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What exactly is the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO)?

By the end of 2012, both CERT (Carbon Emissions Reduction Target) and CESP (Community Energy Saving Programme) initiatives were replaced by ECO - a new energy efficiency programme - which reflects the urgent need for a step-change in our approach to energy efficiency in the UK’s building stock.

ECO is a requirement of the UK’s six main energy suppliers to fund works to reduce carbon emissions and fuel bills in low-income households and areas, and in properties that are harder to treat. ECO is part of the new Green Deal and provides additional funding (£1.3bn for 2013) for improvements to homes that can’t be fully financed through the Green Deal. This means energy efficient improvements can be financed through Green Deal loans, ECO funding, or a combination of the two.

On receipt of a valid application, delivery of all Green Deal and ECO improvements will be provided directly to the customers (home owner) or clients (councils, landlords, etc) through an accredited framework installer like Henry Boot Construction, and funded in partnership with an energy supplier.

What are the ECO objectives?

As ECO is parliamentary ruling (the Electricity and Gas Order 2012), energy suppliers have three specific obligations if they are to meet the UK’s statutory domestic carbon emission reduction targets by 2050.

Carbon Saving Obligation

Focusing on hard to treat homes and, in particular, measures that cannot be fully funded through the Green Deal. Solid wall insulation and hard-to-treat cavity wall insulation (HTT) are the primary measures that the Government intends to be promoted under this target. Other insulation measures and connections to district heating systems are also eligible if they are promoted as part of a package that includes solid wall insulation or hard-to-treat cavity wall insulation.

Carbon Saving Community Obligation

Focusing on the provision of insulation measures and connections to district heating systems to domestic energy users that live within an area of low income. This target has a sub-target, which states that at least 15% of each supplier’s Carbon Saving Community Obligation must be achieved by promoting measures to low income and vulnerable households living in rural areas.

Affordable Warmth Obligation

Requiring energy suppliers to provide measures which improve the ability of low income and vulnerable households to affordably heat their homes. A heating qualifying action is the installation of a measure that will result in a heating saving; including the replacement or repair of a qualifying boiler.

How will ECO funding be allocated?

How will ECO benefit you?

The most obvious upshot of modernisation are increases in property value and rental income, but there are many other benefits to consider.

An improved property will provide a warmer and more comfortable home for a tenant. A warm tenant with cheap utility bills is a happy tenant. Happy tenants generally stay in properties for longer and the more time a tenant remains at a property, the better it is for a landlord’s rent generation as there will be fewer void periods when the property is empty (looking forward, it is important to note that as of 2018, any stock that holds an F or G EPC rating will not be eligible for rental occupancy).

The improvements will also reflect in reduced maintenance bills as energy efficiency improvements help to maintain the fabric of properties. The likelihood of mould, damp, condensation and freezing water pipes in the winter are all reduced in energy efficient properties. Therefore, tenants will have fewer problems in their home and landlord’s maintenance bills should be reduced.

With very little paperwork required, and the added benefit of private landlords being able to claim up to £1500 in tax allowances per property through The Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance, the opportunity to improve and modernise your building stock is an incredibly attractive proposition for all concerned.

So what measures are available to the ECO obligations?

Initially there will be 45 energy efficient measures which suppliers can use to meet their ECO obligations. However, not every measure is available through funding - some are only available at the discretion of the energy supplier and can only be included if they improve EPC ratings. To avoid confusion, the pdf download outlines exactly what is available for each obligation.

Why choose Henry Boot to be your Green Deal/ ECO installer?

Henry Boot Construction is a leading property services provider operating across the UK. The business is driven by our unique delivery model, combining specialist skills with strong regional building and civil engineering construction capabilities. Throughout everything we do, our core principles of People, Performance and Partnerships underpin our success.

With over 125 years of experience, we successfully deliver diverse and challenging projects, safely and to the very highest standards. We’re proud to achieve this through the partnership approach we take not only to our clients, but also to our supply-chain providers and through an absolute commitment to our employees.

Over the last decade one of our main focuses has been consultancy and delivery of cost and energy efficient measures to building stock in the public and private section. Our excellent track record has also seen us appointed to energy efficient works for public bodies and civil servants. Our full-service, in-house capabilities (including any support required from our Renewables and Development divisions) have been vital to this progression and, due to our consistent high levels of performance, enabled us to be fully compliant as of January 2013.

As part of this process we work with members of The Insulated Render & Cladding Association (INCA), The National Insulation Association (NIA), and The Solid Wall Insulation Guarantee Agency (SWIGA) which provides householders and landlords with an independent guarantee for 25 years. More importantly, we are PAS 2030 certified which, coupled with the 25 year guarantees, gives accredited access to funding under the rules set by OFGEM, the industry regulator.

It is this meticulous approach, coupled with our ability to forge outstanding relationships with clients and communities, why British Gas - a company notoriously concerned about the potential “unacceptable level of delivery risk” (British Gas Green Deal Executive Summary 2012) - selected Henry Boot Construction as a framework partner and Green Deal Installer.

So, how do I apply for ECO measures?

You’ve had the what, who, why and whens. But what about the how?

Well, we really make it as easy as the diagram suggests - with provisions for initial assessments, access to funding and 25 year guarantees all undertaken in-house for full accountability and peace of mind, it’s very clear why we’re the perfect framework partner for your next ECO project. All you have to do is make the call and let us do what we’re exceptional at...econstruction.

Start to finish - how ECO works

1

A green Deal Assessor will survey your building.

2

An EPC report on performance and potential improvement measures is issued.

3

The report is then submitted to a Provider for funding approval.

4

Payment structure of either 100% ECO Funding, or partial ECO Funding with owner top-up is agreed.

5

You appoint the Green Deal Installer of your choice and the work is completed.

Econstruction in practice, read our case studies

Below are a selection of our ECO projects. Click on the download button to download the case study pdf.

Tarran Bungalows, Wath

External application of energy-efficient brick effect insulated render system to 38 ‘Tarran’ type non-traditional bungalows in Wath, Rotherham for Rotherham MBC including concrete repairs to existing concrete panel construction.

Solid Wall Properties, Crosby

External insulated render to 359 properties together with entrance canopies and minor repairs and alterations in association with the properties prior to rendering.

BISF Property Refurbishment, Wakefield

£2m to undertake external structural repairs, insulated render to 143 British Iron and Steel Federation (BISF) houses in three areas of Wakefield, Flanshaw, Hemsworth and Chequerfield.

Call us on 01246 581 693 for more information

Alternatively visit us at Henry Boot Construction, Callywhite Lane, Dronfield, S18 2XN or click the button below to email Henry Boot Construction.