Reforms to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) were introduced on 1 April that will provide consumers with extra support to make their homes cheaper and easier to heat.
The changes will ensure energy companies give support to people struggling to pay their heating bills, including providing solid wall insulation, with plans to extend the scheme from April 2017 to September 2018 confirmed.
Consumer Minister, Margot James said: “The big energy firms already have to help households save gas and electricity bills, by improving homes so they are easier and cheaper to keep warm.
“We’re strengthening this obligation today and making sure they prioritise low income households as part of our plan to insulate 1 million homes by 2020.”
The reforms, which were consulted on last year, will simplify the scheme, with energy companies required to provide struggling households with energy efficiency measures to make their homes warmer and bring their bills down.
As well as an increased focus on low income and vulnerable homes, eligibility will be extended to social housing tenants in EPC bands E, F and G, and local authorities will also be able to help match people with energy suppliers.
Suppliers will also be required to install a minimum 21,000 solid wall insulations per year, up from the earlier proposal of 17,000.
There will be continuing protection for the delivery of energy efficiency measures in rural areas, with a requirement that 15% of suppliers’ Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation be delivered in these areas.
ECO has seen around 2.2 million measures installed in around 1.7 million properties between 2013 and the end of January 2017.
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