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Flexible Eligibility Statement of Intent

Date of Publication: 1ST April 2022

Version No: V: WW2 

This statement sets our Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council's flexible eligibility criteria for ECO3 LA Flex (Interim Delivery): Help to Heat Programme from April 2022 forward. The scheme is supported from the ECO commitment provided by utility companies and the availability of funding is beyond the control of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and may be closed at any time. It aims to support households living in Neath Port Talbot who are most likely to experience fuel poverty and those vulnerable to the effects of a cold home.

This statement of intent is only used on specific energy efficiency projects where ‘the council’ is a participating partner. Please note that the Council will only sign declarations for qualifying households that are part of this project and will not currently work with any third parties outside of this project.

Introduction

Neath Port Talbot Council welcomes the availability of Flexible Eligibility (FE) and intends to utilise the funding for the purpose of reducing fuel poverty in the Borough.

The authorities’ objectives are to:

  • Help to lift households out of fuel poverty
  • Improve the Energy Efficiency of homes
  • Improve Health and Wellbeing of vulnerable households

ECO 3 LA Flex is not a Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council funded or managed scheme, many aspects of it are outside the council’s control or design. Neath Port Talbot Council will refer clients to Warm Wales, a not for profit Community Interest Company (CIC) specialising in tackling fuel poverty. Warm Wales will assess and if appropriate, refer eligible clients to 3rd parties who may have access to funding under the scheme.

What is flexible eligibility?

Local Authorities working with Energy Suppliers obligated under ECO, have an opportunity to extend eligibility criteria for energy efficiency measures to households not covered by existing schemes of support

Identifying eligible households

Funding is only available for owner-occupiers and private tenants. Qualification for the scheme is restricted to:-

  • Those that are living in fuel poverty
  • Those that are living in a Low Income Household

Eligibility will be determined by the criteria listed below and requires evidence and a signed declaration by the owner / private tenant.

Qualifying Measures: The energy efficiency measures that could be installed in eligible properties include new central heating systems, heating upgrades and insulation.

Liabilities: NPTCBC accept no responsibility or liability from any negative consequences, damage or loss arising from the acceptance of an ECO Flex grant. This includes efforts connected to the preparation application or survey prior to an installation or as a result of works delivered under the scheme.

NPTCBC do not endorse any specific energy supplier, grant agent, installer or company connected to the application or installation of ECO Flex grants or products.

Any grievance or issue raised against works or application process should be taken up with the installing party / agent / financier. NPTCBC’s involvement in the scheme is limited to the declaration of eligibility for the grant. Should you wish to have the declaration explained in further detail, please email Renewals

Final Decision: The decision on whether a household receives a measure under flexible eligibility, or other ECO funding streams will be made by the energy suppliers or their agents / contractors. Qualification in the statement of intent or the declaration by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council will NOT guarantee installation of any measures, as the final decision will lie with the supplier.

Whilst some measures being grant funded will be free to the consumer at point of sale, others may be partially grant funded and will require a contribution from the consumer or agent in order to be delivered.

Any financial or contractual arrangement relating to the installation of a specific measure or home survey or service shall be at the discretion of the homeowner or occupier to accept or decline as they choose. NPTCBC will not be party to any such arrangements; this shall solely be between the consumer and any third party of their choice on the Warm Wales list of approved agents / contractors.

Governance

The body to which any application for assessment prior to qualification under this statement of intent will need to be made / shall be delegated to the Community Interest Company Warm Wales. NPTCBC will not accept applications direct.

If you wish to make an application for confirmation of grant eligibility, please contact:

Warm Wales
Llewellyn House,
Harbourside Business Park,
Port Talbot
SA13 1SB pref
01656 747 622 01656 747 622 voice +441656747622

Warm Wales shall field calls, engage in scheme promotion and conduct vetting of applications via collection of evidential client information via approved agents / contractors. For a list of approved agents / contractors, please visit the Warm Wales Web Site

 Warm Wales will be solely responsible for referring successful applications to NPTCBC for sign off.

The council shall issue declaration certificates for eligible applicants

Any 3rd party agent or a contractor with clients they wish to refer to the council will need to have said clients utilise the vetting service of Warm Wales and have those clients referred to the council via that organisation. The council will not be party to any such arrangement implemented between Warm Wales and any 3rd party agent of each independent contractor.

The householder shall select the installer and / or funder from the Warm Wales select list of approved agents / contractors, the said agents / contractors will facilitate the application process for funding under ECO 3.

Officers holding the following positions shall be empowered to sign declarations on behalf of NPTCBC.

  • Principal Officer Housing Renewal
  • Senior Housing Surveyor

Monitoring

Information regarding the number of referrals made to the council by Warm Wales and declarations issued shall be recorded by the council. Any further information would be held by the agent or contractor and submitted to BEIS/OFGEM separately

General Date Protection Regulations & Privacy Notice

In order to access ECO3 funding, personal data will need to be shared with 3rd parties by agents / contractors through which any application is made. NPTCBC are not able to process or handle applications without involvement of said 3rd parties. The 3rd parties not the council are responsible for sourcing ECO 3 funding and arranging installation of measures. For this reason, NPTCBC does not consider itself to be the Data Controller in this scenario because it is not the body responsible for offering or delivering the grant.

