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Government cuts ECO in announcement on green levies

The government’s announcement on ‘green levies’ on energy bills includes confirmation of a cut to the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO).

Under the new measures, the period which ECO covers will be extended from two to four years (to 2017) and the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation element of the ECO will be reduced by 33 per cent up to 2017.

The number of solid-wall insulation installations energy suppliers are required to make under ECO will also be reduced to 100,000 over the new four-year period (25,000 per year). In 2012 alone, industry installed 80,000 solid-wall insulation measures.

UK Green Building Council chief executive Paul King said: “Make no mistake, this is bad news for people who cannot afford to heat their homes, especially if they live in solid-walled properties, and bad news for thousands of construction industry workers who may well be joining the dole queue this Christmas.

“It remains perverse that the prime minister is attempting to reduce energy bills by slashing the very scheme that is designed to bring them down for good. 

“We have to recognise that some in the coalition have fought hard for a package of incentives to sweeten the pill.

“Encouraging households to take up energy-efficiency measures when moving into a property through a stamp duty rebate is something we have repeatedly called for.”

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