ECO was introduced in January 2013 to reduce Britain’s energy consumption and support people living in fuel poverty by funding energy efficiency improvements in homes. The larger energy companies are set obligations to install insulation and heating measures in order to achieve reductions in energy usage and heating costs. ECO works alongside the Green Deal as a way of providing consumers support and funding for these measures.

ECO and Green Deal will help reduce carbon emissions from Britain’s domestic building stock, which is an essential part of the UK’s plan to meet its statutory domestic carbon emission reduction targets by 2050. Government has recently extended the ECO scheme to March 2017.

ECO is administered by the Office for Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem).

Scope of the ECO

There are 3 obligations under the ECO.

Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation

This provides solid wall, cavity wall and loft insulation measures, and connections to district heating systems, alongside secondary measures including double glazing and draught proofing.

Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO)

This provides insulation measures and connections to district heating systems to households in specified low income areas. Suppliers must meet 15% of their obligation by installing measures in rural areas. Ofgem has published a tool to assist installers and customers to identify eligible CSCO and CSCO rural areas.
You will find a list of small area geographies eligible for CSCO support in The Future of the Energy Company Obligation document.

Affordable Warmth Obligation

This provides heating and insulation measures to consumers living in private tenure properties that receive particular means-tested benefits. This obligation supports low income consumers that are vulnerable to the impact of living in cold homes.

How ECO is funded

ECO is funded by the larger energy suppliers. Energy suppliers obligated under the scheme decide how they meet their obligations, including which homes to treat and how much subsidy they provide to each heating or insulation measure. This may depend on the size and type of the property, the consumers’ individual circumstances and whether other finance is also being used, for example Green Deal finance.

Further information

The Energy Saving Advice Service provides impartial information about eligibility, access to ECO and the other types of support available.
Call: 0300 123 1234.

Visit Ofgem’s website or read our guide on getting help to keep your home warm for further information.