Angel of the North

The Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation

18 January 2012

This consultation from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) sought views on proposals for the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO), focusing on energy efficiency in existing domestic and non-domestic buildings.

Local authority members continued to give cross Party support and a commitment to improving energy efficiency, tackling fuel poverty and addressing the causes of climate change. ANEC broadly welcomed the principles behind the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation.

The Association's response highlighted the following key issues:

  • civic and local leadership plays an important part in moving to a low carbon economy in influencing and informing public attitudes;
  • ANEC suggested that there appears to be little evidence that large-scale private funding will be available for Green Deal on favourable terms from 2013, indicating that there is a vital role for local authorities to help establish the market and facilitate private sector activity;
  • whilst it was understood that DECC wished to see pathfinder local authorities take a leadership role in the Green Deal, it was highlighted that this is not given sufficient emphasis in the consultation;
  • investing in energy efficiency of housing can help stimulate the labour market and economy. ANEC expressed concern that the impact assessment suggested the predicted number of measures to be implemented by 2015 through Green Deal would be greatly reduced against current delivery levels. This risks major job losses for many insulation companies in the North East if the predicted, ambitious immediate levels of installations via Green Deal did not materialise;
  • the fuel poverty rate in the North East is 24%, and ANEC highlighted the need to ensure further increases were prevented. Consequently AENC suggested that ECO needed to set more ambitious targets for removing people from fuel poverty, as the current proposals could be regressive, with disproportionate effects on the North East due to its equity issues;
  • in light of this, ANEC urged the Government to be more ambitious and revise the definition of eligibility for ECO as the current definition encompassed only a minority of the fuel poor and vulnerable homes;
  • the response highlighted that many of the measures eligible under Green Deal were less relevant for predominantly urban areas on the gas mains network; and
  • whilst they will benefit rural counties, the response urged the Government to consider widening the inclusion of other measures that wopuld be of direct benefit to urban dwellings.

View the full ANEC consultation response