ECO4 Flexible Eligibility Scheme (ECO4 Flex)
The Energy Company Obligation 4 (ECO4) is a government energy efficiency scheme. The main objective is to reduce fuel poverty by improving the least energy efficient housing stock occupied by low income, vulnerable and fuel poor households, thus helping to meet the Government’s fuel poverty and net carbon zero commitments. The scheme was launched in 2022 and will run until March 2026.
Under ECO4 obligated energy suppliers are legally required to help reduce heating costs for low income and vulnerable households by delivering energy efficiency and heating measures. One route that can be used to identify these households is ‘ECO4 Flexible Eligibility’ (ECO4 Flex). Local Authorities can volunteer to participate in ECO4 Flex to identify eligible households (owner-occupied and private rented homes) that are not in receipt of a means tested benefit but meet the eligibility criteria outlined below.
The Council has published a statement of intent allowing delivery of this scheme in Pembrokeshire.
The energy efficiency measures installed under the scheme are funded by the energy suppliers, and not by the Local Authority. Grants are administered by providers / installers working on behalf of energy companies. The Council’s involvement is to, simply vet applications, ensuring qualifying conditions are met.
The final decision on whether a household receives a measure and the level of grant available under flexible eligibility or other ECO funding streams will be made by the energy company or the providers / installers. Examples of the measures that may be installed include air source heat pumps, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, and the various types of insulation (e.g. loft, external wall, internal wall, and floor).
Worried about cold callers or unsure of providers / installers operating Pembrokeshire?
We have a list of known providers / installers.
Please note that whilst the Council operate a bi-lingual policy, the providers / installers operating the scheme in Pembrokeshire may not offer this service.
To qualify, properties must be an occupied private domestic premises (either owner-occupied homes or private rented sector homes). Unfortunately, the scheme does not apply to Social Housing tenants. Both the property and the household must adhere to at least one of the three available routes outlined below (Definitions: EPC = Energy Performance Certificate SAP = Standard Assessment Procedure):-
Route 1: EPC/SAP bands D-G owner-occupied households and private rented sector E-G households with a Total gross annual income from all sources less than £31,000. This cap applies irrespective of the property size, composition, or region.
Route 2: EPC/SAP bands E-G for owner-occupied households and private rented sector households that meet a combination of two of the following proxies:
- Proxy 1*) Homes in Welsh provision LSOA 1-3 on the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019.
- Proxy 2) Householders receiving a Council Tax rebate (rebates based on low income only).
- Proxy 3*) Householders vulnerable to living in a cold home as identified in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guidance. Only one from the list can be used, excludes the proxy ‘low income’
- Proxy 4) A householder receiving free school meals due to low-income.
- Proxy 5*) Not in use.
- Proxy 6) A household referred to the LA for support by their energy supplier or Citizen's Advice, because they have been identified as struggling to pay their electricity and gas bills.
Note 1: *Proxies 1 and 3 cannot be used together
Route 3: EPC/SAP bands D-G owner-occupied households and private rented sector E-G households that have been identified by their doctor or GP as vulnerable, with an occupant suffering from a severe and / or long-term health condition that is adversely affected by living in a cold home. These health conditions must be due to cardiovascular, respiratory, immunosuppressed, or limited mobility. Households under this route can only be referred by an NHS foundation trust, an NHS Trust, a Health Board, a Local Health Board, or a general medical practitioner provider (please note that the NHS referral letter template will be attached to our webpage in due course)
What Is The ECO4 Flex Application Process?
The ECO4 Flex application process in its most basic format is as follows:
- The providers / installers will carry out an assessment of the property to decide which energy efficiency measures, if any, the property should receive.
- The resident completes an application form through an ECO4 Flex providers / installers. Please do not submit an application form yourself, it needs to be submitted on your behalf by an energy company or their providers / installers.
- On receipt of the application from the providers / installers, Pembrokeshire County Council verifies the application. The Local Authority will issue a signed Declaration to the installer/provider.
- The final decision as to whether a household receives a measure under ECO4 Flexible Eligibility or other ECO funding streams will be made by the provider / installer that you contact.
- If the property is considered suitable for measures, then the installer will commission the work. Permission and access will need to be granted to the installer by both the owner and the resident to enable the smooth delivery of works.
A letter from the Council with information on the ECO4 flex scheme should be provided at first point of contact or during the assessment and read prior to completing the Application Form.
Qualification and the Declaration by the Council does not guarantee installation of any measures, as the final decision will be made by the installer.
The information and personal details that you give to the ECO4 Flex providers / installers in the application form will be shared with and used by Pembrokeshire County Council to assess your eligibility for ECO4 Flex. Please refer to the Council’s ECO4 Flex Privacy Notice which explains how personal data is used and stored by the Council in relation to the ECO4 Flex scheme.
The Council does not endorse any specific energy supplier, grant provider, installer or company connected to the application or installation of ECO4 flex grants or products. The Council accepts no responsibility or liability resulting from any negative consequence, damage or loss arising from an ECO4 FLEX grant being accepted or arising from works or efforts connected to the preparation, application or survey prior to a grant.
Any grievance regarding installations or workmanship should be taken up with the ECO4 Flex provider/installer in question. In the event of a dispute arising, the Council will not partake in any resolution. The Council’s involvement in the ECO4 Flex scheme is limited to the declaration of household eligibility for ECO4 funding only.
If you are concerned about the conduct of the surveyor or your rights as a consumer, then please telephone the Citizens Advice Consumer Service helpline: 0808 223 1133 for an English speaking advisor or 0808 223 1144 for a Welsh speaking advisor.
If you are concerned about the quality of the work carried out by an installer then please contact Trustmark on the telephone number 0333 555 1234, or in writing to Trustmark (2005) Limited, Arena Business Centre, The Square, Basing View, Basingstoke, RG21 4EB.
What happens next?
If you wish to be considered for ECO4 Flex funding, then please contact one of the ECO4 Flex installers/providers from the list.
The list is available above or by phoning the Council Contact Centre on 01437 764551 to request a paper copy or by emailing the Council on firstname.lastname@example.org to request an electronic copy.
Nest (Wales) (opens in a new tab) is the Welsh Assembly Government’s New Fuel Poverty Scheme and British Gas is the delivery partner for the scheme.
The programme is designed to make private sector households warmer and healthier places to live. The scheme offers householders a range of free home improvements to help them heat their homes more efficiently and stay warm without facing huge energy bills.
The Nest scheme takes a ‘whole house’ approach to determining what energy improvement work would be most suitable, some examples include:
- Loft and cavity wall insulation
- Solid Wall insulation
- Draught Proofing
- Boiler Replacement
To qualify for Nest you must be a private home-owner or private tenant, have a property with an energy efficiency rating of F or G and in receipt of one of the following means tested benefits.
- Child Tax Credit where the household income is below £16,010
- Council Tax Benefit (excluding the single person occupancy reduction)
- Housing Benefit
- Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Working Tax Credit where the household income is below £16,010
Not sure if your property qualifies, typically an F or G rated property would have all, or most, of the following characteristics:
- No central heating or a central heating system with a very inefficient boiler. (Usually a boiler of 15 or more years old).
- Homes heated by a fuel other than mains gas
- Solid Walls
- Un-insulated cavity walls
- No loft insulation / less than 100mm
- Single glazed windows
- Also, detached, semi detached or end terraced properties are more likely to be F or G rated.
For further information and to apply call free phone 0800 512 012 or visit Nest Wales (opens in a new tab)