Utility Companies doing some good
One in five households in Greater Manchester struggle to afford to heat their homes.
Home insulation and an energy efficient boiler can assist in reducing fuel bills, and also have a positive impact on an individual’s health.
Studies have shown people living in cold homes are more likely to develop health issues and respiratory illnesses.
Utility companies have an ‘Energy Company Obligation’ to spend funds on assisting fuel poor residents to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
This fund is known as ECO. Current governance of ECO provides utility companies with an element of flexibility as to where in the country they deliver these funds.
Greater Manchester’s Green Deal and ECO Framework (valid to 2019) has three large procured companies (Wates, Willmott Dixon and Keepmoat) delivering energy efficiency measures on domestic owner occupied, private rented, social housing in Greater Manchester.
To date the framework has delivered over 6,000 ECO measures improving the energy efficiency of fuel poor homes in GM (predominantly on owner occupied/private rented households) between the years 2014 and 2015.
The majority of these measures have been delivered through a partner, Keepmoat who have had access to ECO funds via the utility company EDF.
In spring 2016, Willmott Dixon signed an agreement to 31st March 2017 to access Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funds direct from the utility company E.ON.
Through this agreement, E.ON have ring-fenced approximately £2M to be used to assist fuel poor residents in Greater Manchester. As a result, GM local authorities will be able to sign post fuel poor residents to access these ECO funds.
The offer that Willmott Dixon has via E.ON is great for low income households in receipt of specific benefits. Dependant upon eligibility, the offer provides free energy saving home improvements including loft and cavity wall and/or boiler replacements.
The offer is completely free for eligible customers.
Applicants must meet the qualifying criteria and there’s no requirement to be an E.ON energy customer.
Through this scheme residents could save up to £5401 by insulating their home and replacing their boiler.
The offer is aimed at owner occupiers and private tenants.
“Greater Manchester’s local authorities are working to help GM residents get the expert help they need with faulty or broken boilers and home insulation," said Tony Lloyd, Mayor of Greater Manchester.
"This scheme could help cut energy bills and make homes more energy efficient, which is good for residents and the environment.
“I hope people in Greater Manchester take advantage of this scheme over the next six months.”
If you or someone you know claim certain income related benefits, own or privately rent your property call E.ON on free phone 0800 508 8008 to apply or to find out more information.
E.ON will check to see if you qualify for help towards energy saving home improvements and book your free home survey2.
This offer is time limited so please act fast and encourage other to do so.
* Subject to survey, eligibility and availability. Additional costs may apply and you will be informed at the time of the survey.
1 Energy Saving Trust, the boiler annual saving is based on replacing a G-rated boiler and installing a new A-rated boiler with a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator controls. Savings will vary depending on the size and thermal performance of the property. And installing loft and cavity wall insulation.
2 All free assessments are subject to eligibility for the scheme.
Main image by Flickr user Kuobo using a creative commons licence.
Contributed by Helen Bidwell
Contributed by Rachel Whelan
Tina joined AGMA in 2014 as a Manager in the former Greater Manchester Energy Advice Service. Now managing the Greater Manchester Green Deal and ECO Framework, for the GM Environment Team, Tina is AGMA's lead officer in domestic retrofit. She has managed award winning projects such as Green Deal Communities (£6.1M DECC funding) which was top in the country for being the first to complete and to surpass DECC's target within budget.