The UK’s 27 million homes are responsible for more than a quarter of the country’s total energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions. The housing stock is among the least energy efficient in Europe, leading to higher energy bills and harm to the environment, and for those living in colder homes as a result, negative health impacts. In 2013, the Department implemented the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) schemes to improve household energy efficiency. The Green Deal was a new scheme that enabled households to take out loans to pay for energy efficiency measures, such as wall insulation, which they would repay through their energy bill. The Department spent £240 million setting up the Green Deal and stimulating demand for loans. ECO resembled previous energy efficiency schemes, with the Department requiring the largest energy suppliers to install measures that save a set level of carbon dioxide (CO2) or reduce bills by March 2017. Suppliers spent £3 billion up to the end of 2015 to meet their obligations, with these costs passed on to all their billpayers. While the primary aim was to save CO2, the Department also wanted the schemes to work together to improve ‘harder-to-treat’ properties; stimulate private investment in energy efficiency measures and mitigate the causes of fuel poverty. It had a target for the two schemes to improve 1 million homes by March 2015 between them.
14 July 2017