Energy efficiency measures installed under the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) have topped 300,000, according to statistics published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
Under ECO, Cashback and the Green Deal, 311,250 measures have been installed in around 273,000 properties across the UK. However, the vast majority of these measures were installed through ECO (98%).
It is widely speculated that the government is considering cutting support for the ECO scheme as part of the Prime Minister’s ‘green levies review’. Members of the insulation industry have warned that more than 10,000 construction and insulations jobs would be under threat if cuts to ECO were pushed through.
Rob Lambe, managing director of Willmott Dixon Energy Services, explained: “We have invested heavily in establishing a business to respond to the projected market opportunities of energy efficiency under ECO. Over the next year we anticipated employing more than 400 tradesmen installing insulation to solid walled properties. But if ECO funding is cut, this work will simply come to a grinding halt and these jobs will be lost, with thousands more at risk in the wider industry.”
Neil Marshall, CEO of the National Insulation Association added: "The ECO is the only government policy specifically designed to reduce energy bills by improving the energy efficiency of our housing stock and therefore it is vital that it is retained and not rolled back or cut as part of the government’s review of green levies – if anything it should be strengthened.”
The figures also reveal that assessments carried out under the coalition’s flagship environmental scheme, the Green Deal, have topped 100,000.
The latest figures for November show that 16,674 Green Deal assessments have been made since September – a 19% rise from the amount carried out in September.
The strong growth in assessments being carried out will come as welcome relief to DECC, which has been facing mounting criticism that the scheme is failing to deliver. The latest figures reveal that, despite the increasing number of assessments, only 219 homes across the UK have ‘live’ Green Deal plans, with a further 954 plans wither accepted or pending.
Paul King, chief executive of UK-Green Building Council (UK-GBC), commented: “It’s good to see the number of Green Deal Plans on the up and more in the pipeline, and the number of assessments is particularly encouraging.
“However, what the figures also underline is that energy efficiency measures delivered under ECO dwarf those under the Green Deal, which demonstrates just how perverse it is for government to be considering cutting it back.”