TACKLING FUEL POVERTY – UPDATED HOME ENERGY CONSERVATION ACT

I welcome further moves by the Government to ensure local authorities continue to tackle fuel poverty and reduce CO2 emissions.

The Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) of 1995 has been replaced by an updated ‘Further Report’ which requires authorities to significantly improve the energy efficiency of residential accommodation in their area.   Leeds City Council has until 31st March to submit a report to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, setting out its future plans for home energy conservation.   

The requirements of the Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) Further Report were discussed at yesterday’s Executive Board Meeting.

Leeds has made good progress in improving the energy efficiency of its housing stock, and the initial “Wrap Up Leeds”  project proved successful not only in the level of take up, but also the jobs it created.

The next phase, however, will be much more difficult and more expensive, as it is dependent to a large extent on private sector take-up, including private rented properties.

If we are serious about home energy conservation we must incorporate all areas of the housing sector, and the key to this will be to instill confidence in private homeowners, (landlords in particular), that any work they undertake will ultimately pay for itself through fuel bill savings.

Let’s not forget, many home owners have low incomes and live in some of the most hard to treat properties in the city.