2. Measures we are taking to result in significant energy efficiency improvements of our residential accommodation
Green Deal and ECO.
The Council will work closely with energy providers and installers and other Devon districts to consider the best way of assisting the implementation of the Green Deal and ECO. As a rural district authority the Council does not consider that it is in a position to be a Green Deal Provider or partner and it is anticipated that national policy and the private sector will deliver the Green Deal and ECO with signposting from local authorities.
The energy efficiency of Council owned homes is above the national average and rather than encourage Council house tenants to use the Green Deal the Council will continue to improve its stock using its own maintenance and improvement budgets, combined with grants and subsidies.
Early pilot Green Deal and ECO scheme projects elsewhere will be reviewed for their effectiveness before consideration is given to rolling them out in East Devon. Reviews/monitoring throughout 2013 and 2014.
The previous energy efficiency scheme partnership ‘Cosy Devon’ is being reviewed to identify if this could be used again as a vehicle for partnership working and roll out of suitable ECO schemes across Devon.
The Council’s website will provide links for customers to suitable government and local information on both Green Deal and ECO from March 2013.
- Evaluation of the Council’s role in the Green Deal and ECO will take place in 2013/14.
Feed in Tariffs (FIT) scheme
The favourable solar climate the district enjoys has led to some 2.8% or over 1,600 homes in the district having photovoltaic panels installed the 9th highest in the South West of England. The Council’s website has links to information on renewable energy and guidance for householders who wish to install technologies in their home.
- The Council will continue to signpost the FIT from its web site.
Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP)
Off gas grid homes have the greatest potential to benefit from the RHI and the RHPP. Unfortunately statistics are not available to enable the Council to know how many RHPP installations there have been in the district or which technology types, householders have chosen. The publication of this data would greatly assist a local understanding of progress in renewable heat, which can potentially offer so much to the districts renewable energy deployment.
- Once the details of the RHI are finalised the Council will signpost from its web site.
Further enquiries will be made with large Land/Estate Owners in East Devon to identify if this RHI technology has been put in place and the benefits that this has given from 2014.
Zero Carbon Homes
The draft Local Plan has policies to support the delivery of low and zero carbon development in the District in particular:
- Developments of over 200 homes should achieve standards in advance of those nationally
- A requirement to connect to decentralised energy networks.
The District is a member of the Exeter and East Devon Low Carbon Task Force which promotes and develops low carbon solution in the sub-region. Successes in East Devon include district heating at Cranbrook and Skypark. Cranbrook is currently the largest zero carbon housing development under development in the UK. Further low carbon development is anticipated in the west end of the District in coming years.
- It is anticipated that the local plan will be in place in 2013/14
The Council is not currently funding the purchase of EPC data for the district as the conclusions from the purchase of EPC data elsewhere in Devon suggests that it does not currently add significant extra information to that provided from other statistics and the district’s house condition survey. This conclusion will be kept under review as the proportion of properties which have up to date EPCs increases. We have this data available for our own housing stock.
- Evaluate purchase of EPC data in 2013/14
Minimum standards in the private rental sector
12% of East Devon’s housing is private rented. The Local House Condition Survey shows that the private rented homes have an average SAP rating of 50, marginally lower than the overall average of 51.
Minimum standards in private rented accommodation are set out on our web site. The Council generally engages with Landlords and Private Tenants following complaints and/or service requests about property conditions. Where these occur properties are assessed using informal/formal processes under the Housing Health & Safety Risk Assessment (Housing Act 2004). The Council has standards for HMO’s and use a guidance document for landlords for both mandatory licensable HMO’s and non-licensable HMO’s.
There is an opportunity to engage with Landlords through the Landlord Forum which occurs every 6 months.
- Continue with current activity
The Council will await national policy on smart meters to be more fully developed before deciding if it is appropriate for any local authority intervention.
- Evaluate over 2013/14