Both renewable installers and DEA’s have been awaiting the release by Government of the latest changes to ECO, but are they good for the industry?
As a responder to the consultation I have been awaiting this eagerly, would they continue the progressive approach of recent years or would they go back to the old ways? Let me explain.
There have been several obligations on the Energy Companies to help us reduce our energy consumption, previous schemes included CERT and CESP which were usually delivered through multilateral agreements between the big six, local authorities and a handful of contracted installation companies. This arrangement made it extremely difficult for any new companies to get involved in the industry.
During the development of ECO Government was adamant that it should be a more open scheme where anyone that met the qualifying criteria could access, they wanted individual homes to be able to apply for support under the scheme. Significant steps were taken to make this happen, this included setting up an ECO brokerage platform so that any PAS2030 approved installer could offer to deliver in partnership with a Green Deal Provider (GDP), the GDP was the company that had the contract with the energy company and was responsible for the quality of the installations. This resulted in hundreds of companies being set up to deliver ECO.
ECO saw the way in which the Carbon and notional bill savings were calculated move from deemed scores to a more accurate individual home inspection with an RdSAP assessment, or EPC as we know them. The EPC allowed assessors to provide face to face advice to the homeowner not only on what energy efficiency measures are suitable to them but also advice on how they use energy in there home.
These changes weren’t liked by the energy companies, even though they enabled them to meet their obligations at a fraction of the originally proposed costs. Some companies continued to fund local authority schemes at funding rates not available to new companies. They have been lobbying for changes ever since and slowly have Government has given in and changed the regulations.
So now we are back to a deemed score and delivery through local authorities. So much for supporting all those companies that set up to deliver energy efficiency measures and renewables to anyone that qualified for the scheme. You might qualify now but you will find it impossible for a local installer to be able to do it.
Full details of the latest changes can be found here:- https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/energy-company-obligation-eco-help-to-heat