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New HECA is on the way

posted by Jan Deacon on 10 July 2012

tags: Public Sector , HECA , climate change , Green Deal ,

DECC have produced draft HECA guidance for ECAs (Energy Conservation Local Authorities). 

The original HECA 1995 required ECAs to prepare energy conservation strategies and then submit annual progress reports. Although the Act was never repealed, the requirement for Annual reports fell by the wayside. 

With the advent of Green Deal, government have signalled a return of HECA. However, rather than the ‘box ticking’ exercise that it was before, DECC are keen that it become a strategic tool aimed at giving ECAs the vision to realise their carbon saving ambitions and take a leading role.

The starting point for action by central and local government to significantly improve the energy efficiency of residential accommodation across the country is the legal requirements in the Climate Change Act 2008.  The draft HECA guidance also gives tackling fuel poverty as a key driver for action citing the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000. 

HECA requires ECAs to prepare a report identifying practicable and cost-effective measures they propose to take to deliver significant improvements in the energy efficiency of their residential housing stock and report on progress in implementing the measures.

The key points to note are as follows;

  • ECAs (LAs) will be required to submit the first report by 31 March 2013 and every two years thereafter to 2027
  • Unlike old HECA, new HECA will not require ECAs to produce lots of data, they simply need to use the data sources already available to target action.
  • ECAs will need to prepare a report identifying practicable and cost-effective measures they propose to take to deliver significant improvements in the energy efficiency of their residential housing stock (all tenures). 
  • HECA reports need to be published on LA websites and the link sent to DECC
  • ECAs should have regard to financial measures such as Green Deal, ECO and RHI
  • ECAs should have regard to street by street approaches with some of the £200m Green Deal launch money potentially being allocated to this use
  • Partnerships of ECAs can produce shared plans with specific annexes

To express their ambition,and to demonstrate their commitment to their residents, local authorities are encouraged to sign the new Climate Local Commitment which was launched by the Local Government Association in June 2012.

UPDATE

26 July 2012: The new guidance on HECA is now here.

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