Through the government’s ECO scheme, pensioners may be eligible for a grant to purchase a new replacement boiler!
You read it right! As a pensioner, you may be able to receive a grant as part of a government scheme to go towards having a replacement boiler fitted. In some cases, this can cover the cost of a new boiler completely, depending on what criteria you meet for eligibility.
On top of that, you could also be eligible for free boiler repairs and maintenance under the scheme, as well as there being other government schemes available to help with insulation and the costs of heating a home.
With the boiler being such a vital appliance in the household, the expense of replacing it can be quite a struggle for some and so it’s great there are options out there for pensioners who may not be able to afford a replacement boiler otherwise.
What is the ECO Scheme?
ECO stands for Energy Company Obligation and so the scheme serves to obligate the six biggest energy companies in the UK to not leave their low-income customers behind when it comes to such an important part of a household’s quality of life.
The six companies include British Gas, EDF, EON, nPower, Scottish Power and SSE.
The ECO scheme serves to reduce carbon emissions and improve the energy efficiency of the homes across the UK but it is worth noting, the ECO scheme is only available to those in England, Scotland and Wales.
For Northern Ireland, a different scheme called Age Concern is available which we will discuss further on in this article.
What does a new boiler mean to you? Well, by ensuring up to date boilers are fitted into low-income households, we will see less heat escaping from the home resulting in decreased energy bills and a lower carbon footprint.
It’s also known as the affordable warmth obligation and under this scheme, you may also be able to have help with insulating your home, such as in cavity walls or with the costs of heating your home, depending on your circumstances.
This service is completely free to use and the grant you could receive is non-repayable.
Is the Free Boiler Replacement For Pensioners Guaranteed?
Depending on how you meet the eligibility requirements, you may qualify to receive a new boiler for free but it is not guaranteed.
However, you may still be able to get the replacement boiler heavily subsidised, so you’ll still be making huge savings, as well as the savings on energy bills on an annual basis through having a more energy efficient boiler.
What are the ECO Scheme Eligibility Requirements?
Before you are able to secure this grant there are certain qualifiers that you need to meet first. These include:
- Being of pension age (60+ years old)
- Being a recipient of qualifying benefits
- You own your own home or privately rent
- Live in social housing
- Your current boiler is 8+ years old or inefficient and/or not working
What Benefits Qualify the Eco Scheme?
You may be wondering exactly what benefits qualify you for a free boiler replacement. A full list is available to see here but to list the more common ones:
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit
- Pension Guarantee Credit – you will not be eligible if you only claim Pension Savings Credit
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
What Boilers Qualify for the Eco Scheme?
The main goal of the Eco scheme is to increase the energy efficiency of the household which also has the added benefit of saving you money on your heating bills.
In fact, having a new energy efficient boiler installed could save you up to £350 per year!
But for your boiler to be considered replaceable, it does need to be deemed inefficient. With that being said, your boiler needs to be either quite old (8+ years), not be working properly or is not a condensing boiler.
Your boiler will also be considered replaceable whether it’s using fuels such as LPG, oil or gas.
However, if your boiler is working fine, is not 8 years old or more and is condensing, then it is unlikely you would be accepted to have the grant. But since the service is free to use, it’s worth trying!
How Much Does a Boiler Usually Cost to Replace?
The costs of replacing a boiler can be fairly high sometimes, and it’s understandable that this can be a struggle for pensioners.
Before talking about the general costs of boiler replacement there are a few variables that come into the pricing that need to be considered first:
- The size of the boiler
- Type of boiler (fuel type for instance)
- Additional installation costs such as rerouted pipework
- Boiler conversion to other fuel types
- Boiler upgrades from regular/system boiler to a combi boiler
- Boiler brand
- Boiler heating capabilities
Based on these variables it is estimated that a boiler replacement for a 3-5 bedroom house to cost between £2,000 – £3,000. This is considering the boiler is of a mid-tier brand and also comes with a 5-year warranty.
With that being said, you can see how a free boiler replacement via the eco scheme can be a great help!
How to Apply for a Free Replacement Boiler for Pensioners?
It’s quite simple, you’ll first need to navigate to boilergrants.org.uk and from there you can answer a short questionnaire which will test your eligibility to receive a grant. If it turns out that you are eligible, you will be contacted by a government-approved boiler installation company to take it from there.
The company will then take your details and book you in for an appointment for a free energy survey of your property which then leads to booking an appointment for a free boiler installation.
It’s really quick and simple and is well worth checking out. However, not everyone is savvy on the internet and may not find it that easy. If you find that you are struggling to qualify for a free boiler, get in touch with us so that we can assist you further in finding a suitable boiler replacement.