The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government scheme that imposes a legal requirement on the main energy suppliers to help people install energy efficient measures in their homes. The primary focus of ECO is to provide support for vulnerable and low income households and hard-to-treat homes at little or no cost to the property owner or resident.
The ECO scheme, launched at the beginning of 2013, replaces two previous schemes, the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP). In addition to helping vulnerable householders and those resident in low income areas, ECO is also intended to offer support for those properties not covered by the Green Deal and the two schemes are designed to work in conjunction with one another.
The lessons learnt from previous government renewable energy schemes have shown that Green Deal funding alone is not sufficient to cover the upfront cost of many carbon saving measures and ECO is intended to bridge this gap.
The ECO scheme is designed to provide finance for insulation and heating measures to low-income and vulnerable households and insulation measures for properties in low income areas and rural communities. It allows people to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes and pay for them through their energy bills. Under ECO, eligible households can get help with fuel costs and the installation of energy efficient measures from one of the six main energy suppliers, even if they do not supply energy to the home.
There are three components to the ECO scheme; the Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO), the Caron Emission Reduction Obligation (CERO) and the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) also known as Affordable Warmth.