Energy Companies Obligation (ECO)

Introduced in January 2013, the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) is a government passed order aimed at reducing the UK’s energy consumption and tackling fuel poverty.

Helping to support people living in fuel poverty, the ECO requires the big six energy companies to provide the installation of energy efficiency measures to enable low-income householders to save on their energy bills and carbon emissions.

Funded by energy suppliers, the ECO is worth around £1.3 billion every year.

The ECO aims to give consumers support and funding for energy efficiency improvements in their homes, while helping to reduce carbon emissions from the UK’s domestic building stock – an essential part of the UK’s plan to meet its statutory domestic carbon emission reduction targets by 2050.

The first phase of ECO, known as ECO1, ran from from January 2013 to March 2015. The current obligation period, known as ECO2, launched on 1 April 2015. It will run for two years until 31 March 2017.

Carbon Saving Obligation

Providing funding to insulate solid-walled properties and those with ‘hard-to-treat’ cavity walls, this isn’t means-tested but can be used in conjunction with the Green Deal.

The aim is to provide enough support to make these expensive measures cost-effective.

Affordable Warmth Obligation

Providing heating and insulation measures for consumers living in privately tenanted properties, recipients will need to receive particular means-tested benefits.

This obligation supports low-income consumers that are vulnerable to the impact of living in cold homes, including the elderly, disabled and families.

Carbon Saving Community Obligation

Providing insulation solutions to homes in designated low-income areas, this stipulates that 15% of each supplier’s obligation is used to upgrade more hard-to-reach households in rural areas, and those within the social housing sector.

The Energy Saving Advice Service provides free and impartial information about eligibility, access to the ECO and the other types of support available. Call 0300 123 1234.

Information and other materials on this website are not intended to constitute professional advice and should not be relied upon. Please see our Terms of Use for further details.

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