Here are answers to some common questions about the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme.
You may also wish to contact the Energy Saving Advice Service (ESAS), an independent helpline set up by the Energy Saving Trust (EST). This service provides free, impartial energy-saving advice for homes and businesses in England and Wales.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government energy efficiency scheme in Great Britain to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty.
The ECO scheme is set out in the Electricity and Gas (Energy Company Obligation) Order 2014 (ECO2 Order) as amended by the Electricity and Gas (Energy Company Obligation) (Amendment) Order 2017. Information on our role as the administrator of the ECO scheme can be found on our website.
What are the different obligations under ECO?
As of 1 April 2017, ECO will consist of two separate obligations:
1) The Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO). Suppliers are obliged to reduce carbon emissions by promoting the installation of wall and roof insulation and connections to district heating systems.
Other insulation measures can also be installed, as long as they meet certain conditions.
At least 15% of the target must be achieved in rural areas.
2) The Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO).
For the HHCRO, suppliers must deliver energy efficiency measures that reduce home heating costs for low income, fuel poor and vulnerable people. HHCRO measures can be delivered to:
- private domestic premises occupied by someone in receipt of specific benefits (the help to heat group)
- private domestic premises where they are referred to ECO through a local authority declaration, and
- social housing where the premises has an EPC energy efficiency rating of E, F or G. Only insulation and first time central heating measures can be delivered to these premises.
A third obligation, the Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO), ran from January 2013 to 31 March 2017, but is now closed..
There are a number of ways to find out whether you can benefit from ECO:
If you live in England and Wales, your first point of contact should be the Energy Saving Advice Service (0300 123 1234). If you live in Scotland, you can contact Home Energy Scotland (0808 808 2282). They can let you know whether you are eligible for support under the scheme.
You can make further enquiries about accessing ECO measures by contacting any one of the obligated suppliers (it doesn’t have to be your energy provider).
You may also be approached by a Green Deal Provider or a Green Deal Assessor who still operate under ECO. These companies are able to determine what measures could be installed in your property and what your finance options are.
You could also use the government's energy grants calculator to check if you are eligible for help with your energy bills.
Will I have to pay to have an energy efficiency measure installed?
It’s up to suppliers to decide which measures they fund, how much they spend, and which installer they work with.
The level of funding will depend on the measure type and a number of other factors. In some cases you may be asked to contribute to the cost of the installation. If so, we encourage you to ‘shop around’ for the best deal.
Can I only get ECO support from my own energy supplier?
No. Any obligated supplier can deliver measures to any domestic premises in England, Wales and Scotland, provided the eligibility criteria are met.
Can I get my boiler repaired or replaced under ECO?
It is possible to get your boiler repaired or replaced under the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO). This obligation focuses on measures that reduce home heating costs for low income, fuel poor and vulnerable people.
However, from 1 April 2017 there will be a limit to the number of boilers that can be installed under the scheme.
I’m planning to build an extension to my home. Can I get help from ECO to make it more energy efficient?
You may be eligible for ECO support. However, support is only available for improvements that exceed the requirements of existing building regulations.
Is window glazing an eligible measure under ECO?
Yes. To find out which measures are eligible under ECO, refer to our ECO2t Measures Table.
Under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation, window glazing is a secondary measure. To qualify as an ECO measure it must be installed at the same premises as a primary measure, such as wall or loft insulation.
If the company claims to be an installer, always ask to see their credentials. For most measures, installers under ECO must be PAS 2030 (Publicly Available Specification) accredited, and will have a registration number. If they are installing microgeneration measures(eg measures that produce heat) they need to be Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited and will be registered on the MCS website. All companies repairing or replacing a gas boiler must be registered with Gas Safe. You can check this on Gas Safe’s website.
You may be able to have ECO measures installed if you are a tenant living in privately rented premises through the HHCRO and CERO obligations. To do so you must gain consent from your landlord.
Part two of the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 also sets out some of your rights regarding obtaining consents in certain circumstances. BEIS have published a guide on their website outlining these regulations in further detail and the key steps a tenant must take when preparing an energy efficiency consent request.
These documents should be kept in a safe place in case you need to refer to them at a later date.
