Energy company obligation

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government energy efficiency scheme to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty.

What is ECO?

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government energy efficiency scheme.

It aims to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty by improving the energy efficiency of homes occupied by low income, fuel poor and vulnerable households.

The scheme is currently in its fourth round and hence known as ‘ECO4’.


Who funds ECO4?

ECO is funded by the energy supply companies (not the Council) and delivered by private installer firms.

Installers must be TrustMark accredited and work to PAS 2035 guidelines (a government-approved quality standard for the retrofit and energy efficiency sector).


What is the Council’s role?

The Council’s role is to assess the eligibility of households that installers have nominated for energy efficiency measures. We are not involved in, or responsible for, issuing the funding, appointing contractors or installing the works.

‘ECO4 Flex’ is the route through which local authorities can verify the eligibility of households under the criteria set out below.


What improvements could I qualify for?

Your chosen installer(s) will carry out a survey and identify improvements suitable for your property.

If eligible, you could qualify for any of the improvements listed below. This is not the full list and other improvements might be available depending on the installer.

  • Insulation (for example: loft, pitched roof, flat roof, room-in-roof, cavity wall, external wall, internal wall, floor)
  • Low carbon heating (for example: air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, energy-efficient boilers, heating controls, electric storage heaters)
  • Solar PV panels
  • High performance external doors
  • Window glazing (only to upgrade from single to double glazing)
  • Draught proofing.


Am I eligible?

ECO funding is only available for private owner occupiers whose property has an energy performance rating of D, E, F or G and private rented tenants whose property has an energy performance rating of E, F or G.

If you rent from a private landlord, you will also need the owner’s permission to do the work.

You can check your home’s rating online via the government’s energy performance certificate register. If it doesn’t currently have a rating, that can be assessed by the installer as part of the application process.

If you are in receipt of one of certain means-tested benefits and live in a property with a low energy efficiency rating, then you can apply directly through an energy supplier.

The qualifying benefits are as follows:

  • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit or Savings Credit)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Child Benefit (subject to an income cap)
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit.


What if I don’t receive a qualifying benefit?

If you don’t receive a qualifying benefit, you might still qualify through ECO’s flexible eligibility mechanism, known as ECO4 Flex.

The criteria for this focus on income and health and are set out in our ECO4 Flex Statement of Intent. 

The Council verifies the additional qualification criteria through evidence provided by the householder to the installer that they meet the specified criteria.

We provide verification of eligibility declarations to private installation companies working in our area.

To be assessed for ECO4 Flex, you must complete and sign a short application form provided by an installer.

The installer then submits it to the Council, along with supporting documents, such as proof of income, for determining eligibility.

You cannot send the application form directly to us. We will only accept applications from an installer.

Once we have confirmed eligibility, we will send the installer a written declaration that a household qualifies. The installer then passes this on to an energy supplier, along with whatever supporting evidence is requested by the supplier.

We charge an administration fee of £55 to the installer for each address they ask us to assess. This charge covers our checking, processing and approval procedures and is paid by the installer.

An installer should not charge you as a household.


How do I find an installer?

You are responsible for choosing an installer and carrying out checks to ensure you are satisfied with the installation company. The installer must be TrustMark registered.

You can find a TrustMark-registered installer by contacting either:


  • One of the participating installers, details of which can be found via the TrustMark website.

The installer, working on behalf of the energy supplier, will decide what level of support and type of improvements are appropriate for your home.

We recommend that you request to see their company ID, plus their name and contact details, when they visit your property. This will help you to check on the status of your application after they leave.

The Council will not have access to this information.


What else will I need to check?

It is your responsibility to carry out the following checks:

  • Will you need planning permission or building regulations approval? Certain types of insulation such as external wall insulation might need approval and as a homeowner/landlord it will be your responsibility to apply for this.
  • Find out if the installer is a member of a competent person scheme related to electrical or insulation work, such as the MCS, NICEIC, CIGA or Stroma schemes. If they are, then they will be able to self-certify their work, rather than needing to get building regulations approval from the Council.
  • Make sure they are Gas Safe registered. By law all engineers installing gas boilers must be on the Gas Safe Register.
  • Check if they provide any guarantees or warranties for the installation, and make sure you are provided with these and any other associated paperwork upon completion of the work.


What if I am not happy with the installation?

Initial complaints about an installation should firstly be made to the company who installed the measure. If problems persist, you should contact Citizens Advice Consumer Services for free impartial advice.


Who administers ECO?

Ofgem administers the scheme on behalf of the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ).

Ofgem’s duties include allocating targets to obligated suppliers, monitoring supplier progress and deciding whether they’ve achieved their obligations.

Ofgem is also responsible for reporting to the Secretary of State, auditing, ensuring compliance, and preventing and detecting fraud. DESNZ sets the overall policy for the ECO scheme.


Information for installers

Are you interested in providing energy efficiency improvements under this scheme? 

If yes, please email the Warm & Well service ( to request our ECO4 Flex installer registration form, data sharing agreement and related information.

Please note that the Council will not recommend or endorse specific installers.


ECO4 Flex Statement of Intent

Our current ECO4 Flexible Eligibility Statement of Intent, is available to download and view below:

The ECO4 statement below has been withdrawn: