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ECO LA Flex shows mixed uptake from suppliers

Neil Mearns Senior Writer

Recent data from Ofgem, published in October 2018, shows mixed levels of uptake from ECO (Energy Company Obligation) obligated energy suppliers. It highlights a 50:50 split between those suppliers who have met approximately 100% of their LA Flex (Local Authority Flexible Eligibility) allowance and those who have not. LA Flex was introduced as a delivery mechanism to assist energy suppliers in identifying households that qualify for energy efficiency measures. This recognises that LAs can play a significant role in identifying households on a low income and who are in fuel poverty. Under ECO2t, companies can meet 7% of their total obligation via LA Flex. This will increase to 25% under ECO3. All 12 obligated suppliers have taken up LA Flex as a method of achieving at least some of their obligations. On average, the companies have used 72.7% of their LA Flex allowance, equivalent to  £0.23bn of household improvements. Of the 12, six have opted to meet or exceed 100% of their allowance, including British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON UK, First Utility, npower and Extra Energy. Scottish Power and SSE are the largest suppliers to have used LA Flex to a lesser extent. Naturally, the key partners in this mechanism are LAs. While 122 of the 407 LAs have taken the first step and delivered a statement of intent, few have advanced beyond this. There are exceptions to this rule. A comprehensive strategy comes from Bristol City Council via the Bristol City Leap Project. The ambition of this scheme is to deliver £300mn worth of low-carbon/ ...

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