July 2013: Last year the Government issued new guidance, issued under the Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA), requiring all (English) local authorities to publish a report by 31 March 2013 setting out their plans to achieve improved energy efficiency. Before looking at how London boroughs responded to this new requirement, it helps to have a quick look back to how this all came about…
Following a short limited release consultation in June 2012 – DECC published its new guidance on 26 July 2012 for local authorities (or – as the guidance states – to English Energy Conservation Authorities) with Minister Greg Barker stating in the accompanying press release that:
“This new robust guidance will support and encourage all local authorities to realise the significant benefits of upgrading homes. The Green Deal will be a fantastic tool to help with this, and I look forward to hearing how local authorities are using it to enable people to save energy and money.”
“A well developed report in response to HECA, highlighting key opportunities, will help attract potential funding partners to work with the authority and other local community groups and stakeholders to the benefit of local residents and businesses.”
A Local Government Association briefing note produced shortly after provides some useful background on the guidance requirements.
Going back a little further, the Government’s actual original intention was in fact to repeal HECA through an amendment to the 2011 Energy Bill (see DECC’s 2010 impact assessment here setting out the Government’s rationale for doing so). However, with a central purpose of the Bill being to introduce the Green Deal, DECC correctly saw that HECA’s requirements would, in fact, potentially help with the roll-out of the Green Deal programme. Hence, Ministers decided instead to retain HECA (see col 1132 of 10 May 2011 House of Commons debate here announcing that Ministers had change their minds) with amendments: the final legislation can be seen in the Energy Act 2011 – clause 118.
Not much has been said by Government or anyone else about HECA since the guidance was issued. However, recently (June 26 2013) the Committee of Climate Change highlighted in their latest carbon budgets progress report that: “To encourage local authority involvement in energy efficiency delivery, DECC published revised Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) guidance in July 2012 outlining new responsibilities and reporting requirements for local authorities…To date, around 75% of local authorities have submitted reports … DECC will publish a full analysis of these reports by the end of June.” [p122]
This DECC analysis has however not appeared as yet and it’s publication is now running clearly late : that is – if the CCC were indeed correct!
Below is a list of links to the London borough updated HECA energy efficiency reports. Boroughs with no links does not necessarily mean that the report has not been finalised (or issued) – it’s possible that they are posted online, but just couldn’t be located…
Analysis of these HECA reports will be posted on Energy for London later this week.
Barking & Dagenham
Bexley (direct link)
Brent (direct link)
Islington (direct link)
Wandsworth (direct link)
Westminster (direct link)