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Ribble Valley Borough Council

Home Energy Saving Tips

Home Energy Conservation Act Report March 2013

Further report March 2013

Local Authorities are uniquely placed to assess the needs of their area and local residents and to act as catalysts for change. The Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) 1995 recognises local authorities' ability to use their position to improve the energy efficiency of all residential accommodation (such as owner-occupied, privately rented and social housing) in their areas.

The council has had regard to the guidance issued in July 2012, pursuant to the Home Energy Conservation Act 1995, in compiling this further report.

This further report sets out the energy conservation measures that Ribble Valley Borough Council considers practicable, cost effective and likely to result in significant improvements in the energy efficiency of residential accommodation in the Ribble Valley area.

Information on the existing levels of fuel poverty and carbon emissions in Ribble Valley can be found from Government statistics (Gov.uk).

  • 18.8% of households (7,643) (2010 statistics) in Ribble Valley are in fuel poverty compared to the national average of 16.4%. This has shown an increase in Ribble Valley from 17.3% in 2008.
  • Domestic emissions of carbon dioxide are 2.6t per person (2010) compared with the all England average of 2.3t per person.

Ribble Valley Borough Council recognises the issues of fuel poverty and has developed an action plan in partnership with Registered Providers, Age UK, Local Health Authorities and neighbourhood communities. A dedicated officer works closely with the Lancashire Energy Officers Group seeking to address the causes and effects of fuel poverty. These partnerships also aim to improve the insulation of remaining untreated properties especially the 'hard to treat' older traditional housing prevalent in the area.

The council recognises the obligations contained in the Climate Change Act 2008 to improve the energy efficiency of residential accommodation. The Carbon plan, published in 2011 indicates the how the government aims to achieve the requirements of the Climate Change Act. The broad aims are to achieve a 29% reduction in the emission of carbon dioxide by 2017, a 35% reduction by 2022 and a 50% reduction by 2027. The reductions are compared to the emissions at the base date of 1990.

Emissions from residential buildings is a significant component of the overall emissions and improvements in the energy efficiency of residential accommodation will play a large part in meeting the targets of the carbon plan. By 2010 60% of all homes with a cavity wall had been provided with cavity wall insulation. There are though 40% of homes (around 7 million) that could be installed with cavity wall insulation that have not yet done so. If the recent trends for the installation of cavity wall insulation continue all suitable homes could be insulated over the end of the decade. Ribble Valley council supports the objective of seeking to complete the cavity wall insulation of all suitable dwellings by 2020.

With the benefit of funding from the Warm Homes Healthy People fund Ribble Valley Borough Council has been able to assist 1100 homes containing vulnerable residents including those in fuel poverty, with practical and tangible assistance. This is an ongoing project with initiatives to fund boiler replacements; train fuel debt advisors who will deliver direct home based advice to those in fuel poverty and with vulnerable residents, not only the very old and young but also those with health issues. Thermal imaging of domestic premises and energy loss checks are being carried out to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

We will promote the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) part of the Green Deal and together with other councils in Lancashire are looking for a suitable partner to deliver the remaining sections of the Green Deal.

There is a plan to develop 'Cosy Home' in the Ribble Valley with St Vincents Housing Association. The property will have they very latest technology and energy saving installations to demonstrate the energy and carbon savings that can be made. The Cosy Home will be open to the general public to view. 

It is understood that the improved energy efficiency of dwellings needs to be considered alongside the need to increase the capacity of low carbon energy generation. The Lancashire Sustainable energy study was produced in April 2011 and was updated in 2012 for all Lancashire authorities. The study concludes that Ribble Valley has the potential capacity for sustainable energy production of 36MW by 2020. The major component of this potential is from wind power with other contributions from solar micro generation, heat pumps and energy from waste. The findings of the study are recognised in the draft preferred options paper of the developing local plan.

Report compiled and submitted by John Barber john.barber@ribblevaley.gov.uk 01200 413235


i) Local Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty Ambitions and Priorities

Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Board ~ Emerging Strategy

 

The Lancashire Shadow Health and Wellbeing emerging strategy identifies affordable warmth as one ten 'early-win' interventions. Actions proposed here will help to deliver all four of the strategies priority outcomes informed by intelligence from the Lancashire Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, these are: mental health and wellbeing; long term conditions; improving the health and independence of older people; and maternal and child health.

