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					                             HECA OFFICERS’ VIEWS
                            ON THE FUTURE OF HECA

                              FINAL REPORT ON A
                             CONSULTATION SURVEY
                                  APRIL, 2004




Prepared for   THE UK HECA FORUM

Prepared by    NEW PERSPECTIVES
               Bealings Barn
               Great Bealings
               Woodbridge
               Suffolk IP13 6PE
               Tel/Fax: 01473 735638

Contact:       Robin Sadler
               robin@newpersp.demon.co.uk

August, 2004
                                    CONTENTS
                                                                             Page No.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                                                 i-v

   UK HECA Chairs’ Recommendations                                                 iv

INTRODUCTION

   Background                                                                      1

   Purpose of the research                                                         2

   Research methods                                                                3

   Arrangement of the report and timing for Comments                               4


FINDINGS

   HECA Officers – their role, background and the support provided on HECA         5

   The Energy Conservation Authorities                                             9

   Present arrangements for data collection and reporting for HECA                19

   Percentage Improvement in energy efficiency reported in 2003, and
   possible reasons for effectiveness                                             24

   Understanding of, and views on HECA requirements                               29

   Views on the future of HECA                                                    32


KEY FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS                                     37


RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE UK HECA REGIONAL CHAIRS                                  40


TABLES


APPENDIX

   The Questionnaire
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.    This Consultation Survey was carried out by New Perspectives in March/April 2004
      among a sample of 197 HECA Officers from the 354 Energy Conservation Authorities
      (ECAs) in England. It is intended to provide input to DEFRA’s consultation on future
      requirements for action and reporting on energy efficiency, as required under the
      Home Energy Conservation Act 1995. The study used a self-completion postal/e-mail
      questionnaire (see Appendix) to explore the expertise and time available for HECA
      activities, details of local authorities’ energy efficiency programmes, present
      arrangements for monitoring and reporting in annual HECA Progress Reports, HECA
      Officers’ understanding and views on HECA reporting, and their views on the
      reshaping of HECA and future reporting arrangements.

2.    This is the Final Report which has been reviewed and commented on by the Regional
      HECA Fora, and which is being submitted to DEFRA in August, 2004. Extra copies
      are available on request from Helen Atkins at the UK HECA Fora Secretariat, 2-4
      Market Place South, Leicester LE1 5HB, telephone 0116 299 5133, fax 0116 299
      5137 or 5143, or e-mail ukheca@leicester.gov.uk

3.    Although most HECA officers have some energy-related educational qualifications,
      and many have extensive or even expert knowledge of the technical and policy aspects
      of energy efficiency, the vast majority (91%) are under-resourced for the major task of
      bringing about a 30% improvement in the energy efficiency of the entire housing
      stock in their area between 1996 and 2011. Only 9% of HECA Officers spend more
      than half their time on HECA and receive support from colleagues in their own
      department and from other departments. Most ECAs can spare no more than one FTE
      (Full Time Equivalent) person to work on HECA, and half no more than 0.5 FTE (see
      chart below). Over half of HECA Officers (57%) would like training for their job. We
      recommend that Best Practice Guidelines for the appointment, training and support of
      full-time HECA Officers are developed by the UK HECA Forum and DEFRA.


               Total time (FTE) spent on HECA by Officer & Others in Department

     100%
     80%
                                                                                                    2.1 or over
     60%                                                                                            1.1 to 2.0
                                                                                                    0.51 to 1.0
     40%                                                                                            0.11 to 0.5
     20%                                                                                            0.1 or less FTE

      0%
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4.    Many ECAs are behind schedule on progress towards meeting their HECA targets.
      Some started energy efficiency programmes only recently, and many have non-
      existent or inadequately small budgets for managing and promoting HECA activities,
      and for carrying out improvements (even allowing for budgets levered-in from other


                                                       i
            partners and programmes like EEC). As a result, over half of all HECA Officers
            (58%) feel that their ECA is unlikely to meet its HECA target, mainly because of
            inadequate funding, people and resources. We recommend an urgent review of the
            resources available for funding progress under HECA.
                                     Likelihood of meeting Target - by time spent on HECA

      100%
       80%
                                                                                                                          Very likely
       60%                                                                                                                Quite likely
                                                                                                                          Not very likely
       40%
                                                                                                                          Not at all likely
       20%                                                                                                                Not stated
        0%
                    ALL             <0.1 FTE           0.11-0.5            0.51-1.0         1.1-2.0         2.1+ FTE


5.          Existing arrangements for collecting data and accurately reporting progress on HECA
            are unsatisfactory. There are inadequate budgets to carry out representative surveys to
            monitor progress. The officially-approved HECAMON software is not widely used,
            but criticised for its cost, poor response rate, inaccuracy and bias. Data are often
            gleaned from a variety of sources. Where surveys are conducted, those done by
            Councils themselves appear to produce more favourable results than those done by
            research consultants. Only one quarter of HECA Officers believe that their approach
            to monitoring progress is accurate. We recommend that Best Practice Guidelines be
            developed by DEFRA (in consultation with research professionals) on the reliable
            ways of measuring progress, and that adequate budgets for this are provided.

6.          The Overall % Improvement Rates claimed by ECAs in their HECA Progress Reports
            do not stand up under detailed analysis which looks for significant causal factors for
            “good performance”. Some of the highest improvement rates are claimed by HECA
            Officers who spend little time on HECA (see chart), who have little or no support, few
            partners and tiny budgets, who rely on biased surveys and have limited knowledge of
            energy efficiency. From this we conclude that many ECAs are probably reporting
            wildly optimistic and inaccurate “improvement rates”, and that the real rate of
            progress is much lower than annual HECA Progress Reports suggest. We recommend
            that all HECA Progress Reports should be audited and validated by DEFRA.
                                    Improvement claimed - by FTE time spent on HECA
     100%                                                                               6%
                14%                               15%                15%                                10%
      90%                         20%
      80%                                                                              28%
                26%               11%             28%                27%                                               16.1% +
      70%
                                                                                                        50%
      60%                                                                                                              12.1%-16%
      50%                         43%
      40%       35%                               25%                                  44%                             8.1%-12%
                                                                     40%
      30%                                                                                               20%            Up to 8%
      20%                         14%             28%
      10%
                19%
                                                                     19%
                                                                                       16%              15%            DK/not stated
                 5%               11%              4%                                   6%               5%
       0%                                                             0%
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                                                                      ii
7.    Although almost all ECAs have formed partnerships with several partners to help
      deliver their HECA programmes, and have found several other energy programmes
      very useful (e.g. EEC, EEACs and WarmFront), we could not yet detect any major
      impact of these programmes on the apparent effectiveness of ECAs HECA
      programmes (possibly because the reported improvement rates are unreliable). We
      recommend that DEFRA needs to plan how these programmes and ECAs can work
      together most effectively.

8.    Many HECA Officers are ambivalent towards the process of HECA reporting. On the
      one hand they find the current requirements ambiguous, unreliable, onerous,
      complicated, time-consuming, a waste of time and lacking in adequate feedback from
      DEFRA. Many (51%) are using the wrong key indicator (CO2 savings rather than
      energy efficiency). Some feel HECAMON and other methods over-estimate progress,
      and many would support a new “standard method”. But despite these criticisms of
      current arrangements, around two thirds of HECA Officers find their annual HECA
      Progress Reports a useful way of tracking progress, developing strategy and keeping
      HECA on the Council’s agenda. Most therefore favour retention of the annual HECA
      Progress Reports. We conclude that these Progress Reports should be retained for
      assessing progress and developing strategy.

9.    Although most HECA Officers favour the retention of the annual HECA Progress
      Report, they would like to see more emphasis on reporting HECA activities, more
      links with other energy-related policies, and more use of these reports for planning
      local, regional and national HECA strategy and for allocating funds to the neediest
      areas. But almost all (94%) support the development of standardised methods for data
      collection and reporting, and most (77%) feel that data collection should be funded by
      Government. We recommend that the development of standardised methods should be
      examined by DEFRA and adopted if practicable, and that HECA Officers’ other
      suggestions mentioned in this paragraph should be considered in DEFRA’s review.

10.   There is no clear consensus among HECA Officers as to what standard data collection
      method is desirable for HECA reporting: fuel supplier data, a national database,
      installer data, and regional and national sample surveys all have their supporters. Most
      support collection of data on measures installed in the last 12 months (although this
      can over-estimate progress), while others favour data on all measures now in place (or
      missing) for year by year comparisons (which are more accurate) or the collection of
      full energy audit data for SAP ratings. We recommend that these issues be considered
      in DEFRA’s review.

11.   Over half of all HECA Officers (53%) feel that the performance of ECAs should be
      compared by Government in future, but that this should be done on a combination of
      indicators and strategy appraisal (a view supported by 71%).

12.   There has been a shift in the views of HECA Officers about the main priorities for
      HECA. Most (82%) now feel that tackling Fuel Poverty should be the main aim of
      their HECA strategy, and would like the scope of the HECA Progress Reports
      widened to cover this. Some would also like to see any extra resources from
      Government targeted at the Fuel Poor. Many (62%) feel that HECA reports should
      also cover the adoption of renewable energy technologies.



                                            iii
13.     Few HECA Officers believe that their ECA can meet its HECA target by 2011. An
        independent review of progress could confirm this, and we recommend that this is
        carried out. HECA Officers would therefore like to see more time allowed for
        achieving their HECA target; e.g. a 20% target by 2010 and a 30% target by 2020 are
        commonly chosen options (see chart). To help them achieve these targets HECA
        Officers would like to see training for HECA Officers, more recognition and support
        for their role within their councils, more funding and a higher profile for HECA. We
        recommend that DEFRA considers these issues in their review.

               Suggested new HECA timescales and % Improvement Targets
 45%
                                     suggested
 40%        0%          1%
            1%
                        5%
                                                                                      40%
 35%        7%
                                                                                      35%
 30%        3%          8%         7%
                                   2%
                                                                                      30%
 25%                    4%
            13%                                                                       25%
 20%                               9%
                        9%                                                            20%
 15%                               4%         2%
            7%                                3%          5%                          15%
 10%                    8%         7%         4%                     2%
            5%
                                                          3%
                                                                     2%               10%
 5%                                           3%          2%
                        5%         4%                     3%         3%
 0%
            3%                                3%                                      5%
          10




                       15




                                  20




                                             25




                                                        30




                                                                    35
        20




                     20




                                20




                                           20




                                                      20




                                                                  20
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                    y




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                                                                B




14.     Many of the findings in this report suggest that the aims of the Home Energy
        Conservation Act 1995 will take more time (i.e. beyond 2011) to achieve, and that a
        new, more co-ordinated and better funded approach will be needed to achieve it.


UK HECA Chairs’ Recommendations

15.     As a result of all New Perspectives’ findings and recommendations listed above, the
        HECA Regional Chairs from the English Regions have endorsed the following
        recommendations on behalf of all HECA Officers in ECAs in England:

            1. That DEFRA supports the dissemination of Best Practice Guidelines for the
               appointment of full-time HECA Officers in all Energy Conservation Authorities.

            2. That DEFRA supports the development of a training and development
               programme for HECA Officers.

            3. That DEFRA does more to increase the recognition of HECA Officers and raise
               the profile of HECA within local government.

            4. That DEFRA secures sufficient and sustained funding for the national and
               regional HECA Fora Networks in the UK to provide support for
               under-resourced ECAs and to enable the dissemination of guidance and the
               sharing of good practice.



                                              iv
5. That DEFRA increases the role of Regional Government Offices in supporting
   the delivery of HECA in their region, by establishing closer working
   relationships between the Regional Offices and their Regional HECA Fora.

6. That DEFRA urgently reviews the resources available for funding progress
   under HECA, including an examination of how the various energy efficiency
   programmes can assist ECAs in meeting their HECA targets.

7. That DEFRA overhauls the current format of HECA Progress Reports, with
   changes to take effect from 2005, by:
   * Introducing a standardised HECA data collection format.
   * Requiring the setting of new baselines through standardised methodology.
   * Allowing the setting of revised, challenging yet achievable targets and
     timeframes which take better account of local circumstances.

8. That DEFRA urgently reviews methods for revising baseline figures and
   provides guidance to ECAs on how this should be achieved.

9. That DEFRA urgently reviews the data collection methods to be used in the
   standardised data collection format and provides detailed guidance on how this
   should be undertaken.

10. That DEFRA considers ways of assisting Councils with the costs of producing
    their HECA Progress Reports.

11. That DEFRA considers how the HECA Progress Reports should be audited and
    validated.

12. That DEFRA provides more prompt and detailed feedback to ECAs on the
    effectiveness of their HECA Strategies.




                                   v
INTRODUCTION

Background

The Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 placed a duty on all local authorities, which are
also housing authorities, to become “Energy Conservation Authorities” (ECAs). They were
charged with encouraging improvements in the energy efficiency of all the domestic housing
stock in their area by 30% within ten to fifteen years – e.g. by 2006 or 2011. This objective
forms an important part of the UK’s commitment to reduce emissions of CO2, which
contribute to global warming.

Since 1996 all Energy Conservation Authorities have also been required to report annually on
progress towards achieving their energy efficiency targets. These annual HECA Progress
Reports have been submitted by almost all local authorities. The reports are evaluated by the
Regional Government Offices and by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural
Affairs (DEFRA) and comments are returned to the ECAs. Each year the progress reported
by ECAs is published by DEFRA.

HECA Officers have for some time expressed concern with these reporting arrangements.
Common concerns have been that:
     1. The lack of a uniform, easily prepared, meaningful and affordable data gathering
        method across all local authorities has resulted in a plethora of different data
        gathering mechanisms being used. This results in data that are not comparable
        across the country.
     2. There is a perception that some ECAs have made great efforts to gather accurate
        baseline information and accurate data on progress, while other ECAs simply report
        estimated improvements.
     3. Although there is a legal obligation to report, this information is not used to provide
        positive information, there are no procedures to enforce reporting, nor are there
        penalties for not reporting.
     4. This leads to situations where reporting is considered a burden rather than a planning
        tool for delivery of domestic energy efficiency.

