March 2013: Helpful new briefing paper presented to the London Councils Leaders Committee on ‘Energy Efficiency in London’, which highlights:
- The bulk of recent funding from DECC to the GLA (see here and here) will be spent on replacing/repairing boiler and heating systems within the participating boroughs, as well as improving the insulation properties of homes, utilising the framework contracts already in place from the RE:NEW scheme. A smaller part of the funds will be spent on both domestic and business Green Deal assessments.
- Almost one in five London households is in fuel poverty, currently defined as householders spending more than 10 per cent of their income on energy to keep warm. This is significantly higher than the national average as a result of a greater proportion of older and hard-to-treat homes. The problem is likely to get worse too,with one in four households projected to be in fuel poverty by next year as a result of rising energy costs and the UK’s homes being some of the most energy inefficient in Europe.
- London Councils is actively pursuing Government to include measures to simplify tariffs and provide clearer information to consumers. We are lobbying for more competition to enable suppliers to offer market-beating tariffs in cases, such as the Collective Energy Switch currently pursued by London Councils and to ensure that fuel poor households will continue to benefit from centrally funded measures for retrofitting activities.
- Due to the higher costs of delivering retro-fitting in London, there is a danger that London will lose out on its fair share of ECO funding, as it did under the CERT scheme. London Councils, with the GLA, lobbied for regional targets, which Government did not accept and has resulted in adapting the RE:NEW work to include a larger element of working with retrofitting providers to address some of their main concerns (local planning matters, parking issues and sharing of benefits claimants data). The Energy Bill, however offers a new opportunity to reinforce this point, which London Councils is actively pursuing.
- Due to the types of homes in London and the prevalence of fuel poverty, vulnerable households are unlikely to meet the golden rule of the Green Deal without further financial support.