ECO Scheme ‘Most Popular Energy Efficiency Measure’

The government has faced significant backlash this year due to the perceived failings of the energy efficiency schemes that have been set up. The Green Deal is widely regarded as an abject failure having not even come close to helping the mooted 100,000 properties improve their energy efficiency. However, another of the Government’s plans, the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO), has proven to be a far greater success, according to the latest figures.

ECO has been slightly overshadowed by the Green Deal with the latter grabbing all of the headlines, but it has proven to be the Government’s great green energy success story of the year having helped implement more than 300,000 energy efficiency measures. This represents 98% of all energy efficiency measures carried out in the UK according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Unfortunately, in something of a paradoxical move, the ECO may be one of the schemes that will be hit when the Government reviews its Green Energy plan in the coming months. This could disrupt the good work that has been carried out by the ECO team and could put more than 10,000 construction and insulation jobs in jeopardy. ECO offers a wide range of energy-saving benefits.

This has face significant backlash with Rob Lambe, managing director of Willmott Dixon Energy Services, explaining: “We have invested heavily in establishing a business to respond to the projected market opportunities of energy efficiency under ECO. Over the next year we anticipated employing more than 400 tradesmen installing insulation to solid walled properties. But if ECO funding is cut, this work will simply come to a grinding halt and these jobs will be lost, with thousands more at risk in the wider industry.”

This news comes at an inopportune time for David Cameron’s government who are under additional pressure to place extra pressure on the big 6 energy suppliers to reduce price increases. It has been revealed that the big 6 are in line to increase energy prices at an above-inflation rate every year for the next 17 years.

Paul King, chief executive of UK-Green Building Council is one such dissident voice: “Energy efficient measures delivered under ECO dwarf those under the Green Deal, which demonstrates just how perverse it is for the Government to be considering cutting it back.”

The Labour party have already made it clear that energy efficiency is one of the their priorities, putting additional pressure on the current Government.

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