Energy grants and support
ECO4 Flex energy efficiency scheme
ECO4 Flex is a government scheme, funded by energy companies, that supports households on a low income or those particularly vulnerable to the impacts of living in a cold home.
Funding is available for things that can improve the energy efficiency of your home, like insulation and heating systems.
An installer will need to visit your property to make an assessment. You will complete a declaration form to show that you are eligible and provide supporting evidence.
The installer send their recommendations to the energy company, who will make a final decision on what work will be carried out.
If you live in a private home (rented or owned) with an EPC rating of D or below and have a combined household income of £31,000 or less, then you are likely to be eligible for this scheme.
Even if you don’t meet these criteria, but are living in a private home with a low energy efficiency rating, you may still be eligible for funding if:
- you or a member of your household has a medical condition that makes you more vulnerable to cold
- you are over 65 or a member of your family is under the age of 5 or over 65
- a member of your household is in receipt of Council Tax Support
- a member of your household is in receipt of free school meals, due to low income
- you have been referred to the scheme by the council or by Citizen's Advice after being identified as struggling to pay your utility bills.
Local Authority names: West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and North Northamptonshire Council (NNC)
Publication Date: 24 August 2023
Version number: 5.0
This statement sets out West Northamptonshire Council and North Northamptonshire Council’s flexible eligibility criteria for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) and Great British Insulation schemes which run until March 2026.
The ECO4 scheme will focus on supporting low income and vulnerable households. The scheme will improve the least energy efficient homes helping to meet the Government’s fuel poverty and net zero commitments. The Great British Insulation Scheme will support the ECO4 scheme in the delivery of predominantly single measures targeted at a wider range of households.
The flexible approach for Local Authorities (LAs) to identifying fuel poor and vulnerable households who may benefit from heating and energy saving measures is referred to as 'ECO4 Flex' and 'Great British Insulation Scheme Flex'.
The council is publishing this Statement of Intent (SoI) on 24 August 2023 to confirm that each of the households declared will adhere to at least one of the four available routes outlined below:
Route 1 (in use): Owner-occupied and private rented sector households with a gross annual income less than £31,000. This cap applies irrespective of the property size, composition, or region.
Route 2 (in use): Owner-occupied and private rented sector households that meet a combination of two of the following proxies:
Proxies 1 and 3 cannot be used together.
A person living at the premises is entitled to a Council Tax reduction on the grounds of low-income.
A person living at the premises is considered to be vulnerable to the cold under the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guidance NG6: Recommendation 2, for a reason other than their low-income.
Proxies 1 and 3 cannot be used together.
A child living at the premises is eligible for free school meals, due to low-income.
A person living at the premises is supported by a scheme established by the LA or DA that is named and described within their Statement of Intent and established to support people living on a low-income and considered vulnerable to the cold under NICE Guideline NG6.
A household referred to the LA for support by their energy supplier or Citizens Advice or Citizens Advice Scotland, because they have been identified as struggling to pay their electricity and / or gas bills.
Proxy 7 is for supplier owned debt data and is listed here for information only.
Households identified through energy supplier debt data. This route enables obligated suppliers to use their own debt data to identify either non pre-payment meter households (non-PPM), or pre-payment meter households (PPM).
Proxy 7 cannot be used in combination with proxy 5 or proxy 6.
Route 3 (in use): Owner-occupied and private rented sector households that have been identified by either a person registered in the General Practitioner Register, a Scottish Health Board, a Welsh Health Board, an NHS Foundation Trust, or an NHS Trust as vulnerable, with an occupant whose health conditions may be adversely affected by living in a cold home. These health conditions must be cardiovascular, respiratory, immunosuppressed, or limited mobility related.
Route 4 - applicable to ECO4 Flex only (not in use): Owner-occupied and private rented sector households that are referred under Route 4: Bespoke Targeting. Suppliers and LAs can submit an application to the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero where they have identified new methods to identify low-income and vulnerable households. Applications need to demonstrate a number of factors, including that the proposed methodology is more effective at identify households in fuel poverty than the criterion offered under Routes 1 and 2.
All potentially eligible households should apply through Better Housing Better Health on 0800
107 0044 to ensure that they can either benefit from the scheme or be assessed for eligibility
under any other relevant programme.
Any supplier or installer who seeks a council declaration on behalf of an eligible resident will first need to be registered with the ‘NEF Supplier Network’. The network ensures that councils have information about the standards, practices and accreditations of installers working in their area reducing the risk of fraud, poor quality installations and the exploitation of vulnerable residents that the council is looking to assist via ECO Flexible Eligibility. For further information about the Network and guidance on how to register, suppliers should contact [email protected].
An LA officer (not a third party working on behalf of an LA) will be responsible for checking, and verifying evidence, and issuing declarations. For any general enquiries relating to this SoI please contact:
For enquiries related to West Northamptonshire
For enquiries related to North Northamptonshire
CEO or dedicated responsible person mandatory signature.
West Northamptonshire Council and North Northamptonshire Council will administer the ECO4 Flex scheme according to the Electricity and Gas (Energy Company Obligation) Order 2022 (ECO4 Order).
The council will administer Great British Insulation Scheme Flex according to the Electricity and Gas (Energy Company Obligation) Order 2023 (ECO4A Order).
The CEO or dedicated responsible person of the council will oversee the process of identifying eligible households under ECO Flex and Great British Insulation Scheme Flex. The council will notify Ofgem of households that declarations have been issued for via the declaration notification template.
All personal data collected or processed by West Northamptonshire Council and North Northamptonshire Council for the purposes of ECO4 Flex or Great British Insulation Scheme Flex will be processed and stored in accordance with: the council’s obligations under UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, the council’s data protection policy, the Information Commissioner’s Office Data Sharing Code and other guidance, and Department for Energy Security and Net Zero guidance.
Signature: Anna Earnshaw
Name: Anna Earnshaw
Job Title: CEO – West Northamptonshire Council
Date of signature: 23 August 2023
Signature: Iain M Smith
Name: Iain M Smith
Job Title: Assistant Director of Regulatory Services – North Northamptonshire Council
Date of signature: 16 August 2023
Apply through Better Housing Better Health (BHBH) who will check your eligibility.
BHBH are also available on 0800 107 0044.
If you are an installer and want to work with us, please email The National Energy Foundation at [email protected], who manage the installer network on our behalf.
Previous information and Statements of Intent about this scheme are available on Northants Warm Homes.
Last updated 29 August 2023