The essence of a boiler system in the house cannot be overemphasised and you can imagine the difficulty that sets in when you have an old or faulty one that has stopped working, or that does not supply the adequate heating requirement for your home. At this point, the reasonable question that comes to mind would be “How can I get a free boiler?” After all, the costs are too engaging, and the weather is never taking it easy, either. This consideration becomes valid, since the costs of acquiring a new one together with the installation of it, and other expenses usually ends up gulping thousands of dollars- which is probably a very large chunk of people’s savings over time.

This is in fact, a burden for the non-working class low-income earners- and especially pensioners who are ageing and on a low-income value payroll. Hence, the need for free boiler replacement for pensioners, who cannot always afford the high costs involved in procuring one for themselves. A solution to this issue is the Energy Company Obligation ECO boiler scheme that comes handy in meeting this peculiar need.


The UK government’s intervention in ameliorating the looming effects of fuel poverty and the increasing carbon emissions rate, lead to the creation of the ECO scheme. One of the objectives of the scheme under the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) section, is to see to it that low-income earners- to include pensioners are saved the financial implications of having to foot all of the bills for acquiring new boiler facilities for their homes. So, whether it be the gas, oil or LPG boiler, beneficiaries can be assured of a replacement (in part payments or whole), once they meet the criteria. While some individuals may qualify for full replacements and instalment, some others may qualify for a repair or partial funding to cover the cost of purchase for a new one. Thus, it is advisable that every pensioner see the conditions, to know if they qualify in one way or the other, for the free boiler replacement for pensioners.

Together with the British gas company, the ECO boiler scheme is also funded, by the six biggest energy suppliers in the UK, which makes it a collaborative venture with the UK government. The idea behind the boiler scheme is to cut down on energy bills and waste by the users while improving their homes. This is so since it is estimated that the older a boiler is, the less energy and work efficient it is, and the newer the boiler is, the less energy that is wasted by it, while it is also able to perform optimally. Asides from this, the ECO boiler scheme is aimed at reducing carbon emissions, and each of the participating companies has been assigned a target that must be fulfilled. Although, the free boiler scheme is open to users of the basic boiler types; oil, LPG, electric and gas boilers, there may be differences in the time it takes to process for each of them, based on the available per time.


Unfortunately, not everybody gets to benefit in the free boiler replacement for pensioners program- at least not fully for some individual. Every boiler grant comes with their qualification requirements, and if you’ve not met the criteria you may not be allowed to participate- and this is fair if you ask any reasonable person. But then, what would the answers be, if a 60-year-old grandma asks the question “can I get a free boiler? “. The answer definitely would stem out of the fact that you have considered the criteria to see if she has met them, or not. This would also help you know if she were getting a full replacement fund, or just for the repairs of the old one.

Firstly, the most important criteria for getting full replacement funding for an apartment boiler entails that the individual must be 60 years of age and above, as well as a collector of the pensions guarantee credits. Since the ECO free boiler scheme is targeted at helping low and possibly average income level households, the scheme only specifically provides a free boiler replacement for houses where the annual income is placed at an amount less than £20,000. Also, the houses that would be benefiting from the government ECO scheme must be the personal houses of the beneficiaries or private tenants who must have gotten permission from the house owners. Condensing boilers that are less than ten years old (with an efficiency greater than 86%), as well as A and B,  rated condensing boilers may not stand eligible for a replacement. Pensioners inhabiting social housing units too, are not eligible to apply or lay claims.

Once the conditions have been met, the applicant can proceed with the processing of the application. Application processing may be guided and facilitated by approved registration agents that help the pensioner applicants process and forward their request applications to the right quarters for onward consideration.

All of the approved registration agents must have recognition of the Green Deal Registration and Oversight Body (GD ORB). The GD ORB is the encompassing platform that registers all the participating elements of the ECO boiler scheme. Asides the registration and processing agent companies, other participating elements are the service providers, advisors, and boiler installers; all of whose activities are regulated by the body. Thus, you should confirm the list of approved advisors and boiler installers, to know which one is closer to you, and which one best suits you. Usually, at the start of the application, an advisor is required to check at your apartment, to evaluate the conditions of your boiler, and to see how much cost would be cut off if a replacement is made; he then makes a recommendation based on this.

If a pensioner does not receive the pensions credit, the individual may still qualify for a boiler grant- which covers some large part payments for the overall costs of a new boiler facility. This would only come through if they are the recipient of any income support such as the job seekers allowance (JSA), employment supporter allowance (ESA), tax credit for households with low-income earnings, as well as the recipient of some other form of income support. For most of the time, collecting a state pension alone would not do to qualify. Hence not just any income support make an individual qualify. Other reasons to qualify, are if you are beneficiary of a disability premium, or there are children with disabilities on the disabled child premium, within the household.


Since the start of the ECO boiler scheme which gives some specific preference to free boiler replacement for pensioners too, there have been challenges that seem to be militating against the accessibility of funds to people, and the overall success of the government initiative.

  • One of the current challenges that have being are the issues of funding for the project. All along at some point, the release of funds for the implementation of the activities of the program has been dwindling and on a relatively low side. This could have affected the rate of progress achieved so far, as well as the possibility of the project meeting its carbon emissions target, as set by the UK government. If this is not achieved, the participating energy suppliers face the risk of heavy sanctions, which may affect the whole sector in the long run.
  • Another challenge which has marked the existence of the boiler scheme especially at the first two or three years are the little inadequacies that accompanied the boiler facility installed at people’s homes. There were some complains from various households claiming the ineffective function of the boiler machines. Although this wasn’t a major challenge, some individuals began to get skeptical about the success of the scheme. Now, these challenges are most largely dealt with, and the users can call up their boiler installers if the boilers don’t pick up as they should.
  • In the recent times, a larger percentage of dissatisfaction with the scheme comes as a result of the seeming tediousness and period the request applications take to process. Some persons had complained of having their request left on the processing table for up to two or three months before they got a response. This could have been a fault on the part of the processing agent, hence the need for a little more comprehensive approach from the Green Deal monitoring body. The strict entry requirements for applicants may have also contributed to the time gap required for the processing and verifications.

The ECO boiler scheme has gained massive support over time, and as compared to the year when it first launched, much more people have become aware of the objectives of the boiler scheme, and are willing to be beneficiaries of it. The seeming issues are the accessibility of people to it. Analysts suggest that if the government could find ways of improving the funding means, with less tedious requirements for intending beneficiaries, then a lot of people across the UK could see this as some very important achievement.


The ECO boiler scheme which was set in motion in the year 2013. Near 100% of the reasons for its establishment, would have been achieved. Some of the estimate projections include:

  • That an estimated 2.5 million households should have benefitted from the scheme, whether in full replacement funding, or the boiler grants that provides partial funding. The other aspect to this is the insulation of households and repairs of boiler machines, which also takes part of the entire revenue provided for the scheme, and is issued out to beneficiaries in the boiler grants category.
  • The big six energy providers ( British Gas, EDF, EON, nPower, Scottish Power, and SSE) basically, are to make a revenue of about £1.3 billion available collectively, for each year the ECO boiler scheme would be in operation.

All of these have a primary aim of reducing carbon emissions, as well as improving the quality of people’s homes, and energy use practices.

If the scheme is sustained over time, it could be a viable means of saving heavily on energy wastes spread across homes from the use of old inefficient boilers. Also importantly, it would be replacing the traditional fireplace methods that we have known from time immemorial.

Find out more by applying for one of our free boiler replacement grants by entering your postcode below: