Home energy conservation act report

Introduction

The Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 (‘HECA’) requires all 326 local authorities (‘LA’s) in England to submit reports to the Secretary of State demonstrating what energy conservation measures they have adopted to improve the energy efficiency of residential accommodation within that LA’s area. This covers measures to improve properties in the owner-occupier, private rented sector, and social rented sector. BEIS uses data submitted through LAs HECA returns to inform policy thinking on energy efficiency, and to build an ongoing picture of local and national energy efficiency policy delivery.

These guidance notes are issued in accordance with the Secretary of State’s powers under section 4 of the Act and are to alert LAs of amendments to the HECA reporting framework in advance of May 2019 when the next reports are due. In previous years, reporting rates have been disappointing, with 282 reports submitted in March 2015 out of 326 LAs, and only 151 in March 2017. The refreshed reporting system for 2019 streamlines the process and reduces LA reporting burdens. Newly structured around a series of questions and direct information points, the amended framework aims to support LAs to provide information and updates on the key energy efficiency topics of interest to BEIS Ministers. It will also enable LAs to provide a consistent picture of energy efficiency promotion and delivery across England within a standardized framework. Following the principles of open data, the department may publish the information in an open data format to allow wider access and interpretation of the data, while ensuring that such publication complies with the terms of GDPR.

HECA 2019 Reporting Requirements

The Report is to be divided by sections to capture information on a range of key themes:

Headline & Overview

  • What main strategy and schemes LAs currently have to promote carbon reduction and/or energy efficiency, stakeholders involved and impact at a societal and economic level.

Communication

  • How LA engage stakeholders (including consumers and businesses) to promote awareness of energy efficiency.

Green Local Supply Chain

  • How LAs engage local businesses involved in the promotion of energy savings products and the societal benefits alongside any local economic impact this might have.

Private Rental Sector Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards

  • How LAs enforce and promote awareness of the PRS Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards that came into force in April 2018.

Financial Support for Energy Efficiency

  • Financial programmes used by LAs to promote energy efficiency.

Fuel Poverty

  • How LAs identify those in fuel poverty and any initiatives used to address this.

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

  • How LAs are using the recently introduced ECO ‘flexible eligibility’ programme to refer certain households in fuel poverty or with occupants on low incomes, who are vulnerable to the effects of cold homes, to ECO obligated suppliers for support.

Smart Metering

  • How LAs promote awareness and uptake of smart metering.

All questions are optional, but responses highly encouraged. While reporting is focused on energy savings related to homes, you are welcome to provide additional information on energy efficiency improvements in non-domestic properties, but this is fully optional. There will be a final free response section permitting local authorities to discuss any additional activities which they feel are relevant.

Submission of HECA 2019 Reports

For the 2019 reporting year, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is piloting the submission of reports via a digital platform, and for this year LAs will be asked to populate their HECA Report and submit materials via a Survey Monkey submission. No other reporting material or submissions will be required. LAs continue to be required to publish their responses, and they can to do this in whichever form they wish, so long as the published report contains relevant information submitted via the digital platform. It is not necessary for LAs to publish all the information submitted via the digital platform. Before the online survey is completed, the chief executive or director of the LA should approve the submitted content. If this approach proves effective and supports the engagement and compliance of a greater number of authorities than in recent previous years, BEIS will consider how this approach can be further improved for the 2021 reporting year.
The questions which LAs are asked to report on in the digital ‘Survey’ are listed below:

HECA Reporting 2019 Questions

Name of Local Authority:

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Type of Local Authority:

Unitary Authority

Name and contact details of official submitting the report:

Mr Muzaffer Dayaji
Home Energy Officer
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
Environment & Operations Dept.
Public Protection Service
Town Hall
Blackburn, BB1 7DY
01254 588876
muzaffer.dayaji@blackburn.gov.uk

Job title of official submitting the report:

Home Energy Officer

Names of teams working on policy areas covered by this reporting tool:

Housing Standards, Growth Team, Development Management, Building Control, Property Services, Public Protection

Total number of staff working in above policy areas (by FTE):

1 FTE with contribution from other sections as required, but no other dedicated resource.

Headline and Overview Questions

1. Does your Local Authority have a current strategy on carbon reduction and/or energy efficiency for domestic or non-domestic properties?

Yes

2. If yes, please provide a link to your current strategy here:

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 Council has a carbon reduction strategy for its own activities, which includes a statement of intent to work with partners to secure emissions reductions across the Borough and capture the associated opportunities and benefits for residents and businesses to achieve a low carbon borough.

3. If no, are you planning to develop one?

N/A

4a. What scheme(s) has your local authority implemented in support of energy saving/carbon reduction in residential accommodation (such as owner-occupied, privately rented and social housing) or non-domestic properties since 2017? (if you have not implemented any scheme, please enter ‘N/A’). Free text response to question 4a - please outline in no more than 200 words:

The Cosy Homes in Lancashire (CHiL) scheme is a collaboration of Lancashire local authorities which delivers domestic energy efficiency schemes pan-Lancashire. 13 Councils have participated in the CHiL collaboration since its inception in 2015.

Since 2017, CHiL has implemented the following schemes in owner occupied and private rented properties:

Delivery of replacement boilers, cavity wall and loft insulation through ECO and ECO-Flex.

In summer 2018 funding was secured from the Warm Homes Fund for the installation of 150 first time central heating systems, working in partnership with Sefton Council.

The DECC Central Heating fund scheme concluded in 2017, this provided over 600 first time central heating systems to Lancashire residents.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has provided £43,000 to deliver affordable warmth interventions such as replacement boilers, heating system repairs, servicing and insulation measures. This has been through 2018/2019 and is targeted at those at greatest risk of their health being affected by having a cold home.

'Fairer Power: Red Rose Energy' – a fair and competitive domestic energy tariff has been available to Lancashire residents since 2017. It provides a low price, competitive, fixed or variable tariff, including supply to pre-payment meter customers as an alternative to the ‘big six’ suppliers.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council work closely in partnership with 3rd sector organisations to maximise any opportunities for the residents of the borough. This includes commissioning Care Network, a Charitable organisation to provide a Healthy Homes Scheme. The Scheme provides home visits for vulnerable residents and includes energy advice, tariff switching advice, registering for Priority Services Register and signposting/referring to the local authority’s energy section for energy efficiency grants.

4b. What scheme(s) is your local authority planning to implement in support of energy saving/carbon reduction in residential accommodation (such as owner-occupied, privately rented and social housing) or non-domestic properties in the next two years? (if you are not planning to implement any scheme, please enter ‘N/A’). Free text response to question 4b - please outline in no more than 200 words

13 Lancashire councils will continue to participate in CHIL schemes over the next two years. This includes the following in owner occupied and private rented properties:

Delivery of ECO and ECO-Flex schemes for cavity wall and loft insulation, replacement boilers and first time central heating.

CHiL has secured a total of £2.2m from the Warm Homes fund for the installation of first time central heating systems for delivery over the next two years across Lancashire.

Funding from Warm Homes Fund has been secured to provide home visits for vulnerable residents with health conditions. The visit will provide an energy audit, benefit checks, registering for Priority Services Register and soft measures such as draught proofing & radiator foils, for example. The service is available across Lancashire until March 2020.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council will continue to deliver affordable warmth interventions such as replacement boilers, heating system repairs, servicing and insulation measures. This will cease once the allocated funding is used up after which further funding will be sought.

