Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Funding
What is it?
A government scheme which legally obligates energy suppliers to fund energy efficiency measure installations (e.g. loft insulation) for homes in the UK. We are currently in phase 3 of ECO which runs until 31st March 2022. The purpose of ECO is two-fold:
- Reduce carbon related domestic energy emissions
- Reduce households’ energy bills & make them more comfortable at home
|ECO 1||January 2013 – March 2015||1) Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO)||12.4 Mt CO2|
|2) Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO) (included the CSCO rural sub-obligation)||6 Mt CO2|
|3) Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO)||£3.7billion|
|ECO 2||1 April 2015 – 31 March 2017||1) Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO)||19.7 Mt CO2|
|2) Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO)||6 Mt CO2|
|3) Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO)||£6.46 billion|
(extension of ECO2)
|March 2017 – 30 September 2018||1) Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO)||7.3 Mt CO2|
|2) Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO)||£2.76 billion|
|ECO 3||3rd December 2018 – 31st March 2022||1) Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO)||
Who controls it?
The legislation is created by the government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and administrated by Ofgem (The government regulator for gas and electricity markets in Great Britain).
Who is obligated to participate?
- The scheme obligates energy suppliers (EDF, British Gas etc) with over 250,000 customer to take part.
- The energy companies are obligated to help the eligible households regardless of who their energy supplier is. If you do want to see which suppliers are currently obligated click here.
- Please note to reflect changes to the energy market, changes are taking place to reduce the threshold of the number of customers required for suppliers to become obligated. This is as the energy market is made up of more medium sized suppliers now rather than fewer larger suppliers.
How it works
- Energy Suppliers are allocated a proportional share of the overall target according their market share of customers.
- Energy suppliers use installers and sometimes ECO brokers to deliver the install measures to meet these legal obligations. They often do so with the partnerships with local councils and charities to help meet the targets.
- Suppliers must achieve 15% of their total HHCRO obligation through delivery of measure to rural areas (rural sub-obligation).
- They can delivery up to 25% of their obligation through LA flex eligibility.
- They can also deliver up to 10% of their obligation through ECO innovation measures if they wish: innovative measures are encouraged by the government in recognition that it could help save carbon.
What Measures are Available?
This list is not exhaustive and you can access the full list of available measures here. But popular ECO measures are:
- Cavity Wall Insulation
- Loft Insulation
- Electric Storage Heaters
- Solid Wall Insulation
- Flat Roof Insulation
Who the scheme applies to?
- Households in the UK
- All tenures: social renters, private renters and owner occupiers
- Please note the funding levels vary per tenure, measure, EPC and more.
ECO Eligibility Routes
|Route A: HHCRO Qualifying benefits||Route B: ‘Flexible Eligibility’|
||Flexible eligibility criteria is set out by your local council in accordance with the ECO guidance. Portsmouth City Council are participating and have a publically available Statement of Intent here. Please note this requires your local authority to be participating in this part of the scheme. It is voluntary and not every council is taking part.
Portsmouth City Council Flex eligibility:
A household is flex eligible if they meet one of the following in column A or one in column B.
|Column A||Column B|
- Some ECO measures are fully funded and some are not and many require a customer contribution.
- This is through many carbon saving calculations.
- If you would like a measure but would not be able to fund a customer contribution you can investigate any local grants available to you.
How to Apply
If you are on a relevant HHCRO qualifying benefit outlined in route A yes proceed to step 3, if not proceed to step 2
If you are not on a HHCRO qualifying benefit you may be flex eligible. Check if your local council has an SOI. You can check who your local council is here. If you are based in Portsmouth (PO1-6) check if you meet any of the eligibilities outlined in route B. If you meet this requirement, proceed to step 3.
- Some ECO measures are fully funded, some are not and may require a customer contribution.
- You can enquire at no cost.
- If your chosen measure requires a customer contribution and you do not think you will be able to pay this you should explore local grants:
- Check with your local council of any available grants. Find your local council here.
- Check the local grant finder tool on the government’s Simple Energy Advice website
There are several ways you can access the funding:
- Find an installer with ECO funding access and contact them
- Use MyEcoHome which is an online portal which checks if you are eligible for funding for larger energy efficiency measures (such as insulation and heating) under the government’s ECO scheme. You can enter details about your property and leave details to be contacted by MyEcoHome. Please note this is run by PCC but a third party company called Agility Eco.
- Use the government’s Simple Energy Advice website or call them on 0800 444202
- An installer may approach you, if they knock on your door or cold call you make sure to take a name and check their credentials first. You could also call your local council to check if they are recognised