Making ECO flex work for you

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The Energy Company Obligation Flexible Eligibility (known as ECO flex or ECOII Transition) scheme is a new Government initiative to allow more people to benefit from energy company grants.

These grants can go towards insulation and heating measures including cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, replacement oil boilers, and new gas central heating systems. It intends to help those who are not necessarily in receipt of means-tested benefits but are living on low income and are vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home. 

BHBH has worked alongside local authorities in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire to agree terms and conditions around these flexible criteria to benefit those most in need and those who have previously missed out. Please note, if you are not an Oxfordshire or Buckinghamshire resident, please contact your local authority directly as they are likely to have slightly different flexibility criteria. Eligible households are defined as those who meet both the first criteria, related to income, and who meet one criteria from the different categories which compose the second group.

First eligibility criteria

Low income is assessed against the values in the table below. Please note, that these values are accurate for the summer of 2017 but may change over time in line with inflation and other factors.

Second eligibility criteria

The second eligibility criteria are split four into categories: health; age; house characteristics; and confirmed as eligible by BHBH. 

Health

Health can be a major factor in how much heat is required in a property. Therefore health criteria will be important in assessing flexible eligibility. A household with a full-time resident who has one of the following long term and chronic health conditions will qualify:

• Cardiovascular condition (i.e. coronary heart disease or stroke)

• Respiratory disease (i.e. COPD and childhood asthma)

• Cancer

• Diabetes

A substantial and permanent disability and is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, or Personal Independence Payment

Age

Age can also be a factor in how much heat is required to achieve affordable warmth, with older residents being particularly adversely affected. A household is therefore eligible if it has a full-time resident who is:

• aged 60 or over

Property Characteristics

Some homes have characteristics that mean that they inevitably have high energy consumption. Very inefficient properties, which are generally older and which have not already been upgraded are, therefore, likely to be occupied by people on low incomes who also have high costs. Therefore, a household is suitable where an EPC has been completed and:

• The property has an EPC banding of F or G.

Confirmed eligible by BHBH

If you meet the income-related criteria by not any of the second, do not worry. At BHBH we want to expand these categories even further to allow the maximum amount of households to benefit from ECO funding. Therefore, any household where residents are on a low income and where a full-time resident is also confirmed eligible via the Affordable Warmth Helpline will qualify for funding. At the moment we’re including a broad range of criteria including children under 5 living full time at the property, resident having mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, and physical health issues beyond what is mentioned above (i.e. arthritis).

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