5. What has been, or will be, the cost(s) of running and administering the scheme(s), including the value of grants and other support, plus any other costs incurred? Please provide figures and a brief narrative account if desired. Free text response to question 5 - please outline in no more than 100 words

The following grants have been secured :

  • A total of £2.2m pan-Lancashire from the Warm Homes Fund for the installation of first time central heating.
  • £380,000 from the Warm Homes category 3 health fund for the delivery of home energy advice visits over 3 years.
  • All other schemes are delivered through securing ECO or ECO-Flex for delivery of measures.
  • Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has provided £43,000 of funding to deliver affordable warmth interventions such as replacement boilers, heating system repairs, servicing and insulation measures. This has been through 2018/2019 and is targeted at those at greatest risk of their health being affected by having a cold home.

6. What businesses, charities, third sector organisations or other stakeholders do you work with to deliver the scheme(s)? Free text response to question 6 - please outline in no more than 100 words

CHiL works with local businesses to install ECO measures and engages directly with energy providers to secure funding.

Through the Warm Homes Fund projects CHiL works with Affordable Warmth Solutions and National Grid.

CHiL is active in the National Energy Action (NEA) forums and has worked with NEA to secure funding and deliver projects such as the 'heat and eat' community events held with funding secured from the NEA Warm & Safe at Home Prize Fund.

CHiL works with local stakeholders such as Home Improvement Agencies, local council grant teams, as well as Housing Standards and Environmental Health departments.

Locally CHiL engages with local third sector organisations such as Citizens Advice, Age UK and Care Network to link up services and cross-refer as well as with hospitals, drop in centres, parish councils and community groups to raise awareness of CHiL schemes.

7. What has been the outcome of the scheme(s) (e.g. energy savings, carbon savings, economic impacts such as job creation and/or increased business competitiveness, societal impacts such as alleviation of fuel poverty and/or improved health outcomes etc.)? This does not have to be measured against national data or benchmarks, but rather focuses on the local authority’s own monitoring and evaluation. Free text response to question 7 - please outline in no more than 200 words

Energy and carbon savings achieved varies depending on the property type and the measure installed. Using average estimates from the Energy Saving Trust, loft insulation (0-270mm) can save an average of £161 / year on energy bills and 707 kg carbon dioxide / year (https://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-insulation/roof-and-loft ) and Cavity wall insulation can save an estimated average of £130 / year on energy bills and 570 kg carbon dioxide / year. (https://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-insulation/cavity-wall )
Since July 2017 CHiL has delivered the following measures pan-Lancashire :

  • 784 cavities – saving an estimated £101,920 on energy bills and 446,880kg CO2 per annum.
  • 256 lofts – saving an estimated £41,216 on energy bills and 180,992 kgCO2 per annum.
  • 72 First Time Central Heating
  • 413 boiler swaps

The CHiL scheme works with local installers and suppliers in the delivery of energy efficiency schemes supporting local businesses where possible.

It can be difficult to track direct health impacts and savings from affordable warmth measures, however some of the personal stories and feedback received provides a narrative around the impact it can have on someone's life and wellbeing.

A resident in Blackburn who had no hot water or heating and used a kettle to get hot water for a number of years said “Getting Central Heating has had a massive impact on my life. I am able to get hot water and have a shower. My house is warm and comfortable. Since getting the Central Heating I have not had a chest infection which was a regular occurrence, my arthritis has improved. I am a lot happier. I would like to say a huge thanks to CHiL and the Energy Officer for all there help”.

8. What lessons have you learned from delivering this scheme(s)? Free text response to question 8 - please outline in no more than 100 words

Local Authorities have seen capacity and resource to work on energy saving schemes continue to diminish over the last 2 years. To deliver projects and secure funding requires time and resource, by working as a collective a lead authority that is able to provide some resource is valuable in supporting the smaller authorities. By working as a collective through the CHiL scheme we can achieve economies of scale in delivering projects and attract funding from energy companies.

When funding has been secured for schemes there requires a level of supervision over works carried out, particularly for external wall insulation schemes, which again there is little capacity for.

