Eco (Affordable Warmth)

AboutFAQsMeasures

What is ECO?

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It is the Government’s new domestic energy efficiency programme which has replaced the existing CERT and CESP programmes, both of which come to a close at the end of 2012. ECO works alongside the Green Deal to provide additional support for packages of energy efficiency measures. ECO also provides insulation and heating packages to low income and vulnerable households and insulation measures to low income communities.
takeecoECO creates a legal obligation on energy suppliers to improve the energy efficiency of households through the establishment of three distinct targets:

• the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (20.9 million lifetime tonnes of carbon dioxide). Focusing on hard to treat homes and, in particular, measures that cannot be fully funded through the Green Deal. Solid wall insulation and hard-to-treat cavity wall insulation are the primary measures that the Government intends to be promoted under this target. Other insulation measures and connections to district heating systems are also eligible if they are promoted as part of a package that includes solid wall insulation or hard-to-treat cavity wall insulation.

• the Carbon Saving Community Obligation (6.8 million lifetime tonnes of carbon dioxide). Focusing on the provision of insulation measures and connections to district heating systems to domestic energy users that live within an area of low income. This target has a sub-target, which states that at least 15% of each supplier’s Carbon Saving Community Obligation must be achieved by promoting measures to low income and vulnerable households living in rural areas.

• the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (£4.2bn of lifetime cost savings). Requiring energy suppliers to provide measures which improve the ability of low income and vulnerable households (the ‘Affordable Warmth Group’) to affordably heat their homes. A heating qualifying action is the installation of a measure that will result in a heating saving; including the replacement or repair of a qualifying boiler.

Can I get involved in ECO?

Households should first contact the Energy Saving Advice Service (ESAS), an independent helpline set up by the Energy Saving Trust (EST). This service provides free, impartial, energy-saving advice for homes and businesses in England and Wales. If you live in Scotland you should contact an Energy Saving Scotland advice centre.

Alternatively you can contact an energy supplier, a Green Deal Provider or a Green Deal Assessor to determine what measures could be installed in your property and what finance options are available to you.

What are the different obligations under ECO?

ECO creates a legal obligation on larger energy suppliers to improve the energy efficiency of households through the establishment of three targets:

  • The Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation target (20.9 million lifetime tonnes of carbon dioxide) focusing on hard-to-treat homes and, in particular, measures that cannot be fully funded through the Green Deal. Solid wall insulation and hard-to-treat cavity wall insulation are the primary measures that the Government intends to be promoted under this target. Other insulation measures and connections to district heating systems are also eligible if they are part of a package that includes solid wall insulation or hard-to-treat cavity wall insulation.
  • The Carbon Saving Community Obligation target (6.8 million lifetime tonnes of carbon dioxide) focuses on the provision of insulation measures and connections to district heating systems to domestic energy users that live within an area of low income. At least 15% of the target must be achieved in low income and vulnerable households located in rural areas.
  • The Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation target (£4.2bn of lifetime cost savings) covers measures that improve the ability of low income and vulnerable households (the ‘Affordable Warmth Group’) to affordably heat their homes, including the replacement or repair of a qualifying boiler.

Who are the obligated energy companies?

The following energy companies have obligations under ECO:

  • British Gas
  • EDF
  • E.ON
  • First Utility
  • RWE npower
  • Scottish Power
  • SSE

Queries regarding ECO installations or the financing of measures should be directed to these suppliers. Contact details for the obligated suppliers can be found here.

Can I only get ECO support from my own energy supplier?

No. Any energy company that is obligated under ECO can deliver measures to any domestic household in England, Wales and Scotland, provided the eligibility criteria under one of the three obligations are met.

Am I still eligible for ECO, even though my energy supplier isn’t an obligated supplier?

Yes. If you are a domestic energy user and you and/or your property meets the eligibility requirements under one of the three obligations then you would possibly be eligible for energy efficiency measures to be installed under the scheme, regardless of whether your energy supplier is obligated under ECO.

What is the Green Deal?

The Green Deal is a new Government initiative that lets homes and businesses pay for energy saving improvements, like insulation, through savings on their fuel bills.

What is the difference between the Green Deal and ECO?

Measures installed under the Green Deal are generally paid for by the householder through the savings in energy bills. In contrast, under ECO, vulnerable and low income households, as well as those living in harder to treat properties where the expense of implementing these measures would not be recouped by the savings in energy bills (the Golden Rule), will receive full or partial financial support through ECO.

There is some scope for integration of the two schemes. A combination of ECO support and Green Deal finance would cover the delivery of packages of measures where the household is not in a position to take out Green Deal finance without additional funding – for example where the upfront costs are not fully met within the Golden Rule.