsidy if these are installed after other measures have been installed (within 3 months).

How much can I claim?

The scheme is not transparent about this as measures are acknowledged to have variable costs according to the construction of a building, and it will be down to the energy supplier to accept the cost of the measures to be installed.  If you are within the low income bracket receiving benefits, then up to 100% of the cost will be covered, if you are from the general group, then 75% of the cost will be covered.

This means that in installing a full package of installation measures costing circa £18,000, a low income household would have all measures paid for, and a household within low council tax band would have £13,500 of the measures subsidized.  Whilst this would likely save 50% on energy bills in upgrading from a E to a B energy efficiency, of a value of circa £1,500 a year.

The scheme outlines a certain cost per measure which are variable against different size properties.  To give an indication of this costs are mentioned in the consultation document, which we summarize below.

MeasureUpper expenditurePrice/unit of measure
Cavity wall insulation£1,390£6/m2
Loft insulation£1,300£9.5/m2
Sold wall insulation£15,000£140/m2
Room thermostat£100n/a
Boiler programmer£80n/a
Thermostatic radiator valves£220£30 per room

Getting Funding

The scheme is convoluted in its mechanism of reclaiming funding.  The funding is claimed back through energy suppliers, by the installers of the measures.  These get approved for the scheme and then the installers pass one invoice to the energy suppliers and one to the householder.  

In short you approach the installers and then ask them to support you in claiming back the funding.

Making decisions about what you need

The easiest way to make a decision about what you need is to look at your energy performance certificate (search online here), and then follow its recommendations.

If you want to understand payback of measures or want to get other people’s experiences then ask our expert community.

Counter the energy crisis and save hundreds on bills, in five zero cost steps

The price of energy has risen by 54% from April (2), and has nearly doubled since the beginning of last year.  Ofgem predicts this will increase average bills by £693.  This blog aims to help you save money and cut carbon during this energy crisis.  We give you tips that together will save 20% on your energy bills and will cut carbon by over a tonne to your house. 

1. Turn down the temperature on your condensing boiler from 80°C to 70°C

This change doesn’t result in any loss of comfort, but improves the efficiency of your boiler and heating system.  You can save 6-8% on their gas usage by turning down the flow temperature on your condensing combi boiler from 80°C to 70°C.

This £80 a year saving is achieved from the boiler operating at its most efficient.  The flow temperature is reduced meaning radiators are at 70°C, not 80°C. So it takes a little longer to heat up the house, but you don’t have to compromise on how warm the house is to get the efficiency. 

If you’re going to do this then you need to check you actually have a condensing boiler.  If you do then simply turn down the heat on the boiler.

2. Turn off heating in unused rooms and close the door

Turning off radiators in a particular room results in water not losing heat as it passes onto the next room, improving the efficiency of the heating system, and placing less demand on the boiler.  This will result in the house warming more quickly and you’ll use less gas.

According to how big the room is in comparison to the rest of the house will equate to the savings.  In a three bed house, turning off the heating and shutting the door in an unused bedroom will save you around 10%, or £100 per annum, on your gas bill. 

3. Have fewer baths and shorter showers

The use of hot water accounts for about a quarter of the overall heat demand in the house.  According to the energy saving trust an average person uses around 140 litres of water per day.  The majority of that is used for cleaning.

Limiting showers to four minutes is a common means to save water, but when energy bills are so high it’s also a great way to save money.  Choosing a shower over a bath may also during this more prudent time be a great way to save money.

If you do this right you can save a third on the heat demand from hot water in the house, saving a massive 8%, or £80 per annum, on heating bills.

4. Turn down the thermostat and reduce length of heating

Just turning down the thermostat by one degree can cut gas bills by 6%.  If you manage to also control the length of time the house is heated you can save even more. 

Most of us have the house a little warmer than is necessary.  Now’s the time to get to bed a little earlier and stay in a little later (if possible).  Moving from 21°C to 19°C will save you £120 a year.

5. Use appliances more efficiently

Using shorter cycles on the washing machine, turning on dishwashers when they’re actually full and boiling just the amount of water you need in the kettle to make a cup of tea makes a difference.  With electricity bills costing a quarter more, changing how you use appliances will make a difference. 

You can save 10% on electricity bills if you do all the above and turn appliances off at the switch at the end of the day.  This will save £110 a year.

If you like this and want more information

You may want to look at my calculations.  See the google sheet here where I put them together.

If you are keen to learn about other energy efficiency measures then look at the posts on our community under #energy-efficiency.  If you like that then join Better Century and be continually updated with other great things you can do to improve use and sharing of resources.