Delivering projects through the ECO framework is extremely difficult, funding is intermittent, inconsistent and volatile. This makes it difficult to communicate and promote schemes to our residents as the measures available and the funding levels are in constant flux. It is also difficult for installers who have no guarantee of work and makes it difficult to plan schemes and projects long-term.

Funding secured from other sources can also be challenging to deliver, particularly when paid in arrears, which often means local contractors having to wait for payment.

Local Communications Strategy

9. Does your local authority provide any advisory service to consumers (and businesses) on how to save energy?

Yes

10. If yes to question 10, please briefly outline how this is undertaken (or enter ‘N/A’ if appropriate). Free text response to question 10 - please outline in no more than 100 words

The CHiL home energy visit project provides advice on energy efficiency, behaviour change and advice on energy bills, tariff switching, securing warm homes discount and signing up for priority services registers.
Council Officers offer advice, make recommendations and referrals to CHiL.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council works closely in partnership with 3rd sector organisations to maximise any opportunities for the residents of the borough. This includes commissioning Care Network, a 3rd sector organisation to provide a Healthy Homes Scheme. The Scheme provides home visits for vulnerable residents and includes energy advice, tariff switching advice, registering for Priority Services Register and signposting/referring to the local authorities energy section for energy efficiency grants

Energy saving advice is offered to local businesses through an ERDF funded programme administered by the East Lancs Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

11. How do you communicate or encourage energy saving amongst domestic consumers and/or local businesses? (if you do not, please enter ‘N/A’ and move on to the next section ‘Local Green Supply Chains’). Free text response to question 11 - please outline in no more than 100 words

Vulnerable residents with a health condition can receive a home energy visit which provides advice on energy efficiency, behaviour change and advice on energy bills.
General information on energy saving and the schemes available are communicated to residents, through leaflets distributed via local charities, community events, health care providers and Local Authority service providers, and the CHIL website and Facebook page. A quarterly CHiL newsletter is circulated to stakeholders for them to communicate to their customers and service users. CHiL carries out targeted mail outs to advertise any specific schemes to residents.
During 2018 a number of 'heat and eat' community events were held, raising awareness of energy saving support and schemes available.

Local Green Supply Chains

12. Does your Local Authority promote the use of energy efficient products amongst consumers (and businesses)? (if you answer no please move onto the next section ‘Private Rented Sector’

No

13. If yes to question 12, please briefly detail how this promotion work is undertaken. Free text response to question 12 - please outline in no more than 100 words

N/A

14. What engagement (formal or informal) does your local authority have with local businesses/supply chains involved in promoting energy efficiency products or carbon reduction? Free text response to question 14 - please outline in no more than 100 words.

CHiL uses local installers and manufacturers where possible to deliver energy schemes across Lancashire. CHiL works within the local authority’s public procurement policy when choosing contractors. CHiL will only use local contractors where they offer value for money.

Domestic Private Rented Sector (PRS) Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations) apply to all privately rented properties in England and Wales. As of April 2018, all such properties are legally required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of at least an E before they can be let on a new tenancy. This requirement will then extend to all such properties by 1 April 2020, even if there has been no change in tenant or tenancy (please see BEIS’s published guidance documents for the full details on the standard).
The PRS Regulations give enforcement powers to local authorities, and authorities are responsible for ensuring landlord compliance within their area.

15. Is your authority aware of the PRS Minimum Efficiency Standards which came into force in April 2018? (if you answered no, please move on to the next section ‘Financial Support for Energy Efficiency’)

Yes

16. Which team within your authority is responsible for, or will be responsible for, leading on enforcement of the PRS minimum standard? Free text response to question 16

Housing Standards Team

17. Please provide the contact details of the person leading this team.

Free text response to question 17

Paul Hodges BSc (Hons) MCIEH
Principal Environmental Health Officer
Housing Standards Team
Environment and Operations.
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.
Davyfield Road Depot.
Roman Road Industrial Estate.
Blackburn,
BB1 2LX
Tel - 01254 588847
Email - paul.hodges@blackburn.gov.uk

18. What method or methods does your authority use to communicate with landlords and tenants about the standards and other related issues? Free text response to question 18 - please outline in no more than 100 words

Letters and emails are sent to landlords regarding housing standards and any other matters.

