Warm Wales Powys Energy Saving Scheme Roles and Responsibilities
Energy Company Obligation 4 (ECO4)
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a UK Government energy efficiency scheme for Great Britain, which is now in its fourth version. ECO '4' is a four-year scheme and is intended to run from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2026. Its value is estimated to be around £4 billion over the lifetime of the programme.
ECO is a levy imposed by the UK government on medium and large energy supply companies which requires them to spend these funds on reducing the energy bills for residents who may not be able to fund these improvements themselves.
This includes actions that result in reduced energy usage, such as installing insulation or upgrading a heating system. The overall target for these measures is divided between suppliers based on their relative share of the domestic gas and electricity market.
For more information about ECO see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-energy-company-obligation-find-out-if-you-are-eligible
The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) regulates the monopoly companies which run the gas and electricity networks. It takes decisions on price controls and enforcement, acting in the interests of consumers, especially vulnerable people, by ensuring they are treated fairly and benefit from a cleaner, greener environment. Under ECO4, the UK Government have appointed OFGEM as the scheme administrator.
For queries or complaints see: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/eco4-complaints-process
TrustMark are a not-for-profit social enterprise and is the only UK Government-Endorsed Quality Scheme for improvements carried out in and around the home. Under ECO4, contractors must be TrustMark registered and approved. Works under ECO4 must be undertaken to the standard 'Public Available Specification 2035 (PAS2035) as laid out by UK Government.
Should a dispute arise between the homeowner and contractor delivering ECO funded measures, then TrustMark is the first point of call to help with resolution.
For more information see: https://www.trustmark.org.uk/homeowner/information-and-guidance/if-things-go-wrong
Warm Wales is a Community Interest Company who specialise in helping to reduce fuel poverty by delivering affordable warmth programmes. Under ECO4, Warm Wales administer householder applications, checking eligibility and referring householders onto TrustMark approved contractors who operate in the area. For more information see: https://www.warmwales.org.uk/eco/
In Powys, the Local Authority (LA) has published a 'Statement of Intent' (SOI) as laid out by OFGEM for ECO4 - see: Home Improvement Loans and Grants.
By adding a 'flexible' approach to ECO, the eligibility criteria for households are widened to include elements of fuel poverty and ill health. This is known as 'ECO4-Flex'. The role and responsibility of the LA under ECO4 is limited to a second cross-check review of Warm Wales' assessment that the householder meets the eligibility criteria as laid out in the SOI and the issuing of a 'declaration' to OFEGM.
The LA is not responsible for workmanship, nor for the provision of a resolution service between the householder and contractors.
It is the householder's responsibility to ensure that applications for ECO funding are true and accurate in accordance with the eligibility criteria.
The owner/landlord should satisfy themselves that all necessary permissions are in place prior to commencement of work. Any resulting dispute will be between the homeowner and the ECO contractor who has been employed. Thus, responsibility for workmanship undertaken at the home remains with the homeowner unless that duty is discharged to a third party such as a surveyor or Architect. This would be a private arrangement which is not funded under ECO.
For further information about ECO4 see: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/design-of-the-energy-company-obligation-eco4-2022-2026