Homes across the UK will get extra support to keep warm during the colder months thanks to reforms published on January 30. Changes to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) will make sure energy companies provide necessary support to people struggling to meet their heating bills. Plans to extend the scheme from April 2017 to September 2018 were also published on January 30.
The reforms which were consulted on last year will usher in a simplified scheme, with energy companies required to provide struggling households with free energy efficiency measures to make their homes warmer and bring their bills down.
Minister for Energy and Industry, Jesse Norman, said: “The government is committed to tackling fuel poverty, and a key part of that is to help people keep bills down by living in more energy efficient homes. These changes will move the UK a further step towards the goal of insulating a further one million homes by 2020.”
As well as an increased focus on low income and vulnerable homes, eligibility will be extended to social housing tenants in Energy Performance Certificate bands E, F and G, and local authorities will also be able to help match people with energy suppliers.
Suppliers will also be required to install a minimum 21,000 solid wall insulations per year, up from the consultation figure of 17,000.
There will be continuing protection for the delivery of energy efficiency measures in rural areas, with a requirement that 15% of suppliers’ Carbon Emission Reduction Obligation be delivered in these areas.
ECO has proved a very effective delivery mechanism with over two million measures installed in around 1.6 million properties between 2013 and the end of November 2016.