19. Do you directly target landlords of EPC F and G rated properties? If yes, how? If no, please explain.

Yes

Free text response to question 19 - please outline in no more than 100 words

Landlords are targeted within the local authorities Selective Licensing areas as we obtain EPC’s for every property as part of an application which gives us information relating to the energy performance of the rented property.

Financial Support for Energy Efficiency

20. What financial programmes, if any, do you have to promote domestic and non-domestic energy efficiency or energy saving? If applicable, please outline the sums, where such funding is sourced, and where it is targeted. (If you do not have any financial assistance programmes, please enter ‘N/A’ and move onto the next section ‘Fuel Poverty’)

Free text response to question 20 - please outline in no more than 200 words

  • Domestic energy efficiency schemes are delivered through securing ECO or ECO-Flex for measures. These are targeted at ECO eligible residents with properties requiring eligible measures and those living in fuel poverty.
  • Other funding secured to support residents includes:
  • A total of £2.2m pan-Lancashire from the Warm Homes Fund (administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions) for the installation of fully funded first time central heating for ECO or ECO-Flex eligible domestic residents. Installation is available to the private rented sector with landlord contribution.
  • £380,000 (over 3 years) from the Warm Homes Fund category 3 health fund provides home energy advice visits. This is targeted at residents with health conditions affected by living in a cold home
  • Chamber Low Carbon is a £2m European part-funded programme that provides a free suite of services aimed at helping businesses improve energy and environmental efficiencies, introduce on-site renewable energy generation and save money. More information can be found at https://www.chamberelancs.co.uk/services/low-carbon/

Fuel Poverty

21. Does your local authority have a fuel poverty strategy? If yes, please describe the scope of the strategy, and the support that is available for low income and vulnerable households to help tackle fuel poverty in your local area. Please also provide a link to your strategy if published.

No

Free text response to question 21 - please outline in no more than 300 words

The council doesn't have a fuel poverty strategy, however addressing fuel poverty is a priority outlined in key Health and Wellbeing reports.

The current Report of the Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, identifies addressing fuel poverty as one of the key actions to secure our health and wellbeing: https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/council/performance-inspections-reviews/health-and-social-care/

The latest Lancashire Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) annual commentary reports fuel poverty as one of the priority health, wellbeing and social care issues for Lancashire: https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/lancashire-insight/jsna-publications/

The support available to tackle fuel poverty is outlined at question 4b, 11 & 20.

22. What steps have you taken to identify residents/properties in fuel poverty? (enter ‘N/A’ if not appropriate) Free text response to question 22 - please outline in no more than 200 words

CHiL works with local stakeholders such as Home Improvement Agencies, Citizens Advice, Age UK and Care Network to identify vulnerable residents, link up services and cross-refer. We promote schemes and the measures available to frontline health and social care staff, ensuring the most vulnerable are targeted, and link up with other council support services such as Disabled Facilities Grants.

The CHiL newsletter is used to engage with partners who work with vulnerable residents to ensure they're aware of what's available and how to signpost residents.

CHiL targets areas of high fuel poverty by holding community events, such as the 'heat and eat' events held during 2018.

Properties that are known to require measures that we have funding for are targeted with mail outs and leaflet drops.

23. How does fuel poverty interlink with your local authority’s overall carbon reduction strategy? (enter ‘N/A’ if not appropriate) Free text response to question 23 - please outline in no more than 200 words

Our key actions to address fuel poverty by improving the energy efficiency of properties through the installation of insulation measures and replacing inefficient heating systems in homes together with advice on reducing energy usage are key actions identified in the Lancashire Climate Change Strategy to reduce carbon emissions from the domestic sector.

