What is LA Flex?

Local Authority Flexible Eligibility, often shortened to LA Flex, is a part of the UK Government’s new phase of the Energy Company Obligation Scheme – ECO4.

Councils and Local Authorities have the power to widen the eligibility criteria for ECO, allowing them to tailor energy efficiency schemes to their respective area.

This allows more residents, in addition to those claiming benefits, to qualify for ECO funding, often based on low incomes, health, age or area, giving councils the ability to support specific communities.

LA Flex must define criteria that proves residents are either living in fuel poverty or are on low income and vulnerable to living in a cold home.

Local authorities can use LA Flex to help homeowners benefit from the installation of home energy efficiency measures. However, the Flexible Eligibility route is not applicable for social housing tenants.

 

What makes LA Flex different to ECO4?

Local Authority Eligibility Flexibility (LA Flex) is part of the government backed Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme that aims to help homes in the UK reduce their carbon footprint and lower their energy bills. LA Flex is intended for households that are at risk of fuel poverty due to a low income, but are not currently receiving any government benefits.

Usually, this is done by fully or part-funding the installation of energy saving measures in your home, such as different types of insulation, which will help low energy efficiency homes reduce their bills and carbon footprints. Thanks to LA Flex, Local Authorities are now able to draft the eligibility criteria under the guidance of Ofgem.  In a lot of cases, the eligibility criteria now take into other factors outside of benefits, including illnesses, pregnancy, children in households and if residents are of an age that might make them vulnerable to the cold.

LA Flex needs to define criteria that demonstrate residents are either living in fuel poverty or are on a low income and vulnerable. Local Authorities have the ability to use LA Flex to help homeowners and privately renting tenants receive funding for the installation of energy efficient home improvements. However, LA Flex won’t be the right option for everyone as the funding is not applicable for social housing tenants.

What is the Eligibility Criteria for LA Flex

  • Route 1 (Household Gross Income): Households living in owner occupied or privately rented homes with Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band D, E, F, or G homes and with a gross annual income less than £31,000.
  • Route 2 (Proxy Targeting): Households living in owner occupied or privately rented EPC band E, F, or G homes that meet at least two of the proxies (for example, your home is in LSOA 1-3, a child living at the premises is eligible for free school meals).
  • Route 3 (NHS Referrals): Households in private tenure EPC band D, E, F and G homes and identified as housing a person suffering from a severe and / or long-term health condition that is adversely affected by living in a cold home.

 

With LA Flex it’s targeted towards those on low income but not on benefits and those in situations in life where living in a cold home could make things worse. This would include the elderly, pregnant women or those with a young child (under 5) and those with medical conditions that are worsened by cold environments.

Most local authorities would class ‘Low Income’ households as those with less than £31,000 as their total household income per year, but these figures do fluctuate in areas, particularly where the cost of living is higher than average. You must be a “Low Income Household” and meet one of the criteria which results in you being affected negatively by living in a cold household to be entitled to LA Flex Funding. 

Need some help?

A qualified member of our team will be happy to help. We will discuss your options and help you apply for your free boiler and insulation ECO 4 funding.

What is ECO4 Funding?

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government energy efficiency scheme in Great Britain to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty. The scheme began in April 2013 with most of our customers qualifying under the Home Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO). Under HHCRO, obligated suppliers must provide measures which improve the ability of households to heat their homes. This includes actions that result in heating savings such as the replacement or repair of a boiler, cavity wall insulation and loft insulation. 

What if I Don’t Receive Benefits?

For those who don’t receive benefits, you may qualify for the scheme through the Local Authority (LA Flex) programmeLA Flex must define criteria that proves residents are either living in fuel poverty or are on low income and vulnerable to living in a cold home.

Local authorities can use LA Flex to help homeowners and private renting tenants benefit from the installation of home energy efficiency measures. However, the Flexible Eligibility route is not applicable for social housing tenants.