The Future of ECO

One of the longstanding objectives of government policy for energy suppliers has been that they put their efforts in to improving energy efficiency for their customers, especially those in fuel poverty. Several schemes have been put in place to do this, most recently the second phase of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO2) which expires in September 2018.  One of the most important innovations in delivering those savings has been Flexible Eligibility. This is the mechanism whereby local authorities can become involved in securing savings in partnership with energy suppliers, where the local authority identifies households in fuel poverty that may not meet the criteria placed on suppliers. Presently the government is consulting on the scope of ECO until 2022. It is asking whether ECO3 should allow suppliers to meet up to up to 25% of their total targets through Flexible Eligibility, up from 10% now.

With their on-the-ground knowledge and resources, local authorities have already shown they have the ability to help suppliers target vulnerable consumers who otherwise might not be supported. Not only do they do this directly, but they are also able to co-opt third party—also often local—know-how as well.

Pixie Energy believes locally owned and managed energy will benefit not only the organisations involved, but the households and business at the heart of the system. Pixie Energy is very supportive of local mapping of energy, housing and social characteristics and is developing its own tool that reveals regional differences and anomalies to help local authorities and newly obligated ECO suppliers target measures efficiently and cost effectively.

Pixie Energy and Cornwall Insight’s experts will be discussing this and other aspects for the future for the ECO at an expert workshop on 17 April. For more information please contact Richard Wetherall on 01603 604422, r.wetherall@cornwall-insight.com

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