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Do You Qualify For a Boiler Grant in the UK in 2024?

Rawal Ahmed
By: Rawal Ahmed
Updated: 7th January 2024

Boiler Grant Eligibility Qualify

Depending on your current living situation, you may qualify for a number of benefits that help you secure your home's heating and cooling in a cheaper, more sustainable fashion. While getting a new boiler can seem like a headache, knowing your options can vastly reduce your expenditure and shave off future energy costs. Learn more about the ECO scheme, VAT reduction, and the Boiler Upgrade Scheme to see who qualifies for a boiler grant and whether you're eligible for a free boiler in the UK.

The main criteria for the grants are your home's energy rating, the state of your boiler, and your financial status. This article will give you a deeper overview of what you need to know about the ECO grants and how to apply for them so you can reap the benefits of an A-rated boiler.

If you're looking for a new boiler, you can also get in touch with Gas Safe registered engineers in your area for free by pressing the button below. Discover the best deals and receive a non-binding quote to learn how much you can save on a new boiler.

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ECO scheme explained

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is an energy efficiency scheme meant to combat fuel poverty and excess carbon emissions. Low-income households can drastically curb their energy expenditure and get a new boiler thanks to these handy policies. Originally meant to run through 2015, the ECO scheme was revived by popular demand and has gone through 5 iterations, and will be operational till 2028.

The UK has passed ECO, ECO1, ECO2, ECO3, and (as of July 2022) ECO4 which will run till July 2026 supplemented by the ECO+ (which we'll cover below). So far, the scheme has been implemented in 2.4 million households since its inception in 2013, helping bring countless homes to an EPC "C" rating, thus improving their energy performance.

Anyone could qualify for a boiler grant in 2022 if they were living in England or Wales while also receiving one of the following benefits:

Boiler Grant Benefits Qualification List

ECO+ explained

ECO+ specifically targets homes that do not benefit from the ECO4 and Boiler Upgrade Scheme but also live in inefficient homes. Eligibility for the grants is as follows:

  • Homes that are within Council Tax bands A-D for England and A-E for Scotland and Wales.
  • The home has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of D or below.
  • Eligibility entitles residents to a single insulation measure.
  • Contribution from homeowners may be required to offset the cost of the installation.

Scotland and Northern Ireland were not originally part of ECO4. However, with the ECO+ scheme (aka, the Great British Insulation scheme) taking effect in the Spring of 2023, Scotland will also be included in the running for new grants. Similarly, homes in Northern Irelands are eligible for a £600 grant for home insulation.

Need more information? We have other pages that can help inform you about available grants and schemes.

Boiler Upgrade Scheme explained

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme allows homeowners or residents to obtain a grant to cover part of the cost of replacing older, inefficient boilers with new ones. This scheme covers older boilers that operate on fossil fuels, including oil, gas, and electric systems.

The scheme applies to property owners with homes, businesses, and rental properties hosting tenants. The grant has been applicable since 1 April 2022 for all homes with a valid Energy Performance Certificate.

  • Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) and biomass boilers receive grants of £5000.
  • Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) receive £6000 grants.

All grants are offered at flat rates regardless of the capacity of the installation (as long as it does not exceed 45 kWth). We also have other articles that can clarify (in-depth) how much a new boiler costs.

Reduced VAT explained

The reduced VAT policy applies across the UK under VAT Notice 708 and entitles homeowners to reduced-rate installations for energy-efficient boilers. It allows recipients to improve their home heating at a rate of 0% VAT (down from 5%) till March 2027.

The VAT reduction applies to the installation of several types of heating systems and appliances:

  • Closed solid fuel fire cassettes
  • Electric dual immersion water heaters with factory-insulated hot water tanks
  • Electric storage heaters
  • Gas-fired boilers
  • Gas room heaters with thermostatic controls
  • Oil-fired boilers
  • Radiators
  • Renewable source systems including solar, wind, and hydroelectric power
  • "Near renewable" sources such as ground and air heat

Do I qualify for a free boiler?

While ECO has often been described as the "free boiler scheme", the title can be potentially misleading since you can often qualify for a grant, or a discount instead of an entirely new system. To be eligible for a free boiler in the UK, potential ECO recipients must have a boiler that is over 8 years old or highly inefficient (such as a non-condensing model).

In other cases, your boiler may still be up for a lucrative grant under the ECO boiler scheme, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, or reduced VAT for installations. To find out if you fit the criteria to get a new boiler for free, you can easily contact a Gas Safe registered engineer in your area using the button below:

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What are the costs of a boiler grant?

Applying for a grant is absolutely free and saves a large portion of the expenses for new heating systems. Typically, a boiler can cost between £1,000 to £9,000 based on the model. While that price tag can seem daunting, a grant such as the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is likely to shave off anywhere from £5,000 to £6,000 off the upgraded system. Moreover, homes can save up to 25% on their energy costs after the upgrade.

Here is what the various types of boilers can net you in terms of grant allowances:

Boiler Types Products

  • £5,000 for air source heat pumps.
  • £6,000 for ground source heat pumps (water source heat pumps and shared ground loops included).
  • £5,000 for biomass boilers.

Conversely, grants are not available for hybrid heating systems such as a combination gas boiler and air source heat pump.

A potential beneficiary of the grant might be hesitant to uproot their current setup but there are many reasons you should replace your 20-year-old boiler for an A-rated upgrade. Newer boilers are more efficient and safer while helping curb carbon emissions (especially as an alternative to outdated oil-based models). It’s best to get a new one while the grant is there, especially as a good model can last a long time. We have additional articles about how long a boiler lasts that can clarify how to optimise its lifespan.

How do I apply for a boiler grant?

To get a boiler grant you need to contact a suitable MCS-certified installer for a quote, confirm that you are eligible, and make an agreement with your chosen installer. A Boiler Upgrade Scheme inquiry can take 6-7 weeks to complete after which installation can begin.

While the process can seem confusing, you can streamline it. Boiler Guide's service is the best way to obtain a rate that meets your needs. Fill out the form below to receive a free and non-binding quote from up to 3 engineers in your area. You'll be surprised to learn how much you can save on your new boiler.

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FAQ

Who is entitled to a free boiler replacement in the UK?

Anyone with a boiler older than 8 years old or, alternatively if they have an inefficient boiler (such as a gas or non-condensing boiler). Be sure to talk to your landlord if you fit the eligibility criteria but do not own the house where you wish to install the new boiler.

How much does a boiler grant cost?

The grant is typically free. However, there are certain requirements you need to meet to be eligible.

What happens after I apply for a boiler grant?

After applying, you will be referred to a certified local installer who will confirm your eligibility. They will contact you for a free survey and assess whether the boiler qualifies for a grant, based on certain characteristics. If all goes well, the installer will arrange a date for the installation of your new boiler.

Will I be able to replace my oil boiler after 2025?

Oil boilers will no longer be installed in newly constructed homes and replacing one with another oil boiler will be comparatively expensive. However, the ECO condensing boiler grants and Boiler Upgrade Scheme can help you obtain a newer, more efficient heating system as a replacement.

Hopefully, we've given you all the information you need to apply for an ECO boiler scheme grant and whether you are entitled to a free boiler or replacement. Alternatively, you can fill out the form at the bottom of the page to receive a free, non-binding quote for a new boiler from up to 3 Gas Safe registered engineers in your area. Check to see how much you can save on your new installation.

Rawal Ahmed

About the author

Rawal Ahmed

Rawal Ahmed is a writer at Boiler Guide with an interest in sustainability and a background in background in tech journalism and digital marketing.

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