You should receive the following:
- Documents setting out the arrangements for the works, for example a contract
Ensure you have a document setting out the arrangements to carry out the work in your property. Obtain your own independent technical or legal advice if you think this is necessary.
- ECO consent and privacy notice
This should be provided by the installer before the installation takes place. This makes sure the person who lives at the property (where the ECO measure is delivered) knows how and why their information will be processed, including who the information will be disclosed to.
- Declaration of conformity and completed installation
After the works are complete, the installer should ask you to sign the ‘Declaration of conformity and completed installation form’. It is important that you only sign this once works are complete and you are satisfied with the works. You should retain a copy of this document.
For individual measures we recommend you retain the documents below, as applicable.
ECO ‘appropriate guarantees’
- Any wall insulation measure (such as cavity wall or external wall insulation) must be accompanied by a guarantee which lasts at least 25 years. We publish a list of appropriate guarantee providers on our website. If your wall insulation was installed after April 2015 then we can confirm the name of the guarantee provider to you.
- If you do not have your guarantee and the measure was installed before April 2015, then you could contact all the guarantee agencies covering the type of wall insulation and ask them if they have a record of a guarantee covering your address. A list of guarantee agencies covering ECO measures installed before April 2015 is available on our website.
- In addition to receiving an ECO appropriate guarantee, you may also be provided with a manufacturer’s and/or an installer’s guarantee covering the installation.
New or replacement boilers or electric storage heaters
- Boilers or electric storage heaters that are repaired or replaced under ECO must be accompanied by a warranty, supplied by the installer at the time of installation. We do not hold details of which company issued warranties for boiler repairs or replacements. You may wish to check if the boiler has a manufacturer’s warranty independent of ECO that may also have a claims procedure outlined. Registered engineers must notify the installation of a new boiler to their Local Authorities. The notification can be made through the Gas Safe Register. Once notification is completed, a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate should arrive via post within 10-15 working days. Please ensure you retain this Certificate. [You can find more information on the Gas Safe Register via the following link]. If you do not receive this, please follow up with the installer.
Other energy efficiency measures
- For other types of energy efficiency measures (here is a list of eligible measures under ECO), guarantees are not required. However, the product manufacturer or the installer may have provided a guarantee/ warranty for the installation and you should refer to this in the event that any issues arise with the measure. Make sure that you ask the installer if the product comes with a manufacturer’s warranty and if so make sure that you get a copy of the warranty from your installer.
If the measure has been installed under ECO, subject to compliance with the requirements of information law legislation, you can also ask Ofgem to provide you with all of the data we hold on the measure that was installed at your property. This may include the name of the installer (if the measure was installed after April 2015), the ECO appropriate guarantee provider if applicable, the energy company who funded the measure, and whether the measure installed at your property has been notified to us. For more information please contact the ECO team.
Please note that we will not have information on our database until three months after the installation is complete.
The Green Deal was a government scheme which began in 2012. It was designed to help you make energy-saving improvements to your home and find the best way to pay for them. Ofgem does not administer the Green Deal.
The government is no longer funding the Green Deal Finance Company, so there will no longer be any releases of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.
This information is for domestic consumers who’ve had energy efficiency measures delivered through a UK government scheme.
We have no role in the administration of other schemes such as those run by local authorities, and the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments.
For information specific to complaints about standard of cavity wall insulation installation, see our cavity wall insulation FAQs page.
Our role and ability to help
Our role as administrator of ECO generally involves setting targets for each obligated energy company, ensuring compliance and monitoring their progress towards these targets.
Because we have no oversight of the contractual arrangements between the obligated energy companies and those that install energy efficiency measures on their behalf, our ability to help you resolve a complaint is largely based on providing general advice, and in some cases providing information on the installation itself.
That said, we are always keen to hear about the problems experienced by consumers so we can work with industry to improve standards.
The steps outlined below should help you resolve complaints about an energy efficiency measure installed in your home.
Step 1: Find out when the measure was installed
If the measure was installed under a UK government energy efficiency scheme, the date of installation may help you understand which one.
A summary of current and recent schemes is provided below.