24a. What measures or initiatives have you taken to promote fuel cost reduction for those in fuel poverty? (enter ‘N/A’ if not appropriate) Free text response to question 24a - please outline in no more than 200 words

Delivery of ECO and ECO-Flex schemes for cavity wall and loft insulation, replacement boilers and first time central heating reducing fuel costs, particularly where central heating is replacing expensive alternative heating methods.
The home energy visits provide an energy audit, benefit checks, support with reducing bills, switching advice, registering for Warm Homes Discount and soft measures such as draught proofing & radiator foils, which either reduce fuel costs or provide support with maximising income to assist with paying fuel bills.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council works closely in partnership with 3rd sector organisation, Care Network to provide a Healthy Homes Scheme. The Scheme provides home visits for vulnerable residents and includes energy advice, tariff switching advice, registering for Priority Services Register and signposting/referring to the local authorities energy section for energy efficiency grants.

Entered into partnership with Fairerpower to make Fairerpower Red Rose available to residents.

b. If you have taken measures or initiatives to promote fuel cost reduction for those in fuel poverty, what partnership with business or energy providers have you undertaken? (enter ‘N/A’ if not appropriate). Free text response to question 24b - please outline in no more than 200 words

The CHiL scheme works with a number of energy providers to secure ECO and ECO-Flex funding for the delivery of energy efficiency measures. Partnerships are in place with local businesses for the installation of measures.

We have worked with National Energy Action (NEA) to secure funding and deliver projects such as the 'heat and eat' community events held with funding secured from the NEA Warm & Safe at Home Prize Fund.

The 'Fairer Power: Red Rose Energy' – a fair and competitive domestic energy tariff available to Lancashire residents is a partnership with Fairerpower, a not for profit business established by Cheshire East Council with Ovo Energy.

The Energy Company Obligation

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is an obligation on energy suppliers aimed at helping households cut their energy bills and reduce carbon emissions by installing energy saving measures. Following the Spring 2018 consultation, the Government set out in its response that ECO3 will fully focus on Affordable Warmth – low income, vulnerable and fuel poor households.
The recently introduced ECO “flexible eligibility” (ECO Flex) programme allows LAs to make declarations determining that certain households in fuel poverty or with occupants on low incomes and vulnerable to the effects of cold homes, are referred to ECO obligated suppliers for support under the Affordable Warmth element of ECO. LAs involved are required to issue a Statement of Intent that they are going to identify households as eligible, and the criteria they are going to use; and a declaration that the LA has been consulted on the installation of measures in a home.

25. Has your local authority published a Statement of Intent (SoI) for ECO flexibility eligibility? If yes, please include a link to your SoI below.

Yes - www.blackburn.gov.uk/Pages/Energy-advice.aspx

26. Please use the following space to provide any further information you feel might be of benefit to BEIS, in helping us to understand ECO Flex delivery in more detail. For example, the number of declarations signed versus the number of households helped. Free text response to question 26 - please outline in no more than 200 words

The ECO-Flex process in Lancashire is managed through CHiL, working with installers approved to work on the CHiL scheme. We have, however, been approached by some installers aggressively demanding ECO- Flex declarations be signed, in some cases post-installation. This is difficult for local authorities to manage when there is an established process in place in the area.

The ECO transition phases make it difficult to continue delivery, with a 'stop- start' approach to funding.

To date 204 ECO Flex declarations have been signed pan-Lancashire.

Smart Metering

27. Please provide a brief statement outlining your current or planned approach to:

Engage and support your residents (including those in vulnerable circumstances or with pre-payment metering) to promote take up of smart meters and achieve associated benefits (e.g. ability to control energy use, identify best value tariffs)? Please detail any work undertaken or planned with local/community groups, housing associations, micro businesses, Smart Energy GB under their Partnership Programme and energy suppliers. Free text response to question 27 – please outline in no more than 150 words

CHiL has previously linked up with Smart Energy GB to support the smart meter roll out, leaflets were produced with the Lancashire 'Cosy Homes' branding and some local energy officers attended training provided. However, we have experienced issues with the roll out with residents being left with obsolete meters after switching energy providers, as well as connectivity issues in rural areas so currently no further work is planned.

