Smart Energy shares tips for reducing energy bills
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Launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) last month, the ECO+ scheme is part of the Government’s push to help Britons across the country bring down their energy bills. Under the plans, the ECO+ scheme will provide £1billion worth of funding which be allocated to households across England, Scotland, and Wales to cover the cost of home improvements to aid energy costs.
The average cost of funding per household is expected to be around £1,500 to £2,000, which is based on using 80 percent of the £1billion budget.
However, some publications have reported it could even be as high as £15,000 for people in particular circumstances. The bigger costing measures will see the Government paying a percentage of the work with the rest paid for by the person receiving it.
The Government has not yet confirmed exactly how much funding will be available to households.
There are two main groups that qualify under the ECO+ scheme, the “low income group” and the “general group”.
The low-income group includes those who are living in a household within energy performance certificate (EPC) band D to G.
In this group, people must also be receiving a means-tested benefit, living in social housing with poor energy efficiency, or get referred by the council as living in fuel poverty or on a low income and vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home.
The General Group includes all homes in council tax bands A to D in England, A to E in Scotland and A to C in Wales, with an energy performance certificate rating of D or below.
The energy performance certificate is an assessment of how energy-efficient a home is using a rating from A, very efficient, to G which is inefficient.
The Government said that around a fifth of the fund will be targeted to those who are the most vulnerable, including those on means-tested benefits or classed as being in fuel poverty.
The support is to join the existing Government scheme “Help to Heat” which was targeted at home improvement support for households on lower incomes.
The Government said the introduction of the ECO+ scheme will “benefit those households who do not currently benefit from any other government support to upgrade their homes”.
Grant Shapps, business and energy secretary, said: “A new ECO scheme will enable thousands more to insulate their homes, protecting the pounds in their pockets, and creating jobs across the country.”
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Currently, the Government have the ECO Scheme which has been running since 2013, and requires suppliers to help low-income, fuel-poor and vulnerable households to heat their homes by offering energy-efficient home improvements.
To get this help, people have to apply through their energy supplier or through their local council.
Ofgem currently has a list of all participating suppliers in the ECO scheme on its website, however, it is not yet clear whether these same companies will be involved in the ECO+ scheme.
It is expected the ECO+ scheme will run in a similar manner to its predecessor with people applying through the participating energy suppliers.
Once someone has applied, then the energy provider will first assess which energy-efficient measures would be most appropriate for someone’s home.
The Government says it intends to lay legislation for the scheme to launch in the spring of next year and will run it until March 2026.
The consultation on the ECO+ scheme will run for the remainder of this year closing on December 23.
Alongside the ECO+ scheme, the Government has launched an £18million public information campaign to inform households how to save money on their bills.
The campaign promotes some of the Government’s top recommended actions such as reducing the temperature a boiler heats water to before it is sent to radiators, turning down radiators in empty rooms, and reducing heating loss from the property such as by draught-proofing windows and doors.
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