Flexenergy has appointed Stacie Bentley as business
development manager for the Midlands. Stacie has more
than 13 years’ experience working in the renewables and
RURAL HOUSEHOLDS DISCRIMINATED
OVER ECO PROPOSALS
Oil boilers could be excluded from the next round of the Energy Company
OFTEC HAS EXPRESSED MAJOR concerns that government proposals to
exclude oil boilers from the next round of the Energy Company Obligation
(ECO) would unfairly discriminate against rural households and lead to
even higher levels of fuel poverty.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recently
launched a consultation on the introduction of ECO3, the third phase of the
ECO initiative which aims to provide affordable warmth to low income and
other vulnerable households.
Under the new proposals due to run from October, oil-heated
households will still be eligible to fi t energy effi ciency measures such as
insulation and heating controls, but unable to repair or replace an old,
faulty or broken boiler with a new oil appliance. Comparable households
on mains gas or LPG would continue to have access to this support.
Oil using consumers may be allowed to fi t other solutions such as air
source heat pumps – although these would not be eligible for Renewable
Heat Incentive payments – and LPG boilers under the revised ECO3
scheme, but these systems are far more expensive to run, currently
costing up to 60% and 48% more respectively each year to heat an average
three-bedroom house compared to a high effi ciency oil boiler.
OFTEC says this situation would leave some of the most vulnerable
rural households at a signifi cant fi nancial disadvantage compared to
those on mains gas. A further potential consequence is that to avoid
the substantially higher fuel bills which would result from switching to
LPG or heat pumps, oil using consumers may ignore faulty appliances,
employ cowboy technicians to fi x them or worse, try to carry out repairs
themselves at considerable risk.
OFTEC’s concerns over the ECO3 proposals have been echoed by other
organisations, including fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action.
OFTEC has also received responses from a number of rural MPs
backing the trade organisation’s stance.
WHAT WOULD YOU BUY...
Heating & Plumbing Monthly | MAY 2018 | www.hpmmag.com