Which Councils are on the UK ECO Grant Naughty or Nice List This Christmas?

Which Councils are on the UK ECO Grant Naughty or Nice List This Christmas?

According to data released by the UK government, an estimated 3.26 million households live in fuel poverty in England. Estimates suggest that 10% of excess winter deaths are due to fuel poverty, and 21.5% are attributable to cold homes. Given the gravity of these statistics, one might expect that councils nationwide would engage in basic efforts to mitigate these avoidable tragedies. Energy Saving Genie, however, reveals that many are turning their backs on the country’s most vulnerable as we move into the colder months.

The UK Government’s Energy Company Obligation scheme, currently in its fourth phase known as ECO4, is designed to provide vital energy-saving improvements to vulnerable households.

Qualified applicants and properties can benefit from extensive home improvements, including heating upgrades, insulation, and renewable energy installations. Yet, the complexity of the scheme has posed significant challenges for applicants. For individuals receiving qualifying benefits, applying for grants across the UK is relatively straightforward. Whereas those without benefit claims but with health conditions or vulnerabilities must navigate a substantially more complicated route called ‘ECO4 Flex.’

However, before an applicant can access the grant via ECO4 Flex, councils must publish a Statement of Intent on their website and issue a declaration to the installer or managing agent to confirm eligibility. Unfortunately, many councils have not yet published Statements of Intent despite the scheme commencing in July 2022. Worse still, some councils have no intention of doing so

Kate Hallewell, spokesperson for Energy Saving Genie, expressed concern: “While we understand that councils are facing challenges, it’s heart-breaking to turn away eligible applicants due to a lack of council cooperation. We need swift changes in the scheme’s rules or mandatory action to prevent councils from blocking their residents from accessing essential funding.”

For some of the councils that have released Statements of Intent, their approach has posed additional hurdles for applicants. For instance, some charge over £500 per application for issuing a declaration, so installers are avoiding these costly areas and instead concentrating on areas where there aren’t financial barriers to support residents

As a result, terminal cancer patients, individuals with heart conditions, frail elderly citizens, and many others have been turned away. Some applicants have tragically passed away while awaiting council Statements of Intent.

So, which councils are leaving their vulnerable residents in the cold with soaring energy bills when they could benefit from the Government’s £4 billion Energy Company Obligation grant scheme?

The Nice List – these councils have released a Statement of Intent, and their residents can apply for grants:

Lincoln Council
North Kesteven Council
King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Council

The Naughty List – these councils have NOT released a Statement of Intent, and their residents cannot apply for grants until they do:

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Kirklees Council
Slough Council

Please note that this list is a work in progress, and Energy Saving Genie encourages councils to release their Statements of Intent to move to the “Nice List.” If it’s believed a council can be moved to the Nice List, their Statement of Intent link can be emailed to hello@energysavinggenie.co.uk, who will update the list within 48 hours.

See the full list here: https://energysavinggenie.co.uk/which-councils-are-on-the-uk-eco-grant-naughty-or-nice-list-this-christmas/

The free grant checker can be found at: https://energysavinggenie.co.uk