HAVING a not for profit company running a fuel poverty scheme has been welcomed at Powys County Council (PCC).

But, while some believe that bringing Warm Wales/Cymru Gynnes on board to administer the ECO3 scheme, is a good thing others believe that Warm Wales should be put under the magnifying glass.

At their meeting on Monday, February 24, councillors on the Economy, Residents, Communities and Governance Scrutiny Committee went through PCC’s Statement of Intent (SOI) for ECO3 which confirms the partnership with Warm Wales.

PCC get paid £150 per installation from OFGEM who run the scheme and of this £60 will be paid to Warm Wales.

Cllr Jeremy Pugh (Action for Powys, Builth) said: “I think we need to divide our scrutiny into two, we need to do far more on Warm Wales.

“They say they are a not for profit organisation, so where does the money go?

“I don’t want anyone to go from here thinking they do everything out of the goodness of their heart, their profits go in directors salaries, it is a profit making organisation and we need to understand that.”

At the meeting, Corporate Director of Environment and Economy, Nigel Brinn, emailed scrutiny manager Wyn Richards information on Warm Wales from the Companies House website.

Mr Brinn said: “I have just sent Wyn a copy of the Warm Wales accounts. They paid their directors, just over £40,000 in the last financial year (2018 accounts) and they have six directors.

“Now, that is not in-depth forensic analysis of their accounts but it gives an indication what they are paying their directors.”

Senior housing officer Julian Preece added that he believed Warm Wales reinvest their profits in the communities where they work.

Committee chairman Cllr Mathew Dorrance (Labour, Brecon St John) said that further scrutiny of Warm Wales could be looked at in a future meeting.

Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Housing and Regulatory Services, Cllr James Evans (Conservative, Gwernyfed), said: “I am very pleased with the work that’s been done, I think it’s an improved scheme, I want this to be right.

“A lot of criticism was had last time at the way it [ECO2] was administered by the Council.

“This is going to make it external from us, there will be more robust checks taking place to make sure there is no fraud or anything else taking place.

“Warm Wales are also committed to using local contractors with the right accreditation.

“I’m very thankful for scrutiny’s comments today, I think we’re in a better place for this scheme than where we were previously.

“So long as we cover our costs, it will help grow our economy by supporting our plumbers and get people out of fuel poverty.

The scheme will go to a cabinet meeting for approval soon and ECO3 runs until  March 31, 2022.