In February 2017 we urged you to check if you qualified for an oil boiler grant under the current ECO scheme, of which the Affordable Warmth Scheme is part. The government had advised that the scheme was ending on 31st March 2017. However, the government has now indicated that there are plans to extend it in a different format for 18 months to September 2018.
This will be a transitional period before the Fuel Poverty Obligation is introduced, which will run for a further four years. The part of the new scheme, replacing Affordable Warmth will probably be known as Help to Heat.
It must be stressed that the information provided below is based on current government proposals and is subject to change before implementation.
About the Help to Heat Scheme
The Help to Heat Scheme will have similar goals to the current Affordable Warmth Scheme but there will be some important changes, including the following:
- There will be a greater emphasis on fuel poverty which should increase the number of households who qualify for a heating grant.
- There will be a transition period from 1st April 2017 to give time to decide the exact details of the new Fuel Poverty Obligation which is due to start in September 2018 and last until 2022.
- The amount of funding will fall from £870m for the last year of the ECO Scheme to £640m per year in the 18 month transition period whilst the amount directed to Affordable Warmth and alleviating fuel poverty will be increased.
- The need for an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) will be removed for applications from householders. The results of the EPC are currently used to calculate the amount of the grant.
- The new grant calculation will be based on the carbon saving or cost saving achieved by upgrading the heating system. To simplify this, a deemed score for each applicant will be based on the type of house, how many bedrooms it has, the type of fuel it uses and the proposed energy efficiency measure to be installed.
- It will be made easier for householders in social housing to qualify for a grant, by including social housing with an EPC rating of E, F or G.
- The total amount of funding for gas boiler replacement will be capped.
- The Help to Heat Scheme will apply to England and Wales but the Scottish Parliament will be able to introduce their own scheme if they wish.
Click Here for full details of the Help to Heat scheme. If you don’t currently satisfy the criteria for a grant, you may do so once the new scheme comes into being as more households are expected to qualify.
Source: Affordable Warmth Scheme
To help with the cost of your heating oil, Barton Petroleum offer a payment plan enabling you to spread the cost rather than having to make a large one-off payment. Click here for information on paying for your heating oil with a Monthly Budget Payment Plan.