 

Early Interventions during 2013/14

 

Priority outcomes: 2020

Lancashire Climate Change Strategy

 

The Lancashire Climate Change Strategy sets out the long-term vision that Lancashire is "low carbon and well adapted by 2020" with a target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 34% (relative to 1990) by that time.  The strategy will be supported by the findings of the Lancashire Sustainable Energy Study.

 

 

2020

Carbon Reduction Target

The council will seek to achieve the provision of cavity wall insulation in all remaining suitable dwellings. Consider a target based on reducing the per capita carbon emissions to the England average.

 

2020

Fuel Poverty Target

Consider a target based on reducing the level of fuel poverty to 2008 levels (or below?) or to the national average, delivered by the implementation of the affordable warmth statement action plan.

 

2020

ii) Measures we are taking to result in Significant Energy Efficiency Improvement of our Residential Accommodation

Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

 

There are currently no plans to become a Green Deal Provider but discussions on an approach to Green Deal and securing ECO funding are being discussed through the Lancashire Home Energy Officers Group, it is expected that actions will be developed during 2013.

 

Preparatory work during 2013

Feed-in Tariffs scheme

The expansion of micro generation of solar energy will be encouraged by the (draft) local plan.

To end of plan period 2030

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

The council will use the information in the EPC register to help target energy efficiency intervention activity

Ongoing

Minimum standards in the private rental sector

The council recognises the proposals of the Energy Act to require minimum energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector and will publicise the requirements in partnership with the local landlords' forum. The private sector enforcement activities of the council will recognise the need for improvements in energy efficiency and it will use available powers to do so.

Ongoing

iii) Measures we Propose to Cost Effectively Deliver Energy Efficiency Improvements in Residential Accommodation by Using Area Based / Street by Street Roll Out

Installation of Exterior Wall insulation on Hard to Treat properties

Early discussion have taken place with British Gas to identify potential for suitable properties for work to be carried out. Using ECO obligation and

Ongoing

To provide one to one advice on Energy Efficiency

Using trained staff to access vulnerable households to give advice in obtaining improvements to their energy and carbon useage

 

iv) Fuel Poverty Actions

Collective Energy Switching

 

Lancashire authorities are working together to develop a Collective Energy Switching Scheme and funding had been secured from the DECC Cheaper Energy Together fund to support the project. 

 

Spring 2012 & ongoing

Warm Homes Healthy People Projects

 

Across Lancashire £716,818 has been secured from the Department of Health this Winter to support local projects which reduce the levels of deaths and illness of vulnerable people living in cold housing.  County-wide this funding is being used to raise awareness of the issues of cold housing and poor health amongst key frontline staff in the health and social care sectors, and to provide them with contact details to refer vulnerable households to the practical help available.

 

Dec 2012-March 2013

Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Fuel Poverty Funding

 

Funding has been secured to continue to provide free cavity wall & loft insulation to Lancashire residents up until March 2013.  The measures will be targeted at vulnerable groups and those on low incomes.

 

Jan-March 2013

v) National and Local Partners

North West Carbon Action Network

 

The Council links into the NW CAN network to share knowledge on reducing domestic-sector carbon footprint and tackling fuel poverty across the region.

 

Ongoing

Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Board

 

The Council works with other partners to deliver the current Health and Wellbeing Strategy which identifies Affordable Warmth as one of the key interventions.

 

Ongoing

Lancashire Home Energy Officers Group

 

The Lancashire Home Energy Group consists of representatives from the 12 district councils in Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen Council, Blackpool Council, Lancashire County Council and Lancashire County Developments Ltd.  The Group was established in 2007 work in partnership to improve the energy efficiency of Lancashire Homes, address health inequalities exacerbated by living in cold damp homes, reduce fuel poverty, tackle seasonal excess deaths and reduce carbon emissions from the domestic sector.

 

Ongoing

Ribble Valley, All Registered Providers,

Delivery of the affordable warmth action plan.

Ongoing