ECO3 - The Energy Company Obligation In Hartlepool, County Durham

Under the Governments ECO Scheme in 2021, qualifying homeowners in Hartlepool could have their old inefficient boilers replaced completely free of charge or  at least heavily subsidised alongside several other measures.

Hartlepool Marina National Museum Ship - Hartlepool Homeowners could benefit from the ECO3 scheme

What is the Government’s ECO3 Scheme?

The Government’s Free Boiler scheme is officially called ECO3, which stands for Energy Company Obligation. The leading energy companies in the UK have to pay some of their profits back into UK households in the form of energy saving measures in an attempt for the UK Government to reach it’s goals in becoming Net Carbon Zero by 2050. The main part of the scheme, and the part that most people apply for is the Free Boiler. This isn’t the only thing you can apply for though, most people are also entitled to Free Insulation measures such as Cavity Wall, External Wall and Loft Insulation too. We’ve listed the measures you can apply for below. In short, ECO3 allows Hartlepool Homeowners to apply for funding that covers the cost and installation of a free boiler replacement.

What’s Included in the ECO3 Scheme?

The scheme has been nicknamed the ‘Free Boiler Scheme’ because the main home improvement measure installed is a free boiler replacement where you can swap out your old efficient boiler for a new ‘A’ rated one instead. This isn’t all you can access funding for though. The scheme covers heat generation and heat retention, which basically means something that makes heat or something that keeps heat in the home. Typically you’d have to be looking for one thing from each category. For example if you’re wanting a new boiler, we’d try to also install or renew your cavity wall insulation.

Heat Generation Measures

Free Boiler Replacement

If your current boiler is over 6 years old, you could benefit from having a brand new, ‘A’ rated boiler installed. The new boiler will be more efficient, needing less gas to heat the same amount of water. We install Combi Boilers from Ideal, the exact model will depend on the size of your property and your heating needs. If you currently have a Regular boiler, which means you’ve got the water tank in an airing cupboard and water tanks in the loft, we’ll remove those too when we swap your boiler over, so you’ll have more storage space too!


Free First Time Central Heating (The boiler, radiators and all pipework)

This grant is like the free boiler grant, but it includes everything. You’ll receive the boiler, the radiators and the pipework for free. Under First Time Central heating we’re required by the government to install ‘low temperature’ central heating systems. What this means is that the radiators are built to better emit heat, and as a result of that your rooms will warm quicker. Typically radiators would usually be heated with water between 80-90 degrees, where low temperature radiators operate closer to 50 degrees instead, giving the same heat performance but requiring less fuel to heat. 


Free Electric Storage Heaters

If your home is currently heated with electric storage heaters or space heaters, then chances are your electricity bill is huge. Under ECO3 you can also have the cost covered of replacing all of your heaters with newer, energy efficient models. This is perfect for off-gas homes. If your home is close to a gas supply though, you could really benefit from having the first time central heating instead as it’ll work out more efficient, cheaper and the heating will be spread around the home, limiting damp forming in unused rooms. 


Free Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps take warmth from the air outside, compress it, and use the heat to warm your home. They’re considered a low carbon solution to home heating and can store warm water for bathing and showering too. Bare in mind though that Air Source Heat Pumps will only work efficiently if your home has excellent insulation measures already installed – so be sure to claim for those with your ECO3 funding too!


Free Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground source heat pumps work much the same way as air source, but they utilise heat from the ground instead of the air. They can be slightly more efficient than air source pumps, as the ground is typically warmer than the air, however there’s a lot more work that goes into installing them as they must be placed underground. Typically they’d be installed on new builds as it’s planned into the construction rather than be retrofitted to an existing property. 

Heat Retention Measures

Cavity Wall Insulation

Most homes built in the last 80 years are all constructed with Cavity Walls. This means there’s an outer layer of bricks and an inner layer, periodically tied together with metal rods between the cement. This leaves a layer of air between the bricks which acts as a barrier against the elements to stop water seeping through the brickwork, however heat can still escape. By filling this cavity with insulation you keep your heat inside and the cold outside. Under ECO3 you can claim the funding for this insulation, we install small beads that help retain heat in tiny pockets of air between them – one of the best performance insulation measures. 


