Neil O’Brien, MP for Harborough, Oadby and Wigston is calling on local district councils to sign up to the ECO Flex scheme, so that more local residents can get access to government-funded energy improvements.
The ECO scheme enables eligible people to get government funded home improvements which both save energy and help residents save money. These include new boilers to replace old inefficient ones.
“The government funds energy saving improvements like new boilers for people through the ECO scheme. It funds things like insulation, renewable energy and better heating systems.
Under the national rules people on certain benefits are automatically eligible.
The ECO Flex scheme allows councils to widen the eligibility criteria to get help, so that more people locally can get support than would be eligible under the national rules.
The Flex scheme means help is available not just for those on certain benefits, but also households with an income of less than £31,000 a year, people who are vulnerable to cold, people who have been referred by Citizens Advice or people who live in deprived neighbourhoods.
Basically, it means a lot more people can be eligible for help.
The ECO Flex scheme gives the councils the power to drive takeup of the scheme and refer privately owned or rented households that it considers to be living in fuel poverty or on a low income to get help.
The City of Leicester have signed up to the scheme but the districts in my constituency have not. That means that while people in the City can get access to these schemes, people in Harborough and in Oadby and Wigston risk missing out.
So I am calling on my local councils to sign up to this scheme by producing what is called a “Statement of Intent”.
It’s been really cold recently, so I hope my local councils will sign up, so that we can get more help more quickly to people who are struggling with energy costs”.