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It’s the day after the Easter bank holiday weekend and I’ve just called my energy supplier to find out how to apply for the government’s new ECO+ scheme, which is set to start this spring.

The ECO+ is one of the latest iterations of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) initiatives, running alongside the means-tested ECO4. ‘Our new ECO+ scheme will help hundreds of thousands of people across the UK to better insulate their homes to reduce consumption, with the added benefit of saving families hundreds of pounds each year,’ said chancellor of the exchequer Jeremy Hunt.

The aim is to include those who don’t benefit from existing government support to upgrade their homes – though details of the qualifying criteria are uncertain. According to the scheme announcement press release, ‘Around 80 per cent of the funding will be made available for those households who are in some of the least energy-efficient homes in the country – that is, those with an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of D or below – and in the lower council tax bands.’

It sounds like a great idea, and I was keen to find out more. My home is in band D and doesn’t have an EPC rating. So one of the questions I asked was whether the house must be assessed and certified before applying. I didn’t get an answer because, as it turns out, there’s no great rush – the scheme is now not launching until the summer. Why do I feel this doesn’t bode well?

COVER PHOTO DAV ID BA RBOUR

@StylianidesK KAREN STYLIANIDES, EDITOR

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