The History Of The ECO scheme

the history of eco scheme

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The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme has made a big difference in the UK’s energy economy and carbon pollution decrease. The plan has been changed and updated many times since it was first released to meet the changing energy-saving needs of the country. This blog will talk about the government ECO scheme goals, requirements, main players, and effects on the energy economy.

Understanding the Energy Company Obligation Scheme

It is very important to know what the main goal of the ECO plan is. The Energy Company Obligation Scheme forces big energy companies to pay for improvements that make UK homes more energy efficient. The goal of the plan is to lower energy costs, carbon pollution, and fuel poverty for people who apply. The ECO project’s improvements to heating systems and insulation help the country reach its energy-saving goals.

Eligibility for the ECO Scheme

The ECO plan lets qualified homeowners, private renters, and people living in social housing get improvements that make their homes more energy efficient. Just a few things need to be true to qualify. This includes the minimum family income along with government benefits, the length of the home, and the scores on the energy efficiency certificate. It deals with heating systems that don’t work well, homes that are too cold, and how much energy families use. Homes that qualify may be able to get eco-money and make changes that save energy and money on bills while also making homes more comfortable and lowering carbon emissions.

Property Requirements for ECO Funding

Well, to apply for the grant, you should meet the following criteria:

  • Proof of property ownership or rental document. 
  • Energy Performance Certificate. Your EPC rate should be D or lower than D.
  • Property type and location.

Summarising the Evolution of ECO: From ECO1 to ECO4

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) plan changed a lot from ECO1 to ECO4. As ECO has reached new goals and dealt with problems, it has changed to support saving energy and lowering carbon emissions. ECO4 has worked better thanks to the Great British Insulation Scheme, in which Ofgem meets request goals and helps low-income families. ECO’s history shows that it is always trying to change to meet new energy-saving standards and laws, which helps make the UK more environmentally friendly.

Significant Changes Over the Years

The energy company is now much less responsible for carbon pollution and energy prices. The increase includes limits on private owners, housing associations, and families who are financially weak. The effort led to better energy use, upgrade assessment, and data on income needs. The things that have changed the most are heating, insulation, and ways to save energy. Environmental support has also been open with licensing requirements, making energy-saving changes, and taking environmental actions.

ECO4 vs. The Great British Insulation Scheme (ECO+)

To meet qualifying requirements and energy source relationships, the new ECO4 puts a lot of focus on improving shielding and energy economy. Focusing on energy savings, family income, and warmth, the plan fixes cold homes and heating systems that don’t work well. For example, the Great British Insulation Scheme looks at family income, carbon pollution, and how energy-efficient homes are in rural and low-income places. These projects are very important for making homes in Wales and England more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

ECO Scheme's Contribution to Reducing Carbon Footprint

The ECO Scheme has encouraged ways to save energy, which has made the UK more energy efficient. Homeowners have been offered energy-efficient boiler upgrades and money to make improvements to their homes. Ofgem’s freedom and help make the project easier for households with low incomes. From ECO1 to ECO4, changes have made things more efficient, cut down on pollution, and saved energy. To meet the UK’s energy needs, the ECO Scheme is a must for saving energy and cutting carbon emissions.

Achievements of ECO in Reducing CO2 Emissions

Under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), projects that save energy have cut down on CO2 pollution. The project has cut down on carbon pollution and the carbon footprints of homes. These eco-friendly installations show how ECO encourages people to use less energy and helps the government reach its goals for an energy economy. The program’s smaller carbon footprint shows how hard it works to reduce CO2 and protect the earth.

Historical Phases of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Scheme

As the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) plan grows, it goes through many stages, each with its own set of goals and due dates:

Phrase 1 (ECO1 from January 2013 to March 2015)

The first part of the ECO plan, called ECO1, ran from January 2013 to March 2015. In this time, efforts were made to help people who are poor and don’t have access to power and to make energy use more efficient.

They were the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO), the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO), and the Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO). The CSCO country sub-obligation was another promise that the CSCO made that only applied to rural places.

Targets & Achievements

ECO1 told providers that they had to meet a total goal of 12.4 Mt CO2 for CERO, 6 Mt CO2 for CSCO, and £3.7 billion for HHCRO. Suppliers met their goals for CO2 pollution under CERO, CSCO, and HHCRO. To be exact, they got 18.33 Mt CO2, 9.87 Mt CO2, 1.79 Mt CO2, and £5.16 billion.

