Non-repayable funding for free boilers is available in England, Scotland and Wales through a Government-led home improvement grant scheme.
ECO grants provide replacement gas boilers and insulation for home owners & private tenants on a low income.
ECO is a UK Government backed program aimed at tackling carbon emissions and reducing energy bills by replacing old & inefficient gas boilers with condensing boilers free of charge..
Do I qualify for a free boiler?
The ECO grant scheme is designed to help low income household who are deemed to live in “fuel poverty.”
To qualify your existing boiler must be over 8 years old and have an energy rating between E and G.
In addition one of the occupants of the household claims any of the following –
Pension Guarantee Credit
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
There are no supplementary requirements for any of the above
Tax Credits and Universal Credits
If you don’t get any of the above but you receive tax credits or Universal Credit you may still qualify for a free boiler or home insulation. The table below outlines the benefit and income threshold for each.
Tax Credits Gross income
Benefits of replacing an old boiler
A new boiler can cost up to £2000 – £3000 including fitting. Under the ECO grant scheme any installs are normally fitted free of charge.
Furthermore a new condensing boiler can mean substantial monthly savings on energy bills because of its efficient design. This type of boiler preheats water using waste heat so it costs less to heat your water and radiators.
Annual savings The amount of savings you can make by claiming a Government boiler grant depend on the age and efficiency of your existing boiler & heating system. The figures table below outlines average savings that can be made in a home heated by gas central heating.
Old boiler rating
Semi detached house
Mid terrace house
G ( < 70%)
These are estimated figures based on installing a new A-rated condensing boiler with a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator controls (TRVs) in a gas-heated home from an older boiler without controls. Savings will vary depending on the size and thermal performance of your home. Energy Savings Trust.
Powering your boiler and central heating system efficiently is one of the most important factors of home life. The cost of a new boiler can also be expensive if you don’t get sound advice. Here we provide a few tips to help you choose the best boiler at the right price.
Whatever way you look at it a new boiler is going to cost you money. However if you’re careful and do it the right way you can make sure that you don’t pay any more than you have to.
If you use one of the larger energy companies like British Gas you may be charged over the odds for the cost of a new boiler.
It is important to shop around and check what deals and offers are available in your area. Many local installers now offer a variety of low interest finance options which can mean a substantial reduction in the cost of getting a new boiler fitted.
How much should I expect to pay? The price of getting a new boiler installed depends on the size and type of your property. Boilers come in a range of sizes. The kw output of a gas boiler needed to heat a 5 bedroom detached house will not be needed to heat a one bedroom flat for example.
Therefore it is best to get advice from a Gas Safe approved engineer who will advise you on the type of boiler required to heat your home and any additional pipes / wiring work that may be required.
Choosing the right boiler
Choosing a new boiler for your home normally boils down to a choice between a regular boiler or a combi boiler . They both function in different ways. The type of boiler most suited to your home will depend on a number of factors including
type and size of property
number of bathrooms
hot water usage levels
A regular or conventional boiler stores hot water in a storage tank or cylinder (normally in your loft or cupboard) which then provides water for your hot taps and radiators.
They normally come with an electric immersion heater and if your boiler system is older, the chances are that it will be this type.
Conventional boiler systems require storage space and can be inconvenient as you have to heat up all the water in the tank even if you only need to use a small amount.
This can be quite expensive – as much as 65% of energy costs are used to heat your boiler for hot water or your radiators. Excessive energy usage is also damaging to the environment in terms of carbon emission output levels.
The diagram shows the range of traditional energy grades for conventional boilers and central heating systems.
The body which determines a boiler’s energy efficiency rating in the UK is SEDBUK (Season Efficiency of Domestic Boilers in the UK).
All gas condensing boilers function at over 90% efficiency, This is also the mandatory level for any new boiler installed in the UK.
Boiler ratings are assessed by a domestic energy assessor. Boiler and central heating contributes to the overall energy performance of your property and is included in any Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or Report.
Efficiency is measured as a percentage although the European Grading method (A-G according to energy usage performance) is also often included for consistency.
The energy efficiency of gas boilers is assessed on a variety of factors including –
Heating usage patterns
Housing occupancy at the time of installation
Boiler storage conditions
Other factors deemed to affect the energy efficiency of boilers such as climate and the age of a boiler are also taken into account when assessing a boiler’s performance.
The rating system is designed to be a fair and accurate method of determining boiler efficiency, regardless of manufacturer.
Want to know how much you can save each year by replacing your boiler? The table below lists the average annual savings by property type when you upgrade to a more efficient boiler.
Larger homes will benefit more from reduced energy bills after installing a cost effective high efficiency boiler.
Condensing A Grade Boiler
Comparison of typical A rated condensing boiler compared to older less efficient boilers in average properties
Free boiler grant scheme
Some low income households can access Government funding to help improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
The ECO free boiler scheme provides non-repayable grants for families who claim certain benefits or tax credits
The scheme is funded by the UK major energy companies and is part of a UK Government initiative to lower carbon dioxide emissions. The full eligibility criteria can be found here – free boiler scheme.