Results of our evaluation of the ECO now published
Is it meeting its aims and budget?
29 April 2014
We have now completed an independent evaluation of the first year of the Energy Company Obligation. As a brand new scheme, and the Government's flagship energy efficiency initiative alongside the Green Deal, there needed to be a thorough analysis of whether the ECO was meeting its aims and its predicted costs.
We analysed the energy suppliers' data on their ECO progress and costs, and conducted interviews with suppliers, Green Deal providers and installers about their ECO experiences so far.
The picture that emerges is one of a new scheme starting to pick up speed after a slow start, but with several design flaws that have hindered progress in a number of areas. We have made six key recommendations for the ECO's future based on our findings.
CSE's Ian Preston said: "One of our main findings was that the ECO's reporting requirements are very complex, time-consuming and bureaucratic compared to previous schemes. This has significantly increased delivery costs, slowed down activity and hindered customer take-up. We (along with the supply chain) strongly recommend setting 'deemed savings' for each measure, which would greatly reduce all these issues.
"Disappointingly, DECC chose not to float this possibility in the recent 'Future of the ECO' consultation. The onerous reporting requirements remain for the standard insulation measures that have now been re-introduced, such as cavity wall and loft insulation - even though, for these measures, the reporting costs may make up as much as half of the installation cost. Reducing the reporting requirements could have removed the need to reduce the ECO targets so significantly - leaving funding for measures for more householders.”