Energy Company Obligation rules set out by Government

The End Fuel Poverty Coalition has welcomed news that the Government has laid down the regulations for the new “Energy Company Obligation” Scheme to help improve the energy efficiency of peoples homes.

The scheme, known as ECO4, will last until 2026 and will help insulate homes, reducing energy bills. To access the fund, households will need to speak to their energy supplier or social housing landlord.

A spokesperson for the Coalition commented:

It’s welcome that the necessary legislation is finally being laid, but it is absolutely vital that we get swift passage of the regulations before the summer and with cross-party support to ensure no more bumps in the road.

We would also encourage BEIS and Ofgem to continue to work with installers and energy companies to keep up the number of retrofits carried out this summer before further price hikes kick in, and take other steps to ensure effective and smooth delivery (such as tackling supply chain and skills shortage challenges).

There are still some areas where the scheme could be improved, for example in ensuring more advice can be provided and that there is more support for the lowest income households so that those who can make household contributions do not receive overly preferential treatment.

Customers will also need more support if their boilers breakdown. There is a massive reduction in the allowance for this in ECO4, and no good alternative process for emergency (keeping in mind that a heat pump install will take longer could leave households without heating for a longer period in winter).

Finally, given the scale of the current cost of living crisis, more support will be needed to help a wider number of households reduce their energy bills permanently through energy saving measures such as insulation and heat pumps.

We encourage the government to boost existing schemes with new public spending commitments in the forthcoming Autumn Budget.