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NORTH WEST LEICESTERSHIRE DISTRI

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					NORTH WEST LEICESTERSHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL

POLICY REVIEW AND DEVELOPMENT BOARD – 1 MARCH 2005

REPORT OF THE INTERIM MANAGER OF HOUSING


Title of report          AFFORDABLE WARMTH POLICY

Contacts                 Bruce Birket, Head of Private Sector Housing, extn 658

Purpose of report        Inform members of the need to approve the Affordable Warmth
                         Policy.

                         Enough decent affordable housing
Strategic aims

Implications:

Financial /Staff         Any additional expenditure on Energy Efficiency grant
                         assistance will be met from current resources.

Health/Anti-Poverty      Addresses needs of disadvantaged groups in relation to fuel
                         poverty and its affects on health.

Crime and Disorder       None.

Risk Management          None

Human Rights             None.

E-Government             None.

Comments of              Monitoring Officer -Satisfactory.
monitoring and section   Section 151 Officer - Satisfactory
151 officers

Consultees               See appendix 1
                         Stock Condition Survey 2003 - Room 14
Background papers        Fuel Poverty in England DEFRA - Room 14

RECOMMENDATIONS          TO APPROVE THE POLICY IN ITS DRAFT FORM, WITH A
                         FINALISED VERSION BEING PRESENTED FOR APPROVAL
                         LATER.


Appendix one – List of Attendee for the Consultation Forum
Appendix two – Comments & Findings
Appendix three – Achievements related to energy efficiency
Appendix four – Energy Advice Leaflet
Appendix five – Affordable Warmth Policy
1.    SUMMARY:

1.1   The publication of the Government’s Fuel Poverty Strategy reinforces the importance
      now being given to alleviating fuel poverty. The government is committed to seeking
      an end to fuel poverty by 2010, the priority being given at the outset to vulnerable
      groups.


2.    BACKGROUND:

2.1   Fuel poverty occurs when a household is unable to afford sufficient energy for health
      and comfort, commonly due to the combined effect of low household income,
      inadequate and expensive forms of heating and poor insulation.             It affects
      approximately four million households in Britain and has serious health
      consequences for elderly people, young children, sick and disabled people. The
      commonly applied definition of a fuel poor household is one which needs to spend in
      excess of 10% of disposable income (after housing costs) to maintain satisfactory
      levels of warmth and comfort.


3.    FUEL POVERTY IN NORTH WEST LEICESTERSHIRE:

3.1   The district has within it a significant proportion of older dwellings, with solid walls
      and poor standards of insulation, which is a possible source of fuel poverty. The
      survey of the private housing stock was carried out in 2003, indicated that
      approximately 45% of private housing fell short of the acceptable Standard
      Assessment Procedure (SAP) target of 55 which is the point of reference for
      affordable warmth. Furthermore 36% of the private housing stock is of pre war
      construction and is therefore unlikely to benefit from cavity wall construction. It is also
      commonly accepted that the most disadvantaged groups tend to occupy the worst
      housing disproportional scale.

3.2   The 2001 census revealed that nearly 30% of the district population are economically
      inactive, & 21% are over sixty years of age. Additionally 5688 person within the
      district are claiming either Council Tax or Housing Benefit. These are groups
      primarily associated with fuel poverty.


4.    AFFECTS OF FUEL POVERTY:

4.1   The principal affect of fuel poverty is in relation to health, the connection between
      cold, damp housing and rates of morbidity and mortality are well documented. A
      prominent impact of cold conditions and inadequate housing is the scale of excess
      winter mortality in Britain where winter death rates, overwhelmingly amongst the
      elderly population, are much higher than in other Northern European nations such as
      the Scandinavian countries, where fuel poverty is virtually unknown. The Charnwood
      & North West Leicestershire Primary Care Trust estimate that the excess winter
      mortality rate in the local area for those over 65 years of age stands at 150 cases per
      year.
4.2   Additionally dwellings, which are poorly insulated, are more difficult to heat this leads
      to increased energy demand from such households. Consequently resulting in
      greater emissions of Carbon Dioxide & other pollutants linked to global warming.

