The government is currently consulting on the structure of the forthcoming Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme and the NHF will be responding on behalf of the sector before the closing date of 31 August.
ECO is one of the government’s primary schemes for improving the energy efficiency of housing. The scheme began in 2013 and there have been three iterations of the scheme:
Since 2013, over 3.1m measures have been installed in more than 2.3m homes under the scheme. ECO is administered by energy companies, but funded through increased energy bills for consumers. The government is proposing to increase the value of ECO to £1bn per annum. Energy suppliers are obligated by ECO to install energy efficiency measures in eligible households - generally those at risk of fuel poverty due to low incomes, energy inefficient homes or a combination of the two. The scheme supports the government’s target of upgrading as many fuel poor homes as reasonably practicable to EPC band C by 2030 (with an interim milestone of band D by 2025).
The government is proposing that eligible social housing residents will be able to access works completed under ECO if they are living in properties which have an EPC rating of E, F or G. Those eligible social housing residents living in EPC D properties will only be eligible for ECO ‘innovation’ measures.
The consultation is proposing a range of reforms including:
The government is also currently consulting on the next iteration of the Warm Homes Discount. This scheme is aligned somewhat with ECO and obliges participating energy suppliers to provide rebates to their customers, to reduce energy bills for low income and vulnerable households and tackle fuel poverty.
Please contact us by 18 August with any thoughts you have on the proposed ECO4 scheme and Warm Homes Discount or your experience of either scheme.