Useful links:

  1. Heating & Hotwater Industry Council Report: 
  2. Explanation of price cap changes (Ofgem): 
  3. More information on turning down boiler on the heating hub; 
  4. More advice on water saving from Energy Saving Trust:,you%2030%20litres%20a%20day

How to Apply for the Green Homes Grant – All you need to know in six steps

This time-restricted grant scheme slashes the cost of installing measures that will save hundreds in bills every year.  Learn what you need to do in some simple steps to maximise upon this grant scheme.

Every homeowner or landlord is eligible to receive up to £5,000 to install insulation or a new heating system..  A third of the bill has to be covered by the owner, meaning you will receive £7,500 worth of improvements for a £2,500 spend.  

When you can save up to £700 in energy bills every year this is a pretty great deal

1. Know what you need

Surveyors can tell you what you need to do in your home, but all are being inundated with requests and often place an initial charge on doing a survey.  If you know what you need it can endear professional support and save your money.  A simple way of doing this is to look at your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).  If you don’t want to dig through paperwork click here to use the government tool.  Check the video below to learn how to use it.  You may also want to check that your eligible for the grant – click this link and take the government test.

2. Choose insulation or heating system

To get the grant you have to install insulation or a new heating system (heat pump or solar thermal system).  If your EPC is below D a new heat pump will not be effective so you will need to insulate and/or install a solar thermal system to help heat hot water. If you are a C or above then getting a new heating system could be your best option, but will require some significant capital outlay.  Both of these options will add value to your property with measures that increase energy efficiency ratings improving property value by up to 10%.

3. Insulate and get the best bang for buck

Think top to bottom when you’re thinking about insulation – heat rises right!  Most houses need more insulation in the roof and draught proofing.  If you’ve got uninsulated cavity walls (many houses built 1945 – 1980), then go for bead blow insulation.   Pipes and hot water tanks, alongside heat control systems are next on the list.  If you need to upgrade windows get roof insulation and then double/triple glazing as a secondary measure.  You can go as far as external or internal wall insulation but that’s expensive.

Here’s come combinations to consider but do read more on energy efficiency here.

Primary MeasureSecondary MeasuresCost to youGrant PayoutAnnual Savings
Roof insulationPipe and water tank insulation, and draught proofing £650 £1,350£250
Roof and Cavity Wall InsulationPipe and water tank insulation, and draught proofing £1,000£2,000£700
Roof insulationUpgrade windows to double/triple glazing£2,500 £5,000£550
Roof and Underfloor insulationPipe and water tank insulation, and draught proofing £1,200£3,600£500
Solid Wall InsulationDraught Proofing£2,500 – £7,000£5,000£450
Learn more through this useful table of measures on our community site.

4. Get the right heating system for your home

A heat pump or solar thermal system can be installed under the grant scheme as a primary measure, but conditions need to be right for their installation.  Both of these systems are also eligible for another grant called the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which pays out over a 7 year period.

Solar thermal will heat your hot water, with a heat pump offering an alternative to combi boilers.  Both systems take heat from the external environment and condense it to heat your water internally.  Solar thermal will work on any house but you need to have room for an additional tank.  Heat pumps will function on well insulated houses.  To learn more read about Renewable Heating Systems on our Eco Resource.   

A solar thermal system will cost around £1,200 (£2,400 from grant), giving £200 saving a year as it heats about 60% of all your hot water.  An air source heat pump will cost around £2,500 (£5,000 from grant), with savings of around £400 a year and payment of £300 a year from RHI.

5. Find a supplier

Once you’ve chosen what you want to install then you need to source a supplier to deliver the measures.  Most by now will be registered with TrustMark (for energy efficiency measures) or will be registered with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) (heating systems).   Better Century lists recommended suppliers on our Energy Efficiency and Renewable Heating System pages – this is a great place to start!

You need quotes from these suppliers to claim the voucher for the grant, which will be time consuming.  Each will need to visit to give a quote and you will need a quote for each measure to claim your voucher.

6. Claiming the grant and commissioning the work

Pick one supplier for each of the measures you wish to have installed.  Then make an application for the voucher using this government application system with the quotes provided.  You will then receive the voucher by email, which has to be claimed in 3 months and can only be used with the suppliers selected, so make sure you make friends!

Once the work is complete to your satisfaction you need to redeem the voucher using this system.  The supplier is paid for their part directly from the government and you then need to pay the remainder of the invoice.  

You will now have a nice warm home, which will save you money year on year!

Need more help?

Check out community discussions on energy efficiency and renewable heating.

Contact Tom if you need practical support to identify measures and arrange suppliers by emailing

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