The Coalition raises concerns over proposals to remove support for oil-fired boilers under ECO3

The End Fuel Poverty Coalition (EFPC) has written to the Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire Perry, over the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) proposals to remove support for oil-fired boilers through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). You can read the proposals for ECO3 here.

Dramatically improving domestic energy efficiency levels is the most enduring solution to ending cold homes. Yet in England, ECO – a scheme under which suppliers with more than 250,000 domestic customers provide funding to support vulnerable consumers – is the only mechanism which delivers vital domestic energy efficiency improvements.

An end to support for oil-fired boilers under ECO3 was proposed by BEIS and the Coalition expresses significant concern over this. Households using oil-fired boilers are often off-gas and in the deepest fuel poverty, leaving 140,000 of the poorest households in England with no way to heat their home. We believe that should the Government end support for oil-boilers, households must be able to access alternative policies, such as the Renewable Heat Incentive.

The Coalition also raised concerns as to the financial contributions households are likely to be required to make towards the energy efficiency measures provided through the scheme, despite having already contributed to the policy through their energy bills. This means those in the deepest fuel poverty will be unable to benefit from much-needed improvements due to them not being able to afford to make capital contributions.

You can read the Coalition’s letter to the Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth here.

Since sending the letter, the Coalition is pleased to report that BEIS have announced in their response to the ECO3 consultation, that they will continue to allow new oil boilers to be install under ECO3. BEIS expects that new oil boilers will mostly be delivered in rural areas, although the policy doesn’t exclude other areas. Furthermore, BEIS announced a 400% uplift available to provide support for the replacement of broken boilers (including oil-fired boilers) under the cap to low income, vulnerable and fuel poor households. BEIS’ response to the consultation is available here.