28. Please provide a brief statement outlining your current or planned approach to:

Integrate your approaches to delivering energy efficiency improvements in residential accommodation with the opportunities presented by the installation of smart meters, drawing upon materials from the Smart Meter Energy Efficiency Materials Project or other sources of independent information. Free text response to question 28 – please outline in no more than 150 words.

See response to question 28. Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council does not own any residential accommodation.

29. Please detail any:

Resources/ support (e.g. services, funding) available to residents who have had an appliance(s) condemned for safety reasons and cannot afford to replace it (e.g. during visual safety checks conducted during their smart meter installation or otherwise). Free text response to question 29 – please outline in no more than 150 words.

In certain circumstances local Home Improvement Agencies may be able to offer support to vulnerable residents and the CHiL scheme can provide support with replacement heating measures where funding is available for eligible residents.
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council may be able to help in providing assistance for heating measures through the Affordable Warmth Funding.

30. Please detail any:

Existing relationships with energy suppliers to help ensure that the opportunities presented by vacant properties under your control are effectively utilised (i.e. gaining access to install a smart meter). Free text response to question 30 – please outline in no more than 150 words.

Social housing stock in the Borough is managed by Together Housing. Vacant private property compulsorily purchased by the Council is sold in its original condition.

Future Schemes or Wider Initiatives

31. Please outline any future schemes or wider initiatives not covered above that your local authority has carried out or is planning to undertake to improve the energy efficiency of residential accommodation or businesses in your area, for example, within your Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Energy Strategy (if you do not plan any future schemes currently, please enter ‘N/A’). Free text response to question 31 - please outline in no more than 500 words

The Lancashire Energy Officers Group consists of representatives from the 12 district councils in Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackpool Council and Lancashire County Council. The Group was established in 2007 and works 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. 13 Councils will continue to be active member of the group.

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership has developed an Energy Strategy for Lancashire with the vision that by 2030: "Lancashire has well-developed industry in the low carbon sector, sustaining secure high skilled jobs and supporting further energy efficiency and decarbonisation improvements in wider homes and businesses."

The Strategy has 6 key priority areas:

  1. Build the low carbon supply chain in areas of existing strength
  2. Supporting businesses to improve energy productivity
  3. Accelerating the shift to low carbon transport
  4. Developing heat networks
  5. Improving domestic energy efficiency
  6. Decarbonisation

The Local Plan policy expects development to optimise energy and other resource use and performance through building shape, orientation, servicing, detailing and materials. The development of small scale renewable or sustainable energy schemes, including district heating, will be supported. Policy was developed before supporting frameworks, such as the code for sustainable homes, were scrapped.

The Council engages with business through Growth Lancashire, a business support and economic development company owned by several Lancashire local authorities that operates across Lancashire. The East Lancs Chamber of Commerce has a place on the board.

East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in partnership with North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Businesswise Solutions Ltd and BOOST, are supporting Lancashire businesses in saving money and reducing their carbon footprint. Chamber Low Carbon is a £2m European part-funded programme that provides a free suite of services aimed at helping businesses improve energy and environmental efficiencies, introduce on-site renewable energy generation and save money. More information

Making Carbon Work for Lancashire 2017-2020 is an academic/industry collaboration designed to assist Lancashire SME’s to overcome the challenges and barriers in moving towards a low carbon economic model. This project aims to engage Lancashire SME’s, in implementing low energy practices and processes to reduce their carbon burden as well as making cost savings to their organisation

This project aims to engage Lancashire SME’s, in implementing low energy practices and processes to reduce their carbon burden as well as making cost savings to their organisation. The project is ERDF funded. More information.