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Trade association warns postponement of ECO scheme could derail net zero

The Association for Decentralised Energy said the reported cancellation of ECO scheme would hurt vulnerable customers

The government has been warned that postponing the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme could distance the country from its climate targets.

The ECO scheme is an energy efficiency programme designed to bring energy bill savings to customers while reducing carbon dioxide emissions and tackling fuel poverty.

The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) suggests that any change in the scheme, any reduction, delay or even cancellation could leave vulnerable people in the cold.

The trade association has voiced serious concern over discussions taking place this week between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor regarding the ECO scheme.

According to reports, the government is considering ending the scheme and removing other environmental levies from energy bills to support customers ahead of the rising price cap in April.

Lily Frencham, Chief Executive Officer of the ADE, said: “Rumours around the potential cancellation or postponement of the ECO scheme are alarming. Cutting ECO now would only hurt vulnerable consumers, at a time when they need more support than ever. It’s essential this doesn’t happen.

“The investment flowing through ECO is critical to building and maintaining the supply chain that are needed to deliver net zero. A reduction or – worse yet – cancellation of ECO at this stage will decimate the industry and leave the UK even further behind on a real plan to deliver the transition.”

A government spokesperson told ELN: “We recognise people are facing pressures with the cost of living, which is why we are taking action worth more than £4.2 billion and supporting vulnerable households through initiatives such as the £500 million Household Support Fund and Warm Home Discount.

“The Energy Price Cap is currently insulating millions of consumers from high global gas prices. We will continue to listen to consumers and businesses on how to manage the costs of energy.”

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