DEFRA plans to issue a consultation paper shortly on changes to HECA reporting, and to
issue new guidance by December 2004, to take effect from 2005. Their review is based upon
the previous unfinished Review of Local Authority Energy Efficiency Activity but is also
being informed by the Energy White Paper and the Sustainable Energy Act 2003.

DEFRA endorsed the idea of this research project among HECA Officers at the UK HECA
Forum Chairs Meeting on 15 September, 2003. DEFRA welcomed input from the UK HECA
Forum as an effective way of transferring the knowledge and views of practitioners and of
developing consensus over desirable changes to the data and data collection methods used in
future HECA Progress Reports. .




                                              1
Purpose of the research

The purpose of this research has been to give all HECA Officers in England an opportunity to
contribute to this consultation process. It has been designed to examine HECA Officers’
views of current and possible future HECA reporting requirements, and to set these against
current practices in HECA programmes, data collection and reporting.

The four key objectives of the study have been:
     1. To try to determine reasons for the effectiveness of some HECA programmes.
     2. To identify data collection methods which are used and favoured.
     3. To check HECA Officers’ understanding of and views on HECA reporting
        requirements.
     4. To assess the views of HECA Officers on the future of HECA.

The topics to be covered by this survey were developed by the UK HECA Forum Research
Sub-Group and include:

        Details and backgrounds of the HECA Officers themselves – levels of seniority,
         time in post, time spent on HECA, support from colleagues and other departments,
         educational qualifications and knowledge of the technical and policy aspects of
         energy efficiency.

        Details of the ECA – how long it has run any energy efficiency programme, what
         measures have been prioritised in each housing sector, what partnerships have been
         formed and budgets allowed, what target for energy efficiency improvement has
         been reported and by when, and how likely it is to be achieved.

        Present arrangements for data collection and reporting for HECA – what data are
         collected and by what methods, adequacy of budgets for data collection, how
         surveys are done, what the advantages/disadvantages/difficulties are with each
         approach, how reliably the methods used measure the real rate of progress, and the
         percentage improvement in energy efficiency reported to date.

        Understanding of and views on HECA and HECA Reporting – interpretation of the
         aims of HECA, main indicator used in reporting progress, how Government is
         believed to assess and use HECA Reports, views on current requirements, how
         useful HECA Progress Reports are to HECA Officers, and how useful various
         supporting programmes are.

        Reshaping HECA and future reporting arrangements – views on what should be
         the main aims of reporting, what aspects should be reported, whether the scope of
         reports should be widened, what data should be collected or made available and
         how, who should pay for data collection, how data should be used, what indicator
         should be used to assess progress, how baselines should be set, what targets and
         timescales are realistic, how Government should assess and encourage performance,
         how extra resources should be prioritised, and the usefulness of training for HECA
         Officers.




                                             2
Research methods

The UK HECA Forum Research Sub-Group commissioned New Perspectives to conduct this
survey, partly because New Perspectives is a well-established social and market research
consultancy with considerable experience of conducting research among HECA Officers.

In order to meet the objectives for this survey New Perspectives designed a nine-page self-
completion questionnaire which could be sent by post and by e-mail to HECA Officers at the
354 local authorities in England which are also Energy Conservation Authorities. A copy of
this questionnaire is included in the Appendix.

The first version of this questionnaire was pilot tested in February, 2004 by sending it to some
18 HECA Officers (2 in each of the 9 regions). As a result of this pilot test some minor
amendments were made before the final questionnaire was printed on yellow paper and
mailed out by the UK HECA Fora Secretariat on 18th March, 2004 (along with a covering
letter explaining the survey and a Freepost envelope) to 387 people listed as HECA Officers
on their database. (Some London and other ECAs list two or more people with HECA
responsibilities.) HECA Officers were asked to complete and return the questionnaire by 9th
April.

In order to encourage the best possible response rate a number of “reminders” and “follow-
ups” were sent:
    1. After 5 days Regional Chairs e-mailed HECA Officers reminding them to reply.
    2. On day 12 (30th March) reminder e-mails were sent by all HECA Regional
       Secretariats, along with an e-mail version of the questionnaire.
    3. From days 12 to 23 after the initial mailing two interviewers from New Perspectives
       contacted by telephone all those who had not yet replied, asking them to do so and
       offering another copy of the postal questionnaire or an e-mail alternative. The
       deadline for replies was also extended to 23rd April.
    4. On day 24 (15th April) a second reminder was sent to all HECA Officers by Regional
       Secretariats, appending another e-mail questionnaire, and urging replies by the
       extended deadline of 23rd April.

Shortly after the extended deadline of 23rd April New Perspectives had received 197 useable
replies – 137 by post and 60 by e-mail. A few officers sent duplicates or incomplete replies
which were discarded. Five questionnaires from the pilot test were also included where these
respondents did not complete the final questionnaire as well. The overall response rate was
51%, and replies were received from 55% of all 354 ECAs. (Two replies were received from
three ECAs where two people shared HECA responsibilities.)

It was clear from the queries we received during this survey that not all posted questionnaires
reached their addressees; some councils’ internal postal systems seem to be poor. Some
HECA officers were on holiday or had changed and their details had not been updated on the
UK HECA Fora Secretariat’s database. Some enclosed Freepost envelopes were lost. Several
e-mails did not apparently reach their addressees and had to be resent. Only a very few HECA
Officers admitted that they had binned the questionnaire and would not reply. The 9-page
questionnaire took some officers over 40 minutes to complete. The regional response rates
were as follows:



                                              3
HECA REGION             No. of Local Authorities             No. responding to        RESPONSE RATE
                                                                  survey
East                              48                                 25                      52%
East Midlands                     40                                 28                      70%
East Pennines                     21                                 12                      57%
London                            33                          18 (20 replies)                61%
North East                        23                                 9                       39%
North West                        43                          22 (23 replies)                52%
South East                        67                                 36                      54%
South West                        45                                 27                      59%
West Midlands                     34                                 17                      52%
TOTAL                      354 (387 officers)                194 (197 replies)            55% (51%)

To get returns from 55% of Energy Conservation Authorities is a very satisfactory response to
this type of survey and minimises the likelihood of bias. But as additional checks on the
representativeness of the sample (compared with English ECAs as a whole) we:
i)     Compared the proportion of ECAs using HECAMON in our sample (25%) against the
       proportion believed by DEFRA to be using HECAMON (17%). Our sample may
       therefore slightly over-represent HECAMON users, but not enough to cause concerns
       about validity.
ii)    Compared the distribution of % improvements claimed in the 7th HECA Progress
       Reports (data supplied by DEFRA) with the distribution of % improvements claimed
       in our survey. The table below compares these data and shows that the distribution of
       improvement rates claimed by our sample of 197 HECA Officers closely mirrors the
       improvement rates claimed by all ECAs for which DEFRA provided data:

 HECA REPORTS & SAMPLE COMPARED                 ALL ECAs in England              HECA Officers in Survey
 Bases:                                           354        100%                  197           100%
 % improvement claimed since 1996:
 Up to 8.0%                                             53            15%           38           19%
 8.1% to 12.0%                                         123            35%           69           35%
 12.1% to 16.0%                                        107            30%           52           26%
 16.1% or over                                          57            16%           28           14%
 No data reported by DEFRA/don’t know                   14             4%           10            5%

Data from the 197 completed questionnaires were entered by New Perspectives in a SNAP
analysis programme. After the first 100 questionnaires were entered, listings of verbatim
answers to the many open-ended questions were produced, and code lists devised to classify
these answers. An initial run of Tables was produced (based on the first 147 questionnaires)
and these were discussed with the Research Sub-Group before further analyses were run on
all 197 replies and data supplied to the Research Sub-Group for preparation of a Presentation
made at the UK HECA Conference.

Arrangement of the report

This Introduction is followed by the main Findings section which is illustrated by a number of
Summary Tables and Charts, and then come the Key Findings, Conclusions and
Recommendations, and Recommendations prepared by the HECA Regional Chairs. The
detailed Tables output from SNAP follow, which show the results in detail. Finally comes the
Appendix which includes a copy of the Questionnaire. This Final Report will be submitted to
DEFRA in mid-August and sent out to HECA Officers and other interested parties on request
to the UK HECA Fora Secretariat.


                                                   4
FINDINGS

HECA Officers – their role, background and the support provided on HECA

The Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 puts a heavy duty on those local authority officers
whose role is to encourage a 30% improvement in the whole of the housing stock in their
areas. The first part of this section looks at who “HECA Officers” are, their seniority,
department, and how much time they can devote to HECA.

Seniority of HECA Officers and time in post

Given the magnitude of the task facing HECA Officers, it may be something of a
disadvantage that half of all HECA Officers are “non-managerial officers”, who will
inevitably have to convince more senior managers of their need for support and budgets to
accomplish their task. But almost half our sample of HECA officers do have some
managerial role: 34% are “4th tier managers”, 11% “3rd tier managers”, 3% “2nd tier
managers” (Assistant Directors) and 1% “1st tier managers” (Directors).

It is probably good for an ECA’s HECA strategy if the same HECA Officer is in post over
several years, and so able to set up ongoing HECA programmes. Most HECA Officers (53%)
have been in post for over 3 years, but there may be a high turnover of HECA officers in
some local authorities, as 15% have been in post for no more than 12 months, and another
16% for no more than 2 years. The South West may be the most fluid area where 26% of
HECA Officers have been in post for no more than 12 months.
                                                                           (See Table 1)

Departments in which HECA Officers are based

Almost half of all HECA Officers (48%) are in some part of the ECA’s Housing Department,
and almost a third (32%) are in the Environment or Environmental Health departments. The
rest come from a wide variety of departments – energy management, community
development, neighbourhood services, community development, renewal, social services,
planning/building control etc. etc..
                                                                          (See Table 1A)

Time spent on HECA and support provided to HECA Officers from their team/other
departments

Given the scale of the task facing ECAs to implement the Home Energy Conservation Act,
one might also expect most HECA Officers to be fully employed on HECA, but this is not the
case. Fewer than a quarter of HECA Officers (22%) spend 70% or more of their time on
HECA activities. Over one third of all local authorities (36%) have HECA Officers who
spend less than 10% of their time on HECA. This is the norm in the North West and South
West where around half or more of HECA Officers spend no more than 10% of their time on
HECA.

In almost two thirds of all local authorities (61%) there is no one else in the HECA Officer’s
Team who also works on HECA. And in over a quarter of LAs (28%) there is no more than
one other FTE person on HECA in the HECA Officer’s team. All this suggests that many
HECA officers are faced with doing a huge job with limited time and resources if they are to


                                              5
achieve HECA targets. In order to provide a better idea of the Total Time (Full Time
Equivalent) devoted to HECA in the HECA Officer’ department we also added together the
time spent y the HECA Officer and by anyone else supporting HECA in their department.
This shows that 22% of ECAs have only 0.1 FTE or less supporting HECA; 27% have 0.11 to
0.5; 24% 0.51 to 1.00; 16% have 1.1 to 2.0 FTE; and only 10% have 2.1or more FTE working
on HECA programmes.
                                                                             (See Table 2)

HECA officers who can devote little of their own time to HECA (because of other
responsibilities) could perhaps still achieve a lot if they had more support than nearly-full-
time HECA Officers. But analysis shows that of those HECA Officers who spend 10% or less
of their time on HECA, 60% have no support from their own team and 34% have no support
from any other departments.

But almost three quarters of all HECA officers (72%) do receive some support from other
departments on HECA – e.g. Housing (42%), Environment (19%), Building Control (16%),
and others.

As an additional measure of the time available for HECA activities in each ECA, we
combined the time spent by the HECA Officer and by any others in the same department or
team, to provide a measure of the FTE (Full Time Equivalent) time spent on HECA. This is
shown in the chart below and in Tables 2 and 2D. This shows that only 10% of ECAs spend
over 2.0 FTE time on HECA; 16% spend 1.1 to 2.0 FTE; 24% spend 0.51 to 1.0 FTE; 27%
spend 0.11 to 0,5 FTE; and 22% spend 0.1 FTE or less. This sums up what little resources in
terms of officer time most ECAs are devoting to HECA activities. The differences by region
are shown in the chart below:


          Total time (FTE) spent on HECA by Officer & Others in Department
     100%

      80%
                                                                                  2.1 or over
      60%                                                                         1.1 to 2.0
                                                                                  0.51 to 1.0
      40%
                                                                                  0.11 to 0.5
      20%                                                                         0.1 or less FTE

        0%
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                                                                     (See also Tables 2A-D and 5)




                                                              6
Other responsibilities of HECA Officers

Apart from HECA, most HECA Officers (91%) have some other responsibilities, of which the
more common are: Housing/Building Maintenance/ Property Services/Housing Renewal
(44%), Environmental Protection (17%), Energy Management (16%), Sustainability/LA21
(14%), Grants/Home Improvement Grants/Disabled Grants (13%), Fuel Poverty (11%), and
Health Promotion/Public Health (7%). Even most of the recently appointed HECA Officers
have other responsibilities too. Only among those few HECA Officers who spend over 90%
of their time on HECA do almost half have no other responsibilities.
                                                                      (See Tables 3 & 4)


HECA Officers’ specialisms, qualifications and knowledge of energy efficiency

HECA Officers consider their main professional specialisms to be environment (30%), energy
efficiency (23%) and housing (23%). Some 8% of HECA Officers mentioned no specialism.

Most HECA Officers do have some energy-related qualifications such as City and Guilds
Energy Awareness (46%), an undergraduate or postgraduate degree (42%), or NHER auditing
qualifications (23%), but around one quarter have no energy-related qualifications at all,
especially those who spend a very small part of their time on HECA activities.

