Within the recently released sixth Carbon Budget, the government announced their latest target, to reduce British carbon emissions by 78 per cent by 2035, which will be enshrined in law by June 2021. These latest figures now include the UK’s share of international shipping and aviation emissions. Another recent government…
Within the recently released sixth Carbon Budget, the government announced their latest target, to reduce British carbon emissions by 78 per cent by 2035, which will be enshrined in law by June 2021. These latest figures now include the UK’s share of international shipping and aviation emissions. Another recent government report stated that UK emissions have already dropped by 44 per cent between 1990 and 2019, which goes a long way to provide confidence that we are on course to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
If we needed further convincing of which sources are causing the most damage to our environment, the UK CO2 levels measured during 2020 were the lowest emissions recorded since 1879 – with the exception of 1926, when there were strikes. It is no coincidence that the restrictions applied to industrial activities during the recent pandemic were a large contributing factor to the dramatic reduction in carbon emissions.
As part of the government’s plans for a sustainable future, many schemes have been set up to support innovative green technologies that will shape the future. In the interim, financial schemes have been put in place to help reduce carbon emissions from residential properties. The longest standing of these being, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which was set up in 2013 as a way of holding the large energy providers accountable for their part in reducing residential emissions.
The current variant of the scheme, ECO3, is formed of the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO), which means suppliers must promote measures to improve the ability for vulnerable households that are either fuel poor or on a low income, to better enable them to heat their homes. This basically means, improvements that make heating savings, such as the installation of mains gas central heating to a home previously running old storage heaters, would receive funding from the ECO scheme.
The ECO scheme is administered by Ofgem on behalf of the Department for Energy, Business & Industrial Strategy. To become an official supplier of the scheme, each installation company must complete a rigorous accreditation process. To prevent fraud, Ofgem audit a cross sample of installations carried out under the ECO scheme, this also ensures compliance and removes un-certified companies from the process.
Up until now the cost to install first time central heating may have been prohibitive for homeowners or landlords that were considering it. With the introduction of the ECO scheme and the obligation to ensure homes in Britain can afford heating, there is currently funding available for first time central heating installation. To ensure that the scheme is targeting fuel poverty and those who are vulnerable, there is criteria in place which homeowners or residents must meet to qualify for the scheme.
Carbon Saving Group are an official Ofgem supplier for the South West and have been operating since the scheme began in 2013. The groups’ director, Thomas Read, comments; “Now is a great time to contact us if you are thinking about first time central heating. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you could have a new system installed this summer, in time to make savings over the winter”.
The scheme is also set to make large scale improvements to the rental sector. Since 2018, legislation states that all rental properties must have an EPC rating of E or above, however this was only put into force from 1 April 2020, when landlords could no longer let or continue to let a property that fell below an E rating without an exemption in place. Estate Agents are encouraged to notify landlords whose EPC’s fall below band E to check whether they are eligible for ECO funding, to ensure tenants do not fall into fuel poverty. With the government already looking at a long-term improvement plan to bring all rental sector properties up to Band C by 2030, now is a good time to check if you qualify for ECO3 before the funding closes next year.
For more information or to check if you qualify please contact the team