Can I get a grant to pay for my boiler?

Can I get a grant to pay for my boiler?
- By Justin Elliott

Unfortunately grants for boilers are few and far between these days. There was a time when many energy companies and councils offered all kinds of schemes, including Warm Front designed to help people buy a boiler when theirs needed replacing and various scrappage schemes. These schemes now no longer exist. However, there are some options.

The Green Deal

While this has been less successful than the government had perhaps hoped, it is still a viable way to get a boiler without needing to pay up front. It involves taking out a loan which is backed by the government. The payments are made via your now lowered energy bills. Anyone who gets a Green Deal assessment (an essential part of applying for the scheme) is also eligible for a cashback towards the cost of the improvement they choose. This may make the 7% loan rate more worthwhile.

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

Despite energy companies trying to reduce the amount of this which is reflected on our energy bills, the ECO still forms an important part of the ways energy companies help those in fuel poverty. It involves the energy company giving away money for various home improvements, including new boilers.

The criteria depends on the company and the offer, but is certainly available to people on benefits and elderly. Your boiler also needs to be at least 7 years old and your new boiler must be “A” rated and installed by a Gas Safe installer operating under the grants scheme. You may also need to make a contribution to the cost.

Home heating top-ups

Those homes where people are struggling to pay for their bills may be eligible for a Warm Home Discount. This is £135 paid as a once a year top up for those households. It could conceivably be used to go towards a new boiler. Other similar schemes include the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment however these are designed as top ups for those people who struggle to pay their bills.

Other options

You may wish to use some of the many payment schemes available for getting a new boiler. These are available from installers, manufacturers and energy companies and involve taking out finance and will depend on your credit rating. These can be high in interest rates and need to be looked at carefully.

Credit cards and personal loans may also be reasonable options if you do not qualify for any of the above.