In terms of their knowledge of the technical and policy aspects of energy efficiency, most
HECA Officers feel they have “moderate” or “extensive” knowledge. But one in ten feel they
are “beginners” in both areas, and this is most true of those who have been in post less than 2
years.
                                                                           (See Tables 6 to 8)


Summary of findings on HECA Officers’ situations

The overall picture this evidence presents of HECA Officers’ situations is therefore mixed.
Whereas most of them do have some energy-related qualifications and reasonable knowledge
of the technical and policy aspects of energy efficiency, few can spend very much of their
time on achieving the very ambitious targets set by the Home Energy Conservation Act 1995.
This is because most HECA Officers have other responsibilities. Nor do most HECA Officers
appear to receive much support from colleagues in their own team or department, although
most do get some support from other departments. Although most HECA Officers are in
Housing Departments or Environment/Environmental Health Departments, others are in a
variety of departments where it may be difficult for them to exert much influence on housing
improvements; most are also non-managerial officers, or at best junior managers. Combining
some of these variables we can classify HECA Officers by the time available for HECA work
and the support they receive as follows. This Summary Table 1 (overleaf) also shows the
FTE time spent on HECA.




                                              7
SUMMARY TABLE 1                                                                    Base:197
TIME AND SUPPORT FOR HECA                                                           100%
% of all HECA Officers who:
Spend <10% time on HECA/Receive NO Support from Team/Other Departments                4%
Spend <10% time on HECA/Receive some support from Team only                           4%
Spend <10% time on HECA/Receive some support from Other Departments only             13%
Spend <10% time on HECA/Receive Support from both Team and Other Departments         11%
Spend 11%-50% time on HECA/Receive NO support from Team/Other Departments             4%
Spend 11%-50 % time on HECA/Receive some support from Team only                       1%
Spend 11%-50% time on HECA/Receive some support from Other Departments only          21%
Spend 11%-50% time on HECA/Receive Support from both Team and Other Departments      10%
Spend 51%< time on HECA/Receive NO Support from Team/Other Departments                3%
Spend 51%< time on HECA/Receive some support from Team only                           4%
Spend 51%< time on HECA/Receive some support from Other Departments only              9%
Spend 51%< time on HECA/Receive Support from both Team and Other Departments          9%
Unclassifiable (no answers to some questions)                                         9%
% of ECAs where Total Time (FTE) spent on HECA by Officer & others in Dept. is:
0.1 or less FTE                                                                      22%
0.11 to 0.5 FTE                                                                      27%
0.51 to 1.0 FTE                                                                      24%
1.1 to 2.0 FTE                                                                       16%
2.1 FTE or more                                                                      10%

In order to achieve the huge progress in energy efficiency required under HECA, one might
reasonably expect that HECA Officers should give at least half their time to achieving this,
and that they should be supported by colleagues in their own team and in other departments.
But only 9% of HECA officers are in this fortunate position (i.e. the highlighted portion
above). The remainder may be struggling with too little of their own time to spare or with
inadequate support. We conclude that there is a case for the UK HECA Forum and
DEFRA to propose Best Practice guidelines for the appointment of, and support for,
HECA Officers in order to remedy this situation.




                                             8
The Energy Conservation Authorities

When ECAs started energy efficiency programmes

Just over a quarter (28%) of local authorities were running an energy efficiency programme in
1995 or earlier, and another quarter (26%) started in 1996. But over a quarter (26%) only
started after 1996. 20% of HECA Officers did not know (or couldn’t say) when any energy
efficiency programme began. Officers who have been in post less than 5 years seem to know
least about when their LA began any programme. This suggests that there may be a real lack
of continuity and learning from past programmes in these ECAs.
                                                                           (See Tables 9 & 9A)

Priority given to different measures

Summary Table 2 (below) shows the priority given to different energy efficiency measures in
private and public sector housing. Most LAs give high priority in the private sector to loft
insulation and cavity wall insulation, and around half to condensing boilers and hot tank
jackets; some are also tackling solid wall insulation (which is trickier and more expensive to
install) but giving it a low priority. In public sector housing most LAs also give high priority
to loft and cavity wall insulation, and to central heating/condensing boilers, and some are also
tackling solid wall insulation but again giving it a lower priority. But over one fifth of ECAs
are not giving any measures high priority in either sector.

   SUMMARY TABLE 2                         Private      Private       Public        Public
   ENERGY EFFICIENCY MEASURES               Sector       Sector       Sector        Sector
   INSTALLED BY ECA, & PRIORITY              High         Low          High          Low
   GIVEN IN EACH SECTOR                    Priority     Priority     Priority      Priority
   Base: All ECAs interviewed                197          197          197           197
   No. which had installed:                 100%         100%         100%          100%
   Loft insulation                           72%          11%          71%            7%
   Cavity wall insulation                    69%          13%          69%            6%
   Draughtproofing                           39%          34%          41%           24%
   Hot tank jackets                          48%          24%          49%           13%
   Central heating/condensing boilers        53%          23%          62%           12%
   External (solid) wall insulation           3%          39%          13%           39%
   Internal (solid) wall insulation           1%          39%           3%           36%
   CFLs/Low energy bulbs                     10%          4%            7%            3%
   TRVs                                       5%          3%            4%            3%
   Heat recovery ventilation                  2%           -             -            1%
   Double glazing                             2%          5%            8%            1%
   Communal lighting to blocks of flats        -           -            1%             -
   Radiator panels                            1%          1%            1%            1%
   CHP – Combined heat and power               -           -            1%             -
   New windows/uPVC windows                   1%          1%            3%             -
   Multipoint water heaters                   1%           -             -            1%
   Giving energy advice                       2%           -            1%            1%
   Flat roof insulation                        -           -            1%             -
   Fridgesavers/A-rated appliances            2%           -            2%            1%
   Renewables – Solar water heating           8%          10%           2%            9%
   PV/solar electric                          2%          3%            2%            3%
   Windpower                                  1%          1%            1%            1%
   De-centralised bio-mass programmes         1%          1%            1%            1%
   None/not stated                           22%          36%          23%           44%
                                                                          (See Tables 10 to 13)


                                               9
ECAs’ Partnerships with other organisations

Forming effective partnerships between ECAs and other organisations – e.g. gas and
electricity providers, Warm Front, housing associations etc. – should be a key part of any
ECAs HECA strategy, as no funds are provided directly by central government to ECAs to
fund energy efficiency improvements. We found that almost all local authorities have formed
partnerships with some organisations to help them meet their HECA obligations: Energy
Efficiency Advice Centres (or their Local Support Programmes) which were in partnership
with 96% of ECAs, Warm Front (89%), and fuel suppliers or their Energy Efficiency
Commitment (84%) were more frequently mentioned. 80% of ECAs have three or more
partnerships in place, and over 47% have seven or more. The charts below illustrate this:


                           Partnerships formed by ECAs for HECA
                       0%         20%         40%        60%            80%          100%

          Fuel Cos/EEC

          EEACs/LASP

            WarmFront

        Housing Assocs

  Private Landlord Grps

    Care & Repair/HIAs

               Schools

                  PCTs

          Tenants Grps

      Community Grps

      National Charities

                 Others




                  Numbers of Partnerships formed by ECAs for HECA

  50%
  45%
  40%
                                               34%
  35%
                                                             29%
  30%
  25%
                                18%                                           18%
  20%
  15%
  10%
   5%           1%
   0%
                None             1 to 3        4 to 6          7 to 9          10+

                                                                         (See also Table 14)


                                              10
Budgets for HECA management/promotion and works – internal and levered in

Budgets for HECA activities vary widely between ECAs, and some have no budgets (or very
small budgets) for management/promotion or works. We asked about budgets under four
main headings, and these are listed in Table 3 (below). Each ECA’s Total HECA Budget has
also been computed from the figures provided.

SUMMARY TABEL 3                 Managing/ Promotional              Works/Improvements         TOTAL
HECA BUDGETS IN 2003/4                Budgets                           Budgets               HECA
                                                                                             BUDGET
                              Internal   Levered        Total   Internal   Levered   Total
                                           -In                               -In
Base: All ECAs                 197         197           197     197         197      197      197
                              100%        100%          100%    100%        100%     100%     100%
% who have budgets of:
Nothing/no reply/not stated    26%        55%           28%      33%        42%      38%      19%
Under £10,000                  36%        16%           30%      3%         2%                14%
                                                                                     7%
£10,000 to £29,999             19%         7%           19%      5%         3%                8%
£30,000 to £79,999             11%         7%           9%       17%        14%      11%      11%
£80,000 to £249,999             3%         4%           8%       13%        11%      17%      12%
£250,000 to £749,999            1%         3%           6%       5%         9%       14%      17%
£750,000 to £1,249,999           -         1%             -      4%         2%                7%
£1,250,000-£1,999,999            -          -             -      4%          -       14%      5%
£2,000,000 or more               -          -             -      4%         3%                7%
Don’t know                      4%         6%            n/a     7%         8%        n/a      n/a

Over a quarter of local authorities appear to have no internal budget for managing or
promoting HECA, while over one third have less than £10,000 p.a.. But almost one third have
at least £10,000 and up to £79,999. A very few have even bigger budgets. Over half of these
197 local authorities appear to have no levered in funding to help promote HECA, while some
have modest contributions (under £10,000) and others much more substantial sums.

Budgets for HECA Improvements (e.g. works) also vary widely. One third of LAs appear to
have no internal budget at all. A few have up to £29,999. Quite a few have between £30,000
to £249,999, and some have even more – over £2m p.a. in a few cases. Levered-in budgets for
works are similar, although almost half the HECA Officers had no budget, did not list one, or
did not know what it was.

To find at the end of the 2003/4 financial year that so many HECA Officers have no budget
should be of serious concern. Altogether 19% of HECA Officers listed no budgets under all
of the four headings.

We also looked (see Table 15A) at how these total budgets were spread across ECAs by the
time and support devoted to HECA. There is no clear pattern. Some of the biggest budgets are
handled by HECA Officers who spend little time on HECA, and other big budgets by those
who spend more time on HECA and have some support.

In Table 15C we checked whether bigger levered-in budgets for works seemed to be
dependent on the numbers of partnerships formed. Although those few ECAs with budgets of
over £2m p.a. have between 4 and 8 partners, and most of those with budgets of £180,000 to
£1,249,999 have between 3 and 12 partners, there is no clear pattern which suggests that the
more partnerships an ECA makes the greater its budget.


                                                   11
We also looked at what effect (if any) the HECA Officers’ seniority, specialisms and
knowledge of energy efficiency might have on the size of HECA budgets – both the Total
Budget, and the budgets for management/promotion and works (see Tables 15D to 15F).

Seniority of the HECA Officer seemed to make no significant difference to the total budgets
for HECA, nor to the budgets for promotion or works (Table 15D).

But in terms of specialisms, we found that slightly more HECA Officers with housing
expertise tended to end up with no budgets for HECA promotion or works, whereas officers
with energy efficiency expertise tended to get bigger budgets for both promotion and works
than their colleagues with housing or environmental specialisms (Table 15E).

This finding is best corroborated by the analysis shown in Table 15F and in the charts below,
where we checked whether HECA Officers who felt they had more knowledge about the
technical and policy aspects of energy efficiency tended to have larger budgets: they do. We
find that more of those HECA Officers with extensive or expert knowledge in technical and/or
policy areas tend to get some budget (rather than no budget at all) and that some of them have
bigger budgets than their colleagues with less knowledge. These findings are illustrated in the
four charts below:

           HECA Management/Promo Budget - by knowledge of HECA Officer on
                            Technical aspects of En. Eff.
     100%
      80%                                                                          £250k+
                                                                                   £80k-249.9
      60%
                                                                                   £30k-79.9
      40%                                                                          £10k-29.9
                                                                                   <£10,000
      20%
                                                                                   None
        0%
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           HECA Management/Promo Budget - by knowledge of HECA Officer on
                             Policy aspects of En. Eff.
     100%
      80%                                                                          £250k+
                                                                                   £80k-249.9
      60%
                                                                                   £30k-79.9
      40%                                                                          £10k-29.9
                                                                                   <£10,000
      20%
                                                                                   None
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                                                  12
            HECA Works Budget - by knowledge of HECA Officer on Technical
                                 aspects of En. Eff.
     100%
      80%                                                                     £750k+
                                                                              £250k-749.9
      60%
                                                                              £80k-249.9
      40%                                                                     £30k-79.9
                                                                              <£29.9
      20%
                                                                              None
       0%




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          HECA Works Budget - by knowledge of HECA Officer on Policy aspects of
                                       En. Eff.
     100%
      80%                                                                     £750k+
                                                                              £250k-749.9
      60%
                                                                              £80k-249.9
      40%                                                                     £30k-79.9
                                                                              <£29.9
      20%
                                                                              None
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We also checked whether the development of larger budgets for HECA might be attributable
to how long the local authority had been running an energy efficiency programme (see Table
15G). Although we found that some ECAs which had started energy efficiency programmes
in the 1980s now had no budgets for HECA – 10% no budget at all, 29% no promotional
budget, and 19% no budget for works – we also found that some of these ECAs did have
higher budgets for promotion and works than some ECAs which started their energy
efficiency programmes later. But there was no clear overall pattern, as some ECAs which
only started their programmes after 1996 also have quite large budgets.

Finally (in Tables 2D and 15H) we looked at FTE time spent on HECA by the size of total
budgets for management and promotion of HECA, and by the size of total budgets for works
and improvements. Here we again found some evidence that where budgets of over £30,000
had been secured for managing and promoting HECA, more of those ECAs seemed to be
devoting at least 1.1 FTE time to HECA. And where works budgets of £80,000 or more were
in place, again more ECAs spent at least 1.1 FTE time on HECA. These findings are
illustrated in the two charts below:




                                                 13
             Total time (FTE) spent on HECA by Officer & Others in Dept - by size of
                               HECA Management/Promo Budget
     100%
      80%
                                                                                 2.1 or over
      60%                                                                        1.1 to 2.0
                                                                                 0.51 to 1.0
      40%                                                                        0.11 to 0.5
                                                                                 0.1 or less FTE
      20%
        0%
                 ALL      None   <£10,000 £10k-29.9 £30k-79.9   £80k-   £250k+
                                                                249.9




                                                                 (See also Tables 2D and 15A-H)


Time frames reported to DEFRA for achieving HECA targets

Almost half (47%) of all local authorities have reported 2011 as the timeframe for achieving
their HECA targets to DEFRA, with 25% reporting 2006. But a few have reported no date, an
interim or later date, and 15% of HECA Officers have no idea if any date has been reported at
all. 43 of our HECA Officers (22%) have no idea when their local authority started an energy
efficiency programme, and 47 started their programmes only in 1997 or later.

