The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) has been in place since 2013 and, according to the government, has supported the installation of around 3.5 million insulation and heating measures in 2.4 million homes. Its latest iterations, ECO4, has been allocated £4bn for 2022 to 2026. It is aimed at those in social housing and on low incomes.
The Depart for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is now consulting on extending ECO4 to ECO+, widening the number of homes eligible for funding.
“We propose ECO+ is broadened out from ECO4 to a larger eligibility pool split between two groups,” the consultation says. “The first low-income group will broadly retain the same eligibility requirements as for ECO4, focusing on low-income and vulnerable households. A second general group will expand to all homes in Council Tax bands A-D in England, A-E in Scotland and A-C in Wales with an EPC of D or below. To avoid homes being treated under ECO+ when they could receive a deeper retrofit under ECO4, we propose that all low-income group homes with an EPC band D, and only low-income group homes with EPC bands E, F or G that cannot meet the ECO4 minimum score improvement requirement, will be eligible for support under ECO+.”
It continues: “To ensure the households most at risk from fuel poverty remain supported under ECO+, [energy] suppliers will be required to deliver at least 20% of their annual targets to the low-income eligible pool. Suppliers will have the discretion to determine how much of their remaining obligation should go to the general eligibility group or low-income group.”
Business and energy secretary Grant Shapps said: “A new ECO scheme will enable thousands more to insulate their homes, protecting the pounds in their pockets, and creating jobs across the country.”
The consultation paper can be found at www.gov.uk/government/consultations and closes on 23rd December 2022.