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Energy reforms to include slower ECO rollout

In an effort to cut bills, Government aims to spread out money for ECO over four years

town housesThe government will make a number of changes to its energy policy in the UK, one of which will involve cutting costs by rolling out energy companies obligation (ECO) installations across a longer period of time, the BBC reports.

The new regulations will see the money spent on fitting energy-saving measures such as insulation, solar panels and other methods spread out over a period of four years as opposed to the two year limit previously in place.

Slower ECO uptake to cut bills

The changing of regulations surrounding the ECO, the government believes, will have a positive effect on UK households, as it will lower the cost of bills by an average of £50 per year, helping to lower fuel poverty across the country.

The four-year plan would cut annual costs by a half, ministers said, and this is a saving that could be passed down to consumers.

It is hoped that the final agreement between the two coalition parties will be reached before the chancellor’s autumn statement, which is due next week.

Attempts to lower bills have been rushed out in reaction to the announcement from Labour last month, in which leader Ed Miliband promised to freeze energy prices for a full 20 months if his party wins the election in 2015.

However, ministers have been keen to avoid this comparison, as they say Labour’s plan would not save money on the same scale.

Another plan set to be put in place is called the warm homes discount – under which older people will be able to get a £135 discount on their bill from next winter. However, unlike previous schemes, the government is looking to bring this about through taxation rather than adding prices to bills.

Additional measures

As well as those measures designed to cut fuel poverty, the government is also keen to show that it has made savings on all of the factors in bills that it has any control over.

On top of the ECO and warm homes discount, it is looking to cut the cost of transmitting energy, which makes up approximately 20 per cent of household energy bills at the moment.

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