4.3   Furthermore there is evidence to indicate that fuel poverty is a contributory factor in
      social exclusion, poor academic achievement, deterioration in the housing stock, &
      low living standards.


5.    CONSULTATION:

5.1   A consultation forum was held to discuss the draft policy on the 4 November 2004
      attended by various agencies see appendix One. The assemblage were divided into
      two groups from which to examine the main principles of the policy and examine the
      main recommendations & aims various recommendations were made see appendix
      Two.


6.    ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

6.1   A list of what so far have been achieved in regards to improving energy efficiency is
      shown in appendix three, a copy of the energy saving advice leaflet which includes
      information on government & energy generator initiatives to reduce energy
      consumption shown in appendix four.


7.    EVALUATING SUCCESS:

7.1   It should be noted that improving energy efficiency & removing person from fuel
      poverty is difficult to quantify accurately. This due to the constant fluctuation in
      household incomes, the condition of the housing stock, and price of energy for
      residential use, & prevailing climatic conditions.

7.2   However the English House Condition Survey carried out by the Office of the deputy
      Prime Minister randomly select dwelling for survey, additional the authority has to
      periodically carry out a stock condition survey of the privately owned housing stock,
      the next one of which is schedule for 2008. This may include information relating to
      heating systems, fuel type, & level of insulation. From this data an estimate may be
      made of a dwellings SAP rating, this could be used to monitor the improvement in
      energy efficiency of dwellings in the district.
8.        KEY AIMS:

          The key aims & action outlined in the policy are:



      Key Aim           Action       Pathfinder       Associates          Target        Time Scale


         Target      Develop an      North West
      assistance      Energy         Leicestershi
        towards       Grant for       re District   Care & Repair          NA          November 2005
      vulnerable     vulnerable        Council
      groups so        groups
          as to
     improve the
         energy         Make         North West
     efficiency of   referrals to    Leicestershi    Heat Saver        Minimum fifty
          their                                                                          On going
                     Warm Front       re District     Insulation          a year
       dwellings       scheme          Council


                       Promote
                        energy       North West
                     efficiency to   Leicestershi
                                                                        Minimum
                      vulnerable      re District         NA                           November 2005
                                                                       once a year
                        groups         Council
       Provide         through
     advice and        mail shot
      support to                                     Money Tree
        enable                                       Credit Union
     householde                      North West
                       Energy                       Charnwood &
         rs to                       Leicestershi                        Minimum
                      efficiency                     North West                        October 2005
       improve                        re District                      twice a year
                       advice                       Leicestershire
        energy                         Council
                                                    Primary Care
     efficiency &                                       Trust
     reduce fuel
         costs                       Nottingham       North West
                       Provide
                                       shire &      Leicestershire
                       energy                                           Four road
                                     Derbyshire     District Council                     July 2005
                      efficiency                                       shows a year
                                      County          Education
                     road show
                                      Councils

       Promote
      access to         Make                         North West         All person
        money        referrals to    North West     Leicestershire      referred to
      advice for       existing      Leicestershi    Council for       Warm front
                                                                                       October 2005
     persons in        money          re District     Voluntary        informed of
     experiencin       advice          Council        Services            money
        g fuel        services                                            advice
       poverty
      Improving
      take up of        Work in                                           All person
       specific       partnership                      North West         referred to
                                        Citizens
       benefits         with the                     Leicestershire      Warm front
                                        Advice                                           October 2005
         which          existing                     District Council    informed of
                                        Bureau
     households         benefits                                           Benefits
        may be         campaign                                           Campaign
        entitled

       Improve         Exploring
                                                       North West
      take up of      possibilities   Money Tree                        Cost effective
                                                     Leicestershire
         cost            of bill        Credit                           bill payment      2006/7
                                                     District Council
     effective bill    payment          Union                               scheme
       payment          scheme

                      Investigate
                         possible                    Social Services
      Integrate
                       pilot “ heat   North West      Charnwood &
      Affordable
                           street”    Leicestershi     North West        Heat Street
      Warmth &
                        project in     re District    Leicestershire       project         2006/7
        Social
                         line with      Council       Primary Care      implemented
      Inclusion
                            area                          Trust
       strategy
                      engagemen                      Voluntary sector
                        t strategy



9.        RECOMMENDATIONS:

9.1       TO APPROVE THE POLICY IN ITS DRAFT FORM, WITH A FINALISED VERSION
          BEING PRESENTED FOR APPROVAL LATER.



