Rising energy bills put pressure on millions of people in the UK each and every month. The Energy Company Obligation has been designed, in part, to help ease this burden. Recently, the government released their response to the ECO+ consultation. This response will dictate how the next three years of ECO will affect businesses and individuals across the nation.
What Is the Energy Company Obligation Plus?
The Great British Insulation Scheme is a new government energy efficiency scheme (formerly known as ECO+) that will be administered by Ofgem. It is designed to deliver improvements to the least energy-efficient homes in Great Britain to tackle fuel poverty and help reduce energy bills.
The scheme complements the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme, yet unlike ECO4’s ‘whole house’ approach, this scheme will mostly deliver single insulation measures.
As well as supporting low-income and vulnerable households, it will also be available to those living in homes with an Energy Performance Certificate rating of D-G, and within Council Tax bands A-D in England and A-E in Scotland and Wales.
The scheme will work by placing an obligation on medium and large energy companies to deliver measures that result in reduced energy usage. It is intended to run from around April 2023 until March 2026.
The Energy Company Obligation Plus Consultation
The government’s response following its consultation on the Great British Insulation Scheme (previously titled and consulted on as Energy Company Obligation Plus (ECO+)) summarises the responses received and related government decisions in implementing the scheme. This has allowed stakeholders across the nation to review the plan and have their say on how it should be carried out. Over the course of a month, the government received 176 responses from many different sources, such as:
- larger energy suppliers
- local authority organisations
- trade associations
- individuals with an interest in energy efficiency and fuel poverty
- voluntary groups
These responses were carefully reviewed and used to inform changes made to the ECO proposal to ensure that the scheme is as reliable, effective and efficient as possible.
The Governments Response to the ECO Consultation
After considering the information gleaned from the consultation, the government has issued their response. This new document now acts as a blueprint for the next three years as they intend to introduce the scheme from spring 2023 until March 2026. The response includes specific material regarding the implementation of the scheme, including:
- energy supplier obligations and annual targets
- household eligibility for both a ‘general group’ and ‘low-income group’.
- measures that households can receive through the scheme, with higher cost measures more likely to require a household contribution
To find out more, you can read the full ‘Design of the Energy Company Obligation ECO+: 2023-2026: government response.’
The ECO scheme is yet another example of the growth within the UK’s energy industry. Acceleration in the installation of energy-efficiency improvements requires more energy professionals to carry out the work; assessors, designers and installers are absolutely vital to the success of schemes such as ECO.
If this is something you are interested in, please consider getting involved. Energy Trust offers professional training courses in a number of roles within the energy industry. Browse our courses online, or give us a call to find out more at 0333 012 0002.