British Gas Unveils Cash–Saving ECO Tool

20 August 2013

Energy giant British Gas has launched a new online tool in a bid to provide consumers with a clearer idea of the savings they can make under the Government's latest energy efficiency initiatives.

Householders using the tool, which is available to British Gas customers and those receiving energy from a different supplier, are asked a series of simple questions about themselves and their property before being offered details of subsidised home improvement measures available to them. The whole process takes about three minutes.

The tool takes into account energy improvement measures available through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal.

ECO, which launched at the start of the year, offers subsidised insulation and boiler replacement. Householders that meet specific requirements are entitled to free Cavity Wall Insulation, Loft Insulation and, in some cases, the installation of a new, efficient boiler.

ECO — funded by the UK's major energy providers, including British Gas — has been designed to provide energy savings to low income and vulnerable consumers and those living in ‘hard-to-treat’ properties.

The Green Deal, which officially launched back in October but was delayed until January, offers additional financial assistance to those households not meeting the ECO criteria. Under the scheme, householders are able to take out a low-interest loan that is repayable via the property's electric bill. Under the scheme's ‘golden rule’, the sum of repayment must not exceed the amount saved by implementing the energy efficient measures in the first place.

The Green Deal allows householders to improve the efficiency of their insulation through the installation of Cavity Wall Insulation and Loft Insulation. It can also be used to fund the installation of a new boiler, microgeneration measures, glazing, and more than 40 other measures.

Up until now, uptake on both schemes has been inhibited by a lack of clarity. To put it simply, consumers are not aware of what is available to them, which is where the British Gas tool comes in.

“This new tool is a quick and free way to gain some really useful information about how to improve your home cut energy use and help keep bills under control this winter and in the years to come,” explains Claire Williams, managing director of British Gas New Energy.

“With an estimated £1 in £4 spent on heating bills wasted due to poor insulation, British Gas is installing energy efficiency measures for all eligible households — not just our own customers — and we're keen to help as many people as possible take advantage of these measures that are available under ECO and the Green Deal.”

British Gas, a subsidiary of Centrica, provides energy to approximately 12 million homes in the UK. The company, which has insulated three million homes and replaced 65,000 boilers in the last five years, has committed £1.4 billion to the Energy Companies Obligation scheme through to 2015.

According to British Gas, 12 million homes in the UK are lacking in adequate insulation. The installation of suitable Loft Insulation can save up to £180 per annum, while the installation of Cavity Wall Insulation can save up to £140 per annum.

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