Rate of home energy efficiency installations slows

23 July 2019   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Installations of home energy efficiency measures have flatlined over recent months as latest scheme beds in.

The number of homes benefiting from energy efficiency installations has plummeted to an average of 10,000 per month according to latest Government figures.

This contrasts sharply with 2014 when an average of 65,000 installations were being made every month.

However, although the figures are low, there are still in line with Government aims to improve one million homes by the end of April 2020.

insulation loft home

What do the figures show?

The latest Government data shows installations up to and including May 2019, although there's a caveat that energy suppliers can report their installations two months in arrears so it's not a comprehensive picture.

That said, the reported figures are undeniably low with only 14,000 installations in May 2019.

While the report highlights this as the biggest number of installations since ECO3 was introduced in October 2018, it is still a drop in the ocean compared to the number of installations under previous schemes.

eco installations

The difference between the current scheme and previous incarnations of ECO is that multiple projects were underway during previous schemes.

However, those have ended and only the Affordable Warmth (HHCRO) is part of ECO3.

What is ECO3?

Insulation is a key element of the ECO schemes, incorporating cavity wall, loft and solid wall insulation. As well as this, ECO covers boiler and other heating upgrades and efficiencies.

Figures show that 25% of measures installed during the first eight months of ECO3 were for cavity wall insulation, with 19% for loft insulation and 25% for boiler measures including upgrades.

For those wondering if they're eligible for a free or cheap boiler under ECO3, click here.

Eligibility criteria has been tightened for both heating upgrades and insulation measures in ECO3, emphasising support for the lowest income households. However, this could still leave over six million households eligible for the scheme.

Read our guide for more information about getting free home insulation.

It's undeniable, though, that the alteration of Government schemes over recent years has had an impact on the number of installations taking place.

The wider policy landscape

Energy efficiency and affordability makes the headlines almost every week, and a range of measures have been put in place by the government, energy suppliers and the regulator Ofgem.

One of the most notable attempts to keep bills low in the last year was the introduction of the energy price cap, although this has been criticised for acting more as a target than a cap.

Equally, smart meters are billed as an excellent method of helping consumers understand and control their energy usage, but the comprehensive rollout of these has been persistently delayed and they will now miss their 2020 deadline.

On the renewables side of things, the Government has been criticised for the interruption to solar schemes which has effectively led to a nine-month hiatus in installations.

With the latest figures on energy efficiency installations showing a distinct slowdown no matter how the Government attempts to spin the results, it remains to be seen how many households will benefit from efficiency measures.

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