B Queen
Interim Manager of Housing
February 2005


                                                                                            Cr456
                                                                        Appendix One

                       AFFORDABLE WARMTH CONSULTATION FORUM

ATTENDEE LISTS

NAME                                   ORGANISATION

Lorraine Harrison                      North West Leicestershire CVS

Anne Stratton                          North West Leicestershire Citizens Advice
                                       Bureau

Steven Boud                            North West Leicestershire District Council

Amanda Measom                          Charnwood & North West Leicestershire
                                       Primary Care Trust

Jan Footer                             Leicestershire County Council Social Services

Councillor Clayfield                   North West Leicestershire District Council

Councillor Peace                       North West Leicestershire District Council

Councillor Harrop                      North West Leicestershire District Council

Councillor Geary                       North West Leicestershire District Council

Dr Sue Read                            Charnwood & North West Leicestershire
                                       Primary Care Trust

Bruce Birkett                          North West Leicestershire District Council

Derrick Swallow                        North West Leicestershire District Council

Mo Murray                              Care & Repair West Leicestershire Ltd

Susan Baxter                           Age Concern

Kate Flanagan                          North West Leicestershire District Council

Ian Yeomans                            East Midlands Housing Association

Diane Deacon                           British Social Housing Foundation

Denise Blyth                           South Derbyshire District Council
                                                                          Appendix Two

      WORKSHOP NOTES FROM AFFORDABLE WARMTH CONSULTATION
                        4 NOVEMBER 2004


NEEDS AND ISSUES

o    Ageing inefficient heating systems for over 60’s – no financial help if system still
     working.
o    “Free” coal for miners, humping coal more difficult when getting older. No help to
     update systems, boilers/tank/insulation.
o    Cost benefits of investments and payback periods need to be clarified.
o    Problems getting rural areas on gas
o    Insulation and investigation of alternative sources of fuel needed.
o    “Hard to treat “ houses.
o    First time buyers need assistance.
o    Planning system and officers etc need to take account of and promote efficient
     heating.
o    Need to target houses not able to tap into grants and prioritise but how many?
     Needs research.
o    Loans from credit union for energy efficiency improvements could be developed.
o    Improvement of housing stock benefits.
o    Promotion of awareness.
o    “Green Doctor” schemes.
o    Budget account through Credit Union to avoid extra percentage from not having bank
     account, eg Paypoint system.
o    Savings from transfer between suppliers need for better information.
o    List of reputable installers particularly for elderly.
o    Care & Repair for everybody – involve Stephenson College to promote modem
     apprenticeships in installation skills.
o    Maximising benefits.
o    Get fuel to outlying areas
         - enabling groups to afford
         - awareness raising
         - local windpower schemes
o    Raising awareness of heating systems efficiency for purchasers and existing
     householders as well.
o    Newark and Sherwood – looking at individual properties. Learn from Beacon status
     authorities.
o    Eg South Derbyshire – blitz an area
     Heat Streets - surveying
                     - each house door to door
                     - warm front grants
                     - and other assistance
o    Information re location of fuel poor households – research needed.
o    Using Section 106 money to fund energy efficiency of other households.
COMMENTS RE AIMS

Aim 1

Data Protection issue re sharing of information. ID poor energy efficiency houses “won’t find
everyone”.

Target assistance vulnerable properties. Correlation with age of property.

Aim 4

Needs to be more proactive also energy efficiency and solutions partners.

Aim 5

Energy efficiency grants take up.

The following ideas represent the group’s views and opinions of the needs and issues in
relation to fuel poverty in North West Leicestershire:

NEEDS AND ISSUES

1. Lack of an affordable fuel i.e. gas
      - schemes to assist homeowners install gas to their properties.
      - Where gas has been installed into RSL’s properties it has increased the lettings
          value of the properties.
      - Caution must be observed if encouraging a change in supplies as there is the
          possibility of increases in gas prices over the next few years due to North Sea
          gas running out.

