Colchester Borough Council is encouraging eligible residents to boost the energy efficiency of their homes, by applying for improvement works through its new ECO Flexible Eligibility Scheme.
Under the Government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) programme, large energy companies are required to help improve the energy efficiency of domestic homes by discounting the cost of improvement works. The directive gives assistance to certain households who are struggling to pay their energy bills and are defined as being in fuel poverty.
The new rule means Colchester Council is able to help vulnerable private sector households in the borough who meet the ECO Flexible Eligibility criteria – including owner occupiers and private landlords – to benefit from energy-saving home improvements such as loft and wall insulation and heating systems.
ECO Flex extends the provision of the council’s Warm Homes Project, which aims to reduce fuel poverty and help residents save energy and keep warm in their homes.
The Warm Homes Project entails working in partnership with local home energy improvement professionals to provide a range of impartial information and advice about energy saving home improvements and reducing fuel bills. It also offers a referral mechanism for private sector home owners and tenants to find approved energy-efficiency companies, as well as providing emergency temporary heating provision for private sector home owners and tenants.
Colchester Borough Council has published criteria, in a Statement of Intent, to help identify local households in the borough that would benefit from energy improvements under ECO Flex. The work, which is often fully funded where a household meets particular criteria and is at risk of fuel poverty, will be delivered by Aran Services Limited and NCS Property Maintenance. Both companies work with and support local authorities and communities to deliver home energy improvements and new installations, and have access to ECO grant funding.
Residents are invited to read the Statement of Intent, to determine if they are eligible for help under the ECO Flex scheme, and then to email one of the companies who will assess their specific needs and eligibility.
Cllr Tina Bourne, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said: “With fuel poverty a real and growing problem, we have a duty to support and signpost our residents towards initiatives that can help reduce their energy bills and make the borough’s homes more energy-efficient and sustainable.
“As part of our Environmental Sustainability Strategy, we are committed to helping households become more resilient when it comes to energy efficiency.
“I would urge anyone who thinks they may qualify for home improvements under the ECO Flex Scheme to check out the criteria online and contact one of the local providers for further advice and assistance.”
Further details about ECO Flex and the council’s Warm Homes Project can be found at: https://www.colchester.gov.uk/info/cbc-article/?catid=energy-efficiency&id=KA-01429