Alleviating fuel poverty through innovation

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This week, Ofgem accepted submissions to the Energy Company Obligation’s (ECO) innovation routes. The routes allow energy suppliers to deliver up to 10% of their obligation through innovative measures, these can include new products and improved installation methods. The Sustainable Energy Association (SEA) keenly followed and contributed to the development of the demonstration actions and innovation uplifts under ECO and we hope that more innovative solutions will be successful in this round.

We would like to congratulate AirEx, Q-bot, Radbot, Schneider and Switchee on their success with their applications in April. All of these successful applicants attended the SEA’s ECO Innovation Showcase in February this year. The event, which the SEA hosted jointly with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) was important as only obligated suppliers can submit an innovation application to Ofgem and it enabled manufacturers of innovative solutions to pitch their products to energy suppliers. The event and the networking it enabled facilitated the development of relationships between energy suppliers and organisations with innovative solutions and ultimately the successful applications to become part of ECO.

The SEA is technology agnostic and has a wide range of members including energy suppliers who have an obligation under the Energy Company Obligation and manufactures of technologies such as insulation and heating products, that can contribute to fulfilling those obligations. This makes the SEA knowledgeable about ECO and well placed to facilitate relationships between manufacturers of innovative solution and energy suppliers.  

Lesley Rudd, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy Association commented:

“Our ECO showcase was attended by over 100 people including representatives from every obligated energy supplier and Ofgem and BEIS and I am delighted that it facilitated partnerships which will bring innovative solutions to customers via ECO. Congratulations to the successful parties AirEx, Q-bot, Radbot, Schneider and Switchee.

The Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) that assessed the applications highlighted that the successful innovative products can achieve cost savings for consumers, are an ‘improvement’ on current materials and will have positive impacts on households living in fuel poverty. Hopefully these innovations can also have a positive impact on the environment by reducing carbon emissions. The next Tap meeting is on 15th July and I hope to hear of further success stories following the meeting”

The SEA strives to support innovation and achieve market growth for products which can help to make homes more comfortable and affordable whilst delivering carbon emission savings. For more information on ECO Innovation or how we can help support an application, please get in touch with Jess Ralston, Policy Advisor, at The TAP will meet quarterly, with the next meetings on 15th July and 7th October (application deadline of 9th September).