2. Isolation of households/communities
       - Reaching out to all households is the key for success. Targeting everybody
           through Council Tax letters etc. about what is available through the council and
           other agencies.
       - Tapping into grants and schemes available through utility companies.

3. Solid wall insulation
       - Difficulties in insulating solid walls – Sempatap through EEAC funding could help
          plug the gap.

4. Solid fuel properties
       - Many households in this district receive free coal. The problems with this are
           two-fold. Firstly, residents who receive free fuel will not willingly change fuel
           suppliers and pay for their fuel. Secondly, if a resident receives free fuel, are they
           fuel poor?

5. Awareness
     - Parish Council Newsletter is issued to every home. Perhaps use this as a means
         of contacting many properties and household in the district of the different
         schemes that are available.
     - Promotional information for all officers and front line staff i.e. health visitors to
         distribute to all homes and people that they visit.
       -   Different schemes that are available through the EEAC.

6. Partnership working
      - Local authority officer i.e. building control, EHO’s, RSL’s, PCT’s, Age Concern,
          CAB etc. an holistic approach is the only way forward.
      - Presentations by the Energy Efficiency officer is essential to all these people so
          that they are aware of what is available.
      - Visiting GP’s surgeries etc. getting into the community.

7. Setting targets
      - Targets are required to establish if we meet our aims and objectives
      - Problems with measuring the targets and if we have achieved them.

8. Benefit take-up
      - maximising schemes to ensure that all people who are entitled receive the correct
           benefits


AIMS AND ACTIONS


9. The group felt that the first three aims were fairly similar in that the action required to
   achieve the aims was the same. For example, to identify fuel poor households, target
   assistance to vulnerable groups, provide advice and support and householders to
   improve energy efficiency all required multi-agency working and the training of front line
   staff when visiting residents’ homes.

10. The final aim relating to benefits is mis-leading in that the local authority is only
    responsible for housing benefit and council tax benefit. Other benefits such as pension
    credit is administered through the benefits agency. Therefore, it is difficult to ensure
    maximum take-up for eligible households. Other agencies and officers need to be
    utilised if this aim is to be successful, or alternatively, the aim needs to be altered
    accordingly.

11. The group felt that it was an impossibility to establish a database of private sector
    housing information as part of our actions with the limited resources that we have.
    They felt that a critical path analysis would be more beneficial with times/dates etc.

12. The associates needed to achieve the aims are PCT’s, Social Services, Benefits
    Agency, LEAC, Age Concern, Citizens Advice Bureau etc. Out reach to rural areas
    through the library bus etc. Co-ordination and networking are significant

.
                                                                             Appendix Three


ACHIEVEMENTS RELATED TO ENERGY EFFICIENCY TO DATE:


 A Mobile Energy Advice Centre visited the district for the first time in 2003, to promote
  energy efficiency and affordable warmth awareness.

 Promotion of the Warm front grants has resulted in 1009 households within the district
  receiving assistance in 2003/4

 Presentation have been given to various community groups relating to energy efficiency

 Working in association with the Charnwood & North West Leicestershire Primary Care
  Trust advice sessions have been held in doctors surgeries to promote energy efficiency
  to vulnerable groups.

 Visits have been made to the Money Tree Credit Union to give general energy advice &
  distribute free low energy light bulbs.

 Development of an energy saving advice leaflet including information on government &
  energy generator initiatives to reduce energy consumption. Information relating to which
  is now also available on the authority’s Website

 We have for sale various energy efficient produces to the public at the main council
  building

 An increase in the SAP rating of council owned housing stock from 40.9 to 57.5 since
  1996, this has lead to a reduction of 792,803 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted into
  the atmosphere.

 The conversion of approximately 35 solid fuel-heating systems a year to gas fired for
  disabled homeowners.

 Approximately 99% of council dwellings have central heating, the majority of which is
  programmable.

 Condensing boilers are now fitted as standard in the council housing stock.

 The entire council housing stock has at least 100mm of loft insulation

 Of the council housing with cavity wall construction 99 % are insulated, & 93% of solid
  walls construction are clad with external insulation.