- The ECO Scheme, commenced with ECO1, which ran from January 2013 to March 2015. The ECO Scheme was extended in April 2015 (ECO2) and was due to conclude in March 2017. However, ECO2 has now been further extended and will continue until September 2018 (ECO2t).
- The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) ran between 1 April 2008 and 31 December 2012.
- The Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) came into force on 1 September 2009 and the obligation period ran from 1 October 2009 to 31 December 2012.
- The first Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC) scheme ran from 2002 to 2005 and the second (EEC2) ran from 2005 to 2008.
- The Energy Efficiency Standards of Performance (EESoP) ran from 1994 to 2002.
For the schemes that have now closed, it is unlikely that we will be able to provide you with any information to determine whether it was installed under the scheme in question, or any details about the installation itself.
Step 2: Find your paperwork and contact the installer
The next step is to contact the installer responsible for the work. You can find this information in the paperwork given to you when it was installed.
If you can’t find this information and the measure was installed in your property from April 2015 onwards, we can confirm the name of the installer we have registered on our database. To request this, please contact the ECO team and we will send you a data request form which you will need to return to us. (Please note that we will not have this information on our database until three months after the installation has been completed.)
If your measure was installed before April 2015, the energy company that helped to fund it may have a record of the installer’s name (see step 5) and may be able to help you.
Step 3: Find your guarantee or warranty
If the measure was installed under ECO and is a type of wall insulation, it will be covered by a guarantee. If the installer has gone out of business or not addressed your concerns, you should then contact the guarantee provider.
For ECO measures installed from April 2015 we can confirm the name of the relevant guarantee agency for wall insulation, but we don’t hold this information for measures installed before then.
If you do not have your guarantee and the measure was installed before April 2015, you could contact all the guarantee agencies covering the type of wall insulation in question and ask them if they have a record of a guarantee covering your address.
Contact the ECO team for more information.
We required a warranty of at least one or two years for any boiler repair under ECO1.
Under ECO2, we require a warranty for at least a year for a boiler repair or replacement.
We do not hold details of which company issued warranties for boiler repairs or replacements.
You may also wish to check if the boiler has a manufacturer’s warranty independent of ECO which may include a separate claims procedure.
Electric Storage Heaters (ESHs)
All electric storage heaters repaired or installed under ECO must be accompanied by a warranty of at least one year. This can be a manufacturer’s warranty. We do not hold the details of any warranties issued.
Guarantees are not required for other measures installed under ECO. However, the product manufacturer or the installer may have provided a policy for the installation and you should refer to this.
Note: Some guarantee providers recommend that consumers contact them at the same time as contacting the installer about a complaint. This could help to speed up the resolution of your complaint.
Step 4: Contact the relevant oversight body
The installer responsible for the work may also be part of an accreditation and/or certification body, and/or trade association that maintains industry standards.
Organisations such as the Gas Safe Register, the National Insulation Association, and Green Deal Oversight & Registration Body have procedures for complaints against registered members. Contact details are below.
Gas Safe Register Tel: 0800 408 5500
National Insulation Association Tel: 01525 383313
Green Deal Oversight & Registration Body
Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) Tel: 0207 090 1082
Step 5: Contact the energy company
The contract for the work done in your home is typically between you and the installer. However, in some cases the energy company which ultimately funded the measure may be able to give you information on the installer or the guarantee provided.
If your measure was installed under the ECO scheme then we can tell you which company ultimately funded it. Contact the ECO team for more information.
If your problem is still not dealt with, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline may be able to help. The number is 08454 04 05 06.
If you wish to report a problem to Trading Standards, mention this to the adviser.
Citizens Advice can refer matters to Trading Standards, who will then decide whether to take on the case.
Complaints about measures installed before the ECO scheme
The information above applies mainly to ECO measures but similar steps should be followed for complaints about energy efficiency measures installed under previous schemes.
As mentioned above, for schemes that have now closed we are unlikely to be able to provide you with any details about the installation.
For the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), which ran from October 2009 to 31 December 2012, we may be able to confirm if a measure was notified to us.
Please contact the ECO team if you believe that this applies to you.
Although Ofgem is the appointed administrator of ECO, The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy set the overall policy for the ECO scheme.
Office address and general enquiries about ECO:
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
3 Whitehall Place