Latest government figures shows amount of work carried out through Energy Companies Obligation falls for fifth consecutive month


The number of measures installed through the Energy Companies Obligation fell 14% in August, continuing a five-month downward slide in installations through the Green Deal’s sister scheme .

The latest government figures for the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO), published this week, showed the number of monthly installations has now fallen 77% from a peak of 97,809 measures installed in March, with just 22,131 measures installed in August.

This was the lowest number since March 2013, the third month of the scheme’s operation.

Richard Twinn, policy and public affairs officer at the UK Green Building Council, said: “It’s almost a year since government first announced its intention to slash ECO and - as predicted - we’re really beginning to see the cuts bite, with fewer energy saving installations and more companies either restructuring or laying off staff.”

Of the measures installed through ECO, 36% were cavity wall insulation; 28% were new boilers; and 21% were loft insulation.

Meanwhile, the amount of work contracted through the ECO brokerage auction system remained flat, with just £6.8m traded in September compared with £7m the previous month.

This is far down on the peak of £58m traded in November 2013, after which the market collapsed following the government’s cuts to ECO.

The brokerage system is designed to allow smaller firms to participate in the ECO market by selling carbon abatement projects to the energy companies through a blind auction system.

Just £72m has been traded though the ECO brokerage system over the past ten months, compared to £337m over the previous ten-month period - a fall of 78%.

The government figures also showed there were now 2,581 completed Green Deals at the end of September - meaning the retrofit work has been installed and the household is now paying off the cost of the work through its energy bills - a rise of 489 on the previous month.

There are a further 1,347 signed Green Deal plans, up 249 on the previous month.

There were 29,631 Green Deal assessments carried out in September, up 11% on the previous month and the second highest monthly level since the Green Deal was launched last year.

The figures showed that of the retrofit measures installed through the Green Deal, 23% were new boilers; 28% were forms of micro-generation, such as solar panels or heat pumps; 17% was solid wall insulation; 9% loft insulation; and the remainder other forms of heating or insulation.

The figures also showed that just 14 cashback vouchers were paid out in September through the government’s incentive scheme - the lowest number ever - with a total 16,482 vouchers paid out since the launch of the scheme, amounting to £13.3m in payments.

The figures showed that the vast majority (80%) of the cashback vouchers were paid out for new boiler installations.