Available Government Grants For First-time Central Heating in the UK?

Central Heating

Getting your whole heating system might seem heavy on the pocket. It comes with lots of perks though. Good news! In the UK, there are different government grants to help pay for it. However, it’s not for all but for eligible homeowners and private tenants who are receiving government benefits due to low income.

This blog will explain what a first-time central heating system has, why it’s great to have one, and all about the grants you can get, like the ECO4 scheme and more. We’ll also discuss how much the first time central heating grants cover and the general eligibility criteria.

What Does a First-Time Central Heating System Include?

A first-time central heating system typically consists of several components designed to provide consistent and efficient heating throughout your home. Here’s what it generally includes:

  • Boiler: The heart of the system that heats water, which is then pumped through pipes to radiators or underfloor heating.
  • Radiators: Devices that emit heat into rooms, distributed throughout the house.
  • Thermostat and Controls: Tools to regulate the temperature and schedule heating times.
  • Pipework: Pipes that carry hot water from the boiler to radiators and back.
  • Hot Water Storage Cylinder (if not using a combi boiler): Stores hot water for domestic use.

Advantages of First-Time Central Heating

Switching to central heating offers numerous benefits:

  • Consistent Heating: Provides even and controlled heat throughout your home.
  • Energy Efficiency: Modern central heating systems are more energy-efficient compared to older, individual heaters.
  • Cost Savings: More efficient heating reduces energy bills.
  • Increased Property Value: Homes with central heating systems are often more attractive to buyers.
  • Comfort: Enhanced comfort and convenience with programmable heating schedules.

Available UK Grants for First-Time Central Heating

1. ECO4 Scheme

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme is a big program to help people put in their first central heating systems. Here’s what you need to know:

  • How Much it Covers: The ECO4 scheme can pay for up to all of the costs to install, but it depends on your situation and if you’re eligible.
  • Who Can Apply: Usually, it’s based on how much money you make and if you get certain benefits like Income Support, Pension Credit, or Universal Credit. You need to meet certain rules to qualify.

2. Warm Home Discount Scheme

The Warm Home Discount Scheme is another initiative aimed at helping with heating costs:

  • Coverage: Provides a one-off discount on electricity bills, which can help offset the cost of running a new central heating system.
  • Eligibility: Available to those on a low income or receiving certain means-tested benefits. There’s also a broader group scheme for those on low incomes but not receiving the specific benefits mentioned.

3. Local Authority Grants

Some local authorities offer grants for installing first-time central heating:

  • Coverage: Varies by location and specific council programs but can cover a significant portion of installation costs.
  • Eligibility: Often based on income, property type, and whether the property is in a designated area for improvement.

How Much Each Grant Covers

The amount covered by each grant can vary widely:

  • ECO4 Scheme: Can cover up to 100% of the costs, especially for low-income households or those receiving specific benefits.
  • Warm Home Discount: Provides a discount of around £140 off your electricity bill, which can help manage overall heating expenses.
  • Local Authority Grants: Coverage varies but can range from partial to full funding depending on the council’s resources and priorities.

General Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for these grants, homeowners generally need to meet certain criteria:

  • Income: Many grants are income-based, aimed at low-income households.
  • Benefits: Receiving specific benefits such as Income Support, Pension Credit, or Universal Credit can qualify you for some grants.
  • Property Type: Some grants are only available for certain types of properties or in specific areas.
  • Existing Heating: For first-time central heating grants, the property typically should not have an existing central heating system.


Putting in a central heating system for the first time is a great investment. It makes your home more comfortable, saves energy, and reduces bills. The UK government has grants, like the ECO4 scheme, to help cover costs for those who qualify. Knowing what a central heating system includes and the support available can help you upgrade your home’s heating. If you meet the requirements for these grants, they can make the installation much cheaper, keeping your home warm and energy-efficient for a long time.

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