Put families back at the heart of the new ECO Policy?

As the old saying goes "if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’. Here at Elmhurst we fundamentally believe that the ECO policy must retain the EPC, so that it can be successfully managed and categorically prove that those families in greatest need are removed from fuel poverty.

ECO help to heat consultation is open until tomorrow (17th August), and all our members are encouraged to respond (Our full response can be seen here).

Elmhurst has been campaigning hard over the last few months for the inclusion of EPCs in the new ECO Policy due to commence in April 2017. We have written many news articles on the subject and have already responded to the Ofgem Consultation on ‘deemed scores’, which have every chance of being used in the new policy.

We have heard some say that ‘you don’t need an EPC to know whether a house needs cavity or loft insulation’ – whilst this is true. You need one if you are going to measure the success (impact) of the added insulation. You also need one if the reduced funds in the policy are truly going to go to those families in the greatest need. The EPC vitally also shows families and stakeholders what can be done to further improve the home making it warmer and less costly to run.

Suggested Proposal:

We at Elmhurst Energy suggest the following;

  1. Deemed scores are used for trading eco and dealing with understanding how much installers will be paid
  2. ECO funds should be targeted at E, F or G rated homes irrelevant of tenure – by applying an inflator that incentivises installers to improve the properties most in need (E, F and G rated).
  3. A post install EPC should be produced, to give home owners the truthful position of their home and also indicate potential other areas that can be improved
  4. The Energy Assessor should then give energy management education to the family – with the complete facts of the whole property

If BEIS (formerly DECC) take on board our proposals we believe that; the process will be much improved:

  1. installers will have certainty on the amount of funding they will recieve based on the deemed scores.
  2. The lead generators and installers will be incentivised to find the least efficient E, F & G rated properties.
  3. The families will receive the truthful assessment of their home, which will also indicate possible other improvement that can be made
  4. Families can also be advised in energy management for their home from an independent expert.

To be clear, Elmhurst encourage the installation of energy efficiency measures. We want to make sure that the right people and the right properties get the correct help. We fervently believe that energy assessors using RdSAP and EPCs has to be included in the policy, to ensure that the families affected are put back at the heart of the policy. We believe that BEIS and Ofgem through both consultations have stated that the ECO Policy is all about helping families in fuel poverty and that if they do not use the EPC they will not be able to measure success, without this consistency, the policy will be open to criticism.

We at Elmhurst have always believed in the EPC and RdSAP as the correct measuring tool, it provides the appropriate methodology by which success can be determined. Move it out of the critical path for installers, but use it for measurement purposes, whilst ensuring that families are put at the forefront of the ECO Policy.

The Consultation and associated documents can be found in link below, and we encourage our members to respond with their own thoughts, but hopefully you find some of the above useful.

The deadline is this Wednesday, August 17th.



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