What is the LA Flex Scheme?

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LA Flex is an extension of the government’s ECO (Energy Company Obligation) scheme. The purpose of ECO is to help eligible households across the country lower their carbon footprint and energy bills by providing funding to install energy efficient improvements. The LA Flex element of the scheme is designed to help homeowners and private tenants who are not receiving any benefits but are living on a low income and are vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold and inefficient property.

This is usually achieved by subsidising the cost (up to 100%) of fitting energy saving measures like air source and ground source heat pumps to name a few examples. Local Authorities, through LA Flex, will now be able to define their own eligibility criteria. In many situations, these criteria have been extended beyond just income, benefits claimed, or the type of heating to also incorporate illnesses, pregnancy, number of children, or the age of the occupant.

How does LA Flex work?

Essentially, Local Authorities have the ability to set their own criteria and work with ECO-accredited, pre-approved partners to install energy-saving improvements for homes that need them.

LA Flex in ECO3

In the previous rendition of ECO, ECO3, energy companies were allowed to use LA Flex for up to 25% of their obligation. This made the route to funding more important than the previous phases of the ECO scheme. To use this initiative in ECO3, local authorities were required to publish a Statement of Intent (Sol) that outlines the eligibility criteria they have control over.

LA Flex in ECO4

With the success of LA Flex in ECO3, it has been confirmed that it will remain in place for the fourth and last version of the ECO scheme. Also, under the terms of ECO4, energy suppliers will be able to provide up to 50% of their obligation through Local Authority Flexible Energy, which is double the amount that was previously permitted.

LA Flex funding for heat pumps

What should be included in a Statement of Intent?

A Sol needs to include a description of how a local authority intends to identify residents in its area who will benefit from energy efficient measures in their homes. The criteria must state that householders can qualify if they have a low overall income and high heating bills. Additionally, it has to be stated that those on a low income and are especially vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home are eligible. Local authorities have the freedom to define the thresholds and can include any extra criteria they feel is appropriate for residents in their area.

Can I qualify for LA Flex funding?

As previously mentioned, each authority that takes part in the scheme has to have a published Statement of Intent, laying out the extra criteria and specifying how a household can be included in the ECO scheme. All of the local authorities will have their own criteria, so it is important to know and understand the rules in your area. The exact criteria you will need to have might vary depending on the Local Authority, but it will typically come down to three main areas: age, health, and type of property. 

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Clive Whyte
I'm Clive, a sustainability advocate and green energy expert. I have over 25 years of industry experience and now I spend my time sharing my knowledge online with the hope of educating Britain towards a more sustainable future.