CONSUMERS AND INSTALLERS “FAILED BY ECO SCHEME”
Some of the UK’s poorest households are being failed by one of the Government’s flagship carbon reduction initiatives.
Under the Energy Companies Obligation scheme, the “Big Six” energy suppliers are expected to invest around £1billion a year to provide almost 250,000 low income homes with free A-rated boilers and insulation.
But, according to Futureproof – a national network launched last year to help people take advantage of ECO – thousands of boiler instalments are being delayed because of the lack of a robust system to administer the process.
Gas heating engineers are also being hit with many going unpaid by approved Green Deal providers for jobs they have completed or finding forms they have submitted for potential boiler replacements being rejected.
Adam Mitchell, a director of Futureproof, called on the Government to urgently review the way ECO was being implemented. He listed a number of key issues that need to be addressed, including:
• Lack of one overarching Ofgem-approved system for capturing and administering consumer enquiries – different methods are currently used including online and paper-based;
• Lack of structure allowing Green Deal providers to dictate terms to installers offering no guarantee of payment;
• Too much of the collected documentation is being rejected by providers because it does not comply with requirements;
• Technical surveys at people’s homes are being carried out by sales people when they should be being carried out only by Gas Safe Registered engineers;
• Door-to-door sales people are damaging ECO by making false promises to consumers, leaving thousands of people without heating;
• Energy companies are driving down costs making the system unworkable;
• Lack of quality control and regulation leading to many installers losing their jobs because of the failure of ECO to deliver as promised.
For more information about Futureproof see: www.futureproofnetwork.co.uk