Minutes from HECA Chairs Meeting –
Thursday 23rd September 2004 @ 10am
Birmingham City Council
Bruce Pittingale (BP) Chair HECA Fora Group & Chair – HEON
Steve Martin (SM) Vice Chair HECA Fora Group & Chair – Wales
Graham Jones (GJ) Chair – West Midlands
Steve Kent (SK) Chair – North East
Nick Costin (NC) Chair – East Midlands
Julia Blackwell (JB) Representative – NEEO
Brian Sexton (BS) Chair – North West
Alison Hartley (AH) Vice Chair/Secretariat – North West
Neil Morton (NM) Vice Chair – West Midlands
Jo Lacey (JL) EST – Programme Manager
Helen Atkins (HA) UK HECA Fora Secretariat
Oliver Myers (OM) Chair – London
Paul Maplethorpe (PM) Chair – East Pennine
Allan Jones (AJ) Chair – South East
Stephen Cunningham (SC) Chair – SHON
Noel Rice (NR) Advisory Panel Representative – N. Ireland
Richard Harper (RH) Chair – South West
Lynne Ebdon (LE) Defra
Tyrone Homes (TH) Defra
Rob Charlton (RC) Defra
Stewart Conway (SC) UK HECA Fora Secretariat
Mary Wasson (MW) EST
1 Welcome and apologies
BP welcomed the group and conveyed the above apologies. Each member
introduced themselves to the group. GJ chaired the meeting as representative of
the West Midlands forum, the host venue for the meeting.
2 SHEF Presentation by Mary Wasson, EST
Unfortunately due to illness MW was unable to attend the meeting to give a
presentation. This will be rescheduled for a future meeting.
BP and JL gave a brief overview about Social Housing Energy Forum (SHEF).
MW is working to increase the number of areas working within SHEF. Over the
last financial year, 30 EEAC’s have received a small amount of funding to hold
working SHEF meetings and to work with local housing associations. Next year
aim is to provide more coverage and the remit to sit within LASP.
3 Matter arising from the previous minutes
It was agreed that the minutes were a true record and were signed off by BP.
BP reminded the group that at the previous meeting the first annual general
meeting was held. Therefore matters arising from this were discussed first.
Point 6: It was mentioned at the last meeting that the formerly named HEN
(HECA East Network) were to change their name to NEEO. The name has
since been changed and been ratified as being HEON (Home Energy Officers’
Network), Eastern. This allows for other forums, if desired, to follow suit.
Point 7. Four constitutions have been submitted, one from EEPfH and three
from regions. BP asked around the table if there are any more form regions.
East Midlands Chair to check with Vice Chair and HA to send copies of HA
constitutions to North West to produce their own. Wales and West Midlands
Chairs have sent theirs already.
Matters arising from the main meeting minutes:
Point 2: JL updated the group on the progress on SEC’s: Expression of
interest will be posted shortly.
Point 2: Individual HECA report feedback has been sent out by Defra to all
Local Authorities Councils. There was concern from all the Chairs about the
time scales between receiving feedback from the last year and the new
deadline for report submission. The delay in feedback has been cited as being
because feedback for LA’s will not be given until all reports have been
submitted. It was noted that as a small minority didn’t submit a report, it is an
unnecessary delay. Defra has commented that they plan to enforce mandatory
reporting. It was unanimously agreed that this should be feed back to Defra. It
is to be included in the 2005-06 HECA Forum workplan to work with Defra to
establish set timelines for feedback and reporting deadlines. There has not
been an extention to the deadline for this years reporting. The only extensions
that have been granted by Defra are those with extenuating circumstances.
BP to contact Defra to discuss and feedback concerns from the Chairs. BP
Point 3: Move to next agenda, BP meeting with TH to discuss funding BP
Point 3: Scheme Integration to be rolled out to regions within this financial
year. There has been £300 allocated for each region to cover any extra costs,
regions to invoice Secretariat. Impetus and CAG will deliver the presentation
on behalf of the EEPfH.
