Eon calls for policy clarity on energy efficiency

Big six supplier Eon has called on the government for policy clarity on energy efficiency as Ofgem figures reveal the first target for the current Energy Company Obligation (ECO) period have been hit more than a year early.

Eon’s strategy and regulation director Sara Vaughan told delegates at a conference today that reducing consumer’s energy use through energy efficiency measures is a problem shared by both government and energy suppliers.

She called on the government to provide the clarity on how the ECO scheme will proceed after the current obligation period ends in March 2017 so energy companies can give government “what it needs” on energy efficiency.

Vaughan said: “We don’t want customers to use more energy than they need, and we actually care about people who can’t afford to pay for their energy.

“It’s a problem for government for exactly the same reasons so it’s an opportunity for us to work together to try and solve it.

“What we have seen is government and energy companies can work really well together and when they do the customer is nearly always the winner”.

An announcement on the future of ECO is not expected from Energy Secretary Amber Rudd until the end of the year at the earliest, although details on what will replace energy efficiency scheme the Green Deal, scrapped earlier this year, are expected next week.

The call has come in the same week as the latest set of figures released on the current ECO2 obligation period reveal the first target has been hit more than a year early.

The CSCO-rural target has already reached 101.55 per cent of the full ECO2 period target, with a further 3.93 per cent of measures notified to Ofgem and waiting for approval.

Eon has achieved more than 373 per cent of its ECO2 phase one obligations for CSCO-rural target.

Vaughan said: “If you look at ECO we have already funded and delivered nearly a quarter of a million measures across 181,000 homes.

“What we want from government is clarity of policy. We want to know that if we invest to do deliver these things that they are not going to change the policy the next day, and that is not going to cause a knock on damage down the supply chain who can’t invest to plan for what the future looks like.

“If government will give us what we need then we will government what it needs.”

Calls for clarity have previously been made by several trade bodies fearful that energy suppliers will stop installing measures once ECO targets have been hit.