As the latest figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show that more than 300,000 measures have been completed under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), Knauf Insulation is calling on the government to resist pressure from the ‘big six’ energy companies and to continue driving the scheme forwards.
John Sinfield, managing director of Knauf Insulation Northern Europe, said: “These figures show that although ECO has undeniably suffered through its poor design and implementation, it is starting to bear fruit – dwarfing the pitiful take up of the Green Deal, which has seen just 219 live plans. Cutting this so-called ‘green levy’ now would be a hugely wasted opportunity and a shocking disservice to the UK’s most vulnerable, fuel-poor households.
“What’s more, scaling back ECO will have a devastating effect on employment within the energy efficiency sector – figures released by the UK Green Building Council and the Association for the Conservation of Energy suggest that more than 10,000 jobs could be axed if the government relaxes ECO targets.”
Mr Sinfield continued: “ECO is a vital part of the puzzle when it comes to transforming our housing stock, which is among the leakiest and coldest in Europe. Bear in mind that the current ECO subsidy for low-income homes is only £47 out of the average annual household bill of £1,267 – surely a small price to pay to ensure the most vulnerable people in our society have access to warm and safe homes?
“This is a long term scheme and the government must not bow to pressure from the energy companies for the sake of short term political point scoring. ECO can be made to work by giving the supply chain better visibility of demand, by ensuring consistency of compliance across the ‘big six’ and by reviewing the measures available.”