Barrow in Furness residents can now access Energy Company Obligation grants to upgrade their heating or insulation. In this article, we provide an update on the grants available to Barrow in Furness residents as of 2023. We will look at what grants are on offer and what you could get.
What grants are available in Barrow in Furness?
The Government’s Energy Company Obligation scheme is now open to all Barrow in Furness residents, and because Barrow Council have broadened the eligibility criteria more residents can access the scheme.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme provides funding for households to improve their home’s energy efficiency. It is a Government scheme that obligates energy companies to fund improvements to energy inefficient homes.
For the properties that qualify the scheme is very generous! Eligible homeowners can access insulation, ventilation, upgraded heating and in some cases the installation of a heat pump or solar panels. Additionally, if you aren’t eligible for an ECO4 grant you can register interest in ECO+ which is a new Government scheme that is expected to launch later in 2023.
What’s changed for 2023?
The big change that will impact access to grants in 2023 is that on 14th September 2022 Barrow Council published their Statement of Intent. By publishing this document, more households can access funding from within the Council area. Before the Statement of Intent was published applications could only be submitted where households were in receipt of benefits. However, now that Barrow Council has published their Statement of Intent, applications can come from a wider range of applicants through a pathway called ECO4 Flex.
Direct route (benefits eligibility): Customers can qualify for ECO4 grants if they live in energy inefficient housing and are in receipt of certain benefits.
Council route (ECO4 Flex eligibility): Customers can qualify for ECO4 grants if they live in energy inefficient housing and are vulnerable, have a low-income or if they have a health condition made worse by living in a cold home.
The Statement of Intent can be viewed at
Because the Council has published this information, households in Barrow can apply through all of the possible pathways to qualify. This means more residents will be able to access funding.
What does Barrow in Furness Council say about the grants?
The Council writes that “The Council welcomes the introduction of the ECO4 Flex eligibility routes as it helps the Council achieve its plans to improve the homes of those in fuel poverty or vulnerable to the cold.”
Councillor Ann Thomson, the leader of Barrow Borough Council says
“We know that fuel poverty is a serious and worrying issue for many people across the borough. Increasing fuel costs are impacting heavily upon household finances but there’s also the unacceptable cost to people’s physical and mental wellbeing,” she added.
“This scheme will help many of our residents to improve the energy efficiency of their homes so they are warmer while helping to keep their energy bills under control.”
What involvement does Barrow in Furness Council have?
Barrow Council’s only involvement in the scheme is to check that the householder meets the qualifying criteria and to issue a declaration of eligibility to the Registered Installer. The Council is not responsible for determining property eligibility, awarding funding, appointing a contractor or installing the grants.
You should apply with a Registered Installer that has access to funding (like us here at Eco Providers) and then the Installer will arrange the declaration from the council on your behalf.
Eligibility criteria for grants
Properties need to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or or G to qualify. Properties with a D rating can also qualify but currently most energy companies are only accepting properties with an E Rating or lower. For properties that don’t have an EPC, the easiest option is to first apply with the installer as the installer will arrange it as part of the application process.
Household eligibility (claiming benefits)
If you claim one of the following benefits you will qualify. There are no income requirements with these benefits and you don’t need to be currently claiming (you do need to have claimed within a year of the installation).
- ESA (income-based)
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- JSA (income-based)
- Pension Credit(Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit)
- Universal Credit
- Tax Credits (Child TaxCredit and Working Tax Credit)
Housing eligibility (claiming Child Benefit)
If you only claim Child Benefit your household will have to have annual income that is not more than the following:
Single parents with
- child: £19,900
- children: £24,800
- children: £29,600
- or more children: £34,500
- child: £27,500
- children: £32,300
- children: £37,200
- or more children: £42,000
Household eligibility (income-based eligibility)
Households with an annual income of less than £31,000 are eligible for funding. You’ll be asked for payslips and evidence of income to apply through this route.
Household eligibility (vulnerable households eligibility)
To qualify through the vulnerable route you’ll need to meet two of the criteria below (1 and 5 cannot be used together):
- You live in a deprived area
- You receive Council Tax rebate (based on income and excludes singleperson rebates)
- You are classed as vulnerable based on the National Institute forHealth and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance
- You receive free school meals because of your income
- You have received support from a Barrow Council scheme that specifically targets low income and vulnerable households
- You have been referred to Barrow council for support by their energy supplier or Citizen’s Advice, because you have been struggling to pay your energy bills
Household eligibility (health-related eligibility)
Health conditions that qualify include cardiovascular, respiratory, immunosuppressed, or mobility related issues
Types of grants available
- Non-condensing boiler upgrade grants
- Storage heater upgrades
- First time central heating as gas central heating (you’ll need a gas connection that was installed prior to 31 March 2021)
- First time central heating system with a heat pump
- Loft, roof or room in roof insulation
- Solar PV (electric properties only)
- Wall insulation (internal or cavity wall)
How to apply for a grant in Barrow in Furness
Here’s what you need to do in order to apply for a grant in Barrow in Furness:
- Step one – apply for a grant with a Registered Installer that has access to funding
- Step two – the installer will advise regarding what types of grants you can access
- Step three – If the installer thinks you meet eligibility requirements, then it’s time to move onto gathering all necessary documentation (for example, energy bills and proof of eligibility)
- Step four – your installation will be arranged for a convenient time (usually within a few weeks of all the documentation being provided)
In conclusion, the Energy Company Obligation grants will be very generous for the Barrow in Furness residents that do qualify. Residents can apply straight away to start upgrading their home heating and insulation, with the chance to save on energy bills and make their home more comfortable. If you are unsure about what the scheme involves, or if you have specific questions about your eligibility, please do get in touch.