Most local authorities which started their energy efficiency programmes in the 1980s or early
1990s (i.e. before HECA) feel that they will not achieve their HECA targets until 2011.
However, some local authorities which did not start their energy efficiency programmes until
1996 or later have been able to report to DEFRA that they should achieve their targets by as
early as 2006, which seems highly optimistic.




                                               14
SUMMARY TABLE 4                        Since when has ECA run an Energy Efficiency programme:
DATES FOR ACHIEVING           All   Since 1990- 1996       1997   1998    1999 Never DK/Not
HECA – BY WHEN               ECAs   1980s    95                             or            stated
PROGRAMME STARTED                                                          later
Bases: All ECAs               197    21      33      51     17     12       18       2      43
                             100%
Date reported to DEFRA:
2006                         25%      5      11     18      3       2      5       -        6
2007-2010                     2%      -       -     1               -      1       -        2
2011                         47%     14      18     21      9       7      5       1       18
After 2011                    2%      -       1     1       1       -      -       -        1
No date reported to DEFRA     8%      -       -     4       4       -      3       1        4
Don’t know/not stated        15%      2       3     6       -       3      4       -       11

In terms of the regions, more ECAs in East Pennines have reported no date yet compared to
other areas, and more ECAs in the North East have reported target dates of 2006 or 2011, as
the following chart shows:


            Timeframes reported to DEFRA for achieving HECA Target -
                                    by Region
      100%
        80%
                                                                               DK/not stated
        60%                                                                    No date reported
                                                                               2012-2016
        40%
                                                                               By 2011
        20%                                                                    By 2006

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                                                                    (See also Tables 16 and 17)
Overall improvement targets reported to DEFRA

All HECA Officers were asked “What overall % Energy Efficiency Improvement Target have
you reported to DEFRA?” Unfortunately quite a few HECA Officers appear to have
misunderstood this question and rather than quoting any target have instead quoted their
improvement to date. In Summary Table 5 (overleaf) we have discounted those replies where
respondents quoted identical targets and improvements to date. This table then shows that
only 44% of HECA Officers feel that they will meet HECA targets of a 30% improvement or
better. Some 15% feel they will fall short of this target, and almost one fifth (19%) have
reported no target or do not know what target they will meet.




                                              15
SUMMARY TABLE 5: OVERALL % IMPROVEMENT                                All HECA Officers
TARGET REPORTED TO DEFRA
Base: All HECA Officers:                                                   197=100%
Number reporting Targets of:
10% or less                                                                     1%
11%-14%                                                                         2%
15%-19%                                                                         3%
20%-24%                                                                         4%
25%-29%                                                                         5%
30%                                                                            37%
31%-34%                                                                         6%
35% or more                                                                     1%
Don’t know                                                                      1%
None reported/not stated/no reply                                              18%
Confused by question and quoted % Improvement to date rather
than Improvement target                                                        22%

                                                                    (See also Tables 18 and 19)

How likely are Local Authorities to achieve their improvement targets, and why they may fail

Most HECA Officers believe that their local authority is not very likely (36%) or not at all
likely (22%) to achieve their HECA target. Only just over a third feel that it is quite likely
(29%) or very likely (9%) that HECA targets will be met.

The main reasons why so many HECA Officers feel that LAs are not very likely or not at all
likely to meet their HECA targets are:
       Base: All not very likely/not at all likely to meet HECA Targets:         114=100%
       No. who feel they won’t meet HECA targets because:
       Lack of money/funding/resources/people                                        60%
       Low take-up of grants/lack of incentives for fuel-rich/
       low motivation/apathy in private sector                                       16%
       Target is unrealistic/took no account of costs                                14%
       Lack of political will/commitment lacking/low profile/not high priority       14%
       Hard to treat homes/solid walls/old buildings/many flats                      10%
       Slow progress/little effort to date/goals not achieved in early years          7%

We have conducted further analysis to try to see why (or under what circumstances) most
HECA Officers feel that they are unlikely to meet their HECA targets. These analyses are
shown in Tables 20A to 20F, but their most notable feature is the lack of any obvious
variables which have a significant effect on HECA Officers’ confidence in meeting HECA
targets.

Not surprisingly more of those who have already claimed energy efficiency improvements of
over 16% feel they are very likely to meet their targets, while those who have so far claimed
more modest improvements feel that they are less likely to meet HECA’s 30% improvement
target (see Table 20A).


                                              16
HECA Officers who spend 11% to 50% of their time on HECA, and have some support, are
slightly more optimistic about meeting their targets – half feel that they are very likely or quite
likely to do so. But 74% HECA Officers who spend less than 10% of their time on HECA,
even if they have some support, feel that they are not very likely or not at all likely to meet
their targets. We also analysed this variable by FTE time spent on HECA This analysis
(summarised in the chart below and in Table 20C) showed that although some HECA Officers
whose ECAs spent 2.2 FTE time on HECA were more optimistic about meeting targets (20%
thought it very likely they would meet them) there were also more HECA Officers in this
group who thought it not very likely (40%) or not at all likely (20%). (Tables 20B and 20C).


                Likelihood of meeting Target - by time spent on HECA

     100%

       80%
                                                                                   Very likely
       60%                                                                         Quite likely
                                                                                   Not very likely
       40%                                                                         Not at all likely
                                                                                   Not stated
       20%

        0%
                 ALL      <0.1 FTE   0.11-0.5   0.51-1.0   1.1-2.0   2.1+ FTE


Where ECAs have established rather few partnerships (up to 5) then HECA Officers feel less
confident about meeting their targets, while more HECA Officers who have established six or
more partnerships feel confident that they are very likely or quite likely to meet those targets
(Table 20D) but again the differences are slight.

Where HECA Officers receive support from three or more departments (other than their own)
they tend to be only slightly more optimistic about meeting HECA targets than people who
receive less support or no support from other departments (Table 20E).

Where the ECA has energy efficiency improvement initiatives in both public and private
sector housing, then HECA Officers are slightly more optimistic about meeting targets (Table
20F).
                                                              (See Tables 20 to 20F and 21)


Summary of findings on the Energy Conservation Authorities

Our overall conclusions from this section are that many Energy Conservation Authorities are
in some disarray over HECA progress: some started their programmes late; some are not
giving high priority to any energy efficiency measures; and although plenty of partnerships
have been formed, most ECAs still have woefully small or non-existent budgets (or the
HECA Officers don’t know what they are). The only glimmer of light is that HECA Officers


                                                17
with more energy-related expertise, knowledge and roles tend to get bigger budgets for
HECA than colleagues in Housing or Environmental Departments. Although most ECAs
have reported to DEFRA their time-frames and targets for achieving HECA, only one
third of HECA officers feel these targets will probably be met. Most feel they are
unlikely to meet their targets, mainly because they have inadequate funding, resources
and people working on HECA, especially where they themselves spend less than 10% of
their own time on HECA.

We conclude that the resources being devoted to HECA, and the mechanisms for
funding progress, are urgently in need of review.




                                         18
Present arrangements for data collection and reporting for HECA

Most local authorities seem to collect a wide variety of data to help them monitor progress
and inform strategy – e.g. data from Warm Front, installers, fuel companies, EEACs, council
improvements, Building Control (see Table 22).

To monitor improvements in private sector housing (see Table 23) the DEFRA-approved
HECAMON software is less widely used than other data-collection methods: HECAMON is
used by only 11% of local authorities in their own surveys, and by 13% doing surveys
through outside agencies – so by 24% of all LAs. 35% use other questionnaires/software to
do surveys through consultants and 25% do such surveys themselves. Databases are also
popular, with almost one third of LAs (31%) building databases of the private sector.

At those 124 local authorities in our sample which do have some Council Stock (Table 24),
over half (53%) are relying on databases, over a quarter (27%) report known improvements
from installers, and slightly fewer either do their own surveys (26%) or use consultants
(23%). Very few use HECAMON either themselves (8%) or through outside agencies (7%).

SUMMARY TABLE 6                                                            All ECAs
DATA COLLECTED & METHODS USED                                             197=100%
No. who collect these data to monitor progress or inform
strategy:
Information from Warm Front/EAGA/Powergen                                       95%
Information from EEACs                                                          89%
Council private grants                                                          74%
Improvements to Council’s own stock                                             71%
Information from installers                                                     64%
Building Control                                                                60%
Information from EEC (fuel companies)                                           54%
DIY stores                                                                       5%
Other data                                                                      26%
None/no reply                                                                    1%
No. who use these methods to collect data for:                        Private           Public
                                                                       Sector           Sector
Base: All with housing stock in each sector:                         197=100%         124=100%
Survey of homes using other questionnaires/software by consultants      35%              23%
Simply report known improvements from installers                        34%              27%
Building database of entire housing stock in area                       31%              53%
Survey of homes using other questionnaires/software by Council          25%              26%
Estimates based on other sources                                        15%               6%
Survey of homes using HECAMON done by outside agency                    13%               7%
Survey of homes using HECAMON done by Council                           11%               8%
Other ways                                                              12%               9%
Don’t know/no reply/none of these                                        3%               5%

Where HECAMON surveys are done by or for 49 local authorities, they now seem to be done
mainly by post (71%) rather than by telephone (33%) or home visits (10%). But there are
significant differences in how these surveys are done by councils themselves and by
consultants. Most councils who use HECAMON use postal surveys (91%) despite some
known problems with low response rates and bias (see below); councils which use agencies




                                                19
for HECAMON surveys are fairly evenly split between postal (57%) and telephone (46%)
methods.
                                                                           (Table 25)

Reliability of methods

Most HECA Officers have little confidence that the methods they use for assessing progress
for their HECA Progress Reports are reliable. A quarter of HECA Officers (24%) simply
“don’t know” whether the methods they use are reliable or not; 16% feel their methods over-
estimate progress; 32% feel they under-estimate progress; and only 27% feel their methods
provide a pretty accurate assessment of progress. Results analysed by methods used are
shown in the chart below:


                                    Reliability of data collection methods

    100%                                                                                              Over-estimate a lot
     90%
     80%
     70%                                                                                              Over-estimate a little
     60%
     50%                                                                                              Pretty accurate
     40%
     30%
     20%                                                                                              Under-estimate
     10%                                                                                              slightly
      0%                                                                                              Under-estimate a lot
                          l                                                                       s
              AL
                L      ci           es        ey
                                                s
                                                         ey
                                                           s         rs        as
                                                                                 e
                                                                                       ce
                                                                                         s
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                   un           ci         rv          rv         lle                ur               Don't know
                  o          en                                 ta         tab               rw
                C         Ag            su          su      In
                                                              s
                                                                        Da        rs
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                                                                                           he
             by                      nt          il                                     Ot
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                                          ou           fro     ild
                                                                   i         ot
        AM AMO             on          rC         at
                                                     a
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                                                          Es


No one method emerges as being seen as more accurate than others, although those HECA
Officers who feel they have pretty accurate data tend to be the ones who use consultants or do
their own surveys (and a few who use HECAMON) or who build their own database of
properties. Estimates based on installers’ data or other sources are rarely seen as accurate.
But the continued lack of confidence in the methods used by most HECA Officers (several
years after beginning monitoring) suggests that many of the claimed rates of improvement
may be inaccurate, and that these inaccuracies may be compounded year on year. We
conclude that that the improvement rates being claimed (and the methods being used) merit
much closer scrutiny than they perhaps receive at the moment.
                                                                                   (Table 26)

Advantages of approaches used for collecting data

The main advantages of using some of these monitoring methods are that they are accurate
(28%), cheap/simple/quick (27%), or based on real data not assumptions (13% - e.g. data
from installers). The picture is somewhat blurred because many LAs use several methods and
did not often specify about which method they were writing, but no one method emerges as
having significant perceived advantages over others.



                                                                     20
Where ECAs do their own surveys of the private sector using HECAMON or other software,
they tend to feel this approach is more accurate than when it is done by an outside agency.
They also feel that HECAMON is cheaper and quicker when they do it themselves.

Although simply reporting known improvements from installers is seen as “cheap and simple”
(27%) and as “real data” (22%), it is not seen as being quite as accurate as other methods.

SUMMARY TABLE 7               All    HECA-        HECA-        Other     Other    Reporting    Building a     Estimates   Other
ADVANTAGES OF                         MON       MON done      surveys   surveys   improve-     database of   from other   ways
DATA COLLECTION                      done by    by Agencies   done by   done by     ments        entire        sources
                                     Council                  Consul-   Council     from          stock
METHODS                                                        tants              installers
Base: All using:               197    22           28           72        55        73            92            32         28
                              100%   100%         100%         100%      100%      100%          100%          100%       100%
Number who feel
advantages are:.               %       %            %            %        %          %             %            %          %
Accuracy/more reliable         28      36           29           29       33         25            36           25         32
Low cost/less time
consuming/simpler              27      32           21           25       20         27            18           34         46
Based on real figures          13       -           11            7       16         22            18           13         7
Gov approved method/
complies with guidelines       5       18           4            4         2          4            4             -          -
Database helps us target       4        9           -            1         5          1            5             3          4
Efficient as one consultant
working for several LAs        4        -           14           4         -          1            1             -          -
Postal survey response
better/cheaper/less            3       14           4            1         2          -            2             -          -
suspicion
Using EEAC to get 400
HECA returns saves time        2        -            -           3         2          -            1             3          7


                                                                                                                     (Table 27)

Disadvantages of using each data collection method

Table 28 shows the perceived disadvantages of using each method. The main drawbacks of
the commoner ways of collecting HECA data are summarised in the Summary Table below.

