ECO scheme to be revised for electrically heated homes

Under its Affordable Warmth Obligation, the means-tested ECO scheme uses funding from energy suppliers to offer heating and insulation improvements for low-income and vulnerable households. It has been well received since it was launched last year but disproportionately few homes heated by electric have been awarded funding to date.

Dimplex say this is because the initial eligibility criteria, which were based on SAP2009 calculations, were not appropriate for non-gas homes – including more than two million homes which are still heated by outdated storage heaters in the UK.

As part of the changes which come into force from April 2015, under Affordable Warmth, the savings from repair or replacement of a qualifying electric storage heater will be scored in the same way as a qualifying boiler – and in doing so will receive a higher notional bill saving for the customer. Any storage heater which is broken and cannot be economically repaired, or with a responsiveness of less than 0.2 according to SAP2012 (which effectively means any static storage heater) could be replaced, along with other heaters in the property.

Chris Stammers, marketing director for Dimplex, said, ‘DECC has recognised that the scoring system was not conducive to electric heating systems and taken steps to change it. It means thousands of homes with outdated storage heaters will be eligible for funding towards a heating upgrade and the Dimplex Quantum off-peak heater, with a responsiveness of 0.8, has already proved a popular choice for such properties.

‘Dimplex contributed to the DECC consultation on these improvements to make sure that the new system works for every individual household and we welcome the change. It will mean a fairer system and a better means of assessing eligibility of electrically heated homes. Crucially, it means low-income homeowners will find it easier to upgrade their heating system with modern, high-efficiency electric appliances.’

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