Planning rules could hinder green deal
Planning restrictions could mean London struggles to make the most of government programmes to improve home energy efficiency, a think tank has warned.
In a report sponsored by energy company EDF, the Future of London group warns the capital will face specific problems in accessing the green deal and energy company obligation when these launch in the autumn.
Under the green deal households will be able to get energy efficiency work carried out to their homes for free, with the cost repaid through energy bill savings. The accompanying £1.3 billion a year ECO will subsidise more expensive measures carried out under the green deal.
Future for London argues the capital will struggle to take full advantage of the schemes because of the high number of flats and solid wall properties. These generally require more costly solutions to improve efficiency, such as external wall insulation.
Although £760 million a year of the ECO is being set aside for solid wall insulation and related measures, the report says planning restrictions in London – particularly in conservation areas – could harm take up. It also says a lack of accredited suppliers inside the M25 could be a problem.
The report urges London boroughs to simplify the planning process to get round the potential problems. It calls for a more ‘streamlined’ system, including the removal of the need to get permission from local authorities before installing solid wall insulation.
Ben Harrison, director of Future of London, said: ‘By using the range of policy options available to boost the take up and implementation of energy efficiency improvements under the green deal and ECO, London boroughs can make progress towards carbon reduction commitments, alleviating fuel poverty and improving health and wellbeing in their areas.’