Policy document

Statement of Intent ECO4

Published 23 February 2023

This statement sets out our flexible eligibility criteria for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme from April 2022 – March 2026.

The ECO4 scheme will focus on supporting low income and vulnerable households. The scheme will improve the least energy efficient homes helping to meet the government’s fuel poverty and net zero commitments.

The flexible approach for local authorities (LAs) to identifying fuel poor and vulnerable households who may benefit from heating and energy saving measures is referred to as 'ECO4 Flex'.

Increasing Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) ratings to band C, through the installation of energy efficiency measures, fits with our aims of addressing fuel poverty and reducing carbon emissions.

Eligibility identification

We welcome the introduction of the ECO4 Flex eligibility routes as it helps us achieve our plans to improve the homes of those in fuel poverty or vulnerable to the cold.

We are publishing this Statement of Intent (SoI) to confirm that each of the households declared will adhere to at least one of the four available routes outlined below:

Route 1

SAP bands D-G households with an income less than £31,000. This cap applies irrespective of the property size, composition, or region.

Route 2

SAP bands E-G households that meet a combination of two of the following proxies:

  • Proxy 1 - Homes in England in Lower-layer Super Output Area 1-3 (LSOA)1 In Maidstone this includes the following wards: Shepway South and North, Parkwood, High Street, and North Downs.
  • Proxy 2 - Householders receiving a Council Tax rebate (rebates based on low income only, excludes single person rebates) - Council Tax Support.
  • Proxy 3 - Householders vulnerable to living in a cold home as identified in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guidance. Only one from the list can be used, excludes the proxy ‘low income’.
  • Proxy 4 - A householder receiving free school meals due to low-income.
  • Proxy 5 - A householder supported by a LA run scheme, that has been named and described by the LA as supporting low income and vulnerable households for the purposes of NICE Guideline.
  • Proxy 6 -A household referred to the LA for support by their energy supplier or Citizen's Advice, because they have been identified as struggling to pay their electricity and gas bills.

Proxies 1 and 5 cannot be used together.

Route 3

SAP bands D-G households that have been identified by their doctor or GP as low-income and vulnerable, with an occupant whose health conditions may be impacted further by living in a cold home. These health conditions may be cardiovascular, respiratory, immunosuppressed, or limited mobility related.

This is because we have identified a positive correlation between households who suffer from long-term health conditions and living off a low-income, with living in poorly insulated homes.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) 2015 guidance:

Health conditions made worse by the cold
  1. people with cardiovascular conditions (ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease).
  2. people with respiratory conditions (in particular chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD and childhood asthma).
  3. people with mental health conditions (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder).
  4. people with disabilities
  5. people who are terminally ill
  6. people with supressed immune systems (e.g. from cancer treatment, HIV, MS).
  7. peurobiological and related diseases (e.g. fibromyalgia and ME).
  8. haemoglobinopathies (sickle cell disease, thalassaemia).
  9. people with severe learning difficulties.
  10. people who move in and out of homelessness.
Vulnerable to the cold
  1. aged over 60, particularly over 75.
  2. young children under 5 and/or pregnant women.
  3. people with addictions (e.g. substance misusers).
  4. people who have attended hospital due to a fall in the last year.
  5. people diagnosed with dementia.
  6. recent immigrants of asylum seekers and refugees if living in private tenure.

Route 4

SAP band D-G households that are referred under Route 4: Bespoke Targeting. Suppliers and LAs can submit an application to BEIS where they have identified a low income and vulnerable household, who are not already eligible under the exiting routes.

Next steps

Residents who believe they may be eligible for ECO Flex should contact our Housing and Health Team housingandhealth@maidstone.gov.uk or call 01622 602440.

The team will check ECO Flex eligibility and that you are happy for their data to be stored and shared with a third party for the purposes of the scheme. The eligibility information will be recorded on a secure database.  A referral will then be made to an obligated supplier.

Declaration and evidence check confirmation

All potentially eligible households should apply through us or one of the approved ECO installers to ensure that you can either benefit from the scheme or be assessed for eligibility under any other relevant programme.

The officer below will be responsible for checking and verifying declarations and associated evidence submitted on behalf of the local authority:

Name: Philip Jennings
Job title: Senior Housing and Health Officer
Email: philipjennings@maidstone.gov.uk

Dedicated responsible person

We will administer the scheme according to BEIS’ ECO4 Order and will identify eligible households via Ofgem’s application process. The responsible person named below will oversee the process of identifying eligible households under ECO4 Flex.

The eligibility information will be stored securely in line with our data protection policy, Information Commissioner’s Office Data Sharing Code, and BEIS guidance.

Name: Hannah Gaston
Job title: Housing and Inclusion Manager

For any general enquires relating to this SoI, please contact housingandhealth@maidstone.gov.uk

Publication date: 23 February 2023