How the ECO 4 Grant Scheme is Helping Preserve The Environment in Scotland

The ECO4 scheme can help many homeowners lower energy bills through cost-effective energy-saving measures such as insulation, heat pumps and boiler replacement. 

TheĀ ECO 4 grantĀ has been a venture taken as part of ECO 4 – the final phase of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme and will run through March 2026. It aims to help meet fuel poverty and net carbon zero targets within the UK.

person holding a green leaf in a forest

Energy efficiency

Utilising the ECO4 scheme enables households to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions, save money on heating bills and support global efforts towards renewable energy sources.

The fourth phase of the Government’s Energy Company Obligation Scheme (ECO4) seeks to reach 4 million homes. It offers free or heavily subsidised insulation measures and other measures for properties within EPC bands D-G that are occupied by homeowners receiving benefits or renting privately with low incomes.

While ECO3 did not cover coal-fueled heating systems, its successor will include them. Furthermore, this scheme will focus on replacing inefficient electric and oil boilers with heat pumps and solar PV panels, which are better for the environment. Moreover, this scheme will support vulnerable communities.

Carbon emissions

ECO4 Scheme is the latest phase of Energy Company Obligation (ECO). Designed to make homes more energy-efficient and reduce carbon emissions while addressing fuel poverty, ECO4 creates work opportunities for installation companies – creating a win-win scenario.

The primary objective of the ECO scheme is to improve energy efficiency among UK homes, helping the government meet its targets of reducing carbon emissions and ending fuel poverty while also contributing to economic development by lowering energy bills.

The new ECO4 scheme will be similar to previous phases yet will feature some significant differences. It will most significantly focus on upgrading energy-inefficient homes through a ‘whole house’ approach rather than single measures alone. Furthermore, more funds can be utilised by people who do not claim benefits, allowing the scheme to reach more families, an essential change for ECO4.

Climate change

The government-backed ECO scheme aims to help fight climate change strives to reduce fuel poverty and make energy more accessible and affordable for households. Over its four-year run, approximately 450,000 homes were upgraded with insulation and other energy efficiency measures, which helped lower energy bills and carbon footprints while creating jobs for installation companies.

Energy and housing providers need help identifying vulnerable households that require assistance; consequently, some families miss out on taking advantage of ECO4. 

In addition, with the introduction of this program by energy suppliers, obligation thresholds will no longer exist, so that smaller businesses may participate.

ECO4 will focus on upgrading the least energy-efficient homes. In particular, it will target private tenure homes in energy efficiency bands D-G for comprehensive upgrades of properties. Furthermore, this scheme takes an insulation-first approach, so insulation will be installed before any other measures are implemented.

Health and wellbeing

The ECO grants in Scotland has assisted hundreds of thousands of households in better insulating their homes and reducing energy consumption, saving hundreds of pounds every year in energy bills and using these savings towards other necessities while at the same time decreasing carbon emissions.

ECO4, the latest phase of the Energy Conservation Obligations Scheme, will run from July 2022 until March 2026 and is intended to improve energy-inefficient housing stock, particularly those belonging to low-income, vulnerable and fuel-poor households, to meet government fuel poverty targets and net carbon zero commitments.

ECO4 Scheme supports homeowners and private renters looking to upgrade their properties with insulation and green heating systems to help lower energy costs and create healthier homes that benefit householders and have lasting social consequences.

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint: Tips from the Eco4 Scheme

A carbon footprint measures greenhouse gases produced by individuals, companies, and nations. Reducing your footprint can be achieved in many ways, from switching to renewable energy suppliers to eating fewer animal products.

Reducing waste is another great way to lower your carbon footprint. For example, switching out single-use plastic items such as bottles of water, cafeteria cutlery, and bags for reusable alternatives will drastically lessen their impact.

1. Switch to a renewable energy supplier

Renewable energy suppliers can assist in making the switch to more environmentally friendly power. Many offer 100% green plans; some even provide renewable energy credits for your electricity bill.

These credits can help reduce your carbon footprint by supporting sustainable farming and decreasing the demand for oil-based products like plastics. Other ways you can lower your impact include:

  • Driving less and walking or biking instead.
  • Using reusable items instead of disposable utensils.
  • Recycling more.
  • Eating less meat (an animal farming sector that produces greenhouse gas emissions).
  • Eliminating disposable utensils.
  • Switching to an indoor clothesline as a drying space for laundry.

Eliminating disposable utensils completely and switching over to the right tariff can all positively impact carbon footprint reduction; make sure you make this decision!

2. Reduce your travel.

Travel is a fantastic way to explore new places and encounter diverse cultures. Still, it can have an enormous environmental impact if you decide to fly, particularly with greenhouse gases produced during flight.

To minimise your carbon footprint, aim to fly less often if possible and consider flying economy instead of business or first class; these flights typically produce three to nine times more emissions than economy flights. Furthermore, try flying nonstop, as stopovers generate additional carbon emissions.

Consider taking a road trip or staying at an eco-friendly hotel instead. Carpooling can save money, time, and fuel; public transport offers another great solution with low emissions, like trains and buses.

3. Reduce your waste.

As we produce and consume goods and services, greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are released. Their level determines our carbon footprint.

Eating less meat and using reusable plates, cups, and utensils are ways to decrease your carbon footprint. Producing meat requires much energy, water, and land resources; additionally, rotting food in landfills releases methane gas into the atmosphere, another potent greenhouse gas.

Switching to LED light bulbs, unplugging unused devices, and turning off appliances are all effective strategies for conserving energy. Low-flow showerheads and toilets will cut your water consumption considerably while choosing compostable waste canisters will further diminish your carbon footprint, which benefits both the environment and your business! Composting waste reduces carbon emissions further while strengthening the brand’s image and drawing in new customers.

4. Reduce your water usage.

Home water treatment and delivery account for 10% of household CO2 emissions. Energy-saving measures like cutting showering times down or switching from soap to hand sanitiser could drastically lower this figure.

Switching to vegetarian or vegan meals could dramatically impact your carbon footprint.

Reducing your carbon footprint can be good for both yourself and the environment. Doing so can reduce energy bills, attract potential customers looking for companies with environmentally responsible practises, reduce air pollution-related deaths, and relieve healthcare systems of pressure.

5. Switch to a more efficient heating system.

Every individual can play an integral part in helping reduce carbon emissions. While governments and corporations play crucial roles, individuals can do something as simple as a switch to green energy or purchase local produce to have a significant effect.

Reducing meat consumption can help lower your footprint, as animal waste releases greenhouse gases such as methane (25 times more potent than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere over 100 years) and nitrogen oxides. Joining Meatless Mondays can be an excellent way to start.

Low-income or vulnerable households could qualify for discounts on home insulation, an upgraded boiler, and new heating systems under the Energy Company Obligation 4 (ECO4) scheme, which was implemented as phase 4 of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO3) between October 2013 and March 2026.