ECO 3 – Improving consumer protection

The latest ECO (Energy Companies Obligation) has been released and responses are required by 6 August 2019.

The consultation proposes to incorporate the TrustMark Government Endorsed Quality Scheme into ECO3, to ensure the relevant PAS standards are adhered to. This should improve the quality of installations of energy efficient measures.

The consultation also includes some changes to the scheme itself, focusing on First Time Central Heating (FTCH) including:

  • Removal of the 400% uplift in the scores for boiler replacements outside of the broken heating system cap of 35,000 per year. This is to encourage the installation of insulation and FTCH
  • Increasing the lifetime (used to calculate the ECO scores) for FTCH, to reflect the fact that a heating system would generally last longer than the 12 years expected for the boiler/heat generator of the system
  • Including FTCH in the eligible measures for F & G Private Rented Sector (PRS) homes. Currently, F & G PRS homes are only eligible for renewable heating or solid wall insulation measures under ECO3. Now that the cap for the landlord contribution under MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards) has been set at £3,500, ECO3 will include FTCH as the average cost of installing FTCH is above £3,500
  • Extend the in-fill under LA-Flex (Local authority flexible eligibility) to include FTCH. LA-Flex was introduced to allow installation of solid wall insulation into homes where the inhabitants do not meet the ECO3 eligibility criteria, but their neighbours do. This allowed for economies of scale and made project more viable. There is a similar argument for economies of scale when connecting properties to the gas network.

You can read the full consultation and respond here.