The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a Government energy efficiency scheme to reduce carbon emissions and help tackle fuel poverty.
The Affordable Warmth element of the ECO, also known as the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation, delivers heating improvement measures to those households on a low income.
The Council has adopted a Statement of Intent, which includes flexible eligibility criteria to make the funding more widely available to households within the Cannock Chase district.
Statement of Intent
Statement of Intent
cannock chase council, Critieria for energy efficiency schemes where local authority discretion is permitted:
Version 3: 19/10/2021:
PUBLICATION OF THIS STATEMENT CAN BE FOUND AT: [insert URL to the website here]
This statement sets out Cannock Chase Council’s eligibility thresholds for energy efficiency measures delivered in its geographical area. It is to provide clarity and consistency across all schemes for which local authority discretion is permitted.
1.1 Fuel Poverty
Fuel poverty in England is now measured using the Low Income Low Energy Efficiency (LILEE) indicator rather than the old Low Income High Costs (LIHC) indicator.
Under the LILEE indicator, a household is considered to be fuel poor if:
they are living in a property with a fuel poverty energy efficiency rating of band D or below.¹
when they spend the required amount to heat their home, they are left with a residual income below the official poverty line.
There are three important elements in determining whether a household is fuel poor:
- household income
- household energy requirements
- fuel prices
In publishing is discretionary eligibility, this authority is looking to support those that may fall outside general eligibility criteria, but who are still at risk of becoming fuel poor.
This document also acknowledges the part that energy efficiency schemes have in helping to achieve carbon reduction targets.
¹ Energy Performance of Buildings Data England and Wales (opendatacommunities.org)
1.2 Which scheme can discretion be used for?
As of the date of publication, this discretion is intended to be used for:
- Energy Company Obligation
- Warm Homes Fund
- Green Homes Grants
Up until the date of its re-issue, this statement should also be used for all future energy efficiency schemes, unless criteria for such schemes specifically forbids such action.
The final decision on whether a household receives a measure under an energy efficiency scheme is made by the scheme deliverer or their agents/contractors. Eligibility will not guarantee installation of measures, as the final decision will depend on:
- The criteria set out for each individual energy efficiency scheme.
2. Eligibility Criteria
2.1 To be eligible for flexible eligibility under The Council’s discretion, a household must have:
- A low income as determined by table 1 below, and an EPC, or expected EPC of D, or below
- (For energy company obligation schemes ONLY) A low income as determined by table 1 below, and a health condition known to be exacerbated by living in a cold home, as detailed in National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Guideline NG6: Excess winter deaths and illness and the health risks associated with cold homes
- Given the nature of individuals’ circumstances, be deemed by the local authority to be eligible, as not to would knowingly cause unnecessary harm to a persons physical or mental wellbeing.
2.2 Criteria for identifying households in Fuel Poverty - Low Income
The question of how much money is the minimum needed to just exist varies considerably as it depends on the size of the household, where someone lives, in what type of accommodation and on the individual’s basic needs. Therefore, the only reasonably reliable indicator of poverty that is generally accepted is that of relative poverty.²
Cannock Chase Council has chosen to model the current ECO programme as its baseline and to apply an uplift to the permitted income for those in receipt of child benefit. We have taken account of the £30,000 p.a. permitted income level for individual homeowners in the current Green Homes Grant programme, as determined by BEIS.³
Table 1: “Income” means annual gross income from all sources, including housing-related benefits, before tax. This should be determined based on the preceding annual tax year which runs from 6th April to 5th April of the following year.
Permitted Gross Household Income.
And 1 Child
And 2 Child
And 3 Child
And 4+ Child
And 1 Child
And 2 Child
And 3 Child
2.3 Use of discretion:
We believe this Statement of Intent to be inclusive, for those that may need support to install energy efficiency measures in their home. However, the Council is aware that there may be unusual circumstances, that could not reasonably have been foreseen. In these cases, the statement may exclude householders with a vulnerability, as an unintended consequence.
² Energy Company Obligation (ECO): Help to Heat scheme - flexible eligibility - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
³ Sustainable Warmth Competition: guidance for local authorities (publishing.service.gov.uk)
The Council therefore reserves the right to review individual cases, and provide a declaration of meeting the criteria, where to do otherwise would create unnecessary hardship.
3. Area Based schemes
3.1 Where permitted to do so, this local authority wishes to set clear guidance as to the definition of an eligible area. The underpinning principle of defining an area as being eligible, is that some energy efficiency measures require an element of scale, and homogenous delivery to make them feasible. By excluding a small number of householders in an area, because they do not meet the discretionary eligibility as noted above, could negatively impact a significantly higher number of fuel poor households within the same area. For an eligible area, the local authority will be looking at postcode level approvals.
3.2 Criteria for an eligible Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) which the postcode falls within
A lower super output area may be classed as eligible where, using the English Indices of Deprivation:
- Income deprivation of the LSOA is in the 40% of most deprived neighbourhoods in the country ⁴
- For the Postcodes of the Area Based Scheme, more than 60% have a published EPC of D, or below.⁵
3.3 Council discretion: The local authority reserves the right to review area-based schemes on a case-by-case basis. Where individual energy efficiency schemes cannot benefit the majority of fuel poor households, due to the circumstances of a minority none fuel poor, the local authority may exercise discretion. In such circumstances it will record the evidence that it has collated to reach this judgement.
Referrals to schemes will come from a variety of sources including council departments, the health and social care sectors, the voluntary sector and other agencies.
To be inserted following approval
4 Details to be taken from Indices of Deprivation 2015 and 2019 (communities.gov.uk) mapping tool.
5 Details to be taken from Energy Performance of Buildings Data England and Wales (opendatacommunities.org)
6. Key Contacts
- For comments in relation to this Statement of Intent and its development please contact Cannock Chase Council: • Telephone: 01543 462621 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Post: Cannock Chase Council, Civic Centre, Beecroft Road, Cannock WS11 1BG
Last Updated: 20/12/2021