26 July 2012
Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker, today announced new guidance for Local Authorities breathing new life into the dormant Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA). Local Authorities will be required to reinstitute their reporting requirements and build Green Deal into their plans.
At a roundtable meeting of Local Authorities, hosted by USEA in Milton Keynes, the Minister gave details of how HECA would be ‘a new tool in the armoury’ for helping Local Authorities realise their carbon ambitions.
Green Deal is due to roll out shortly and the Minster urged Authorities to use their position as trusted partners to take a leading role and emphasised that involvement in Green Deal is ‘not optional’.
Commending the good work by Wychavon, Southampton, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire Councils, Greg Barker encouraged Councils to adopt the Local Government Association’s ‘Climate Local’ initiative.
The new HECA guidance can be found here.
Two main aspects debated were;
Firstly, Authorities need to prepare their report by 31 March 2013 setting out their strategy for improving the energy efficiency of the housing stock, including Green Deal.
Secondly, Authorities are asked to consider how a street by street approach might work in their area.
Greg Barker urged Councils to recognise that new HECA is not a burden but an opportunity to find ways of working with community groups, helping to keep jobs local and to tackle fuel poverty.
After the roundtable, Greg Barker toured the Lakes Estate in Milton Keynes, which is a Green Deal ‘go early programme’ meeting residents of a 1970’s estate currently undergoing external insulation, new flat roofs and heating improvements. Commenting upon a great green ‘before and after’ scenario the Minister highlighted the shape of things to come under Green Deal.
The Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change Greg Barker and Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South visiting the Lakes Estate project.
CEO of USEA, Brad Hook said ‘we were delighted to receive the Minister to make the announcement about new HECA guidance. We think the return of HECA will certainly help authorities focus on their response to Green Deal’.
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