The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government energy efficiency scheme in Great Britain to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty.
How ECO works
Under ECO, larger energy suppliers fund the installation of energy efficiency measures in British households.
Each obligated supplier has an overall target based on its share of the domestic energy market in Britain.
The obligated energy suppliers work with installers to introduce certain efficiency measures into your home, such as loft or wall insulation, or heating measures.
There are two main obligations to the scheme which are described below.
The obligations explained
The Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO), also known as the Affordable Warmth Obligation, requires energy suppliers to promote the installation of measures that lead to financial savings on energy bills, such as the installation of insulation and heating measures.
You are eligible under this aspect of ECO if you receive at least one of the following benefits and satisfy the relevant income requirements, where applicable:
- Income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA)
- Income support
- Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
- Tax Credits (on the condition that the household’s relevant income does not exceed the amount set out in our scheme guidance)
- Universal Credit (on the condition that the household’s relevant income in any of the preceding 12 assessment periods does not exceed the amount set out in our scheme guidance).
Please note that local authorities are also able to refer residents in their areas to obligated energy suppliers so that they can be offered support under the scheme.
The Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO)
Measures installed under CERO include a wide range of insulation measures, such as loft insulation or solid wall insulation.
Under this element of the scheme there are no specific eligibility requirements, except that a certain proportion of measures must be delivered in rural areas.
Can I benefit from ECO?
In order to benefit from ECO you must own your own home or have the permission of your landlord.
If you would like advice on energy efficiency, including energy saving schemes such as ECO which you may be able to benefit from, and you live in England and Wales, the Each Home Counts Advice website offers impartial energy efficiency advice. If you live in Scotland, you should contact Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 or complete their contact form.
You can also contact any of the obligated suppliers to find out how they may be able to help you. You can benefit from ECO regardless of who you purchase your energy from. You don’t need to buy energy from an obligated supplier in order to benefit.
You may be contacted directly by an installer claiming to be working under the ECO scheme. In such circumstances please consult our FAQs for more information on checking the credentials of installers operating under the scheme.
It is important to note that eligibility for ECO does not necessarily mean that an energy supplier or installer will decide to install an energy efficiency measure in your home.
Still have a question?
Visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more details on eligibility, and resolving complaints.
Contact us and we’ll be happy to help.