What is ECO?
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is an energy efficiency programme that was introduced to the UK at the beginning of 2013. The current phase of the programme is also known as ECO Transition or ECO2T. It started in April 2017 and will run for 18 months. This programme is designed to bridge the gap between the 2013 ECO grant funding programme and a new fuel poverty focussed programme due to start in October 2018.
An additional programme called ECO FLEX (Flexible Eligibility) has been made available to Local Authority Councils across the country. City Energy Network is working closely with a number of early ECO FLEX adopting councils across Wales. No benefits needed for those who are in fuel poverty! Get in touch with your local council to see if they offer ECO Flex and how City Energy Network in partnership with your council can help you reduce your heating bills and keep the hot water flowing.
ECO places legal obligations on the larger energy suppliers to deliver energy efficiency measures to domestic energy users. It operates alongside the Green Deal which is designed to help people make energy efficiency improvements to buildings by allowing them to pay the costs through their energy bills rather than upfront.
ECO was initially designed to work alongside the Green Deal to provide additional support in the domestic sector, with a particular focus on vulnerable consumer groups and hard-to-treat homes. Since it started out in 2013, ECO has morphed into a grant that can be mixed with many other financing types including City Energy’s own Pay As You Save top up loans.
Under the rules of ECO, energy suppliers are obliged to help improve the energy efficiency of their domestic customers’ buildings. These rules and eligibility requirements have changed frequently since the start of ECO and will continue to change over time.
How can I benefit from ECO?
You may be eligible if you are a domestic energy user and you and/or your property meets the eligibility requirements under one of the two obligations potentially providing you with energy efficiency measures installed for free under the scheme, regardless of whether your energy supplier is obligated under ECO:
Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO)
CERO is directed at roof and wall insulation, which is the primary measures that the Government intends to be promoted under this target. Other secondary insulation measures and connections to district heating systems are also eligible if they are part of a package.
Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO)
HHCRO covers measures that improve the ability of low income and vulnerable households (the ‘Affordable Warmth Group’) to affordably heat their homes, including insulation, the replacement or repair of a qualifying boiler or indeed the replacement or repair of electric storage heaters.