The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has released new guidance to help local authorities in England improve the energy-efficiency of their residential housing.
The guidance, issued under the Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA), asks local authorities to publish a report on their plans to achieve improved energy efficiency by 31 March, 2013.
It includes information on the government's Fuel Poverty Strategy, the Carbon Plan, the Green Deal, and outlines local authorities' obligations under HECA.
Local authorities will be required to identify practicable and cost-effective measures likely to result in significant energy reduction in all residential accommodation in their area.
The guidance also asks local authorities to consider the role key local partners, such as social housing providers and community organisations, can play in supporting their plans. DECC believes the Green Deal, which allows the cost of new energy-efficiency measures to be attached to a building’s electricity meter, will be significant in helping local authorities to achieve their aims.
Energy & Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: "Local authorities have a vital role to play in improving the energy efficiency of residential homes in their areas, and helping us meet our ambitious energy targets.
"This new robust guidance will support and encourage all local authorities to realise the significant benefits of upgrading homes. The Green Deal will be a fantastic tool to help with this, and I look forward to hearing how local authorities are using it to enable people to save energy and money."
The government strongly believes that local authorities are best placed to assess the green needs and ambitions of their areas, which they know better than anyone else. A well-developed report in response to HECA, highlighting key opportunities, will help attract potential funding partners to work with the authority and other local community groups and stakeholders to the benefit of local residents and businesses.
The new HECA guidance will provide a clear outline of what is required, and local authorities will have to report on progress in implementing their proposed measures every two years.
Full details of the new guidance can be found on the Green Deal pages of the DECC website.