Wednesday 26 February 2014

ECO criticised as means of ‘political point-scoring’

ECO criticised as means of ‘political point-scoring’

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) has been criticised as a means of “political point-scoring" for the UK Government purely set up “to help the rich people”.

Alex Tsimboykas (pictured, below), Operations Director at energy management consultancy EUM believes it will “not in a million years” save consumers any cash on their energy bills as claimed by the Government.

ECO is a programme which places legal obligations on the larger suppliers to deliver energy efficiency measures in people’s homes through three targets:

- The Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO) which focuses on hard to treat homes that cannot be fully funded through the Green Deal.

-The Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO) which focuses on insulation measures and connections to district heating systems to domestic energy users that live within an area of low income.

-The Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation under which suppliers provide measures which improve the ability of low income and vulnerable households to affordably heat their homes.

In December the Government said it would consult on making the ECO easier and cheaper as part of Prime Minister David Cameron's pledge to "roll back" green levies. It proposed to extend the scheme to 2017 and also extend the CERO at a 33% reduced level.

The Government estimates the proposed changes could result in a £30-£35 reduction on energy bills on average.

Copyright: EUMMr Tsimboykas believes the changes mean a “lot less people” will benefit from and claims fuel poverty is “not a driver any more” for ECO.

He told ELN: “I think it’s the utility companies calling the shots. It’s all about votes. It has nothing to do with fuel poverty.”

He added: “People that live in fuel poverty, they live in small houses. But because the ECO is driven by what’s called the carbon tonne on the EPC [Energy Performance Certificate], the smaller houses have hardly any carbon tonne so we don’t target those customers because there isn’t enough money to install anything. You’d lose money as an installer.

“It’s set up to help the rich people – the detached houses, semi-detached houses. That’s the way the scheme is set up… It’s just political pointscoring.”

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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