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First Time Central Heating (FTCH) grants

What is it?

First Time Central Heating grants are part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO); a government scheme funded by utility companies including the 'Big Six'. These grants help low income households in England, Scotland and Wales, to access funding to install central heating.

The 'Big Six' utility companies, including Npower, EDF and British Gas, are obliged to provide funding so that those who need to can improve the efficiency of their homes. In addition to first time central heating there are also grants for new boilers, electric heating upgrades, Solar PV and insulation measures. As the funding is a grant, not a loan, it doesn’t need to be repaid and could cover a large part - if not all - of the cost of installing central heating in your home.

Can I get it?

If you receive a qualifying benefit the Government could provide you with the money to install central heating in your home, improve energy efficiency and save money. You may be offered enough to fund the entire installation but some people receive only some of the money and need to contribute to the costs.

Who is eligible for a First Time Central Heating Grant?

If you’re a homeowner or a private renter (with permission from the landlord) who receives qualifying benefits, you could be entitled to a grant from the Government. You must also be in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Child Benefit*
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee)
  • Employment and support allowance (income-related)
  • Jobseeker’s allowance (Income-based)
  • Income Support
  • Industrial injuries disablement benefit
  • Mobility supplement
  • Personal independence payment
  • Severe disablement allowance 
  • Universal credit 
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement
  • Working tax credit

If you receive one of these qualifying benefits (excluding Child Benefit) you will be eligible regardless of household income, so no means-testing is required for applications.

* Note if Child Benefit is the only qualifying benefit you receive, you will also need to meet income rules for Child Benefit detailed here.

Other eligibility criteria information:

  • If you live in a Housing Association grants are only available on properties with Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E, F or G
  • If you live in a rented property grants are only available to rented properties with an EPC rating of A, B, C, D or E AND landlord permission is always required to complete the insultation grant application process (the installer can help you with this)

Apply for a grant

Once you apply online for a grant you'll be contacted by a Registered Installer to check you meet all the necessary criteria. They'll check what benefits you receive and confirm your status (whether you're a private tenant or own your own home). You will also be asked about energy efficiency in your home and possibly details about your EPC.

Apply for a grant