SUMMARY TABLE 8                All   HECA-       HECA-         Other     Other    Reporting    Building a     Estimates    Other
DISADVANTAGES OF                      MON       MON done      surveys   surveys   improve-     database of   from other    ways
DATA COLLECTION                      done by       by         done by   done by     ments        entire        sources
                                     Council     Agencies     Consult   Council     from          stock
METHODS                                                         ants              installers
Base: All using:               197     22           28         72        55          73            92           32          28
                              100%    100%         100%       100%      100%        100%          100%         100%        100%
Number who feel
disadvantages are:.            %        %           %           %         %           %             %            %          %
Costly/time consuming          26       32          25          24        35          23            29           16         25
Unreliable/inaccurate          26       18          29          22        22          30            25           41         14
Poor response rates            10       14          11          11        18           4             8            6          7
Missing data                   10        9           4          10        18          12            13            6         21
Biased/unrepresentative         9       23          11          11         9           5             7            -          7
Undetected/DIY measures         8        -           -          6         11          16             8           13          7
Different LAs use different
methods – not comparable       3            -        4          4         4            3            3                -      7
Reconciling data in
different formats              2        9            -          3         2            1            4             6         4


These data show that HECA Officers feel that the main disadvantages of methods they
currently use are that they are costly/time consuming (26%) and may be unreliable/inaccurate
(26%). HECAMON surveys done by the council are more often seen as costly/time
consuming (32%) and biased and unrepresentative (23%), whereas HECAMON surveys by
agencies are seen as less accurate than when done by Council. But data from installers and



                                                              21
other sources is seen as even more inaccurate. Poor response rates seem to be more of a
problem when councils do their own other surveys and missing data are also a problem then.

Where Councils do their own HECAMON surveys they often feel they are biased or
unrepresentative (23%), partly because they rely mainly on postal methods which have poor
response rates and because they have a relatively small sample size.

Although HECAMON surveys are seen as avoiding the problem of not picking up DIY
measures, this problem is recognised in other approaches, and particularly when using
information from installers.
                                                                            (Table 28)


Difficulties of using approaches to collecting data

Over half our sample of 197 HECA Officers (52%) reported no particular difficulties with the
data collection methods they use, but almost half do face some difficulties. The other main
problems with some of these data collection methods are as follows:

SUMMARY TABLE 9               All    HECA-      HECA-       Other     Other    Reporting    Building a     Estimates   Other
DIFFICULTIES WITH                     MON      MON done    surveys   surveys   improve-     database of   from other   ways
DATA COLLECTION                      done by      by       done by   done by     ments        entire        sources
                                     Council    Agencies   Consult   Council     from          stock
METHODS                                                      ants              installers
Base: All using:               197    22         28         72        55         73            92            32         28
                              100%   100%       100%       100%      100%       100%          100%          100%       100%
Number who face these
difficulties:                  %       %          %          %         %          %             %            %          %
None/no reply                  52      63         57         52        47         51            49           47         60
Getting info from HAs/
installers/EEC/DIY stores      14       -         14         14        15         22            15           22         25
Time consuming/lack of
resources                      11      18         4          7         13         10            11           13          -
Inaccurate/inadequate/diff
amounts data each year         11      9          4          13        20         14            14           16         7
Achieving random/
representative sample          7        -         4          8         7           7            8             6         7
Data Protection issues/ get
ting names/addr of electors    6        -         11         8         4           4            4             6         4
Data in diff. formats/hard
to use EEAC data               3       5           -         4          -          4            3             6          -
Data from consultants –
unsure of accuracy             2       5          7          4         4           1            2             -         4


                                                                                                               (Table 29)

Data collection methods used in the past but no longer used

Around half of the HECA Officers felt that they had not abandoned using any data collection
methods, or had not been in post long enough to know. But some had and HECAMON was
the method most frequently abandoned – by 11% of councils who had used it for their own
surveys and also by 11% who had used outside agencies.

Other sources of information which had been abandoned by a few councils were installers
(8%), Warm Front (7%), EEC (4%), EEACs (7%), DIY stores (7%) and information from
within the councils on grants (8%) and building control (7%) (see Table 35).




                                                           22
All the reasons for abandoning each of these data collection methods are shown in full in
Table 35A. But the main reasons were:

       Number abandoning any method:                                         71=100%
       Cost/lack of resources or time/current methods more cost-effective        25%
       Inaccurate/unreliable/little value                                        18%
       HECAMON not productive/poor return/small sample/in-house survey
       more productive                                                           11%
       Lack of co-operation – hard to get data from stores/installers/EEC        10%
       No longer have own (Council) housing stock                                10%
                                                                         (Tables 35 and 35A)

Annual budgets for data collection and surveys for HECA Reporting

Annual Budgets for collecting data for HECA reporting are generally non-existent or at best
modest. Almost two thirds of local authorities (62%) appear to have no budget for this at all;
30% have no more than £5,000 (and most have less than £2,000); very few (8%) have more.

With the cost of a HECAMON or similar survey conducted by research professionals now
ranging from perhaps £3,000 to £8,000, it is hardly surprising that half of all HECA officers
feel that they have inadequate budgets for data collection. But most of these are officers who
have no budget at all. Most HECA Officers who have any budget for data collection feel that
it is adequate.

Over half the councils doing HECAMON surveys feel they have adequate budgets, but where
councils are doing other surveys, collecting installer data, building databases or obtaining
estimates from other sources, more than half feel their data collection budgets are inadequate.
                                                                               (Tables 30 & 31)

Summary of findings on present arrangements for data collection and HECA reporting

From this review of the current methods used for collecting data and reporting progress, we
conclude that the situation is far from satisfactory: data are gleaned from a variety of sources
with minimal or non-existent budgets for data collection; only a quarter of HECA Officers
feel their approach provides an accurate assessment of progress; the “DEFRA-approved
method” (HECAMON) is but rarely used, and criticised for its cost, poor response rate,
inaccuracy and bias; almost a quarter of councils have abandoned using it and around half
seem never to have tried it; obtaining information from installers, fuel companies and others
also presents problems.

Given the very low budgets for data collection that are available, it is likely that many of the
annually reported “improvements” are based on sparse and unrepresentative information.
Double-counting may also be an issue. We conclude that Best Practice guidelines should
be provided by DEFRA (in consultation with research professionals) on the more
reliable ways of assessing improvements, and that councils are encouraged to set
realistic budgets both for HECA programmes and for monitoring progress.




                                              23
Percentage improvement in energy efficiency reported in 2003, and possible reasons for
effectiveness

The percentage improvement (since 1996) in energy efficiency (of the whole housing stock in
each ECA area) is the one figure in local authorities’ annual HECA Progress Reports which
should show the true effectiveness of their HECA programmes. If the quoted improvements
are correct (or nearly correct) then we would expect to find some close relationship between
the levels of activity, number of partnerships, budgets etc in each area, and the improvement
rate quoted in the 2003 HECA Progress Report. If and where we find good correlations we
might be able to identify factors which are particularly influential in helping to achieve high
levels of energy efficiency improvement. If we find few or no correlations, then we would
have to suspect that the percentage improvements quoted by many ECAs are suspect.

The Summary Table below shows the overall improvement rates claimed in the 2003 HECA
Progress Reports. The modal improvement in energy efficiency reported in these reports by
these local authorities is 8.1% to 12%, although 41% have reported improvements higher than
this. Since an analysis by the Association for the Conservation of Energy on all 2002 HECA
Progress Report suggests that at least a 12% improvement was required by then to achieve
HECA targets by 2011, it now seems probable that at least 60% of ECAs will not meet these
at the present rate of progress.

SUMMARY TABLE 10                                                                  Base: 197
OVERALL IMPROVEMENT CLAIMED SINCE 1996                                             100%
No. of HECA Officers reporting claimed Improvement Rate since 1996 of:
Less than 5%                                                                         10%
5.1% to 8%                                                                           10%
8.1% to 12%                                                                          35%
12.1% to 16%                                                                         26%
16.1% to 20%                                                                          7%
20.1% to 25%                                                                          4%
Over 25%                                                                              4%
Don’t know/not stated                                                                 2%
                                                                           (See also Table 32)

In our additional analysis, looking for explanations of the differences in improvement rates
claimed, we first looked at the numbers of partnership established by ECAs. Table 32A
explores Overall Improvement Claimed by Number of Partnerships formed. No clear pattern
emerges, and some LAs with few partnerships are claiming high % improvement; some with
many partnerships are claiming modest improvements. We cannot therefore conclude
(from these data) that a high number of partnerships explains some of the high
improvement rates claimed.

Table 32B analyses Overall Improvement Claimed by Time Spent on HECA and shows that
some HECA Officers who spent less than 10% of their time on HECA are claiming over 16%
improvement (are they being wildly optimistic?) while many who spend almost all their time
on HECA are claiming lower improvement rates.

Table 32C looks at Overall Improvement Claimed by Seniority of HECA Officer. No clear
pattern emerges. Most HECA Officers are non-managerial officers and some claim high
improvement rates.


                                             24
Table 32D looks at Overall Improvement Claimed by the number of other people in the same
team (in terms of Full Time Equivalent) also working on HECA, and by support from other
departments. Over half of those claiming over 16% improvement appear to have no support
from other team members, and a quarter seem to have no support from other departments.
These scenarios seem inconsistent with the improvements claimed.

Table 32E combines time spent by the HECA Officer with the availability of any other
support (from the same team or other departments), and FTE time spent on HECA, to analyse
Overall Improvement Claimed. It shows that some of the highest improvement rates (over
16%) are claimed where less than 0.1 FTE is spent on HECA (see Chart below) and by HECA
Officers who spend <10% time on HECA but who do have some other support. This again
seems an unlikely scenario in which to make such exceptional progress.


                          Improvement claimed - by FTE time spent on HECA
  100%                                                             6%
            14%                         15%           15%                       10%
   90%                    20%
   80%                                                            28%
   70%      26%           11%           28%           27%                             16.1% +
                                                                                50%
   60%                                                                                12.1%-16%
   50%                    43%
            35%                         25%                       44%                 8.1%-12%
   40%                                                40%
   30%                                                                          20%   Up to 8%
   20%                    14%           28%
            19%                                                   16%           15%   DK/not stated
   10%                                                19%
            5%            11%                                      6%            5%
    0%                                   4%            0%
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Table 32F looks at Overall Improvement Claimed by the Number of Other Departments
supporting HECA, and shows that most HECA Officers claiming high improvement rates
(over 16%) have only one other department supporting HECA. Most LAs which have
support from two or more departments tend to claim lower improvement rates.

Table 32G cross tabulates Overall Improvement Claimed by housing sectors in which LAs
have initiatives to improve energy efficiency. This shows that most councils claiming high
improvement rates have developed initiatives in both sectors, but some who have not are still
claiming high improvement rates. There is no clear evidence that councils which develop
initiatives in both sectors are doing significantly better.

Table 32H crosses Improvement Claimed with Total HECA Budgets and shows that almost
half of all the councils which are already claiming over 16% improvements in energy
efficiency either have no budget or an overall budget of under £10,000. This combination
seems so implausible that it too must put a question mark over the accuracy of the high
improvement levels claimed.

Table 32I (and Summary Table 11) look at Improvement Claimed by Data Collection
Methods used. It shows that Councils who do their own HECAMON surveys or other types of
surveys are claiming significantly higher improvement rates than councils which do
HECAMON or other surveys through outside agencies. This big difference should not arise




                                                       25
by chance and suggests that there could be some bias in council-run surveys which lead
them to report higher (and unrealistic) improvement rates.

SUMMARY TABLE 11           All    HECA-      HECA-       Other     Other    Reporting    Building a     Estimates   Other
OVERALL                            MON      MON done    surveys   surveys   improve-     database of   from other   ways
IMPROVEMENT                       done by      by       done by   done by     ments        entire        sources
                                  Council    Agencies   Consul-   Council     from          stock
CLAIMED BY DATA                                          tants              installers
COLLECTION
METHODS USED
Base: All using:            197    22         28         72        55         73            92            32         28
                           100%   100%       100%       100%      100%       100%          100%          100%       100%
No. claiming Improvement
Rate since 1996 of:         %       %          %          %         %          %             %            %          %
Up to 8%                   19%     14%        21%        15%       16%        22%           17%          16%        18%
8.1% to 12%                35%     14%        61%        31%       29%        37%           33%          47%        21%
12.1% to 16%               26%     45%        11%        26%       27%        21%           28%          28%        36%
16.1% and over             14%     23%         7%        19%       22%        15%           16%           6%        11%
Don’t know/no reply         5%      5%          -        8%         5%         5%            5%           3%        14%


Table 32J explores Improvement Claimed by how any surveys were done. Home Visits seem
to result in the highest claimed improvement rates, but the bases are too small for reliability.

Table 32K tabulates Overall Improvement Claimed by the Indicators used. No clear pattern
emerges.

Table 32L explores in more detail Improvement Claimed by monitoring methods used in
HECAMON and other surveys. There are indications that Postal HECAMON Surveys and
Other Postal Surveys done by the Council may be producing high improvement estimates,
which again suggests a methodological flaw may lead to too-high estimates. Some HECA
Officers have mentioned possibilities of bias in these methods (see “Disadvantages with data
collection methods”, above).

Table 32M looks at Overall Improvement Claimed by Knowledge of HECA Officers. It
shows that more HECA Officers with “extensive” or “expert” knowledge of the technical
and/or policy aspects of energy efficiency tend to claim quite high improvement rates (12.1%
to 16%). But it also shows that some HECA Officers with only “moderate” knowledge of
technical issues or “elementary” knowledge of policy issues also claim improvement rates
over 16%. This again seems an unlikely reality.

