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 of fitting energy saving home improvements, 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 their own eligibility criteria. In a lot of cases, the eligibility criteria now take into other factors outside of benefits, including illnesses, pregnancy, children in a households, and if the resident are of an age that might make them vulnerable.
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.
Who can qualify for LA Flex?
Given that LA Flex gives Local Authorities the freedom to set their own eligibility criteria, there will be variations depending on what area you live in, so be sure to find out about the specific eligibility requirements for your area if you’re interested in applying. However, in general, LA Flex is aimed at two groups of people that are on low incomes:
1) Individuals that are living in fuel poverty – defined as homes spending a minimum of 10% of their net income on keeping their property warm.
2) People who are more exposed and at risk during cold winter weather including:
- Those with cardiovascular conditions
- Individuals with respiratory conditions
- People with disabilities
- People with mental health conditions or learning disabilities that restrict an individual’s ability to take care of themselves (including people with dementia)
- Older residents (age 65 and over)
- Homes with young children (age 0-5)
- Pregnant women
How does the LA Flex scheme work?
LA Flex during ECO3
When ECO3 was active, energy companies were allowed to use the LA Flex extension to complete 25% of their obligation. This was a new element of the ECO scheme at the time and placed more importance on the route to the funding in comparison with previous phases of ECO.
LA Flex in the upcoming ECO4
As a result of the success of LA Flex during ECO3, it has been assured that flexible eligibility will remain in place for the fourth and last phase of the ECO scheme that is set to be launched later on in 2022. Additionally, under the terms of the new scheme, energy companies will be able to use up to 50% of their obligation through LA Flex, which is double the amount they could use before.
Get in touch with us today to find out if you could be eligible for free insulation funding (enter your postcode here) through LA Flex or ECO4.