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How Can I Get The ECO & ECO+ Schemes For EWI?

The ECO & ECO+ schemes are the spiritual successors of the Green Homes Grant (GHG). The ECO scheme has been re-launched in 4 parts, with the latest ECO4 running from 1st April 2022 until 31st March 2026. However, the ECO Plus scheme is due to arrive in April 2023. In today’s blog, we will discuss what these schemes are and how they work with EWI Store.

What was the GHG and what did it achieve?

The Green Homes Grant was a government scheme designed to encourage people to make energy-efficiency improvements to their homes. It did so by offering a voucher to pay for up to 2/3 of the total cost of the improvements. For those on benefits, the grant could cover 100% of the cost, up to £10,000.

The scheme aimed to offer support to up to 600,00 homes. However, due to various issues, only a fraction of those homes were beneficiaries of the scheme. The £1.5bn allocated to the scheme was axed after just six months. Many people complained of the application process being too much hassle.

Thankfully, all of the money has not just disappeared. Around £300 million has been allocated to local councils which now distribute it to lower-income households for EPC improvements. However, the Green Homes Grant also covered improvements outside of external wall insulation. Therefore, with no direct replacement, double and triple glazing, energy-efficient doors, heat controls, draught proofing, and solar thermal panels have fallen by the wayside.

(Data accessed at

As shown in the graphs above, the take-up was not significant enough to constitute a successful scheme. However, solid wall insulation was the most popular option, as it has the largest impact. Heat loss through walls also takes up the largest slice of the pie at 35%.

The ECO & ECO+ schemes offer significant support, which we will discuss below.

What is the ECO scheme?

The Energy Company Obligation or ECO scheme tackles fuel poverty and helps to reduce carbon emissions. ECO4 works in the following way:

‘Under ECO, medium and larger energy suppliers fund the installation of energy efficiency measures in British households. Each obligated supplier has an overall target based on its share of the domestic energy market in Britain. The obligated energy suppliers work with installers to introduce certain efficiency measures into your homes, such as loft, floor or wall insulation, or heating measures.’ (

The whole scheme operates under the premise of placing a Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) on energy companies. As a result of the obligation, energy companies must make efforts to improve the energy efficiency situation of lower-income households. This manifests itself in the provision of various measures to improve households. We will discuss how external wall insulation fits into this later.

To qualify for this grant, you must be in one of these qualifying groups:

  • Pension credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA)
  • Income support
  • Housing benefit
  • Child benefit
  • Tax credits (child or working tax credit)

    The crucial part of the project is that it focuses on some of the worst-insulated houses in the UK. Your property needs to be in EPC bands D, E, F, or G to qualify for the grants. This is a concerted effort by the UK Government as the UK housing stock loses heat up to three times faster than homes in Europe. The whole state of the UK housing stock is fairly concerning in comparison to Europe; Norway has all but fully decarbonised, whilst France’s France Rénov provides a dearth of free services related to energy efficiency.

    What is the ECO+ scheme?

    The ECO+ scheme is precisely that; an addition to the standard ECO scheme. The Plus grant allows middle-earners in extremely low energy-efficient housing to improve their situation. The initiative is due to start in April 2023 and can cover costs of up to £15,000. Running in tandem with the ECO4 grants, the aim is to reduce the UK’s energy usage by 15% by 2030. All of this feeds into the overarching aim of the UK Government to achieve net zero by 2050. Currently, the initiative is scheduled to run for 3 years and targets a benchmark of 70,000 homes.

    Unsurprisingly, the industry response is tempered based on the relatively unsuccessful advent of the GHG:

    ‘I welcome any move to improve the UK’s leaky and draughty homes and make them cheaper to heat. ECO+ is a step in the right direction, targeting a much wider section of homeowners, but it must not be considered a ‘job done’ by the government. I’m also cautious about the rollout of the scheme; consultation with industry is non-negotiable, to avoid a repeat of failures of the Green Homes Grant scheme and we must ensure that installation is of the highest quality. Ultimately, to give homeowners and the industry confidence, we need a broader whole-house approach to retrofit, rather than a piecemeal policy.’ (Brian Berry from the Federation of Master Builders)

    ECO+ will cover a large range of insulation, particularly the low-cost forms:

    • loft insulation
    • pitched roof insulation
    • flat roof insulation
    • under floor insulation
    • solid floor insulation
    • park home insulation
    • room-in-roof insulation
    • secondary heating controls
    • cavity wall insulation
    • solid wall insulation (both external and internal)

      ECO+ and external wall insulation

      In the context of all the forms of insulation, external wall insulation is the most expensive. However, it does impact the energy efficiency of your house the most. If you consider the total area of your walls, then you can understand why 35% of heat loss is through walls. Therefore, tackling this issue first would be the most beneficial. EWI can cause issues when being installed as it is a more difficult process, however, it will not reduce floor space as internal wall insulation can. The benefit of external wall insulation is that you can also improve the façade of your property at the same time. The best solution we offer is a Silicone Render finish, which is hydrophobic, crack-proof, and tinted to any colour. As a result, you have full control of the final finish.

      The integration of the voucher goes through the actual initiatives. You submit all your information about the project, and the value of the voucher is then transferred directly to the installer. Therefore, you can deal with your supplier and installer in the same way.

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