Phase 2 (ECO2 from March 2017 to April 2015)

ECO2 took over in April 2015 and ran until March 2017 after ECO1 finished. At this time, efforts to make homes more energy efficient continued, with a focus on lowering carbon pollution and making things last longer.

Targets & Achievements

Providers had to save the following amounts of money and carbon under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO), the Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO), and the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO):

19.7 million tons of CO2 from Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO), 6 million tons of CO2 from Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO), and £6.46 billion from Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO).

Phase 3 (ECO2T from April 2017 to September 2018)

ECO2T (Transition) ran from April 2017 to September 2018, building on the success of the one that came before it. During this time of change, the goal was to improve strategies and make a smooth transfer to the next version of the ECO plan.

Targets & Achievements

The government made the ECO2 programme last until September 30, 2018, and added a new term, ECO2t. Under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO) and the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO), energy companies had to meet 7.3 Mt CO2 and £2.76 billion goals. On October 1, 2018, the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) and Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO) goals had to be met. The CERO goal had to be met by April 1, 2017.

Phrase 4 (ECO3 from October 2018 to March 2022)

With a focus on low-income families and other energy-saving innovations, ECO3 was in place from October 2018 to March 2022. Actions were taken to deal with certain problems and promote environmentally friendly ways of using energy.

The Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) is the main idea behind the ECO3 plan. Under HHCRO, committed providers would have mostly paid for projects that made it easier for low-income, fuel-poor, and vulnerable families to heat their houses.

Targets & Achievements

This means changing a heating system that isn’t working well or fixing a broken heating system, which saves energy. It was law until March 31, 2022, that the ECO3 Order would not be valid after December 3, 2018. It became law on January 1, 2020, with the ECO (Amendment) Order 2019. The ECO3 Order’s total goal for the HHCRO was to save £8.253 billion.

Phrase 5 (ECO4 from July 2022 to March 2026)

ECO4 will run from July 2022 to March 2026. It is the most recent part. This stage is the most recent attempt to look at energy saving problems as a whole, with a fresh focus on cost-effectiveness, new ideas, and long-term viability.

Throughout these steps, the ECO plan has always worked to reduce carbon emissions, help people who are poor with heating costs, and make energy use more efficient. This shows a strong dedication to both social duty and the environment.

What Makes ECO4 Different from Others?

The latest phase of the ECO grant scheme is ECO4. It’s supposed to end in March 2026. It’s meant to help low-income families save money on fuel and make their homes more energy efficient.

It should also help cut down on fuel poverty and carbon pollution in the UK. This will help people who are having trouble paying their energy bills.

The government’s ECO plan requires the six biggest energy providers to make homes use less energy. The programme is for people who get help or whose fuel bills are high compared to their family income. Grants may be given to families in certain postcodes and places, even if they don’t make a lot of money.

Targets & Achievements

The government says that ECO4 will fix up more than 450,000 houses over the next four years. It is likely that most of these houses will get an EPC rating rise from D, E, F, or G to at least C or D. For these houses, the average annual costs should go down from £290 to £1,600 for the least energy-efficient ones.

Common Complaints about ECO Installations

Because of problems and complaints, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme has problems with how flexible it is and how well it can help people with low incomes. People are also unhappy with the recommendation process, the fact that Ofgem changes its goals and standards every year, and the fact that the programme is hard to understand. These problems need to be fixed to make things work better and be easier to get to, even though the ECO has helped.

The Future of the ECO Scheme

To help the UK reach its future goals for energy economy, steps must be taken to protect the environment. Both effectiveness and longevity need to keep getting better. The initiative’s future will depend on how well it adjusts to new rules about energy saving. Energy economy needs flexibility, constant improvement, and new ways of doing things. The system will be able to meet the UK’s future energy saving needs because it can change and get better on its own.

Can the ECO Scheme Meet the UK's Future Energy Efficiency Needs?

The ECO plan is meant to meet the future needs of the UK for energy saving. To meet future goals for the energy economy, the plan needs to be linked, analysed, and brought up to date. ECO’s success will depend on how well it can meet the needs of the future energy economy.


In conclusion, the government ECO Scheme has cut down on carbon pollution in the UK and made energy use more efficient. Both landlords and private renters have been told to meet certain cash and property standards. 

The ECO Scheme has gone through several changes, such as adding ECO4 grants. Even though there have been complaints, work is being done to fix these problems and make installation better. The ECO Scheme could help the UK meet its goals for energy conservation. With continued work and new ideas, the ECO grant Scheme will help us lower our carbon output and work towards a healthy future.

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