Households struggling to pay their energy bills will receive extra support to keep warm during the colder months, thanks to reforms to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) published on 30 January.
The government scheme, which aims to reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty, will be extended from April 2017 to September 2018.
The reforms, which were consulted on last year, will usher in a simplified scheme, with energy companies required to provide struggling households with free energy efficiency measures to make their homes warmer and bring their bills down.
Minister for Energy & Industry, Jesse Norman said: “The government is committed to tackling fuel poverty, and a key part of that is to help people keep bills down by living in more energy efficient homes. These changes will move the UK a further step towards the goal of insulating a further 1 million homes by 2020.
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, he explained.
Suppliers will also be required to install a minimum 21,000 solid wall insulations per year, up from the consultation figure 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 Emission Reduction Obligation be delivered in these areas,” Mr Norman added.
“ECO has proved a very effective delivery mechanism with over 2 million measures installed in around 1.6 million properties between 2013 and the end of November 2016.”
Image courtesy of Shutterstock/Nestor Bandrivskyy