New survey casts doubt on effectiveness of Government-backed ECO Boiler Grant scheme

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A new survey of over 50,000 people who have applied for the Government’s Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) Boiler Grant Scheme has shown that almost half of them failed to receive a new boiler – despite them being eligible.

The survey, carried out by www.boilergrants.co.uk, found that the majority of applicants to the scheme saved £200 per year. 53% of respondents said they had a boiler replaced successfully and were very pleased with the savings as well as the quality of their new boiler.

However, that leaves 47% of respondents who were eligible for a new boiler under the ECO scheme but failed to receive one.

Some said they had their appointments cancelled just before the start of winter without any explanation, while others were unable to meet their financial contributions: 8% had to pay in excess of £500 for remedial work like boiler relocation and changes to the flue and chimney.

The survey found that these financial contributions, and the lack of communication from installers, made many applicants doubtful as to the effectiveness and integrity of the scheme.

The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme was set up in 2013 to help UK households lower their energy bills by becoming more energy efficient. As the name suggests, under the scheme energy companies like like British Gas, EDF Energy and Scottish Power have an obligation to take part and provide support and funding to help low-income families in the UK to save money by using fuel in their homes more efficiently.

The ECO scheme replaced the previous Warm Front scheme which ended in January 2013, and is due to end in March 2017.  To see if you are eligible to receive financial help under the ECO scheme, visit the boilergrants.co.uk site now.

In announcing the findings of the survey, Holmes Media’s MD David Holmes said “Whilst the level of energy savings are encouraging it’s clear that many applicants were unable to proceed due to the requirement of a financial contribution, the topping up of grants became almost a necessity following the watering down of ECO in 2014.

“Many of our applicants are vulnerable and low income households and simply cannot afford to proceed. If the Government is serious about tackling climate change and fuel poverty we need a sustainable and dependable scheme that helps those who need it most and ensures industry stability in the delivery of measures.”