ECO3 Consultation Launched

During the  Easter break, the Government announced the latest consultation on the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) Policy, which will cover the period 1st October 2018 to 31st March 2022. This period is to be known as ECO3.

The opening foreword states:

“This Government is determined to bring down the costs of energy for all consumers, including by delivering on the aspiration set out in the Clean Growth Strategy for as many homes as possible to reach EPC Band C by 2035 where practical, cost effective and affordable. The Energy Company Obligation is one of several key policies which will help us achieve those aims with a particular focus on bringing down bills for low income and vulnerable households.”

“Alongside the benefits to the wider economy we believe that the direct impact of the measures will benefit those households most in need of help. That is why we are completing the transition of the Energy Company Obligation to a scheme focused on low income and vulnerable households, who are least able to adequately heat their homes and most likely to suffer from these impacts. This includes extending eligibility to cover households with disabled occupants. The changes are an important step on the road to meeting our commitment to improve the energy efficiency rating of fuel poor homes to EPC Band C by 2030.”

Highlights of the proposals:

  • Average £640m per year to be spent
  • 100% of ECO to focus on Affordable Warmth (such as low income and vulnerable households)
  • Increasing size of Affordable Warmth Group to 6.5m eligible households, the expansion to include households n receipt of child benefit, subject to income threshold, and disability benefits, including Personal Independence Payment
  • Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO) to be removed (0%)
  • Government to provide energy suppliers with data and tools in order to identify eligible households
  • 25% of Obligation will be identified by Local Authorities
  • 15% of Obligation has to be delivered in rural areas
  • 17,000 solid wall homes insulated per year
  • 35,000 broken heating systems to be replaced – subject to installing certain insulation measures
  • Measures that received support under Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) not eligible for ECO
  • 10-20% of obligation to be met with innovative measures in attempt to support new technologies and installation techniques
  • Phasing in Each Home Counts – quality mark when available

Stuart Fairlie, Technical Director Elmhurst Energy: “We welcome the high level ambitions of the policy to move 100% to fuel poor homes and to raise as many homes as possible to Band C on the EPC. However there is no detail that the worst homes will be targeted and no resultant EPC to measure the improvement. The flaw in ECO is that it measures the number of installs as the success of the Policy. The hope will be that the home is improved, Elmhurst have always said that the right measures need to go into the right homes; the EPC allows the base position to be understood and taking into account the home owner/tenants use of the home, then the correct measure(s) can be installed. The lack of detail means that we may blindly continue to install measures and hope for the best. We will continue to campaign for right measures in the right homes.”

Elmhurst will seek our members' views on this important consultation and will respond in due course.

Link to Consultation Documents:

Deadline for Responses: 29th April 2018

Article Published: 3rd April 2018

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