Free Boiler Schemes

Under the Government’s 2016 ECO programme, thousands of UK residents are now eligible to receive a new boiler, often at absolutely zero cost.

London residents are also eligible to claim £400 cashback for installing a new boiler.

Switching an older boiler for a new one could save you £350 each year.



Can I get a free boiler?

If you live in a low income household and receive certain benefits, you could be entitled to a free, replacement boiler.

The government’s free boiler grant means that homeowners and private tenants who meet certain criteria, could be eligible for a highly efficient gas boiler, supplied and fitted free of charge.

Grants are currently available across England, Wales and Scotland. Most Londoners also qualify for £400 cashback (learn more).

Over one million homes in the UK have successfully applied for this grant and are feeling the benefits.

If you don’t meet all of the criteria, you could still be entitled to some assistance towards the cost of a new, replacement boiler.

You can discover what you are entitled to by selecting your main benefit type below and completing our simple form:

free boiler scheme application criteria

What is the government grant for boilers?

The free boiler grant is part of the government’s Energy Company Obligation (or ECO) scheme. The ECO scheme sees the government working with energy companies to reduce how much energy we use in the UK by making our homes energy efficient.

One of the main parts of this scheme is the Affordable Warmth obligation.

The Affordable Warmth obligation is also known as the Home Heat Cost Reduction Obligation, or HHCRO. This agreement means that UK energy companies must help make energy costs more affordable for low income households. As part of this, energy companies fund most of the free boiler grant.



Is there a deadline to apply for the free boiler grant?

The ECO scheme ends in April 2017, following which the criteria for who can claim a free boiler will become stricter. If you think you might qualify for the grant, it’s worth applying now.



Who qualifies for the free boiler scheme?

See below if you qualify for a free replacement boiler through the ECO scheme, often referred to as Affordable Warmth. If you fit into any of the categories below you will qualify for the scheme:


Pension Credit

Automatic qualification


Child tax credit (Household income below £15,860)

Automatic qualification


Income support or income related employment & support allowance

You will need ONE of these further qualifiers:

  • Disabled child premium
  • Child tax credit including disability element
  • Child under 20 in full time education
  • Child under 16
  • Disability premium
  • Pension premium

Working tax credits (income below £15,860)

You will need ONE of these further qualifiers:

  • Aged 60 or over
  • Be in receipt of disabled worker element of severe disability element/li>
  • Responsible for child under 16 who lives at the property/li>
  • Responsible for child under 20 who lives at the property, in full time education which is not higher education

Income based job seeker’s allowance

You will need ONE of these further qualifiers:

  • Disabled child premium
  • Child tax credit including disability element
  • Child under 20 in full time education
  • Child under 16
  • Disability premium
  • Pension premium

In order to receive an ECO grant you must be a homeowner or private renter, those in council owned properties cannot apply directly. If you meet certain criteria you may be eligible for a partial grant to help cover the cost of a new boiler.

If you do not qualify for Affordable Warmth and you are still worried about the costs of installing a new boiler, there are other options. Many big name companies offer finance options on their boiler installations. Most of these options offer low, fixed interest rates and you could be paying only £10-£20 a month for your new boiler.

If you can afford a new boiler without the need for a grant, finance or backing of a government scheme read more about new boiler costs or see our guide to the best boilers.

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What is the London Boiler Cashback Scheme?

Under the London Mayor's 2016 new boiler scheme, thousands of London residents are eligible to claim £400 cashback for installing a new boiler.

Launched on 2nd February 2016, the boiler cashback scheme is first-come-first-served, so there’s a huge incentive to act fast before the grants dry up. Thousands of Londoners have already cottoned on to the scheme, as it’s an excellent way to lower your energy bills for the future while slashing the initial cost.

To qualify you must be either a homeowner or a landlord with a property in London. Click on your borough on the map below to see if you qualify:

Mayor London Cashback Boiler Scheme

Can I get a free boiler if I am on benefits?

The government introduced this grant to make new boilers, and energy efficiency, accessible to low income homes.

Replacing an old, inefficient boiler with a new, high energy efficiency gas boiler could save you up to £350 a year on your energy bills. Most of us could benefit from these kind of savings.

With typical costs for a new boiler installation ranging between £1,200 - £3,000, it’s likely that low income households can’t afford to replace their old boiler without help.



Can pensioners get a free boiler?

If you receive a pension you may be entitled to a free boiler. Under the Government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme some people will be entitled to a free replacement boiler or to help with the cost of a boiler.

Those receiving pension credit can apply to receive a replacement free or charge or at a heavy subsidy. To qualify, your boiler must be more than five years old and you should own your own home or be in private rented accommodation. You might also be entitled to a grant if you receive working tax credits and are over the age of 60.