 Presently 83% of council dwellings are double glazed
                                                                              Appendix Four


REVIEW OF HOME ENERGY SCHEMES IN NORTH WEST LEICESTERSHIRE

FEBRUARY 2005



LOFT INSULATION

                          Government grants for up to £700 for loft
                          insulation. Applicants must be over 60
 Warm Front Scheme        years & on a benefit, or have children under       Telephone Private
 Owner Occupiers &        16 & be on a benefit, or be in receipt of a        Sector Housing on
  Private Tenants         disability benefit or be in receipt of Working      (01530) 454569
                          Families Tax Credit. (Incapacity Benefit not
                          included)
   Loft & Cavity Wall
                          Three bedroom semi - detached cavity             Telephone Powergen
Insulation for Powergen
                          insulation £199                                     0800 4790162
       Customers
                          Discounted Loft Insulation - no existing
                          insulation £100, Top-up between 50mm-             Telephone Westville
 All Owner Occupiers      250mm £200. Cost may vary according to              Insulation 0800
                          the size of the loft space and fuel type.               454419




CAVITY WALL INSULATION

                          Government grants for up to £700 for cavity
                          wall / loft insulation. Applicants must be
 Warm Front Scheme                                                           Telephone Private
                          over 60 years & on a benefit, or have
 Owner Occupiers &                                                           Sector Housing on
                          children under 16 & be in receipt of a
  Private Tenants                                                             (01530) 454569
                          disability benefit or Working Families Tax
                          Credit.
                          Discounted cavity wall insulation, Gas
                          heated dwellings: Flats, terraced homes
                          and      semi-detached     houses     £175,
                          Detached homes £225                                Telephone Westville
 All Owner Occupiers
                          Electric/ Solid Fuel properties: Flats,          Insulation 0800 454419
                          terraced     home     and     semi-detached
                          properties £75, Detached homes £100
 HEATING

                            Worcester Bosch Greenstar HE 12/22,            Telephone the Energy
  Oil Fired Condensing
                            41,000 - 75,000Btu available at £1143.27       Efficiency Hotline 0800
          Boilers
                            (Inc VAT)                                              512012
                            All gas suppliers keep a Priority Service
                            Register. If you are over 60, disabled or
                                                                              Contact your gas
 Free Gas Safety Check      chronically sick you are entitled to be
                                                                                  supplier
                            registered and receive a free gas appliance
                            safety check (not servicing)
                            Possibility of up to £1,500 for additional
                                                                             Telephone Private
    Warm Front Plus         heaters. Up to £2,500 for central heating if
                                                                             Sector Housing on
    Owner Occupiers         over 60, Owner-Occupier, receiving
                                                                              (01530) 454569
                            benefits with no central heating.
                            Sedbuk comprehensive web-site giving
     Boiler Efficiency                                                       www.sedbuk.com
                            energy efficiency ratings on boilers.
                            Worcester Bosch Greenstar condensing
 Worcester Bosch Boilers                                                   Telephone nPower on
                            boilers with £100 cash back when fitted
    £100 Cash Back                                                             0845 3301325
                            through registered Worcester installer

 WHAT ENERGY EFFICIENCY SCHEMES DOES YOUR FUEL SUPPLIER OFFER?

 British Gas                    0845 965 0650       www.House.co.uk
 London Electricity             0800 096 9966       www.london-electricity.co.uk
 Northern Electricity and Gas   0800 269 695        www.northern-electric.co.uk
 Npower                         0800 022 220        www.npower.com
 Powergen                       0500 201 000        www.powergen.co.uk
 Scottish Power                 0800 223322         www.scottishpower.co.uk
 SEEBOARD Energy                0800 581 255        www.seeboardenergy.com
 Southern Electric              0845 777 6633       www.southern-electric.co.uk


 ASSISTANCE WITH FUEL BILLS

                                                                             Telephone 0845
    Energy Watch         Also known as the Gas and Electricity Council           9060708
                         - they are there to help sort out problems        www.energywatch.org.u
                         concerning gas and electricity bills.                      k

