The ECO is a financial obligation that is placed on energy suppliers to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty.
The scheme focuses on installing heating and insulation measures and supports vulnerable consumer groups.
The key stakeholders are:
• Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (national policy)
• OFGEM (regulation)
• Local Government (local policy and implementation)
• Energy Saving Trust (NGO)
• Energy Services Companies (industry)
• National Energy Action (fuel poverty charity)
• Energy Agencies (local implementation)
The obligation is split into 3 categories.
1) Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO)
The key target group:
• Able to pay (private and social housing)
2) Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO)
The key target groups:
• Low income
• People receiving certain benefits and living in private domestic properties
• Vulnerable households in rural areas
3) Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO)
The key target group:
• People receiving certain benefits and living in private domestic properties

Resources needed

The funding comes from a mixture of fuel supplier investment and a levy on all fuel bills which have been reduced significantly over the last 3 years reducing the pot from £1.3bn to £640m.

Evidence of success

.All ECO1 programme indicators were achieved or surpassed. It was a catalyst for major investment and jobs growth in the energy services sector.
1,169,521 households received ECO support between January 2013 and March 2015. This is 44.5 households from every 1000. The highest concentration was in North-West England at 71.8 per 1000 households.

Difficulties encountered

General budget cuts means that everyone is fighting to attract funding and those with the most local investment or the ability to scale up programmes with higher carbon yield will benefit to the detriment of those with less potential

Potential for learning or transfer

An equivalent scheme would need national policy implementation and wider support in skills and growth for the energy services/construction sector.
Main institution
Severn Wye Energy Agency
Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bristol/Bath area, United Kingdom
Start Date
April 2018
End Date


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