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Changes to OFGEM ECO scheme

Changes to OFGEM’s ECO scheme: Are you prepared?

By Consult Energy
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New accreditations, compliance and the need for many energy companies to build a whole new team to make it happen: The face of the Energy Company Obligation scheme (ECO) is changing yet again. Set up with fuel efficiency in mind and with a staunch mission to put an end to fuel poverty in the UK, OFGEM’s ECO scheme has given the energy industry a bit of a shake up since its inception back in 2013.

The ECO scheme effectively makes it any eligible energy company’s corporate social responsibility to play its part in the race to improve access to warm, safe, energy efficient homes for all.

According to the ECO scheme, there are 6.5 million eligible households with broken heating systems, untreated walls and other issues that cause homes to become cold and damp. Not only does the scheme prevent people living in poor conditions, but it ultimately contributes to less fuel being used and is better for the planet.

Even if you already know what ECO entails, read our quick rundown to determine which companies must take action and what you will need to do if you want to remain compliant.

All about ECO

ECO policies specify that energy providers must do what they can to promote measures that make heating more accessible to low income families and vulnerable households, one way or another. Popular measures include free-of-charge boiler replacements, cavity wall and loft insulation to anybody who qualifies – they don’t have to be a customer either.

As it stands, all Big Six companies, such as British Gas, SSE, OVO, Scottish Power, Eon and EDF Energy, as well as any suppliers with more than 150,000 customers, are required to deliver ECO. The latest update to its ECO3 policy, which runs until March 2022, dictates that each obligated supplier must contribute to a certain number of energy efficiency measures – this number is dependent on its market share.

What’s changing?

Naturally, those carrying out these energy efficient renovations on homes need to work to a certain standard, which is where PAS standards come in. All energy companies offering ECO scheme home improvements must be PAS 2030 and PAS 2035 compliant before June 30th 2021 when these standards become mandatory.

PAS 2030 covers the installation of energy efficiency measures in existing homes and insulation in mobile homes. It addresses things like installation controls, equipment and inspections, as well as things like handover and corrections processes on the back end.

Whereas PAS 2035 not only supports its predecessor, but also focuses on the retrofitting of homes for improved energy efficiency. PAS 2035 provides a clear framework so that installers and coordinators alike can deliver a quality solution – this includes ensuring proper scoping, risk assessments and post-installation monitoring are in place.

It may sound like a lot of red tape to wade through, but since the ECO scheme and any repairs or renovations completed in its name are government backed operations, your energy company needs to play it safe. After all, the compliance of PAS 2030 and PAS 2035 is going to be closely monitored by TrustMark – the government’s quality assurance scheme.

What do I need to do?

Essentially, these new requirements have made it necessary for energy companies to create new roles in line with PAS standards. From Retrofit Assessors and Coordinators to Retrofit Designers and Installers – if you’re planning on carrying out retrofit improvements to fulfil your ECO scheme duties, you’ll need experts on board to be PAS 2035 compliant.

The official list of roles you’ll need is as follows:

  • Retrofit Advisor
  • Retrofit Assessor
  • Retrofit Coordinator
  • Retrofit Designer
  • Retrofit Evaluator

Understandably, this has resulted in a scramble to find the right candidates who match this very niche experience. Each of these roles has specialised knowledge and qualifications to carry out your organisation’s ECO measures and hit the annual target that’s been set for you by OFGEM.

Another popular option is to train up your existing operational team so they can work in a hybrid role. The best route to go down is to reach out to a trusted training provider to get some of your assessors and coordinators caught up on ECO.

Aside from the above operational positions, we’ve noticed a big uptick in ECO-specific leadership roles coming our way: from Head of ECO Operations roles to ECO Compliance Manager jobs. So you may even want to go a step further and create a position for someone in-house to oversee all your ECO scheme operations – we don’t see ECO going anywhere any time soon.

If you’d like to speak to someone about your ECO scheme hiring needs, Consult Energy would be happy to help. Our Regulations & Compliance specialist, Stacey Harris, is our resident ECO expert, find her on our website or on LinkedIn.

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Our latest job opportunities

Added 2 days ago

EIA – Associate Director

Job Reference: 3405

Added 7 days ago

Senior Management Accountant

Job Reference: 3403

  • Location

    Warwickshire

  • Money

    £50,000 - £60,000

  • Contract

    Permanent

Added 23 Nov 2021

Senior Application Engineer

Job Reference: 3400

  • Location

    Windsor

  • Money

    £50,000 - £60,000

  • Contract

    Permanent

Added 23 Nov 2021

Finance Analyst

Job Reference: 3398

  • Location

    Blackpool

  • Money

    £20,000 - £25,000

  • Contract

    Permanent

Added 19 Nov 2021

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Job Reference:

  • Money

    £35,000 - £75,000

  • Contract

    Permanent

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Job Reference: 3385

  • Location

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  • Money

    £40,000-£60,000

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Job Reference: 3381

  • Location

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  • Money

    £50,000 - £70,000

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