Download the full outcome
Detail of outcome
The ECO: Help to Heat consultation ran from 29th June 2016 to 17th August 2016. The consultation received 236 formal responses. All comments have been given full consideration in the development of this Government response as well as for the purpose of further developing proposals for the longer term scheme. The Department is grateful to everyone who took the time to respond to the consultation.
The majority of responses were supportive of most of the proposals.
Stakeholders generally agreed with focusing the scheme more on installations which made the most impact on reducing fuel poverty (more insulation, fewer replacement gas boilers), although views were split on the level of replacement boilers and solid wall insulation.
There were concerns about the scale of change for a one-year scheme, with suggestions on how to mitigate this. There was broad support for the overarching simplification of delivery and administration of the scheme.
Key policy decisions made include:
- An 18 month extension to the ECO scheme (April 2017 – September 2018).
- Introduction of a more simplified and targeted scheme. The Affordable Warmth Group will be increased to around 4.7m rather than 4m (in consultation) households. This will include more households who are in fuel poverty, and those on lower incomes, who may be struggling to meet heating and other bills;
- eligibility for certain measures under Affordable Warmth will be extended to social housing in EPC bands E, F or G;
- Local authorities will have a role in determining eligible homes, following the introduction of the ‘flexible eligibility’ mechanism, which suppliers can use for up to 10% of their Affordable Warmth obligation;
- the requirement to deliver a minimum level of solid wall insulation will be increased from the proposed equivalent (in consultation) of 17,000 measures per year to 21,000 per year;
- rural delivery will be protected as 15% of Carbon Emission Reduction Obligation will be delivered in rural areas.
- administration will be simplified. ‘Deemed scores’ will be introduced in place of the current Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) methodology.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a programme to deliver energy efficiency measures in homes across Great Britain in order to reduce carbon emissions and improve the ability of low income and vulnerable consumers to heat their homes to comfortable levels. ECO was launched in January 2013 and is currently in its second obligation period, which is due to end on 31 March 2017. The Government’s Spending Review 2015 announced plans for a supplier obligation to run for 5 years from April 2017 at an estimated level of £640 million per year.
Alongside our ECO consultation document we have published an illustrative draft of the regulations to enable stakeholders to understand how the proposals in the document could be implemented. This is provided for information only.