The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government initiative to assist consumers to reduce carbon emissions and alleviating energy poverty.
The major energy suppliers have goals to support customers in adopting energy-efficient technologies.
Loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation, and boiler replacement or repair are examples of measures that may be carried out through the ECO program.
What is the Energy Company Obligation?
Energy companies must assist households in lowering their home heating expenses by offering energy-saving devices.
They should concentrate on ways to help low-income or fuel-poor clients heat their homes, as well as those who are in vulnerable situations.
Companies can select the energy-saving technologies they want to use, how much money they will give, and the contractor that does the job.
Who is the ECO for?
ECCO offers efficient retrofit projects. Domestic heating replacements are among them, with a focus on vulnerable consumer groups and hard-to-treat houses. This might be homes without mains gas access or where energy efficiency is too expensive.
Can I get ECO funding?
To be eligible for ECO, you must either own your house or have the agreement of your landlord. There are a variety of companies that provide various levels of assistance and funding for energy-efficient improvements, so determining whether or not you qualify for ECO financing is not straightforward.
There are several factors that may influence your eligibility:
If you are a core group customer of the Warm Home Discount Scheme who joined before scheme year 12 and meet the relevant income restrictions, you may be eligible for the ECO.
- Child Benefit
- Pension Guarantee Credit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income Support
- Tax Credits (Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits)
- Universal Credit
- Housing benefit
- Pension credit saving credit
There are several methods for determining your eligibility depending on where you live:
England and Wales: Check the government’s Simple Energy Advice website or phone 0800 444 202.
Scotland: Contact Home Energy Scotland, or phone 0808 808 2282.
Which energy suppliers offer ECO?
Gas and electricity suppliers with more than 150,000 customers must fit ECO measures. You don’t have to approach your current energy supplier.
- British Gas Bulb
- EDF Energy
- Octopus Energy (including Co-Op Energy)
- Outfox the Market
- Ovo Energy (including Boost and SSE)
- Scottish Power
- Shell Energy
- So Energy
- Utility Warehouse
Related: What is Warmer Homes Scotland?
The latest stream of ECO is ECO3, which focuses on low-income and vulnerable households and helps to fulfill the government’s fuel poverty obligations.
This money will be used to pay for renewable technologies and replace costly, malfunctioning, or inefficient fossil-fueled systems or non-centrally heated systems.
Heating replacements often go hand in hand with insulation and energy efficiency improvements under ECO3.
For the funding of ground source heat pumps, walls must be insulated and demonstrated.
A minimum of 250mm of insulation must be applied to the roof of each property, but if the roof is flat and cannot be insulated, evidence is necessary.
From March 2022, the current ECO scheme will end, and it will be replaced by ECO4 – a stream currently under discussion that is scheduled to begin in April 2022 and ends in March 2026.
Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Even if you can’t get ECO funding there are still several energy-saving things you can do around your home.
- Change your light bulbs to energy-efficient ones
- Draught-proof your doors and windows
- Install loft insulation
- Turn appliances off standby mode
- Use a smart meter
- Switch to a green energy supplier