Government publishes energy efficiency guidance
The government has published guidance for local authorities on how they should carry out energy efficiency improvements on their housing stock.
It was expected that the guidance, issued under the Home Energy Conservation Act on Friday, would lay out how local authorities could drive take up of the government’s flagship energy efficiency programme – the green deal.
Under the green deal households can undertake retrofit refurbishment works on their homes at no upfront cost, using green deal finance loans attached to the property. The cost of the works, which are financed by green deal providers, are then repaid by households over time through savings in energy bills.
The government is launching the green deal in October and expects to retrofit 14 million homes across the UK under the scheme.
However, it needs local authorities to promote, coordinate and carry out the green deal in order to make it a success.
Although the HECA guidance does not include any new regulatory requirements, it calls for local authorities to consider how they will carry out cost-effective measures to achieve carbon savings. They will have to produce reports by 31 March 2013 setting out plans for cutting carbon. These reports must be in line with the government’s carbon plan which includes targets such as slashing carbon emissions by 29 per cent by 2017 and by 35 per cent 2022 in buildings.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change ‘expects to request’ that English authorities produce progress reports every two years until 31 March 2027.
It also calls for councils to carry out energy efficiency work on a street-by-street/area basis in partnerships.
The guidance advises local authorities that ‘key local partners are likely to be social housing providers’.
It also outlines three approaches councils can to adopt in rolling out the green deal. The first is as a green deal provider that would offer green deals directly to local residents and businesses, ‘co-ordinating the finance and delivery’. The second is as a green deal partner that would work with green deal providers and community partners to deliver, or help deliver the programme. And the third is by taking on a role as a green deal promoter on a local basis.
DECC said: ‘The role of local authorities and other local partners is likely to be key in ensuring effective and intensive delivery of the energy company obligation and green deal in particular areas. The government believes that many natural incentives will exist allowing effective partnerships to form, and no particular regulatory requirements are needed to encourage this.’