HECA Plan 2013-2027


The UK is now increasingly dependent on fossil fuel imports, with energy prices forecast to rise steeply in the decade ahead.  In Sefton we know that improved energy efficiency across homes reduces the overall demand for fossil fuel and helps alleviate further economic pressures on our householders.

In response to Department of Energy and Climate Change guidance, Sefton’s new HECA Plan (2013-2027) provides the Council with a bold declaration of intent to address the energy challenges and opportunities we face.  This plan replaces the existing 1996 Home Energy Strategy which achieved over 30% reduction in home energy consumption with its success based on active cross sector partnerships and funding structures.  The Plan is a reference point with key information and context for Sefton and will be updated bi-annually.

At the heart of Sefton’s new HECA Plan priorities is reduction in fuel poverty which is regarded to be the most immediate threat and one that will be our priority for action and measurable improvements.   As the first UK Council to produce their new HECA Plan, it has been purposely designed to deliver ambitious improvements within the new UK delivery mechanisms including: Green Deal, Energy Company Obligation (ECO), Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Feed in Tariff (FiT).

Through this plan Sefton Council places itself open for partnership and will ensure that a good proportion of national funding resources are attracted to the area and targeted to households and areas of greatest need.   Progress against the Council’s new HECA Plan will be published and reported to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change bi-annually.

Sefton’s Challenge:   It is important to recognise that at the beginning of the 21st century many Sefton residents suffer poor health and are dying prematurely partly because their homes are cold and damp due to the high costs of maintaining sufficient heat.  People living on a low income and in homes that waste heat through the building fabric are ‘fuel poor’

Our new HECA plan identifies the depth of issues around fuel poverty and existing actions which the Council and its partners have participated in. Due to a number of policy factors the optimum metric for measuring fuel poverty is the number of properties with a Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) score of 35 and below. SAP is a measure of the energy efficiency of a property on a scale from 1-100 and anything below 35 is considered to be a near certainly that the property is locked in fuel poverty.

From our 2010 baseline data we calculate there to be 6,315 properties with SAP of 35 or less across Sefton.   Meeting Sefton’s Challenge – Priorities and Opportunities for Action:   Tackling fuel poverty is an immediate priority for action nationally and locally. The Government have set clear targets for housing energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy production and fuel poverty.   We have applied the Green Deal methodology in our new HECA Plan to identify opportunities for all tenures of Seftons’ housing stock to inform fuel poverty programmes and ECO schemes. Our comprehensive Sefton stock energy database has allowed us to identify the Green Deal potential for the whole borough.

This analysis suggests that there are:      •542,870 potential energy improvements available (an average over 5 improvements per home)  •This equates to £1.56 billion in investment terms  •This would equate to a 35% reduction in CO2 arising from household energy use     To set ambitious, yet achievable priorties to 2027 our HECA Plan proposes that if 2% of that potential activity was captured (per annum) to 2027 this would more reflective of the commercial potential equating to:      •152,004 energy improvements  •An estimated investment of £435 million  •A 9.6% reduction in CO2 emissions (this is an additional 81,448 tonnes to the 700,120 tonnes already achieved under the original HECA plan)  •A 12.49% increase in average SAP levels across the borough  •Removing 3,675 households from the SAP 35 fuel poverty trap.

The Council are to seek Green Deal and ECO partners in early 2013.

Due to Sefton’s housing stock, combined with its socio-demographic attributes, it will mean that ECO will act as the central tool to this further HECA Plan.   Sefton Council will co-ordinate, measure and monitor activity and in parallel we will implement a marketing action plan that aims to change behaviour, inform, educate, and advise local residents.   With the strength of 15 years of highly successful years of HECA partnered delivery experience within the Council, we are confident in seeking to exceed all expectations within the new plan and look forward to forging new partnerships across the UK to achieve this.

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