External Wall Insulation

External wall insulation is for Solid Wall construction. On older houses, if you can see the brickwork then you’ll notice a pattern of half blocks. There’s two layers of bricks here again, however they’re placed next to each other with alternating bricks laid between to keep the layers stable and connected. Over time cracks form in the cement due to temperature changes and weather, which then allows water to drip through and onto the wall inside your home. They’re also bad thermally, as the bricks are all contacting each other across layers which lets heat dissipate through the brickwork. 

External wall insulation is added to the outside of the wall. Wooden frames are attached to the brickwork, where insulation is then fitted. This is all then covered and rendered over to make it waterproof. The added insulation keeps the heat in your home and your bricks and stops it escaping from the bricks to the air outside. 


Loft Insulation

Warm air rises, and if your loft isn’t insulated then the heat can escape through your ceiling and then the roof. By installing loft insulation you create a barrier that stops your roof space absorbing the heat and all the warmth from your central heating being lost between roof tiles. 


Under Floor Insulation

Like the roof and the walls, you can lose heat through the floor. Suspended floors have the foundation of the house, then some space and then the floor joists. Kind of like a sideways cavity wall. The space between your joists can be insulated so your floor doesn’t absorb the warmth from your rooms and then lose it to the cold under the house. 



How can Hartlepool Homeowners Qualify for the ECO3 Scheme?

ECO 3 is all about helping the worst off UK homes lower the running costs of their home by reducing the amount of energy they need and ensuring the home retains its heat more efficiently. The average household income for Hartlepool is in the £11,000 – £26,000 bracket, the second lowest income bracket there is. This means that there’s a large chunk of Hartlepool Homeowners that should be able to qualify for ECO3 if they receive government benefits such as Universal Credit or Pensions Credit – we’ve listed the full eligibility criteria below.

To receive funding, you’ll have to apply to a company like Borthwick Heating. This is because the top Energy Providers in the UK have to pay some of their profits back into the homes of the UK population. They do this by signing contracts with businesses that can supply and fit the home improvement measures. We’re one of these companies, and you don’t have to be with any particular energy provider – we get assigned a certain amount of funding when we take on new contracts and we have to fit a specific amount of measures with that funding within a certain timeframe.


What is the Eligibility Criteria for ECO3? 

To qualify for ECO3 funding, Hartlepool Homeowners must be in receipt of a Government Credit or Benefit including:

  • Tax Credits
  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credits
  • ESA
  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers (JSA)
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
  • Carers Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • or Industrial Injuries Allowance

If you do not receive any of these benefits you may still qualify for funding through Hartlepool’s LA Flex instead, which is an alternative route into the funding. Learn more about LA Flex here.


How Do I Apply and What Happens Next?

Appling or funding is easy, you can find the application form here, or you can simply click one of the ‘Apply Now’ buttons at the top or bottom of this page. After you apply, your details go through to our admin team who double check your information and check that you are the homeowner, as well as try to work out what other measures you may be entitled to. Once they’ve got it all worked out they’ll then give you a call to schedule a surveyor to inspect the property.

After the surveyor’s been, we’ve then got the evidence we need and we’ll book a team of installers to come and fit your measures. After that there’s nothing else to do from your side, but if you’ve got any time we appreciate reviews on Trust pilot and Google!


Apply For FREE ECO3 Funding Hartlepool

If you have any questions about our ECO3 Grants get in touch with us by phone T: 01429 296222 or email: here at Borthwick Heating today. Our professionals will guide you through the process while offering advice on how you can start the boiler grant process with us or please start your application online by using the button below.

Borthwick Heating Inuslation UK is a trading style of Borthwick Group (Energy) Limited Registered in England & Wales| Company No. 06753929 

Borthwick Heating & Insulation are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We are a Credit Broker and not a lender. We offer Credit Facilities from a panel of lenders. Borthwick Group (Energy) Limited is the full legal and registered trading name of all activities that advertise themselves as Borthwick Heating & Insulation and online as


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