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Luton Borough Council

ECO4 LA Flex scheme


The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government energy efficiency scheme. Its aim is to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty by improving the energy efficiency of homes occupied by low income, fuel poor and vulnerable households over the next four years.

Under ECO4 Flex, local authorities (LA) can refer private tenure households that it considers to be:

  • living in fuel poverty
  • on a low income and vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home
ECO 4 Flex is a four year grant scheme and designed around the whole house retrofit approach. This allows a number of energy efficiency measures to be installed to improve the property up to a minimum of a D SAP rating.

Applying for ECO4 LA Flex

Applications to the ECO4 Flex should be made via an ECO4 installer registered with Luton Council. To view the list of the installer companies approved to work in Luton please click the button below.

To be assessed for ECO4 Flex you must complete and sign a short application form that is then submitted to the council along with supporting documents, such as proof of income, for determining eligibility. The ECO Flex eligibility criteria is detailed on our statement of intent.

Residents cannot send the application form directly to us, as we'll only accept applications from the household’s chosen installer, which has been approved by the council.

Once we've confirmed eligibility with proof of occupancy/ownership (via bank statements, wage slips and other accepted evidence), we'll provide a declaration to the installer and to Ofgem.

We'll charge an administration fee of £40 for each application the installer company submits to us. This fee covers our time to validate and verify the application, which is paid by the installer company. The installer company should not charge the householder.

Once the sign off has been completed, the final decision will lie with Ofgem and the grant funders whether to accept the ECO4 LA Flex application.

Luton Council accepts no liability under the ECO4 Flex programme and remains impartial throughout the whole process.

Please note: Luton Council does not endorse any installer company, neither are any of the installer companies contracted by Luton Council. Installer companies are private businesses registered with TrustMark, certification bodies and grant funders to deliver works under ECO4 and ECO4 FLEX.

We only carry out checks to ensure installers working in Luton under the ECO4 schemes are fully compliant.

ECO4 Flex referral routes

The main objective of ECO4 is to improve the least energy efficient housing stock occupied by low income and vulnerable households. Only a single route can be used to identify the household meets the ‘ECO4 Local Authority Flexibility’ criteria.The ECO4 outlines four separate routes to identify low income and vulnerable households under ECO4 LA Flex scheme.

Prior to identifying and evidencing a household for ECO4 Flex, the LA must ensure that the property is a private domestic premises for which the pre-project standard assessment procedure (SAP) band is:

  • D, E, F or G for owner-occupied homes
  • E, F or G for privately rented homes
Further, under route 2, proxy targeting, below, regardless of the tenure, only SAP band E, F or G are eligible.

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SAP bands D to G owner-occupied households and private rented sector E to G households with a total gross income less than £31,000. This cap applies irrespective of the property size, composition, or region. Sources of income, including both non means tested and means tested benefits.

SAP bands E-G for owner-occupied households and private rented sector households that meet a combination of two of the following proxies: 

  • Proxy 1: See eligible areas. Proxy 1 includes homes in:
    • England in Lower-layer Super Output Areas (LSOA) 1 to 3
    • Welsh provision LSOA 1 to 3 on the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019
    • Index of Multiple Deprivation for 2020, published by the Scottish government  
  • Proxy 2: Householders receiving a Council Tax reduction (based on low income only).
  • Proxy 3: Householders vulnerable to living in a cold home as identified in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance. Only one from the list can be used, excludes the proxy ‘low income’.
  • Proxy 4: A householder receiving free school meals due to low income.
  • Proxy 5: A householder supported by a LA run scheme that has been named and described by the LA as supporting low income and vulnerable households for the purposes of NICE guidelines.
  • Proxy 6: A household referred to the LA for support by their energy supplier or Citizen's Advice or Citizen’s Advice Scotland, because they've been identified as struggling to pay their electricity and gas bills.

*Proxies 1 and 3 and cannot be used in combination with each other.

SAP bands D to G owner-occupied households and private rented sector E to G households that have been identified by either a person registered in the General Practitioner Register, a Scottish Health Board, a Welsh Health Board, an NHS Foundation Trust, or an NHS Trust as vulnerable, with an occupant whose health conditions may be impacted further by living in a cold home.

These health conditions may be: 

  • cardiovascular
  • respiratory
  • immunosuppressed
  • limited mobility related

SAP band D to G owner-occupied households and private rented sector E to G households that are referred under route 4: bespoke targeting.

Suppliers and LAs can submit an application to ESNZ where they have identified a low income and vulnerable household, who are not already eligible under the exiting routes.

ECO4 Flex improvement measures

Your chosen installer will carry out a survey and identify a package of improvements suitable for your property and will make the necessary arrangements for the installation of the energy efficiency measures. 


Any complaints or issues regarding the ECO4 Local Authority Flexibility scheme in the first instance should be referred back to the installer company. The installer company has a standard complaints procedure which they must follow to address the complaint.

If you feel that your complaint has not been dealt with sufficiently by your chosen installer, you can then contact the council via the complaints process.


© 2024 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