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Home energy help for residents

National support schemes

The Government announced more schemes to provide certain households with help towards their energy costs.

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Scheme

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme is a national Government scheme aimed at improving the energy efficiency of eligible domestic properties to help reduce both fuel poverty levels and carbon emissions.

Households eligible to apply include people who are:

  • in receipt of qualifying benefits
  • classed as living on a low income and are vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home (with a property Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of Band D, E, F or G).

The full eligibility criteria can be found in our Statement of Intent (PDF, 160KB).

ECO is currently in it’s fourth phase and is referred to as ECO4. It is administered by Ofgem and led by the private sector. It will run until March 2026.

There are two strands to ECO4:

  • Residents in receipt of qualifying benefits should contact their energy provider or one of the obligated energy companies' will be able to assess their eligibility to the scheme. Residents do not need to be a customer of the energy company to apply to them.
  • Residents who are not in receipt of qualifying benefits but do meet the eligibility criteria set out in our Statement of Intent (PDF, 160KB) can apply via our ECO Flexible Eligibility route, otherwise referred to as ECO4 Flex.

ECO4 Flex

We are currently going through the process of appointing an ECO4 installer. Residents who feel they meet one of the eligibility routes can register their interest in the scheme. Once we have appointed a contractor, we will then contact all residents who have expressed an interest.

Register for the scheme

Note to ECO4 Flex installers: We are not currently on-boarding any additional installers. We have been inundated with expressions of interest and will be contacting each installer with an update.

Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS)

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme opened in April 2023 and will run until 2025. There is £4.5m available in grant funding for the installation of heat pumps and biomass boilers for both domestic and non-domestic properties, as part of the Government’s efforts to decarbonise heat in buildings.

The scheme is administered by Ofgem on behalf of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The grant provides upfront capital:

  • £5,000 off the cost of installing a heat pump
  • £5,000 off the cost of installing a biomass boiler
  • £6,000 off the cost of installing ground source heat pumps (including water source heat pumps)

More information for property owners can be found on the Ofgem website.

Priority Services Register

The Priority Services Register is an industry-wide free support service that offers additional help to people in vulnerable situations. Energy suppliers and Network Operators both keep registers.

There are many benefits to registering, such as getting priority support with heating and cooking facilities if your supply is cut off, get advanced notice of power cuts and an identification and password scheme if you need to be contacted or are expecting a home visit.

You are eligible to join the priority services register if you:

  • are of pensionable age
  • have young children under 5
  • are living with a long-term health condition
  • rely on electrical medical equipment
  • have reduced mobility
  • are visually impaired
  • have extra communication needs (such as if you don’t speak or read English well)
  • have poor or no sense of smell
  • would struggle to answer the door or get help in an emergency.

Contact your energy supplier to find out more and to register. If your gas and electricity is provided by different energy companies, you will need to contact both.

Your energy supplier can notify your Network Operators on your behalf. In Cheshire West, the Network Operators are SP Energy Networks (electricity) and Cadent (gas).

A similar service is offered by water companies in Cheshire West; United Utilities and Dee Valley Water. For more information on what support is available, visit your water company website:

Government Retrofit Advice Service

If you're a property owner, you can use this service to see what recommendations may be suitable for your property to help make it cheaper to heat and keep warm. For each recommendation you will be provided with an estimate of how much the improvement will cost, how much you could save on bills and what the next steps would be if you decide to make the improvement.

More information about this service can be found on the Gov.UK website.