What is ECO?

The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) is an energy efficiency programme, based on a variety of criteria, which was introduced into Great Britain at the beginning of 2013.

ECO places legal obligations on the larger energy suppliers to reduce their carbon output by delivering energy efficiency measures, like home insulation for domestic energy users.

Obligated suppliers must achieve carbon and cost savings in three target areas:

Process Step One

Affordable Warmth Obligation

To provide heating and insulation improvements for low-income and vulnerable households

Process Step Two

Carbon Saving Obligation

To provide funding to insulate solid-walled properties (internal and external wall insulation) and those with ‘hard-to-treat’ cavity walls. (This is not means tested)

Process Step Three

Carbon Saving Communities Obligation 

To provide insulation measures to people living in the bottom 15% of the UK's most deprived areas. 

Through ECO, the government aims to help 230,000 low-income households or those in low-income areas. It is expected that energy suppliers will invest £1.3bn per year in complying with their obligations.

We do not charge the homeowner/occupier for the insulation but instead carry out an energy survey to ensure that the property meets the ECO scheme’s requirements. The survey is used to calculate how much carbon emission having any one or more of the insulating measures will save and then we ‘sell’ this carbon reduction to an energy supplier.

This means that whether you’re a homeowner, landlord or local authority, if your property meets the desired criteria, the installation is completely free.

You can read more about ECO on Ofgem’s website here.