The Government launched the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) in 2013 - a national initiative that requires major Energy Companies to fund heating and insulation improvements in homes throughout Great Britain.
The scheme has evolved. So are Local Authorities making the best use of this Government backed scheme and using it to their advantage, delivering real benefits to their citizens?
Like most Government policy, ECO is complicated. Especially if you are not directly involved in the energy efficiency industry. The complexity of the rules and the changing terms and conditions is one of the main reasons why many Councils have still to consider ECO as an accessible funding stream.
However, when it comes to domestic energy efficiency, ECO is still the main game in town. And local authorities who don’t make use of it are missing out on an effective channel of support to help improve homes, reduce fuel poverty and keep vulnerable resident warm and healthy.
To help local authorities make the best use of ECO, APSE Energy and YES Energy Solutions have revamped their simple ECO guide, which was originally launched in 2016. The revised guide covers the latest changes to ECO policy, including opportunities for councils’ to set their own funding criteria.
The guide takes out the complexity, explains how funding is allocated and why some installations are prioritised over others. It also provides case studies of successful local authority schemes where ECO has added value and extended the scope of installations.
Head of APSE Energy, Phil Brennan said, "ECO is still the main funding stream for domestic energy efficiency in Great Britain. Many local authorities are committed to helping residents save energy and money, but are unaware of the funding opportunities available. Working once again with our trusted partners YES Energy Solutions, this guide provides local authorities with a clear overview of what ECO is, how to get involved and more importantly – how to use it to the advantage of local communities."
YES Energy Solutions, who won ‘Funding Provider of the Year’ at the 2017 National Energy Efficiency Awards, work in partnership with obligated energy companies and have access to ECO funding. They are well placed to help local authorities capitalise on the benefits of the scheme.
Duncan McCombie, Chief Executive at YES Energy Solutions, explained, “We have developed this guide to help Local Authorities get a better understanding of the support and opportunities available to them, through ECO and how it can be used to improve homes and reduce fuel poverty.
The latest changes to ECO enable Local Authorities to set their own eligibility criteria, so that fuel poverty can be targeted effectively at a local level. Councils now have a great opportunity to capitalise on this change in policy and really drive support to the communities that need it the most.
We’re confident that this guide will help strip away some of the confusion and complexity surrounding ECO funding and encourage more Local Authorities to use it to strengthen their energy efficiency schemes, making a big difference locally for their populations.”
The new guide – titled ‘ECO funding for Local Authorities’ is available to order here. Alternatively, you can download a free online version by clicking on the button below.
Duncan McCombie of YES Energy Solutions will also be speaking about the benefits of ECO funding at a number of APSE Energy seminars throughout the country:
APSE Wales Climate Change & Renewables Advisory Group - Llandrindod Wells, 17th May 2018
Interested in attending, then please contact Phil Brennan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
YES Energy Solutions have long-standing relationships with many local luthorities and have developed and managed many ECO funding initiatives. For more information visit www.yesenergysolutions.co.uk