GJ queried the point about JL finding funding for the regional forum. JL sent
an email out to forum about novel sources of funding. GJ asked for feedback
on sourcing funding and commercial sponsorship. Forums that have
sponsorship deals with commercial companies agreed that there is neither
interference nor pressure from sponsors and reporting is either non-existent or
minimal. Regions that have not found funding to contact the Secretariat.
Point 8: Sustainable Energy Act. After talks with Defra, BP was advised that
the 2007 completion date, as stated on the minutes, was incorrect. The
Sustainable Energy Act will not be viewed until 2007.
North East HECA Forum: North Eastern Energy Officers Forum was set up by
a LASP funded Officer through SHEF. JL to investigate further. JL
Point 9: HECA Qualification. JB is chairing the sub group. There are Four
HECA Officers on the subgroup: Andy Stephenson, Angela Hogg, BP and JB.
Paul Fleming from De Montfort University and representative from the
Learning Skills Council have been invited to be partners. William Gillis, NEA,
has expressed an interest in becoming a partner. BS raised an issue with the
name of the project; he suggested Energy Officers qualification. The name
would become apparent after more research is carried out on the project. It
was also agreed that a wider remit should be included, such as an energy
AOB: Funding Opportunities. JL to action point once Mary Wasson is back JL
AOB: Representative on the Managed Housing Group. David Weatherall
confirmed AJ (South East) is a member of the above group but has not
attended the last two meetings. BP to investigate further as to whether a new BP
representative should be found.
4 Action plan update:
a) Generic Job Description
After some discussion it was agreed that a single ‘HECA Officer’ job description
would not be sufficient to cover the different levels. Therefore four job descriptions
would be developed to cover all levels and salaries ranges. The levels are
Manager, Energy Officer, Energy Technician and Technical Support Officer. BP
requested that Chairs forward job descriptions for any of the mentioned posts to
assist in the development. HA and BP to develop the four job descriptions. BP/HA
b) Conference feedback
SM fed back from the first conference steering group meeting held in August. The
venue has been booked along with the alternative hotels, entertainment, AV
Company. Sponsorship deals are in negotiations. BS requested that each Chair
put on their regional agenda for find two best practice example projects by HECA
Officers. Out of the two one would be chosen to present their project at a
workshop. In total there will be 12, one from each region, HECA officers
presenting over three workshops. I addition it was also requested that HA send out ALL
award nomination and procedure forms to the Chairs to start finding a 12 regional
The innovation programme is in talks at the moment about possibly providing
funding for ‘off the shelf’ innovative projects to be rolled forward. Examples of good
projects from the conference workshops could be out forward for inclusion if the
proposed innovation programme project is approved.
c) HECA Qualification
This was discussed in matters arising, see point 3. JL and BP to find funding for
HECA qualification project. Contact to be made through David Weatherall, who JL/BP
has worked with Learning Skills Council. The final report from the HECA research
will be utilised as a basis for the project.
d) HECA Final report
The final report has been submitted to Defra in time for their HECA consultation.
The report (with appendices) are available from the HECA Fora website. HA also
hold hard copies. HA to send JB a hard copy. HA
5 National Constitution
This was discussed in matters arising: see point 3.
6 Proposed – Local Authority Energy Day (2005 Energy Efficiency Week)
BP explained that the Local Authority Operational Group (LAOG) proposed to
utilise an awareness day for LA’s. There would be a dedicated day within Energy
Efficiency Week 2004 to promote Energy Efficiency and encompass senior
management and local Councillors.
Each LA, region, gathering of Councils etc to generate an idea/event for the day.
Climate change was frequently mentioned, as this would be an opportunity to
express the effects as seen in recent incidents and Hollywood film that are
associated with climate change. In addition, there needs to be an emphasis on
distinguishing between global warming and climate change.
It was suggested that climate change should appear on event agendas such as
Harrogate and Chartered Institute of Environmental Officers. BP to raise point with
Chairs agreed that this would be beneficial and BP to feedback to LAOG group. BP
7 Integrated Research
This was discussed in full in matters arising: see point 3.
