Today I received this comment from Katherine. I have posted it in its entirety. This is indeed worrying.
I work for an installer - and I just thought to add a little from our side of things may be informative (though not actually helpful!). We have houses ready for funding, but no providers want to give full funding. We specifically targeted areas that were ECO eligible - you can look up the eligible areas, then search your postcode to see if it is in a "vulnerable" area. This should achieve 100% funding for Solid Wall Insulation - as it is by definition a "hard to treat" measure. However, when it comes down to the nitty gritty, the providers are constantly changing the goal posts. We are now told a property needs to be solid fuel AND solid wall - and even then may not achieve full funding. Personally, I can not see the point of ECO if they are not intending to use it for its purposes - to help the vulnerable insulate their homes. They are trying to "force" people into having Green Deal finance to top up the ECO grants. There is no mention of fuel types determining the eligibility for ECO, it just ticks more boxes and gives a bigger saving than a house on mains gas - but this is not why ECO was set up. Sorry, now I'm just rambling. Back to my point, even now, the providers are reluctant to give us even an idea of funding - so we are left not really knowing what to tell people, other than be patient, we are trying to get them the best deal we can. But I think you may have more luck with a smaller, local installer that has access to funding via providers. Though as you say, there is no easy way to find these. Very best of luck to you though."
Added 4pm 15/04:
It appears that providers are trying to look for the 'lowest hanging ECO fruits', i.e. the interventions giving the greatest carbon reductions for least amount of effort/money, which is indeed the Solid Walled (SW) and solid fuelled dwellings (and where many properties in one go can be treated). However, it is problematic if this is at the expense of ECO-funding properties that are SW and in vulnerable areas, simply because they are not solid fuelled. This will presumably cut out much or all of greater London properties, despite 30% being classified as SW properties, due to the smoke control zone and lack of solid fuelled properties,...Equally individual dwellings may not be able to access ECO-funding for several months or years until the low-hanging fruits are harvested first.
It seems that individual householders may find it difficult - or impossible to access ECO funding, despite 'in theory' their properties qualifying. Unable to get access to the top-up funding required to undertake solid wall insulation to meet the Green Deal's Golden Rule, presumably means that they cannot undertake this Green Deal measure unless they are able to afford the difference. If this is the way things are going; ECO-funding might have been mis-advertised and householders might have been deceived.
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