Table 32N analyses Overall Improvement Claimed by adequacy of budget for data collection.
Most of those councils claiming improvement rates over 16% appear to have inadequate,
unknown or no budgets for data collection. This too should undermine our confidence in
the improvement rates claimed.

Table 32O explores Overall Improvement Claimed by perceived Reliability of Monitoring
Methods. One quarter of those claiming 16%+ improvement rates feel their methods do over-
estimate progress, but a few feel they may even under-estimate it. Where reported
Improvement rates are low (<12%) more HECA Officers feel that their monitoring methods
may under-estimate progress a little or even a lot.

Table 32P looks at Overall Improvement Claimed by HECA Officers’ qualifications. HECA
Officers who are claiming the highest percentage improvements tend to be those with City &
Guilds, NHER or no energy qualifications at all, while those with undergraduate degrees tend
to be more conservative in their claims.



                                                        26
Table 32Q analyses Overall Improvement Claimed by the Specialism and the Department of
the HECA Officer. We find that HECA Officers whose specialism is energy tend to make
more conservative estimates of progress (e.g. 8-12% or 12-16%), whereas officers with
housing, environmental or chartered engineer/surveyor specialisms tend to be the ones
making the highest (over 16%) claims for improvements in energy efficiency. These results
are shown in the Chart below:
                             Improvement claimed - by HECA Officers' specialisms
  100%
                        9%                                             0%
   90%     14%                      18%             15%                                                13%
                                                                                             24%                16.1% +
   80%
                    27%                                               50%                              25%
   70%     26%                      22%             25%
   60%                                                                                       29%                12.1%-16%
   50%                                                                                                 25%      8.1%-12%
           35%                      31%             37%
   40%              49%                                               29%                    24%
   30%
   20%
                                                                                                       25%      Up to 8%
           19%                      20%
                    11%                             20%               21%                    24%
   10%
    0%      5%       4%              9%              3%                0%                     0%
                                                                                                       13%      DK/not stated
            L




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We also find that over most of the claims of 16% and higher improvements come from
officers based in Housing, Environment, Community Development or Regeneration, whereas
no such claims come from officers in energy management. This suggests to us that some
officers with more energy experience may be more realistic in their assessments of
progress, whereas some officers from other backgrounds may too readily accept over-
optimistic research findings or calculations.

Table 32R explores Overall Improvement Claimed by FTE time spent on HECA. We find
that 20% of ECAs where time spent on HECA is less than 0.1 FTE are claiming
improvements of 16.1% or over – which seems unlikely. ECAs which spend more time on
HECA claim more modest improvements.

Table 32S looks at Overall Improvement Claimed by data collection methods used in more
detail, and shows that the methods which tend to produce very high claimed rates of
improvement are the councils’ own HECAMON postal surveys, home visits surveys and
other telephone surveys, and other telephone surveys by consultants (see chart):
                              Improvement claimed - by monitoring methods
   100%
    90%
    80%
    70%
    60%
    50%
    40%
    30%
    20%
    10%
     0%
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                   Te EC
                                A
                                A




      ot Tel Co
  th el C ons




                              er
                               si




                                                                                                                    12.1%-16%
                             lta
                 Po EC




                 r P cil
               om sul




                           th
                r C sit
                            H




                            V
                           H




                            E




                            l
             Po su




            at aba
                          o
                         ta
                         H
                         H




                         C




                        O
                         n




                         e
            nc tal
                       al




                        e




                        C
                      Vi




                       o
                     on




                     m
                    on




                                                                                                                    8.1%-12%
                      y
        nc cil




                     al
                    st




                    fr
     tim at
                    s
                  nc




                    e
                  st
                  C
  ou un




                 m



                es
                 H
                 y
              ge




              er




                r



             ti
            he




               r
              o




              y




           he



           he
             y
             il




                                                                                                                    Up to 8%
          he
            H
            T




           in
           A




        nc
           C




          th




         or
        nc




        er




        ot
      ge




       ot
       er




       ot




       ld
      er
       ll




      O
       ll




   ge
  ge




   th
    A
   A




  ui
  th




    ll
   A




   ll



  ll
  ll




 ll
 A




 R




                                                                                                                    DK/NS
O
A




A



A
A




B
O
C




A




O




A




                                                                                                             (Tables 32 to 32S)


                                                            27
Revisions to figures in previous progress reports

Under one third of local authorities (31%) have ever revised the figures shown in previous
HECA Progress Reports (Table 33). But where figures have been revised the main reasons for
this seem to be that more accurate data has become available (especially after stock condition
or other surveys) – 41%, or that previous miscalculations and errors have been recognised,
and sometimes put right with new software (21%), or that the original baseline data have been
revised (18%).                                                                   (Table 33A)


Ways of estimating and revisions to 1996 Baseline Energy Consumption

Almost half (43%) of the HECA Officers now in post do not know how their 1996 Baseline
Energy Consumption figure was calculated (often because it was before their time as HECA
Officer). 20% used stock profile data and Sutherland’s Tables (now Salkent), while 23%
obtained estimates from consultants. 73% of LAs had made no revisions to these baseline
estimates since 1996, but 11% had revised consumption upwards, and 4% downwards. The
main reasons for revising figures was that they had recognised that earlier estimates were
incorrect as new data became available.                                         (Table 34)


Summary of findings on improvement rates and possible reasons for effectiveness

Our over-riding impression from these detailed analyses of the Overall Improvements
Claimed, are that there is little evidence of any significant causal link between most of the
factors we would expect to contribute to real progress in energy efficiency and the rates of
progress claimed. We also find evidence that the highest “improvement rates” (over 16%) are
often claimed by HECA Officers who can spend little time on HECA, have little or no
support, few partners, non-existent or small budgets for monitoring and works, who rely on
biased surveys, and have limited knowledge of energy efficiency (which is not their
specialism). That this could be a true picture of reality strains credibility.

We have to conclude that many Energy Conservation Authorities may be reporting
claimed rates of improvement which are wildly optimistic and inaccurate. We suggest
that all HECA Report data should be more thoroughly audited and assessed.




                                              28
Understanding of, and views on HECA requirements

In this section we look at HECA Officers’ understanding of the requirements of the Home
Energy Conservation Act, and their views on these.

Overall aims of the Act

Most HECA Officers have a good idea of the overall aims of the Home Energy Conservation
Act, but only half (50%) now feel it is primarily about energy efficiency; 40% feel it is all
about CO2 emissions, and 26% about reducing fuel consumption; a minority (20%) now feel it
is about tackling Fuel Poverty or meeting Kyoto targets on climate change (13%). Many
officers mentioned two or more aims (Table 36).

Indicator used for measuring improvements in energy efficiency

We asked HECA Officers which one indicator they used for measuring the % improvement in
energy efficiency. More local authorities (51%) now seem to use (wrongly) the reduction in
CO2 emissions as the key indicator in their reports, rather than theoretical reductions in fuel
usage which is used by only 33%. Two thirds of recently appointed HECA Officers (in the
last 12 months) seem to be using CO2 reductions as the indicator (Table 37).

How Government assesses and uses annual HECA Progress Reports

There is a great deal of cynicism among HECA Officers about how the Government assesses
HECA Progress Reports, the main views being no idea/a mystery (35%), or
cursorily/badly/superficially/poorly/slowly/not very well/no feed-back (29%). Only a few
HECA officers felt the Government actually looked at partnerships/schemes in place/check
something has been done (12%) or compares year on year savings/compares authorities
(17%) (Table 38).

HECA Officers are equally sceptical about how Government uses HECA Progress Reports.
Almost half aren’t sure any use is made of them at all; the rest feel they are used to assess
progress towards UK targets, to meet Kyoto commitments, or to compare local authorities
and their strategies (Table 39).

Views on current reporting requirements

Many HECA Officers feel that the current HECA Reporting requirements are either
ambiguous/unreliable and need a standardised method (26%), or they feel they are too
onerous and complicated (7%), too time consuming (9%) or pointless/a waste of time (10%).
Some feel that HECAMON and other methods provide an exaggerated and false picture of
progress (9%). A few complain about lack of feedback from DEFRA (7%). Only one in five
HECA Officers (21%) feel that the current requirements are adequate/reasonable/helpful
(Table 40).

Usefulness of the annual HECA Progress Reports

But despite their cynicism about the usefulness of HECA to the Government, most HECA
Officers feel that the Annual HECA Progress Report is either “quite useful” (44%) or “very



                                             29
useful” (21%), mainly because it helps them focus on progress and evaluate their strategy
(43%) (Table 41).

Usefulness of other programmes to HECA

We asked HECA Officers how useful they found a number of other programmes in their
HECA work: very useful, quite useful, not very useful or not at all useful, or not used/not
available to them. Each very useful rating was given 100 points, quite useful – 50, not very
useful – 25, and not at all useful – 0. The scores were then totalled and average to provide a
mean “usefulness score” for each organisation. The results are shown in the chart below:


                     Usefulness of Other Programmes to HECA Officers
                          0%   20%     40%        60%       80%       100%

                          C
                    /EE
             l  Cos Cs
         Fue EEA
                       ers                                                       % Using
                  Oth t
                         n
                    Fro
           W  arm ties                                                           Usefulness
                    ri
               Cha SP
                   LA
                       ion
                  Act
            H EC         lp
                   l He
            c  tica EA
         Pra         N
                          F
                     NR
                          B
                     SR
                       rog
                  sP
             tion nes
         ova        o
    Inn arm Z es
          W         on
                 n Z rp
           ctio        o
       th A ing C
  Heal      us
         Ho


Existing energy efficiency programmes which are widely used and seen by most HECA
Officers as very useful to their work are the Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC) - scoring
85 out of 100, EEACs (82), and Warm Front (81) (Table 42).

In Table 42A we explore whether finding several programmes very useful or quite useful
seems to have any effect on the Overall Improvement Claimed. Here we see that most ECAs
which are have found three to eight or more other programmes useful are claiming overall
improvement rates in the 8% to 16% range; there is no clear pattern that those who have
found more programmes useful are claiming very high improvement rates of over 16%.
Indeed we find that quite a few ECAs which have found no programmes useful, or only one,
two or three useful, are also claiming 16%+ improvement rates, which again seems unlikely.
This also suggests that although several of these programmes are seen as very useful, they are
not yet having a major impact on the overall effectiveness of HECA strategies, and that there
may be scope to ensure that these programmes and HECA Officers can work more effectively
together.
                                                                         (Tables 42 and 42A)


                                             30
Summary of findings on understanding and views on HECA

Although most HECA officers have a fair grasp of the overall aims of the Home Energy
Conservation Act, many feel it is primarily about reducing CO2 emissions and Fuel Poverty,
rather than improving energy efficiency, and more than half now use reductions in CO2 as
their key indicator in the HECA Progress Report. But although HECA Officers themselves
are mostly cynical about how Government assesses and uses their reports, they do themselves
find these reports useful, because they help them focus on progress and evaluate strategy.
However, many HECA Officers would like to see more use made of standardised reporting
and monitoring methods. We conclude that developing standardised methods for
reporting progress should be examined by DEFRA and adopted if practicable.

Several other programmes are now proving very useful to HECA Officers in their work (even
if their impact is not easily detectable) and we conclude that DEFRA needs to plan how
these programmes and HECA Officers can work together most effectively.




                                           31
Views on the future of HECA

In this section we look at the views of HECA Officers in terms of what they would like to see
in an “ideal world”, if they were not worried about money and resources.


What should be the aims of submitting an annual HECA Progress Report

HECA Officers feel that the main aims of the HECA Progress Reports should be monitoring
Fuel Poverty and ways to reduce it (82%), making the case for extra funding in the area
(79%), and monitoring progress towards HECA Targets (73%). (Table 43)


Views on requirements of the HECA Progress Reports

Around one third of all HECA Officers feel they should not be required to report on %
improvements in energy efficiency for all tenure categories. Instead more seem to feel that
they should be required to report on HECA Activities. (Table 44)

Tables 44A, B, C and D analyse HECA Officers’ views on HECA Reporting requirements by
the % of housing stock in each tenure. The data show that where Councils have significant
numbers of Council homes (over 1% of housing stock) most HECA Officers feel that they
should report on improvements and activities for this sector. Only about two thirds of HECA
Officers feel they should report on improvement rates in owner occupied homes, but 80% feel
they should report on activities: this varies little by the proportion of owner occupied stock.
Over half of HECA officers feel they should report on improvement rates in the private rented
sector and three quarters on activities; this varies little by % private rented stock. Over half
feel they should report improvements in Housing Association stock, and more on activities,
especially when the HA stock is over 20% of the housing stock. (Tables 44A, B, C and D)

Although 55% of HECA Officers feel that HECA Reports should include energy efficiency
information on all domestic tenures, rather more feel that the reports should be widened to
include Fuel Poverty in the area and progress towards reducing it (78%) and information on
the adoption of renewable energy technologies (62%). (Table 45)

There is also some support for HECA Progress Reports to be more closely linked to other
energy-related policies, e.g.: Decent Homes (71%), Home Buyer Energy Surveys and the EU
Buildings Directive (56%) and the Building Regulations (43%). (Table 46)


Energy supply data from fuel suppliers

Over three quarters of HECA Officers feel that if energy supply data were available from
energy suppliers, then these would be very useful (52%) or quite useful (24%). (Table 47)

HECA Officers feel they would mainly use data from fuel suppliers to check actual reductions
in fuel use (56%), to target areas with high consumption/high Fuel Poverty (22%) or to revise
Baseline Consumption estimates (7%).
                                                                            (Tables 47 & 48)



                                              32
Requirements which should be removed from the HECA Progress Report

Over two thirds of HECA Officers do not suggest that any current requirements should be
removed from the HECA Progress Reports, although a few would like to see the need to
report an annual improvement removed (7%), all the data (3%) or data for tricky sectors like
Housing Associations (3%) or Private Rented (2%). A few (6%) again called for a standard
method for calculating improvements in energy efficiency.
                                                                                 (Table 49)

What data should be collected, and how

Most HECA Officers would ideally like to see a wide range of data collected in their area to
help them assess the real rate of progress on HECA: energy efficiency measures installed in
last 12 months (83%), incidence of Fuel Poverty (78%), all energy efficiency measures now
in place (for year by year comparisons – 64%), full energy audit data including SAP ratings
(64%), energy efficiency measures which are appropriate but still missing (60%), fuel
consumption data for individual households (63%) and potential savings and costs of
installing missing measures (51%). (Table 50)

The main ways in which HECA Officers would like to see such data collected include: fuel
consumption data from energy suppliers (55%), a national energy efficiency database (46%),
sample surveys in our area (38%), and information from installers (35%). Less popular were
the ideas for co-ordinated regional sample surveys (24%) or even co-ordinated national
sample surveys (17%). (Table 51)

Almost all HECA Officers (94%) feel there should be a standardised method for HECA
Reporting, but with data collection costs met by central Government (77%) rather than by
each local authority (14%). (Table 51)

Table 51A cross tabulates by itself the ways in which HECA officers would like to see data
collected, showing that many HECA Officers mention several ways – e.g. various types of
sample surveys and a national database and/or fuel consumption data and/or information
from installers.

