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What is the Energy Company Obligation?

The Energy Company Obligation’s (ECO) purpose is to reduce carbon emissions and energy demand across UK homes. As a result, it aims to tackle fuel poverty, optimise homeowners’ utility bills and reduce the overall cost of living. 

ECO funding will support the installation of energy-saving measures in around 500,000 homes.

ECO4 Scheme

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) currently in phase 4, is a government-driven energy efficiency initiative for UK homes. Energy companies are obliged to deliver improvements in energy efficiency measures to residential properties. ECO4 measures commenced in April 2022 and will run until the end of March 2026. 

For more information about ECO4 category homes and the minimum requirements to be eligible for ECO4 measures, visit our ECO4 grant page.

 

Great British Insulation Scheme

ECO+ is has been launched as The Great British Insulation Scheme

GBIS is a broadening of the ongoing ECO4 scheme, designed to support more vulnerable households with required energy efficiency measures as early as possible.

The Great British Insulation Scheme will support these households to cut annual bills by an average of £310

It is the latest government measure in a series of £6.6 billion Help to Heat energy schemes. £1 billion of funding is allocated to the Great British Insulation Scheme to treat hundreds of thousands of homes with new insulation and heating repair work.

In addition to this, £18 million will be invested in an expansion of the Help for Households campaign, offering public advice and support on how all households can benefit from energy savings and reduced energy bills by implementing simple measures at home.

GBIS (ECO+) vs ECO4 – What’s the difference?

Like GBIS, ECO4 is a government scheme designed to support the improvement of energy efficiency in low-income homes. 

At this time, the ECO4 grant scheme is open for applications (as of February 2023.) GBIS is now live.

ECO4 is the fourth stage of the government’s Energy Company Obligation and was launched in April 2022. Those on qualifying benefits can apply to receive whole house retrofit support, funded by their energy suppliers.

Eligible ECO4 residents include homeowners, private tenants and individuals receiving income-related benefits, such as:

Child Tax Credits

Child Benefits

Housing Benefits

Pension Credit Saving Benefits

Income-based Jobseekers Allowance

Carers Allowance

Key differences between GBIS and ECO4

Eligibility

GBIS is fully committed to vulnerable households (with an EPC rating of D or below and in a lower council tax band,) who do not benefit from any current government support schemes.


ECO4 is specifically committed to low-income households receiving government benefits like those listed above.

Energy Efficiency Improvements

GBIS is aimed at improving energy efficiency in as many houses as possible as soon as possible, concentrating its efforts on wall and loft insulation, at very little cost to the homeowner.


ECO4 is a whole-house retrofit scheme covering both installation and heating equipment.

Availability

GBIS is now live and will run until March 2026.


ECO4 launched in February 2023 and is currently open for applications.

Check your eligibility for ECO funding

To assess your household eligibility for The Great British Insulation Scheme or ECO4, speak to a member of the Residential Energy Services team today.

FAQs
Who is eligible for GBIS?

Household eligibility for ECO scheme funding will be split into two groups:

Low Income group – The first priority low-income group will retain the eligibility requirements as ECO4. Under GBIS, suppliers are required to deliver at least 20% of their annual GBIS targets to the low-income eligibility group.

General group – This group will include all homes in Council Tax bands A-D in England, A-E in Scotland and A-C in Wales with an EPC of D or below and will account for up to 80% of total GBIS spending.

The government’s aim is to get all homes to an EPC rating of C or above by 2035.

(Private rented homes are only eligible for higher cost measures. Cavity wall insulation and loft insulation are excluded from eligible measures and homes must fall outside Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations.)

How much money could I save with GBIS?

While cavity wall insulation and loft insulation are among the cheapest energy efficient measures, they are in fact two of the most effective measures in reducing energy bills. 

Under GBIS measures, you could save around £310 a year on your energy bills.

Based on England, Scotland and Wales costings, loft insulation in a semi-detached house can save home owners £355 a year.

Cavity wall insulation in a typical semi-detached house can create savings of £395 a year.

How long does it take to get a Great British Insulation Scheme grant?

The UK government is implementing GBIS in order to improve energy efficient measures in lower income households and get more people living in energy efficient homes as quickly as possible.

While detailed instructions on how to apply are still under review, we expect to see a straightforward application process via your energy suppliers in the coming weeks, all of which we will explain in full on the Residential Energy Services website.

For details on how to apply for Great British Insulation Scheme support via your energy supplier, follow Residential Energy Services for the latest updates and announcements.

Still have questions?

If you cant find the answers you’re looking for here, please contact us.