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Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and ECO Flex

ECO4 is the Government's main energy efficiency grant funding programme for privately owned and rented UK households. For more details about ECO4, including householder Frequently Asked Questions, please see  FAQs for domestic consumers and landlords | Ofgem  

E.ON are working in partnership with Sunderland City Council. Helping to address fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency. E.ON are offering private landlords the following:

1. Free initial portfolio desktop assessment

2. Free Retrofit Assessment Survey for properties

3. Free bespoke portfolio plan

To find out more, see the following document:      Information for Landlords provided by E.ON (PDF) [1MB]

  • Please note all the main energy suppliers are obliged to provide ECO4 funding to qualifying households. Some of the suppliers work in partnership with Local Authorities to help deliver the programme.  
  • Sunderland City Council is working with E.ON and Utilita following a selection process and will therefore only approve ECO4 Local Authority Flexibility (ECO Flex) applications from these suppliers and the local ECO contractors that they have appointed to work in the city. 

Please note:

You do not need to be a customer of E.ON or Utilita to benefit from their ECO4 funding.

ECO4 funding from E.ON and Utilita is available to all QUALIFYING privately owned and rented households in Sunderland.

The ECO4 programme aims to help

  • lower-income households or people with certain health conditions living in the least energy efficient houses. 

Three steps to ECO4 eligibility

1. Tenure - to qualify for ECO4 you must be a homeowner or tenant renting from a private landlord. 


2. Your property - the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your property must be or F or rated. In some limited instances a D rated property may qualify for ECO too. To check your existing EPC please see Get a new energy certificate - GOV.UK ( If you do not have an existing EPC then E.ON or Utilita may include one in their ECO4 Retrofit Assessment to establish if your property qualifies for an ECO4 upgrade. 


3. Local Authority Flexibility (LA Flex) Health Condition - you or a person living permanently in your household has a health condition which could be made worse by living in cold, draughty and damp conditions. Typically, these health conditions will be cardiovascular, respiratory, immunosuppressed, or limited mobility related. Any person of any age with a qualifying health condition living permanently in the property may qualify regardless of household income. You will be expected to ask your GP to sign, stamp and date a letter which formally confirms the health condition.

3a. Local Authority Flexibility (LA Flex) Low Income - your total Gross household income must not exceed £31,000 per year. You will be expected to provide evidence to the ECO4 contractor confirming your total single or joint gross household income. You can be fully employed, self-employed or in receipt of an occupational pension or in receipt of benefits, tax or pension credits.


3b) ECO Affordable Warmth - your household must be in receipt of one of the following DWP benefits. EON or Utilita will conduct a DWP check to verify receipt of your benefits. They might ask you to present a Child Benefit Award Notice or make a self-declaration about your household income.

  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Child Benefit* (total Gross household income thresholds apply - see below)
  • Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Warm Home Discount Rebate
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit Savings Credit
*Child Benefit income threshold to qualify to receive ECO 4 fund.

Number of children

Single claimant

Member of a couple










4 +




As ECO4 / Flex eligibility criteria are complex. 

The easiest way to find out if you could qualify for ECO4 is to contact our ECO4 partners E.ON or Utilita directly:

For full details of EON's ECO4 scheme please visit ECO4 (Energy Company Obligation scheme) | E.ON Next ( full details on Utilita's ECO4 scheme please visit Energy Company Obligation | ECO Scheme | Utilita Energy
To find out if you qualify for ECO4 with E.ONTo find out if you qualify for ECO4 with Utilita
Telephone: 0333 202 4422Telephone: 0196 267 9048 
Email: ecohome@eonenergy.comEmail:



Sunderland City Council supports the uptake of ECO4 in Sunderland and also reviews income and tenure eligibility for ECO Flex applications on behalf of E.ON and Utilita. However only E.ON and Utilita and not Sunderland City Council can decide if your ECO4 application is eligible, technically suitable and compliant with Ofgem's ECO4 regulations.    

From September 2022 ECO funding for replacement condensing combi gas boilers is extremely limited, and, if available, is allocated at the discretion of the ECO-Obligated Energy Supplier - either E.ON or Utilita, but not Sunderland City Council.

Please note households with a non-condensing gas back-boiler or a system boiler may qualify for an upgrade to a condensing combination boiler - please contact our ECO4 partners E.ON and / or Utilita for more information to check if you would be eligible.

For full ECO 4 Flex eligibility details, including all qualifying health conditions and other criteria, please see the council's ECO4 Flex Statement of Intent (SOI) ECO4 and Great British Insulation Scheme Flexible Eligibility Statement of Intent. Version 1.4 published 11.03.2024

Previous SOI 's

Eco flex Statement of Intent version 1.0 withdrawn

Eco flex Statement of Intent version 1.1 withdrawn

Eco 4 Flex Statement of Intent version 1.2 withdrawn

ECO4 and Great British Insulation Scheme Flexible Eligibility Statement of Intent version 1.3 withdrawn

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