ECO3 – “Please Sir, I want some more”

9th Apr 2018

 

You’ll probably recognise the quote from Oliver Twist, one of Charles Dickens’ most famous works. Dickens wasn’t just a writer, but he is also regarded as one of the 19th Century’s social reformers. His writings were a way to bring about progress to an unequal Victorian society. I wonder what he would have said about the UK currently having 4 million households in fuel poverty?

His literary skills would have crafted something more creative than the Energy Company Obligation (ECO3) Consultation Stage Impact Assessment produced by BEIS before Easter, but he would have approved of its content. According to the Impact Assessment, in tackling the poor energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock via ECO3, the following benefits accrue:- 

  • “Help lower household energy bills”  

 

  • “Reduce the costs of meeting energy demand”

 

  • “Improve the security of energy supply

 

  • “Improve health outcomes and reduce costs to the public of providing health care”

 

  • “Support economic growth and jobs”.

 

We’ve supported this approach for years and in their consultation, we can see some welcome news – such as the recognition that ECO3 could partner up with the RIIO GD1 Fuel Poor Network Extension scheme to see first-time gas central heating connections deliver the benefits outlined above.

Looking at the numbers, BEIS calculate that for every £1 spent installing energy efficiency measures, such as insulation and new efficient gas boilers, there are benefits of £1.40 in energy saved, improved air quality and extra comfort from a warm home.

These numbers are welcome; they shouldn’t be a surprise for those of us working in the sector but without wishing to raise Great Expectations about improvements to a Bleak House, we have to ask “Please Sir, I want some more.”

 Best wishes

Mike Foster, CE