Council enters energy scheme to combat fuel poverty
Lewis Smith Local Democracy Reporter
A Welsh council is set take part in a nationally regulated energy scheme that aims to reduce household carbon emissions whilst also tackling fuel poverty.
Bridgend County Borough Council is set to publish a statement of intent to take part in a nationally regulated energy scheme – the ECO4 Flex Scheme.
The scheme is part of a UK Government-funded energy efficiency project aimed at delivering home energy efficiency improvements to those who need them most.
Legal obligation for energy providers
As part of the scheme, Bridgend Council will now be able to set their own criteria for identifying households that would qualify for the help, with improvements coming in the form of floor and loft insulation, the repair and replacement of broken heating systems, as well as the installation of renewable heating systems.
Officers said while residents could already apply themselves, by joining it would allow the council to work with with energy suppliers, as well as third parties such as Citizen’s Advice and NHS to identify and tailor make plans for residents.
The project is administered by regulators, Ofgem, and is part of a legal obligation for all energy companies to lower heating costs for low income and vulnerable households.
The report read: “The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a UK Government scheme that places legal obligations on all energy suppliers to deliver energy efficiency measures to domestic premises which are designed to tackle fuel poverty and help reduce carbon emissions. The scheme is administered by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.”
Councillor John Spanswick welcomed the move and said: “This gives us the opportunity to broaden the scope of residents in the county borough who can tap in to this money. It’s welcome because it’s coming from the profits of the energy companies who are not short of profits, so if we can tap in to more of those profits to broaden energy efficiency and reduce fuel poverty across the county borough it is to be welcomed.”
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