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Government decision to cut Energy Obligation Scheme 'bad news' for poorest households

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Government decision to cut Energy Obligation Scheme 'bad news' for poorest households

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Bill Payments, Environment

Government decision to cut Energy Obligation Scheme 'bad news' for poorest households Government decision to cut Energy Obligation Scheme 'bad news' for poorest households

The UK Green Building Council says the government's decision to cut the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme is "bad news" for people who cannot afford to heat their homes.

Under the new measures, the period which ECO covers will be extended from two to four years (to 2017) but the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation element of ECO will be reduced by 33% up to 2017. The number of solid wall insulation installations energy suppliers are required to make under ECO will also be reduced to 100,000 over the new four-year period (25,000 per year). In 2012 alone, industry installed 80,000 solid wall insulation measures.

The ECO scheme has proved popular with social housing providers as it has offered a source of funding to make thousands of homes more energy efficient.

Paul King, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council, said: “Make no mistake, this is bad news for people who cannot afford to heat their homes, especially if they live in solid walled properties, and bad news for thousands of construction industry workers who may well be joining the dole queue this Christmas.

“It remains perverse that the Prime Minister is attempting to reduce energy bills by slashing the very scheme that is designed to bring them down for good.

“We have to recognise that some in the coalition have fought hard for a package of incentives to sweeten the pill. Encouraging households to take up energy efficiency measures when moving into a property through a ‘stamp duty rebate’ is something we have repeatedly called for.”

According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, reducing the cost of the Energy Company Obligation will result in £30 to £35 off the bill of every household, on average, next year.

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