8 DTI Funding for regions £100k
BP brought to the Chairs attention that the Dti has made available, through the
regional assemblies, £100k per region per annum. This is be utilised for energy
works and is targeted at producing outcomes, at a research level, for the Energy
White Paper output. BP made an example of HEON, Eastern as they have just bid
of £17.5k for a fuel poverty project, which looks at fuel poverty across the region.
This was match funded by Powergen Warmfront. The second bid submitted is
looking at HECA across the Region and works in conjunction with the EST, with
overall funding of £30k.
BP to forward to HA the presentation by NES for the North East Forum on HECA BP
targets and the calculation of percentage of energy savings. An over estimation
could have occurred in initial reports.
9 HECA Network Newsletter editorial team
The Secretariat has had sole responsibility for collating, editing, printing and
distributing the HECA Newsletter since its conception. It was suggested that
ownership and responsibility should lie with the Chairs. It was agreed that an
editorial team consisting of Chair(s) needed to be set up. BP volunteered to edit
the newsletter, in conjunction with the Secretariat, which was ratified by the group.
10 LASP Conference – 9/10 September, London
JL fed back to the group on the LASP conference, which took place earlier in the
month. Antony Turner from the Carbon Trust gave a motivational presentation at
the end of the event, which was well received. There were also workshops
sessions held throughout the conference. Delegates made a pledge at the end of
the conference, JL pledge to that the event was carbon neutral with planting of
trees to cover CO2 emissions from travel and the hotel.
11 Any Other Business
Rob Leeson from the Secretariat prepared a presentation on the development
of the HECA website, BP conveyed the presentation in his absence. This is a
major reinvention of the website, the main focus on providing regional sections
that will contain information including minutes, presentations, documents,
constitutions etc. Each divided into different headed sections. Access to
regional information will be made through a map of the UK where regions can
be clicked on to access information. Each region will have their own website,
which is penned to be updated by both the national and regional Secretariats
by password. The idea of an officer’s posting page was put to the Chairs for
discussion. This would be open to all HECA officers to post suggestions, ideas
and issues that would then be put on the Chairs agenda or taken to Defra/Dti
as required. This is not a discussion forum, but a posting board.
This was agreed by the Chairs, however the practical aspects of regional
secretariats updating the website need to be addressed. It was also suggested
that links to other discussion forums should also be included.
Annual Public Health Forum – Call for papers
The HECA forum has been asked to be a collaborating organisation and to
propose a 90-minute workshop or a 20-minute presentation for the annual
Public Health Forum. BP has been asked to review the papers and abstracts.
BP had already put forward a proposal for a workshop due to time restraints. It
was put to the Chairs to choose a topic for the workshop. After some
discussion it was agreed that excess winter deaths, falls prevention and heart
and respiratory diseases would be the topics. BS and AH have been working
on a project that could overlap. BS would lead with AH and SK. An abstract is BS
required by 15 October.
Chairs training day subject
It is required in the Secretariats contract to organise two training days per
annum; it was put to the Chairs to decide on the topic of the first training day. It
was unanimously agreed that the subject would be the future of HECA, in
keeping with the proposed changed to HECA. The date was set as Tuesday
25 January. Training day to be held in Manchester, BS to organise venue. JL AH
to find facilitator. The second training day subject to follow after conclusions of
the first meeting. Due to the late date of the first meeting the second training
day may have to be rolled over to the New Year. HA
NEA – Warm people Cool Plant
NEA and Defra are rolling out presentations on fuel poverty to Local
Authorities under the title of Warm people cool planet. NEA were panning to
hold their own events nation wide but have agreed to hold the seminars at one
regional conference, in consideration of this they have made a donation
towards the event.
12 Date of next meeting(s)
8 December 2004, EST
16 March 2004, Welsh LGA/Assembly SM
16 June 2005, Defra BP
15 September 2005, Edinburgh BP