Government proposes to repeal HECA
HECA has repeatedly been described as one of the most important pieces of legislation concerning energy saving since the Second World War and was passed under the last Conservative Government.
Government has recently launched a consultation on HECA which proposes to repeal the Act and replace it with two new performance indicators for local authorities – one on per capita CO2 emissions and one on fuel poverty.
There is no doubt that HECA has not been successfully delivering on its overall objectives, with fewer than half of all Energy Conservation Authorities on track to meet their HECA targets. However ACE believes that this is due to insufficient Government support and funding and the fact that the Secretary of State has not taken up the power (under ACE’s Sustainable Energy Act 2003) to compel poor-performing authorities to meet a specified target for household energy efficiency.
ACE was instrumental in getting the Act passed and we are extremely concerned that the Government’s proposed alternative will be wholly inadequate. Local authorities will merely have to report against the new performance indicators – and there will be no legal requirement to meet specified targets. The proposed new indicators are also not an exact proxy for energy efficiency.
ACE (along with UK HECA – the national body of relevant council officers) is calling for the relevant indicators to be made mandatory in all Local Area Agreements, which will ensure that they become binding targets that councils will then have to take strenuous steps to meet.
Click here to read ACE’s Response to the Defra Consultation on repeal of HECA