                                                                              Telephone 0845
                         Fait trade energy pricing for those using card
 Equigas / Equipower                                                             4560170
                         meters / prepayment methods to pay for fuel
                                                                             www.equigas.co.uk
                         Are you getting the best deal for you and your
  Offgem Fuel Price      gas and electric? impartial price comparison        www.uswitch.com
     Comparison          chart to help you decide, updated every two
                         months
                         Fixed fuel bills for households over 60 years
                                                                             Telephone– 0800
                         e.g. 1 person in a 2-bed house - £41.57 per
Stay Warm - Powergen                                                             1694694
                         month. Stay warm and know exactly how
                                                                            www.staywarm.co.uk
                         much your bill will be in advance.
 RENEWABLE ENERGY / ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY DEVICES

                          Ten fuel companies are now offering you the
                          chance to increase the supply of electricity      www.greenelectricity.org
Clean Green Electricity   produced from renewable sources, eg wind,          for price comparisons
                          hydro etc, ie no from fossil fuels, thus              and fuel sources
                          reducing carbon dioxide emissions
                          Homeowners can obtain grants of between
                          £500-£5000, community organisations can            Telephone 0870 243
                          receive up to £100,000 for grants and                  0930 for more
 Renewable Energy         feasibility studies. Technologies supported         information or visit
     Grants               include: Solar Water Heating, Wind, Hydro,         www.clear-skies.org
                          Ground Source Heat Pumps Automated                www.soargrants.org.uk
                          Wood Pellet Stoves Wood fuel boilers
                             Grants for Photovoltaics (solar electricity)
                          Free Home Energy MOT. Save money &
Home Energy Checks                                                             www.laep.org.uk
                          energy in your home. Also available on line
                          Natural light through a "tube" especially good
                                                                                   Email:
                          for windowless rooms through Solarlighting
       Solatube                                                             Sales@solalighting.com
                          Ltd, 1 Newton Road, Wollaston,
                          Wellingborough, Northants, NN29 QN
                          Low Energy Light Bulbs, clockwork/solar
                          radios, solar torches, solar fountains, solar         For a brochure
      Mail Order          battery chargers and other green items.           Telephone Leics EEAC
                          Leicester & Northants Energy Efficiency             on 0116 2995146
                          Advice Centre www.energy-advice.co.uk
                          Make savings in electricity running costs of
                                                                              Telephone Private
                          20% when fitted to domestic refrigeration.
      Savaplug                                                                Sector Housing on
                          Not suitable for appliances with electronic
                                                                               (01530) 454569
                          controls. Cost £18
                          Two Osram low energy Vario bulbs for £12.
Two pack Vario Light                                                         Telephone Powergen
                          One dims from 120w (23w) to 40w(9w)
    Bulb Offer                                                                  0845 4564544
                          brightness.
                          Pack of 4 (2x20w & 2x15w) for £8.00 or Pack            nPower Energy
Low Cost Low Energy
                          of 6 (3x20w & 3x15w) for £11.50 including         Efficiency Helpline 0800
    Light Bulbs
                          postage                                                   022 220
                          Four free low energy light bulbs available for
Free Low Energy Light                                                       Private Sector Housing
                          people receiving benefits on completion of a
       Bulbs
                          Home Energy Check
                          If you have a water meter fitted and don't
                          save money within one year you can revert to        Seven Trent – 0845
  Free Water meters
                          your original payment based on rateable                 7090646
                          value
                          This is not a garden composter but it will take
                                                                             Telephone 0800 731
  Green Cone Food         all food waste leaving minimum residue.
                                                                            2572 for more details or
   Waste Digester         Usually £66.95, Special Offer Price only
                                                                               to place an order
                          £44.95
                          Reuse some of your household waste by             Telephone Blackwall on
    Compost Bin
                          using it as garden sustenance and reduce              0870 1646015
Recycle biodegradable
                          the amount going to landfill. Cost £13–£15
  household waste
                          delivered.
ENERGY ON THE INTERNET

Cavity Wall Insulation - Mineral Wool Association   www.eurisol.com
Office of Gas & Electricity Regulation              www.ofgem.gov.uk
Boiler Efficiency Ratings                           www.sedbuk.com
On-line Home Energy Check questionnaire             www.laep.org.uk
Climate Change (IPCC)                               www.ipc.ch
Environ Trust                                       www.environ.org.uk
Solar Energy Alliance                               www.gosolar.u.net.com

				
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