ECO4 flexible eligibility statement of intent V1.2
Date of Publication: 01/08/2023
Version number: V1.2
This statement sets out Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council's (the Council) flexible eligibility (LA Flex) criteria for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme (the “ECO4 scheme”) from April 2022 – March 2026.
The ECO4 scheme will focus on supporting low income and vulnerable households. The ECO4 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”.
The Council welcomes the introduction of the ECO4 Flex eligibility routes as it helps the Council achieve its plans to improve the homes of those in fuel poverty or vulnerable to the cold.
The Council is publishing this Statement of Intent (SoI), on the 01/08/2023 to confirm that a household will be declared eligible for the ECO4 scheme if it falls into at least one of the four available routes outlined below:
Route 1: SAP bands D-G owner occupied households and private rented sector E – 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 for owner-occupied households and private rented sector households that meet a combination of two of the following proxies:
- Proxy 1) Homes in Welsh Provision LSOA 1-3 on the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019
- Proxy 2) Householders receiving a Council Tax reduction (reduction based on low income only, excludes single person reduction).
- 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 Council run scheme, that has been named and described by the Council as supporting low income and vulnerable households for the purposes of NICE Guideline.
- Proxy 6) A household referred to the Council for support by their energy supplier or Citizen's Advice, because they have been identified as struggling to pay their electricity and gas bills.
Route 3: SAP bands D-G owner-occupied households and private rented sector E-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. Households under this route can only be referred by an NHS foundation trust, an NHS Trust, a Health Board, a Local Health Board, or a general medical practitioner provider (please request a copy of the NHS referral letter template by emailing NPTCBC at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Route 4:SAP band D-G owner-occupied households and private rented sector E-G households that are referred under Route 4: Bespoke Targeting. Suppliers and LA’s can submit an application to ESNZ where they have identified a low income and vulnerable household, who are not already eligible under the existing routes.
Households wishing to apply for ECO4 scheme funding should contact one of the approved ECO installers listed on the Warm Wales website who will facilitate the application process.
The Council does not accept any responsibility or liability arising from the consequences, damages or loss whatsoever resulting from the acceptance of an ECO4 scheme grant. This includes efforts connected with the preparation application or survey prior to installation of works, or as a result of works delivered under the ECO4 scheme.
Please note that the Council does not endorse any specific energy supplier, grant agent, installer or company connected to the application or installation of ECO4 scheme grants or products.
Any grievance or issue raised against works or application process related to the ECO4 scheme should be taken up with the installing party/agent/financier. The Council’s involvement in the ECO4 scheme is limited to the declaration of eligibility for ECO4 funding. Should you wish to have the declaration explained in further detail, please email email@example.com
The decision on whether a household receives a measure under flexible eligibility under the ECO4 scheme, or other ECO funding streams will be made by the energy suppliers or their agents/contractors. Qualification in the statement of intent or the signing of a declaration by the Council will NOT guarantee installation of any measures, as the final decision will lie with the supplier.
Whilst some measures being grant-funded will be free to the householder at point of sale, others may be partially grant funded and will require a contribution from the householder or agent in order to be delivered.
Any financial or contractual arrangement relating to the installation of a specific measure or home survey or service shall be at the discretion of the homeowner or occupier to accept or decline as they choose. The Council will not be party to any such arrangements; this shall solely be between the householder and any third party of their choice on the Warm Wales list of approved agents / contractors.
Applications for assessment under this Statement of Intent will need to be made to Warm Wales. The Council will not accept applications directly.
All ECO4 scheme applications will be verified by Warm Wales.
Any 3rd party, agent or contractor with clients/customers they wish to refer for ECO4 scheme funding will need to be on the Warm Wales list of approved contractors/agents. The clients/customers will be required to utilise the vetting services of Warm Wales and will need to be referred to the Council via Warm Wales.
Information regarding the number of declarations issued by the Council shall be recorded using a Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN), the address, measures to be installed and the eligibility route will be provided to OFGEM.
In order to apply for ECO4 scheme funding, personal data will need to be collected by Warm Wales, contractors and agents. The Council is not able to process declarations without the involvement of the aforementioned third parties. The Council is not responsible for sourcing ECO4 scheme funding or arranging the installation of any measures. In order to process the declaration letter the Council will require the following information from Warm Wales: Client Name, Address, supporting evidence and referral route.
Once a declaration has been issued to Warm Wales the Council will send the application information to OFGEM. Please note that the Council is not responsible for offering or delivering the grant. The Council will handle all personal data processed for the ECO4 scheme in accordance with the requirements of the UK General Data Protection Regulation 2016 and the Data Protection Act 2018. All personal data will be stored by the Council for a period of no less than 3 years.
Please refer to the Council’s Housing Renewal and Adaptation Service Privacy Notice which explains how personal data is used by the Council.
Declaration and evidence check confirmation
All potentially eligible households should apply through one of Warm Wales’ approved contractors/agents to ensure that they can either benefit from the ECO4 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:
Officers holding the following positions shall also be empowered to sign eligible declarations on behalf of the Council:
- Senior Housing Surveyor
- PO - Housing & Homelessness Services.
CEO or dedicated responsible person mandatory signature
Warm Wales will administer the ECO4 scheme on behalf of the Council according to BEIS’ ECO4 Order and will identify eligible households via Ofgem’s application process.
Date of signature: 01/08/2023
Job Title: Head of Housing & Communities
For any general enquires relating to this SoI, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org