BEIS has recently published its ECO3 2018 – 2022 Flexible Eligibility Guidance document, and our ECO team has compiled a few key take-aways from the updated guidance. You can read the guidance in full here.
The two key messages are:
• You can keep your existing Statement of Intent (SoI) so long as you believe it to be in line with the new guidance
• BEIS wants councils to be crystal clear on qualifying criteria.
Please note, any existing SoIs which specifically refer to ECO2 Transition Period will not be valid for ECO3.
There are two main categories of private tenure households which will be eligible through flexible eligibility:
• Fuel poor households, especially those on low income and not in receipt of ECO eligible benefits, and;
• Low income households that are vulnerable to the effects of a cold home.
The below illustrations demonstrate how a household may or may not qualify under Local Authority Flexible Eligibility (LA Flex) schemes:
Flexible Eligibility – Up to 25% of ECO (estimated value of around £560m over the obligation period)
Key changes since the guidance publication in April 2017:
• All declarations and measures delivered from 1st October 2018 will have to meet LA Flex ECO3 requirements
• New timescales for declaration validity for ECO3 – A declaration issued under ECO2t was only valid until 30th September 2018. Under ECO3, a declaration issued from 1st October 2018 will be valid for 18 months from the date of signature, but only if there is an active SoI published at the time of the declaration or until 31st March 2022, whichever is the earliest
• New simplified Flexible Eligibility in-fill requirements relating to solid wall insulation, with up to 50% of households able to qualify under ECO3
• Templates for the SoI and LA declarations have been provided by BEIS to ensure consistency across LAs.
Solid wall “in-fill” properties:
• As with general LA Flex, “in-fill” is only available for private domestic premises and as such doesn’t include social housing
• In-fill properties for solid wall insulation – To encourage multi-property solid wall insulation in private tenure, LAs will be able to provide declarations for households that do not meet the SoI published e.g. not living in fuel poverty or living on a low income and are vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home. If at least 50% of eligible households receive either of these measures, an adjacent property can also benefit from the same measure, as long as the number of “in-fill” properties does not exceed 50%.
For further information and advice on ECO3 , please contact our ECO experts.