Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
Like a grant but not a grant - The ECO explained
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) shows how efficient your property is on a scale from A to G. A is excellent, G is terrible. The assessment is based on some very general assumptions so is not necessarily a true reflection of the current state of play. Two EPC's on the same house can vary hugely depending whether you're trying to sell the house or check the house.
Despite it's imperfections, an EPC is the only univerally accepted way to rate a property in terms of energy efficiency. Completing an EPC is therefore a requirement if you want to sell the Carbon savings that result from your eco-retrofit. The big six energy companies have a legal 'Energy Company Obligation' (ECO) to offset their enormous Carbon emissions. They do that buy knocking your Carbon savings off their Carbon reduction target.
Along with an EPC you also need a Green Deal Assessment (GDA), or at least part of the assessment, to establish how much of Energy Company money you might stand to gain if any. It's not neccessary for you to take out a Green Deal (loan) to access ECO if you have alternative means of funding the project. Currently the Green Deal will only allow you to finance basic energy efficiency improvements rather than a whole house eco-retrofit. It'll lend you money (circa 8% APR) to pay for a more efficienct boiler, top-up mineral wool, budget cavity or solid wall insulation, but not heat recovery ventilation, airtightening work, LED lighting and other measures required to achieve maximum Carbon & energy savings.
Solarcrest work with a network of independent assessors throughout the UK who will complete your EPC assessment and assist assist with your home survey if needed. Armed with a survey and EPC data we then propose suitable measures, estimate costs, your Carbon saving potential and the level of ECO funding that might be available. If you go ahead with an eco-retrofit Solarcrest offer a transparent brokerage service to swap your Carbon savings for cash (subject to ECO qualification). Don't worry, it's easier than it sounds and ECO is a government backed initiative that (should be) safe until 2015. While more funding is available to those in fuel poverty, private owner occupiers still qualify for some measures, particularly wall insulation. If you'd like to part-fund an eco-retrofit using ECO money from one of the big six, bear in mind the Carbon rates are generally falling, so the sooner you act the more to stand to gain.