Replacing an aging boiler is a difficult task for all households, but when you are the only person earning an income or you are on benefits, the cost could be prohibitive. This could mean that your children may be left without heating in your home – a situation which is never ideal. Thankfully there are some schemes available which are there to help out single parents when it comes to buying a new boiler.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
The government has insisted that energy companies offer an ECO scheme which is designed to help low income families with improvements which could lower their energy bills. This includes boilers (up to 100% of the cost) if the following criteria is met:
- The old boiler must be more than ten years old and the new boiler must be “A” rated and installed by a Gas Safe installer registered under the ECO scheme.
- You own your own home or are a private tenant (with the landlords permission).
- You must be receiving a benefit such as Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit (with a low income), Income support or Job seekers allowance.
- If you are on a benefit you must also have a child under 16 or 20 and in full time education, receive Child Tax Credit with the disability element, receive a Disabled Child Premium or be disabled yourself and receiving the Disability Premium.
You may not qualify for the full 100% payment, but you could be eligible for help towards the cost due to your income. Try an online calculator to see if you qualify on a website where you can be helped with the application process. Usually this is free and a simple way to get what you deserve.
If you don’t qualify for the ECO your should consider the Green Deal. This is a relatively low cost loan for home improvements such as boilers. You will be expected to pay the loan back through your energy bills, but the payments will be lower than the savings you will make.
You should always look into other loan options before signing up to the Green Deal as you may be able to get a better deal by going directly to installation companies, energy companies or by getting a bank loan.
Some energy companies still offer scrappage deals where they will give you cash back on your old boiler. This can sometimes give you a few hundred pounds off the cost of your boiler and installation. Make sure that you shop around for these deals as there are often extras involved and they are not always the cheapest way to go.