According to efficiency surveyors EUM Consultants, the proposals that Ofgem is looking to make with regards to its Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme could eventually lead to a collective increase of £195 million on household bills.
The energy regulator’s consultation aims to bring in an extra stage to the planning process with regard to these installations. A process which EUM says will provide more problems than the ECO itself solves.
The ECO explained
Under the rules of the ECO, introduced in the UK at the start of this year, energy providers are obliged to make a certain amount of homes more energy efficient by installing insulation and though other related measures.
The scheme is divided into three main areas. The first of these is the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation, under which firms need to be able to introduce energy-saving measures to hard-to-treat households and those that are not fully covered under the Green Deal. Solid wall insulation and difficult cavity walls are the main focus of this measure.
The other two, the Community Obligation and the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation, mainly cover the issue of affordability. The former asks suppliers to look into the installation of insulation measures and connections to domestic district heating systems supplying areas of low income.
Whereas, the latter obligates firms to provide measures which improve the ability of low income and vulnerable households to heat their homes. This includes initiatives such as the installation and repair of boilers.
Stricter rules ‘will increase bills’
EUM explained that Ofgem is looking to make the current regulations stricter in order to reduce the number of errors made in the energy efficiency surveying and installation stages by adding another mandatory stage. The latter would involve an additional site visit before any green measures are fitted to households.
EUM said that this will not only add another barrier to overcome with regards to the uptake of energy efficient measures, but will also force bills upward in the long run by increasing workloads.
Mark McAlear, managing director of EUM, said introducing the extra stages and visits will mean the entire process is increasingly open to human interpretation. This would not be ideal as technology exists which can better survey the homes in question, and save money for the industry and the end user.
“EUM utilises the latest technology to securely capture unique, site specific data and images. All data gathered is both GPS and time logged therefore providing indisputable evidence for a measure requirement or installation,” he added.