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Calling time on your old boiler: maybe

12th March 2018

Improving the energy efficiency will make your home more comfortable but when do you start saving money?

The one improvement which makes a big difference but isn’t the cheapest is replacing your old boiler with a new condensing one. This will eventually save you money but when? If your lucky to buy  your new boiler and have it fitted for £2,000  the savings in gas consumption will typically be between £50 to £150 per year depending on the property, that’s 16 to 33 years to make back the initial cost.  On a cost-benefit analysis is replacing your boiler worth considering? The general view is to only replace the boiler when it’s reached the end of its life. The exception is if you can take advantage of one of the government’s schemes.

ECO (energy company obligations) is a government scheme which obliges the big energy companies to help reduce carbon emissions and relive fuel poverty.

The ECO scheme started in April 2013 with periodic amendments being made the last in April 2017 which simplified the scheme. The section applicable to fitting new boilers is the  Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO). Under this the energy companies must promote measures which improve the ability of low income and vulnerable households to heat their homes and includes taking actions that result in heating savings by replacement or repairing boilers Under this the energy companies must promote measures which improve the ability of low income and

vulnerable households to heat their homes and includes taking actions that result in heating savings by replacement or repairing boilers The ECO scheme applies to any gas and electricity supplier with more than 250,000 household customers not only the big six, British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon, Npower, SSE and Scottish Power but also: Co-operative Energy, Economy Energy, Extra Energy, Flow Energy, First Utility, Ovo, Spark Energy, Utility Warehouse and Utilita.

The government has estimated £1.3 billion will be spent by the energy companies on energy efficiency and heating measures cutting carbon and reducing fuel poverty. Up to 2016, around 1.6m homes had energy efficiency measures installed as part of ECO scheme. At the moment the scheme is due to run until September 2018.


The last review in 2017 changed the emphasis limiting the number of replacement boilers to 25,000 to concentrate on insulation. The grants presently available covers all or part of the cost of energy-efficiency measures loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation, double glazing and new boilers but may change after September when the scheme is reviewed.

Applicants have to be on low incomes and in receipt of certain benefits, you can be a home owner, in private rented accommodation  or a social housing tenant in a home with an energy efficiency rating of E,F or G. To find out if you qualify you can approach any of the energy companies not just the one supplying your energy. But do it soon.