NPTCBC will process all data submitted as part of the scheme in accordance with data protection legislation. Please refer to NPTCBC’s privacy statement.

Agents / contractors will adopt a two stage process to identify households as being in fuel poverty or on a low income and vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home prior to submitting an application.

  • Stage 1: Households who meet the low-income threshold (see table 1)
  • Stage 2: Households that face high-energy costs and are vulnerable to the effects of a cold home (see table 2).  

Art 1 – Qualifying Criteria – Low Income

Using the responses to the following questions the householders’ income threshold level will be determined.

  • Question 1: How many people over the age of 18 normally live in your property, including yourself?
    This establishes how many adults are part of the household.
  • Question 2: How many people under the age of 18 normally live in your property?
    This establishes how many children are part of the household.
  • Question 3: After paying the rent, mortgage (if you have one) and Council Tax, how much income does your household usually have left each month?
  1. a) More than [g. the threshold amount from Table 1 given the number of adults and children stated under questions 1 and 2]; or
  2. b) Less than [g. the threshold amount from Table 1 given the number of adults and children stated under questions 1 and 2].

Warm Wales will determine if the households is on a low income based on the household composition thresholds on the specified table less the households rent / mortgage / Council Tax costs

Table 1

Type of claim

Number of children or qualifying young persons for whom the claimant is responsible

0

1

2

3

4+

Single claim

£13,200

£17,400

£21,600

£25,800

£30,000

Joint claim

£19,800

£24,000

£28,200

£32,400

£36,600

Income here is defined as a household’s disposable income after they have paid any Tax, National Insurance and housing costs (rent, mortgage (where applicable) and Council Tax).

To qualify, the household must also fully satisfy criteria 1) and / or 2)
  1. Households living in properties with an EPC rating of E, F or G will determine that the household is likely to have high energy costs
  2. Score 24 or more in the table below

We will target Owner Occupiers and the Private rented Sector only.

Table 2

Property Details

Type

Points

Tick Box

Score

Number of bedrooms

1

1

 

 

2

3

 

 

3+

5

 

 

Number of people living in the property

1

1

 

 

2

3

 

 

3+

5

 

 

Is anyone in your home:

Over 60 Years old

3

 

 

Over 75 Years old

5

 

 

Under 18 years old

5

 

 

Does at least one member of the household spend most of the day at home

Yes

5

 

 

No

0

 

 

How much loft insulation is present

None

5

 

 

Up to 150mm

3

 

 

150mm and above

1

 

 

What is the wall type

 

System Built

5

 

 

Solid Stone / Brick

5

 

 

Cavity Construction

1

 

 

How much wall insulation is present

External

1

 

 

Internal

1

 

 

Cavity

2

 

 

None

5

 

 

What heating fuel is used within the property

Mains Gas

0

 

 

Oil

0

 

 

LPG

3

 

 

Electric

5

 

 

 

Solid Fuel

5

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

A non-response will result in a 0 (zero) score

Part 2 Qualifying Criteria – Vulnerability

To qualify under part 2, it is necessary that any householder at the residence concerned is at a greater risk to the effects of living in a cold home. To do this they must possess one of the conditions listed in this section as provided by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) 2015 guidance on excess winter deaths and illness caused by cold homes.

  • Aged over 60 and particularly those aged over 75
  • Children under 5 and those in primary and secondary school education or pregnant mothers
  • People with respiratory disease (COPD, Asthma)
  • People with cardiovascular disease
  • People with moderate to severe mental illness (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder)  
  • Substance misusers
  • Dementia
  • Neurobiological and related diseases (e.g. fibromyalgia, ME)
  • Cancer
  • People with disabilities / limited mobility
  • Haemoglobinopathies (Sickle cell disease, thalassaemia)
  • Severe learning disabilities
  • Autoimmune and immunodeficiency diseases (e.g. lupus, MS, diabetes, HIV)

A signed declaration by the applicant is necessary together with any documentary evidence requested by Warm Wales such as a prescription or doctor’s letter, or identification document.

Part 2 continued: In addition to possessing the stated condition, the property must have a current EPC rating of D, E, F, or G. (All EPC scores will be taken at face value from EPC Register. Any property with an expired EPC will be considered to have no EPC.) If the property has no EPC, then it must score 24 points or more in Table 2 above.

Qualification cannot occur under part 2 if the net household income exceeds £34,500 irrelevant of family size

3.  Acting on behalf of another Local Authority - We are not acting on behalf of another Local Authority

4.  Joint statement of intent - We are not working in association with another Local Authority

5.  Referrals - From time to time referrals may come from various sources that are not currently defined however, information of such sources will be detailed within our Flexible Eligibility review, which will be provided directly to all interested parties and published on our website

6.  Evidence monitoring - The number of households that are contacted and eligible for ECO Flexible Eligibility together with the number of ECO Flexible Eligibility funded measures installed and the number of homes improved will be recorded by Neath Port Talbot Council

The Council will audit the process by ensuring compliance with the guidance adopted