Stroma says yesThe rollout of ECO 2 is a matter of days away and Stroma Certification has welcomed the approval of its property-centric ECO 2.1 software by BRE, on behalf of Ofgem, with the announcement of an integrated software platform to manage the entire ECO journey.

From Wednesday 1st April 2015, all ECO calculations must be completed with a scoring tool which has been approved for ECO 2. The Energy Companies Obligation has been extended to March 2017 and Stroma has ensured its existing user base and prospective new customers are equipped with the requisite tools to calculate ECO scores and facilitate funding applications through Stroma’s approved ECO Engine.

The new release of Stroma Certification’s ECO software retains all the important features of its predecessor and its ECO Engine can calculate lifetime savings and carbon savings for all ECO measures on device. Calculations can be performed by ECO ID, XML, RdSAP ID or RRN. This enables users to build compliant ECO reports for Ofgem reporting.

The company has also welcomed the inclusion of Electric Storage Heaters as a new ECO measure. This provides new opportunities for installations in apartment properties or those traditionally heated by gas, which might benefit from a switch to electric heating. Electric Storage Heaters is already one of the many measures able to be certified within Stroma Certification’s Green Deal Installer (GDI) certification scheme. The company has already seen much interest amongst their GDI members applying for a PAS 2030 extension to scope to include Electric Storage Heaters and expect this trend to continue.

Following its launch at the beginning of March, Stroma Certification’s Tracker workflow management software is two weeks away from a further new release in the week beginning Monday 6th April 2015. This vital new version provides an interface with the ECO software to enable the entire ECO journey (including ECO 2.1) to be performed in Tracker. This includes calculating all measures for ECO scoring and then banking those measures.

A new ECO dashboard within Tracker allows companies and installers to monitor their ECO activity on one property-centric screen. It displays all data on the same screen for potential ECO claims, actual ECO scores following installation and banked amounts. Targets can be set for the month and the dashboard will update all figures in real time to display the percentage achieved. All rates are automatically calculated in pence per pound.

Tracker allows users to customise their ECO settings within the software. You can select which ECO measures are displayed based on the specific ones installed by a particular person or business. The order of installation for measures can also be set to reflect the preferred order undertaken during assessments, as well as default values for each measure. This functionality provides the ability for ECO users to create template ECO jobs, which saves vast amounts of time in comparison to the current practice of having to build each job individually within the property.

The integration of Stroma Certification’s ECO and Tracker software essentially makes the ECO journey much easier for users and customers. The software compiles all the evidence in the correct format, including XMLs, photos and PDFs to allow spreadsheets to be generated and submissions made. They are fully populated with the appropriate ECO scoring data and are displayed in the correct format required by energy companies and for Ofgem reporting.

Tracker is not only designed to promote greater business efficiency through its range of features and integrations. It also facilitates a duty of care for the people collecting the data on site. Another enhancement of the next version of the software is allowing installers to check-in and check-out of a job via the calendar function. Field based staff can have their date, time and GPS stamp recorded on the Android or iPad mobile software and this data is sent back to Tracker. It allows companies to maintain a duty of care to their field based staff by monitoring anomalous data in case of any problems occurring at jobs.

Steve Horrocks, Technical Director, said: “The approval of our ECO Software for ECO 2 is a very important step and ensures that Stroma Certification can maintain our levels of excellence and support in terms of facilitating compliant ECO scoring through our ECO Engine. With the added impending update to our Tracker software we can now provide customers with a single, embedded solution to manage the ECO journey in its entirety.”

You can start using Stroma Certification’s ECO 2.1 software from Wednesday 1st April 2015.