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Last updated: 23 March 2021

Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

Information about the Energy Company Obligation

Among green energy programmes and schemes in the UK, we can find The Energy Company Obligation (ECO). ECO is a domestic energy efficiency programme that was introduced in January 2013 to lower the UK’s energy consumption by supporting people living in a fuel poverty. The programme can help households reduce energy loss from a property and lead to less energy use. The ECO programme works alongside Green Deal with the particular focus on low income and vulnerable consumer groups, and hard-to-treat homes. Since energy efficiency plays a major role in helping to reduce energy bills, following installation of most measures the difference will be immediate. Every property will require different measures to get the most effective results, which is why it is essential for the householder to work closely with their provider to select the best options.

Who Can Apply?

In order to apply for The Energy Company Obligation, you must either own the property or rent it privately and have the owner’s permission to do the work. Additionally, you need to get some of the following benefits: Pension Credit Child Tax Credit Working Tax Credit Income of £15,860 Income Support Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance Income-related Employment and Support Allowance The last four obligations from the list above require fulfilment of one extra condition: You’re responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they are in education or training) You receive Disabled Child Premium You receive Disability Premium You receive Pensioner Premium You are 60 or over (only if you get Working Tax Credit)

How To Apply?

The first step towards making successful applications is contacting The Energy Saving Advice Service to find out what kind of financial support you can get. The second step includes completing the application and providing supporting documentation. The ECO will be funded by your energy suppliers who are obligated under the scheme to determine how much subsidy they will provide to each consumer. This mainly depends on individual circumstances and the amount of Green Deal financial support being used. The ECO foundation, including the ECO Affordable Warmth and the Carbon Saving Community, is funded with approximately £1.3 billion annually.

Green Energy Grants

ECO Targets

Energy suppliers are obligated to help households improve the energy efficiency of their properties within three distinct areas:

Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation

Energy companies are obligated to concentrate efforts on hard-to treat homes and measure whether or not their properties can be fully funded through the Green Deal. The primary areas for this obligation include solid wall insulation and hard-to-treat cavity wall insulation. Other insulation measures and connections to district heating systems can be taken into consideration if they are promoted as a part of the package that includes wall insulation.

Community Obligation

When it comes to the Carbon Saving Community Obligation, energy companies need to focus on the provision of insulation measures and connections to domestic district heating systems, supplying areas of low income. At least 15% of each supplier's Carbon Saving Community Obligation must be achieved by promoting measures to low income households in rural areas.

Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation

Energy suppliers are required to provide measures which will allow low income and vulnerable households to heat their homes. These measures include operations that may result in heating savings, as for instance boiler replacement or reparation.

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