If the boiler is less than five years old, it may well still be under its warranty which could entitle you to a free boiler in any case.

The funding comes from the ‘Affordable Warmth’ part of the ECO Scheme - the government’s partnership with electricity companies. It’s intended to help people on limited income ensure their home has a constant and reliable source of heating. It also helps encourage people to make the transition to newer, more energy efficient boilers.



How does the government’s ECO scheme work?

STEP 1: You apply for the scheme

You need to complete a quick application form to apply for the scheme and find out if you qualify.

You can apply online, through the Energy Saving Trust’s Boiler Grants website. Alternatively, you can telephone: 0333 212 0013.

You will be asked some questions about your personal circumstances, home and current boiler.

You will find out as soon as you’ve finished the survey if you’re likely to be eligible.

STEP 2: A local installer arranges a home energy assessment

If eligible, your contact details will be passed on to an approved, local installer. They will usually contact you within 24 - 48 hours, to arrange a suitable time to carry out a free, energy assessment in your home.*

*While the energy assessment is usually free, in some cases a small contribution may be required. Check with the installer before they come out.

STEP 3: A home survey is completed

The Gas Safe, boiler installer will visit your home, to:

  • Check your boiler
  • Carry out an energy assessment of your home
  • Check your benefit paperwork
  • let you know if the free boiler grant is available to you

If you aren’t entitled, they will let you know if you qualify for any subsidies on a new boiler.

STEP 4: Arrange an installation date

If you qualify for a free, replacement boiler, you can arrange an installation date with the installer.

Before installing your new boiler, the gas fitter should let you know;

  • the work they plan to carry out
  • how long it will take
  • whether there are any additional costs involved

In most cases, the replacement will be free, unless it’s not a straightforward replacement, i.e. you plan on changing the position of the boiler or adding additional radiators.

Note: If you are a tenant, you should always get the homeowner’s permission before agreeing to any work on their behalf.

STEP 5: Your new boiler is installed

Enjoy the benefits of a warm home, with cheaper energy bills!


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What are the benefits?

Those who are eligible could benefit from:

  • a free, new gas condensing boiler
  • an A-rated, energy efficient boiler
  • free installation
  • reduced energy bills and savings
  • higher energy efficiency
  • huge savings on total boiler cost and installation
  • increased property value


Are there any negatives to applying for the scheme?

There seem to be few disadvantages to claiming your free boiler, if you’re eligible.

However, you should be aware of:

  • you must have a broken or old, inefficient boiler
  • not every home is entitled to a free boiler, e.g. council or housing association tenants will need to apply to their own schemes
  • private tenants must get the homeowner’s permission
  • you may be offered a repair, not a replacement, e.g. if your boiler is broken and isn’t classed as inefficient
  • there may be an extra cost if a fitter needs to carry out additional work, above and beyond a standard replacement**
  • the scheme covers replacement gas boilers only, e.g. you won’t be covered if you have an oil fuelled boiler

** The gas fitter should inform you of this before the installation.



How do I apply for the free boiler grant?

You can find out more about your eligibility by selecting your main benefit type below and completing our short form.

free boiler scheme application criteria

Once you know you qualify, you can apply for the scheme online, through the Energy Saving Trust’s Boiler Grants website.

Alternatively, you can telephone: 0333 212 0013.



What are my options if I don’t qualify for a free boiler?

If you don’t qualify for a free boiler, and are considering a replacement boiler, you can:

  • buy a boiler and pay for the installation upfront
  • rent a boiler
  • take out a boiler finance plan

If you can afford it, buying and paying for a new boiler upfront will always work out cheaper as there are no additional charges or interest to pay. You will own the boiler outright and can start taking advantage of the savings from your energy bills right away.

Renting a boiler works like leasing a car. With low upfront costs, you pay for your boiler and installation at a set monthly fee. Servicing and repairs are usually included within the rental fee. However, you won’t own your boiler until the lease ends, lease periods can be long and it could work out expensive over the long term.

Boiler finance schemes are credit agreements that allow you to spread these costs over a set number of months or years. These buy now, pay later finance schemes, mean you can own your boiler and have it installed right away. Payments are spread over a fixed period, usually monthly. Interest rates and additional charges will apply. Learn more about boiler finance schemes.



Does the Green Deal scheme still offer free boilers?

There is much confusion about what free boiler schemes there are available in the UK.

The government brought in the Green Deal in 2012. The Green Deal was designed to help people make improvements that would lead to their homes being more energy efficient. Grants were offered towards works such as insulation, double glazing and new boilers. However, due to a lack of interest, the Green Deal was scrapped in 2015.

A better free boiler scheme was introduced in 2015 to replace the Green Deal. The ECO scheme, sometimes referred to as Affordable Warmth, offers free boiler replacement grants for those most in need.

Read our guide to cheap boilers


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