Government’s ECO scheme should refocus on boilers in order to tackle growing fuel poverty
30th Jun 2017
Startling statistics released today by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) show that between 2014 and 2015 the number of families living in Fuel Poverty in England increased from 2.3 million to 2.5 million meaning that in 2015, the proportion of households in fuel poverty was estimated to be at 11 per cent. Recognising the consequences of fuel poverty which include excess winter deaths or mental health, respiratory problems and social isolation, the government must attempt to go further in order to tackle fuel poverty prior to this coming winter.
The Government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme has shifted its focus towards insulation, by placing a cap on the number of boilers fitted under ECO at 25,000 over 18 months- a substantial decrease from their prior yearly allowance of 130,000. Evidence demonstrates that a key way in which fuel poverty can be targeted, and ultimately alleviated, is through replacing old, inefficient boilers.
Mike Foster, CEO of the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) said: “replacing so called ‘zombie boilers’ is key to reducing the number of households living in fuel poverty. The installation of a new condensing boiler can cut energy bills by around a third.”
“EUA statistics reveal that there has been a dramatic decline in the number of new boilers being fitted under the ECO scheme. In March this year, 7,037 new boilers were fitted whereas by April only 1,211 were - a monthly decrease of 83%. Given that it is estimated that there are still around 9 million inefficient boilers being used in the UK, costing consumers more and emitting higher levels of C02, the ECO scheme should consider lifting the cap on new boiler installations in order to combat fuel poverty.”
You can read the full BEIS report here
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