What Will Changes To The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Mean For Installers?

26/Mar/2014
Blog Author: 
Giles Crosse

 

The Department of Energy & Climate Change opened its consultation on ECO on 5 March. Closing in just under a month’s time, what are the risks and opportunities for installers and the sector at large?

The Government’s Key Proposals For Changes To ECO

  • Extending the scheme to 2017.
  • Changing eligibility for Carbon Saving Communities Obligation (CSCO).
  • Making Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO) cheaper and simpler, plus lowering 2015’s obligations by 33%.
  • Easing administration and simplifying the scheme.

What Might The Changes Mean?

Firstly, extending the scheme is positive. This provides installers with greater certainty about the longevity of the funding. Easing administration could help reduce costs of the admin involved. But until eligibility and reductions obligations are redefined, a period of concern seems inevitable.

‘I have been informed that we no longer have any HHCRO funding with immediate effect.’ reads one Installer’s reply to announcements on DECC’s blog. ‘It is more than frustrating to find that our lines of supply for HHCRO have now been cut.’ reads another.

Ed Davey, our Energy and Climate Change Secretary, admits things have not worked out concerning ECO. To change this, he wants: ‘A three year line of sight for business planning, longer than ever before,’ lengthening ECO to 2017. Secondly, ‘Lofts and cavities will now be eligible as so many in the industry pressed for,’ and, ‘A target for solid wall insulation,’ is to come.

Davey says, ‘Many customers wanting to use Green Deal finance to fund improvements can’t borrow enough to cover the full cost of the measures they want to install.’ This is up for revision, which should incentivise the market, and he too proposes that, ‘Green Deal Providers can access the as yet untapped demand in the private rented sector.’

He argues that five million homes are not fully double glazed, 1.5 million have no double glazing at all, over five million could benefit from cavity wall insulation and eight million solid wall homes remain untreated, obviously a vast amount of potential work.

In a nutshell, Davey is promising a change to the UK green energy efficiency industry, and a partnership with government that grows the markets and sells the benefits. The consultation is meant to achieve this.

Then again, promises are cheap. Probably the best thing installers can do is get ready to move fast when the consultation ends.  

For a summary of the consultation, see here. If you haven’t used our ECO Online service, you can click here to learn more and watch our introductory video. 

Giles Crosse is a sustainability journalist who has previously contributed to the BBC, the Economist, the Guardian and the United Nations Environment Programme.

Comments

 

Changes are heading more to Green Deal finance which most of our clients are definitely put off by. Last year we were able to sell EWI to our clients with the promise of a small contribution through ECO which many really have found beneficial and have gone ahead with the installation. Unfortunately, as we were happily planning 2014 work the rug has been pulled under us fully and we and our clients are heavily rethinking their options. As we were waiting for things to change we had to find work fast which has now led us into another problem, we are unable to do EWI work for a few months now leaving our clients not knowing whether they can benefit from the cashback scheme as this ends in June and we are stuck with our other work until July. EWI jobs take time to organise and for clients to really know what finish they want and if they really want to go ahead in the first place. Having a changing ball game leaves everyone second guessing what benefits they will get without having to go down the loan route which they are all very much against.

 

After doing all the work to become a green deal installer spending over £2000 and numerous hours setting up the quality management system , we finally started doing Eco installs after doing around 20 installs and using over £15,000 pounds of my savings we give up on the Eco because we could not get the funds from our providers quick enough how can the government expect the green deal work for the small installer , I spoken to a few green installs and not one as a good word to say about the green deal the government is promoting

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