What HECA Progress data should be used for

Most HECA Officers fell that data collected for HECA Progress Reports should be used for
planning local HECA/energy strategy (84%), allocating extra funds to areas which need them
(65%), planning regional HECA/energy strategy (65%) or even planning national
HECA/energy strategy (61%) rather than for praising (34%) or criticising councils (23%).
(Table 52)

What indicators should be used

Opinions are divided over which indicators should be used in future to assess progress, with
almost equal numbers choosing % improvement in energy efficiency (57%), % CO2 reduction
(57%) and % reduction in fuel consumption (53%). A minority supported % of possible
measures still requiring installation (35%). (Table 52)




                                            33
How the baseline figures for this indicator should be set

HECA Officers’ replies about how baseline energy consumption figures should be set showed
little consensus. Almost half could not answer this question, and those that did more often
suggested information from fuel suppliers (14%) or local/regional/national surveys using a
common format (13%). (Table 53)

Few HECA Officers (15%) support continued use of their 1996 Baseline Energy
Consumption estimates. Most would prefer to see new baselines set for 2004/5 (41%) or the
1996 Baseline re-calculated using a common national method (30%). But most agree (71%)
that Government should audit and validate HECA Progress Reporting. (Table 55)

What new HECA target and timescale is the most realistic on to adopt

There is as yet little overall consensus among HECA Officers on the most realistic new
HECA Target and Timescale to adopt. Despite asking respondents to choose just one option,
many chose several along a sliding timescale – lower % improvement targets in the short term
and higher targets longer term. But there was little support for the current HECA target of
30% by 2010/2011, and most respondents suggested longer timescales for achieving HECA
targets.

Only 38% suggested some target by 2010, and most suggestions on this timescale were for
lower targets than the existing 30% target set under HECA (typically 10% to 20%).

39% of HECA Officers suggested some targets for 2015, and these were mostly in the 15% to
30% range.

33% of HECA Officers suggested targets for 2020 – mostly in the 20% to 40% range – which
suggests that at least one third of HECA Officers feel a much longer timescale is really
needed to achieve HECA targets.

A few HECA Officers chose the even longer time scales of 2025 (13%), 2030 (12%) or 2035
(8%) but when they did they too often suggested targets of 25% to 40%. All this suggest that
a sliding target/timescale may be more acceptable than any one fixed date and target which
may be hard for many local authorities to achieve. It also supports most HECA Officers’
views their ECA is unlikely to meet current HECA targets.

SUMMARY TABLE 12
SUGGESTED HECA                          Base: 197         Suggested HECA Improvement Targets
TIMESCALES &                             100%
TARGETS
No. of HECA Officers who felt              Any       5%   10%   15%   20%   25%   30%   35%    40%
more realistic timescales/targets for   mentioning
HECA should be:                          this year
Realistic target by 2010                   38%       3%   5%    7%    13%   3%    7%    1%      -
Realistic target by 2015                   39%        -   5%    8%    9%    4%    8%    5%     1%
Realistic target by 2020                   33%        -   1%    4%    7%    4%    9%    2%     7%
Realistic target by 2025                   13%        -    -     -    3%    3%    4%    3%     2%
Realistic target by 2030                   12%        -    -     -    1%    3%    2%    2%     5%
Realistic target by 2035                    6%        -    -    1%     -    1%    3%    2%     2%
                                                                                        (Table 54)



                                                     34
How the Government should assess the HECA performance of local authorities

Most HECA Officers would like to see the Government assess the HECA performance of
local authorities on a combination of indicators and strategy appraisal (71%), or just on an
appraisal of their strategy (16%) rather than on indicators alone (6%). Just over half of all
HECA Officers (53%) feel that local authorities’ progress should be compared, with some
support for doing this by performance quartiles (20%), “league tables” (14%) and 5-point
scales as used with HIP (14%). (Table 56)

How the Government should encourage HECA Progress Reporting

Most HECA Officers would also like to see more incentives (61%), and only a few would like
to see more penalties (13%), to encourage HECA Progress Reporting; but a third want none
of these. Extra funding/resources/grants (27%) is seen as the best incentive, with a few
respondents (8%) calling for the funding of Best Practice and rewards of ring-fenced funding
for better performing LAs. (Table 57)

How any extra resources from Government should be prioritised

We asked HECA Officers how they felt any extra funding should be prioritised. The
targeting of hard to heat homes/Fuel Poverty/deprived areas was the most frequent
suggestion (34%), with funding full-time HECA Officers and funding measures regardless of
means (both suggested by 8%) the next. (Table 58)

Training for HECA Officers

Most HECA officers (57%) feel that some form of qualification training would help them
perform their jobs; HECA Officers with only one or two years in post support this idea the
most. (Table 59)

Other views and comments

Table 60 lists the main categories of “other views and comments” which were given in
response to the final question. 40% of HECA Officers added some final comments, and the
commoner points raised were:

       Number of HECA Officers interviewed:                                        197=100%
       No. who commented that:
        A standard calculation/reporting method needed/LAs “creative” with
       their calculations                                                                8%
       More recognition needed for HECA Officers/make post statutory                     5%
       Raise profile of HECA/make LAs aware of its importance                            4%
       Need more funding/budgets/Government should fund                                  4%
       More integration of local strategies/integrate with national housing policy       3%
       Questionnaire took ages/too long                                                  3%

                                                                                  (Table 60)




                                            35
Summary of findings on views on the future of HECA

Most HECA Officers see a need to retain the HECA Progress Report as a way of monitoring
reductions in Fuel Poverty and ways to reduce it, making the case for extra funding, for
monitoring HECA targets and even for reporting progress on renewable energy. Some HECA
Officers it is true would rather they did not have to report progress for tenures where they
have no control, and would like to see more emphasis on reporting HECA activities and more
links with other energy-related policies.

A big majority of HECA Officers would also like to see a standardised method for HECA
reporting with the data collection costs (for a wide range of data) met by central Government.
They would also like to see their reports audited and validated.

Perhaps because they have such difficulties getting other forms of data, there is also a
widespread belief that energy supply data from fuel companies would be very useful for
checking progress, targeting wasteful areas, and even resetting baseline consumption figures.

The main purpose of any such revised programme of data collection and reporting should be
planning HECA/energy strategy and the allocation of funds rather than for praising or
criticising councils, say HECA Officers. Where reports are appraised this should be on a
combination of indicators and strategy, not just on indicators alone.

HECA Officers seem in little doubt that the present HECA targets and timescales are
unrealistic, as most would like to see more time given to achieve targets for improvement of
30% or more. They would like to see incentives for progress reporting, and more funding for
deprived areas and full-time HECA Officers, who should also be trained.

From our analysis of this consultation study we believe that many of these suggestions
are sensible and should be seriously considered by DEFRA in its review of HECA.




                                             36
KEY FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

1.   Only 53% of HECA Officers have been in post for over 3 years, and 15% have been in
     post for no more than a year. This may hinder the continuity of some ECAs’ HECA
     programmes.

2.   Almost a quarter (22%) of all HECA Officers in England have no energy-related
     qualifications at all. But other have City & Guilds Energy Awareness (46%), an
     undergraduate or postgraduate degree (42%), or a qualification in NHER auditing
     23%). Over half of all HECA Officers (57%) support the idea of some qualification
     training for their job.

3.   Although 10% of HECA Officers in England still feel that they have only elementary
     or beginner’s knowledge of the technical and policy aspects of energy efficiency,
     almost half feel they have extensive or expert knowledge in both these areas.

4.   But the vast majority of HECA Officers (91%) are under-resourced for the major task
     of encouraging 30% improvements in energy efficiency by 2011. Only 9% can spend
     at least half their time on HECA and count on support from their own department and
     other departments of the council. Most ECAs can spare no more than one FTE (Full
     Time Equivalent) person to work on HECA. We recommend that the UK HECA
     Forum and DEFRA develop and publish Best Practice Guidelines for the appointment,
     training and support of full-time HECA Officers to remedy this situation.

5.   Many Energy Conservation Authorities are behind schedule on progress towards
     meeting HECA targets: only 28% had any energy efficiency strategies pre-1995; about
     half (52%) have started energy efficiency strategies since 1996 (a few only recently);
     and some 20% of HECA Officers do not know when their ECA started any
     programme.

6.   Many ECAs’ budgets for management and promotion of HECA aims, and for works,
     are non-existent or woefully small; and most HECA Officers (58%) themselves feel
     that, despite their best efforts, their local authority is unlikely to meet its HECA
     targets. The main reasons for this are inadequate funding, people and resources. We
     recommend an urgent review of the resources available for funding progress under
     HECA.

7.   Existing arrangements for collecting data and reporting progress on HECA are
     unsatisfactory. Budgets are mostly inadequate for conducting proper surveys, and
     data are gleaned from a variety of sources. The officially-approved HECAMON
     survey software is not widely used, and is in any case criticised for its cost, poor
     response rate, inaccuracy and bias. Only one quarter of HECA Officers feel that their
     approach to assessing progress is accurate. We recommend that Best Practice
     Guidelines should be developed by DEFRA (in consultation with research
     professionals) on the more reliable ways of assessing improvements, and that councils
     are encouraged to set (or are provided with) realistic budgets for monitoring.

8.   A detailed analysis of the Overall Improvement Percentages claimed by ECAs in their
     2003 HECA Progress Reports shows up no significant causal factors for apparent
     “good performance”. Instead we find that the highest “improvement rates” are often


                                          37
      claimed by HECA Officers who spend little time on HECA, who have little or no
      support, few partners and minimal or non-existent budgets, who rely on biased surveys
      and have limited knowledge of energy efficiency. Many officers also base their
      estimates on CO2 savings rather improvements in energy efficiency. From this
      evidence we have had to conclude that many Energy Conservation Authorities may be
      reporting wildly optimistic and inaccurate “improvement rates” and that real progress
      towards the 30% target may be way behind the reported figures. We recommend that
      all HECA Report data should be more thoroughly audited and validated by DEFRA,
      especially as HECA Officers themselves would appreciate more feedback.

9.    Many HECA Officers are critical of the current HECA reporting arrangements,
      finding them ambiguous, unreliable, onerous, complicated, time-consuming, a waste
      of time and lacking any feedback from DEFRA. . Some feel HECAMON and other
      methods provide an over-optimistic view of progress. There is widespread support for
      a “standard method”.

10.   Despite these apparent shortcomings with monitoring and reporting, almost two thirds
      of HECA Officers themselves do find their annual HECA Progress Reports useful as a
      way of tracking progress, developing strategy and keeping HECA on the Council’s
      agenda. But they would like to see more use made of standardised monitoring and
      reporting methods. We recommend that the development of standardised methods
      should be examined by DEFRA and adopted if practicable.

11.   Several other energy programmes are now proving very useful to HECA Officers in
      their work – e.g. the Energy Efficiency Commitment, Energy Efficiency Advice
      Centres and Warm Front. But we could not yet detect any major impact on the
      effectiveness of ECAs’ HECA programmes, and we recommend that DEFRA needs to
      plan how these programmes and ECAs can work together more productively.

12.   Most HECA Officer favour retention of the HECA Progress Report, even if a few
      resent having to report progress on tenures where they have little influence. But they
      would like to see more emphasis on reporting HECA activities and more links with
      other energy-related policies. 94% support the development of standardised methods
      for data collection and reporting, and most (77%) feel data collection should be funded
      by Government. They also feel that these reports should be used more for planning
      HECA strategy (regionally and nationally as well as locally) and for allocating funds
      to the neediest areas, rather than for criticising some councils. Many HECA Officers
      would also like some training for their job. We recommend that DEFRA considers
      these suggestions in their review.

13.   There is no clear consensus among HECA Officers as to what data collection method
      is preferable for HECA reporting; there is support for various methods: fuel supplier
      data, a national database, installer data, and regional and national sample surveys.
      Most support collection of data on measures installed in the last 12 months (although
      this has been shown to over-estimate progress) while others favour an assessment of
      all energy efficiency measures now in place (or missing) for year by year comparisons
      (which are more accurate), or the collection of full energy audit data for SAP ratings.
      We recommend that these issues should be considered by DEFRA in their review.




                                            38
14.   Over half of all HECA Officers (53%) feel that ECAs should be compared, and most
      (71%) feel that the Government should assess and compare the performance of ECAs
      on a combination of indicators and strategy appraisal.

15.   Most HECA Officers (82%) now feel that Tackling Fuel Poverty should be the main
      aim of their HECA strategy, and many (78%) would like the scope of the HECA
      Progress Report widened to include this. Many (62%) also felt that HECA Reports
      should cover the adoption of renewable energy technologies. But when asked how any
      extra resources from Government should be prioritised, more HECA Officers (34%)
      suggested targeting hard to heat homes and Fuel Poor areas than anything else.

