London Councils' response to the London Assembly Investigation into Domestic Energy and Fuel Poverty
London Councils recently provided a submission to the London Assembly Environment Committee's investigation into domestic energy and fuel poverty int he capital. The document outlines a number of the challenges to running effective energy efficiency retrofit programmes in London, highlighting the many households in the Private Rented Sector (PRS), Homes of Multiple Occupation (HMOs), and the physical make up of the building types (aging Victorian terrace buildings). We called on the Mayor to lobby the Government to sert out a long term stratergy and related funding for tackling fuel poverty and inefficient homes. The report also looks at the state of renewable power and heat generation in London, and points to a number of good examples to learn from from other countries. We stated that the Mayor should work with boroughs to create a borough owned not-for-profit cooperative specialising in the procurement of district energy (especially heating) products, given London’s leading role in this area.
London Councils' Response to the London Assembly Investigation on Solar Power
London Councils recently responded to the London Assembly Environment Committee's call for views and information on the current policy, capacity, opportunities and challenges for solar energy generation in the residential sector in London. London Councils noted that uptake of solar photovoltaics (PV) per household is lower in London than other parts of the UK but that most other large UK cities also have lower than average rates. We suggested that it would be beneficial for London to work with the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Core Cities to investigate barriers to PV installations in large UK cities. We suggested that if cost is found to be a key issue then it may be necessary to consider regional top ups to the Feed In Tariff. We also suggested that it needs to be made easier for landlords to provide locally generated renewable energy to tenants, who should benefit from the lower energy prices.
RE:NEW is a London-wide homes retrofitting scheme designed to promote energy efficiency in the housing stock.
The latest phase of the programme was launched in 2014 and offers free guidance and assistance to social housing providers, local authorities and private landlords on the development and delivery of retrofit projects by an expert RE:NEW project team.
The support can cover all of the stages needed to deliver a project, including support on opportunity analysis, funding and finance, planning, procurement and delivery. We are represented on the Sponsors Board of the project.
Impact of Universal Credit
We have examined what the introduction of Universal Credit could mean for fuel poverty in London. It showed that London residents in a wide variety of circumstances could be in fuel poverty. We have argued that
- the Universal Credit system should take account of the higher costs of living in London
- OFGEM should take action to ensure that reductions in wholesale fuel prices are passed on to consumers
- there should be regional targets for the spending of the new Energy Company Obligation (ECO).
Zero Carbon Homes - Allowable Solutions
In 2013, the government consulted on 'allowable solutions' that would enable developers to meet zero carbon homes targets by carbon reduction measures off site.
Our response stressed the need for a link between 'allowable solutions' and where development is taking place, with local authorities being able to set an appropriate carbon price and manage funds.
We raised concerns that London will not see the benefits of the off-setting measures because they will be cheaper to deliver elsewhere in the country.
Our response is in two parts - the first part comprises overarching comments, the second part is a completed version of the consultation response form containing responses to specific consultation questions.
The Government responded to the comments made on the 'allowable solutions' consultation in 2014.
The Infrastructure Act 2015 (section 37) provides the primary legislation for the introduction of 'allowable solutions'.
Response to Government's Housing Standards Review consultation
In 2013, we responded to the government's consultation on simplifying and standardising housing standards. The response focuses on environmental issues within the proposals and is in two parts.