16.   Most HECA Officers feel it is unlikely that their ECA can meet the current HECA
      target by 2011. An independent review of progress made since 1996 could confirm
      this, especially if many HEC Progress Reports are inaccurate, and we recommend that
      this is carried out. HECA Officers would like to see more time given for achieving
      the HECA target – e.g. a 20% target by 2010 and 30% by 2020. To help them achieve
      HECA targets they would also like more recognition and support for their role within
      their council, more funding and a higher profile for HECA. We recommend that
      DEFRA considers all these issues in a detailed review. Many of these findings
      suggest that the aims of the Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 will take more time
      to achieve, and that new, more co-ordinated and better funded approach will be needed
      to achieve it.




                                           39
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE HECA REGIONAL CHAIRS

On the basis of this report by New Perspectives, the HECA Regional Chairs from English
HECA Fora have prepared the following recommendations for DEFRA on behalf of all
HECA Officers in England:

1.    That DEFRA supports the dissemination of Best Practice Guidelines for the
      appointment of full-time HECA Officers in all Energy Conservation Authorities.

2.    That DEFRA supports the development of a training and development programme for
      HECA Officers.

3.    That DEFRA does more to increase the recognition of HECA Officers and raise the
      profile of HECA within local government.

4.    That DEFRA secures sufficient and sustained funding for the national and
      regional HECA Fora Networks in the UK to provide support for
      under-resourced ECAs and to enable the dissemination of guidance and the
      sharing of good practice.

5.    That DEFRA increases the role of Regional Government Offices in supporting the
      delivery of HECA in their region, by establishing closer working relationships
      between the Regional Offices and their Regional HECA Fora.

6.    That DEFRA urgently reviews the resources available for funding progress under
      HECA, including an examination of how the various energy efficiency programmes
      can assist ECAs in meeting their HECA targets.

7.    That DEFRA overhauls the current format of HECA Progress Reports, with changes
      to take effect from 2005, by:
      *       Introducing a standardised HECA data collection format.
      *       Requiring the setting of new baselines through standardised methodology.
      *       Allowing the setting of revised, challenging yet achievable targets and
              timeframes which take better account of local circumstances.

8.    That DEFRA urgently reviews methods for revising baseline figures and provides
      guidance to ECAs on how this should be achieved.

9.    That DEFRA urgently reviews the data collection methods to be used in the
      standardised data collection format and provides detailed guidance on how this should
      be undertaken.

10.   That DEFRA considers ways of assisting Councils with the costs of producing their
      HECA Progress Reports.

11.   That DEFRA considers how the HECA Progress Reports should be audited and
      validated.

12.   That DEFRA provides more prompt and detailed feedback to ECAs on the
      effectiveness of their HECA Strategies.


                                           40
TABLES
APPENDIX
The Questionnaire
                     HECA OFFICERS’ VIEWS ON THE FUTURE OF HECA
                              2004 CONSULTATION SURVEY

Please complete this Questionnaire and return it to New Perspectives in the Freepost envelope
enclosed by 9th April. The results of this survey will be used by the UK HECA Fora Secretariat to
feed into DEFRA’s consultation on the future of HECA. Your personal views and details will be
held in confidence and not associated with you or your local authority. Thank you for your help.

Your details and background

Q1.    Your name:………………………......................Job Title........................................................

Q2.    Local Authority....................................................Department/Team:......…….………..........
       (We simply need these details to know not to send you a reminder to reply. All information will be treated in confidence and not
       associated with you or your local authority in the report.)


Q3.    HECA Region...........................................................................................................................

Q4a.   Are you the Officer with HECA responsibility?                                                                 Yes         
                                                                                                                      No         
      IF “No”: Q4b. What is your role?............................................................................................

Q5.    Which of these best describes your level in your local authority?
                      1st tier manager (e.g. Director)        4th tier manager (other Manager) 
           2 tier manager (Assistant Director) 
                nd
                                                                        Non-managerial officer          
                 3 tier manager (Head of Service)  Other (what?)...................................... 
                   rd


Q6.    For how long have you been the HECA Officer?
                               Less than 6 months                                                                   Over 3-5 years   
                          Over 6 months to 1 year                                                                  Over 5 to 7 years 
                                 Over 1 to 2 years                                                                   Over 7 years 
                                 Over 2 to 3 years 

Q7.    What percentage of your working time do you spend on HECA activities? ..…...…%

Q8.    How many other people (full-time equivalent) in your team also work on HECA?
                                                            Number........................                                                    None

Q9.    Apart from HECA, what other responsibilities do you have (if any)?

       ...............................................................................................................................................

Q10.   Please list any other departments which also contribute to your HECA activity?

       ...............................................................................................................................................

Q11.   What do you consider your professional specialism to be?

       ..............................................................................................................................................

Q12.   What energy-related educational/vocational qualifications do you have?
                           Undergraduate degree                     City & Guilds Energy Awareness 
                             Postgraduate degree                         NHER auditing qualification 
       Degree subject?....................................              Other............................................
       ..............................................................                                     None           

Q13.   How would you rate your knowledge of energy efficiency on:
       a) Technical Aspects: Elementary/beginner Moderate Extensive Expert
       b) Policy Issues:     Elementary/beginner Moderate Extensive Expert
                                                                          1
Your Local Authority

Q14.   Approximately what percentage of the homes in your local authority area fall into each of the
       following tenure bands?
        Council Owned (or ALMOs)?                Owner Occupied?             Privately Rented?          Housing Association?
                                          %                          %                            %                            %

Q15.   Since which year has your local authority run any programme to improve the energy
       efficiency of the housing stock in your area?                  Write in year.....................
                                                                              Don’t know             
                                                                                   Never 

Q16.   What energy efficiency measures has your local authority installed in private and public sector
       housing, and what priority do you give to each? (PLEASE TICK BOXES WHICH APPLY)

                   HOUSING SECTOR:                                        Private Sector                   Public Sector
                   PRIORITY GIVEN:                                      High         Low                High          Low
                   MEASURES INSTALLED                                  Priority     Priority           Priority     Priority
                   Loft insulation
                   Cavity wall insulation
                   Draught proofing
                   Hot tank jackets
                   Central heating/condensing boilers
                   External (solid) wall insulation
                   Internal (solid) wall insulation
                   Other energy efficiency measures
                   (which?)


                   Renewable energy measures (which?)



                   None

Q17.   Has your local authority formed any partnerships with any of these types of organisations to
       help you meet your HECA obligations?
                                Gas and electricity suppliers/Energy Efficiency Commitment                                      
                    Energy Efficiency Advice Centres/Local Authority Support Programme                                          
                                       Warm Front or its managing agents EAGA/Powergen                                        
                                            Housing Associations/Registered Social Landlords                                  
                                                                     Private landlord associations/groups                       
                                                    Care & Repair/Home Improvement Agencies                                   
                                                                                                                Schools 
                                                                 Primary Care Trusts/doctors’ surgeries                         
                                                                                                      Tenants Groups            
                                                                                               Community Groups                 
                                   National charities (e.g. Age Concern, Help the Aged etc.)                                    
                   Others (LIST)............................................................................................... 
                                                                                                                      None      
                                                                                                           Don’t Know           

Q18.   How much is your local authority’s 2003/4 budget for managing & promoting HECA?
                                                    Internal Budget: £...............................
                                    Funding levered in from partners: £...............................

Q19.   And how much is your local authority’s 2003/4 budget for HECA improvements (e.g. works)?
                                                    Internal Budget: £...............................
                                   Funding levered in from partners : £...............................

                                                             2
Q20a. What time frame (if any) have you reported to DEFRA                                                   2006 2011
      for achieving your HECA improvement target?                                              Other date (when?).............. 
                                                                                              No date reported to DEFRA 
                                                                                                               Don’t know 

Q20b. And what overall % Energy Efficiency Improvement Target have you reported to DEFRA?
                                                          ................. % None reported 

Q21a. How likely do you feel it is that your local authority will achieve the energy efficiency
      improvements required by the Act by that date?        Very     Quite   Not very Not at all
                                                                                           Likely          likely         likely         likely
                                                                                                                                     
IF “Not very likely” OR “Not at all likely”: Q21b. Why is that?

         ......................................................................................................................................

Present arrangements for data collection and reporting for HECA

Q22.     What data do you currently collect to help you monitor progress or to inform your energy
         efficiency strategy?
                               Information from Warm Front or their agents EAGA/Powergen                                         
                                               Information from other energy efficiency installers                               
                   Information on Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC) from fuel companies                                         
                                     Information on improvements to the Council’s own stock                                      
                                            Information from Energy Efficiency Advice Centres                                    
                                                                                            Council private grants               
                                                                                                    Building Control            
                                                                                                               DIY stores        
                    Other data (what?).......................................................................................... 
                                                                                                                       None      

Q23a. What methods do you now use to collect data (for each housing sector) to monitor/estimate
      your annual % improvement in energy efficiency to include in your HECA Progress Report?
      (PLEASE TICK ALL WHICH APPLY)                                                                       Private Council
                                                                                                           Sector   Stock
                     Survey of homes using HECAMON done by ourselves                                             
                Survey of homes using HECAMON done by outside agency                                             
      Survey of homes using other questionnaire/software by consultants                                          
      Survey of homes using other questionnaire/software by ourselves                                            
                          Simply report known improvements from installers                                         
                 Building a database of the entire housing stock in our area                                     
        Estimates based on other sources (What sources?)................................                           
       Other ways (What?)................................................................................          
                                                                                   None of these                   
                                                                                     Don’t Know                    
IF “HECAMON” OR “Other questionnaire/software” USED, PLEASE ANSWER Q23b:
Q23b. How are these surveys done?                              Telephone interviews                                                         
                                                                             Postal survey                                                  
                                                                               Home visits                                                  
                                       Other methods (how?).....................................                                          

Q24.     And how reliable do you feel that your approach is for measuring the real rate of progress?
                                                            Data over-estimate progress a lot    
                                                         Data over-estimate progress a little    
                                             Data are pretty accurate assessment of progress     
                                                       Data under-estimate progress slightly     
                                                          Data under-estimate progress a lot     
                                                                                Don’t know       
                                                                      3
Q25.   What are the advantages of using your approach to collecting data for HECA Reporting?
       (Where you use more than one method of data collection please specify to which one each advantage refers)

       ....................................................................................................................................................

       ....................................................................................................................................................

Q26.   And what are the disadvantages of using your approach to collecting data for HECA
       Reporting? (Where you use more than one method of data collection please specify to which one each disadvantage refers)

       ...................................................................................................................................................

       ...................................................................................................................................................

Q27.   Do you face any particular difficulties in using any of the types of data collection methods you
       use? (Where you use more than one method of data collection please specify to which one each difficulty refers)

       ..................................................................................................................................................

       ..................................................................................................................................................

Q28.   What is your annual budget for collecting data or carrying out surveys to measure progress for
       your HECA Report?                                                             £....................
                                                                                     None             

Q29.   And how adequate do you feel that this budget is for data collection and surveys?
                                                                       More than adequate                                                             
                                                                                  Adequate                                                            
                                                                                Inadequate                                                            
                                                                               Don’t know                                                             

Q30.   What overall percentage improvement in energy efficiency since 1996 did you report in your
       2003 HECA Progress Report?                                         %....................
       (Note: To anonymise the data in our report this will be expressed in broad bands)


Q31a. Have you ever revised the progress figures shown in previous HECA Progress Reports in the
      light of newer data or data collection methods?                            Yes       
                                                                                  No       
                                                                         Don’t know        

       IF “Yes”: Q31b. Why and how have you revised previous figures?

       .........................................................................................................................................

Q32.   How did you estimate the 1996 Baseline Energy Consumption figure which is shown in all
       your HECA Progress Reports?
                       Estimated from stock profile and Salkent data/Sutherland’s Tables                         
                                               Estimate provided by energy consultants                           
                                          From information provided by fuel suppliers                          
                        Other methods (What?)................................................................... 
                                        Don’t know/before my time as HECA Officer                              

Q33.   And have you revised this 1996 Baseline Energy Consumption estimate in any of your
       HECA Progress Reports? IF “Yes”: How?
                                                                No – no revisions made                                                                
                                            Yes – revised upwards (higher consumption)                                                                
                                       Yes – revised downwards (lower consumption)                                                                  
                                                                           Don’t know                                                                 


                                                                          4
Q34a. Apart from the methods of data collection you ticked above at Q22 or Q23, are there any other
      data collection methods which you have used in the past, but no longer use?
                          Information from Warm Front or their agents EAGA/Powergen                                    
                                        Information from other energy efficiency installers                            
              Information on Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC) from fuel companies                                    
                                 Information on improvements to the Council’s own stock                                
                                      Information from Energy Efficiency Advice Centres                                
                                                                                  Council private grants               
                                                                                          Building Control            
                                                                                                     DIY stores        
                                  Survey of homes using HECAMON done by ourselves                                    
                            Survey of homes using HECAMON done by outside agency                                     
                     Survey of homes using other questionnaire/software by consultants                               
                      Survey of homes using other questionnaire/software by ourselves                                
                                       Simply report known improvements from installers                                
                             Building a database of the entire housing stock in our area                             
                    Estimates based on other sources (What sources?)................................                   
                    Other ways (What?)................................................................................ 
                                                                                                             None      
                                                          Don’t know/not in post long enough                         

     IF ANY METHODS NO LONGER USED: Q34b. Why do you no longer use those methods?
                       (Where you no longer use more than one method of data collection please specify to which one each answer refers)


         ....................................................................................................................................................

         ....................................................................................................................................................

Understanding of and views on HECA and HECA Reporting arrangements
This next section looks at what you and all HECA Officers think about the whole aim of the Home Energy
Conservation Act 1995.

Q35.     What do you interpret the overall aims of the Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 to be?

         ..................................................................................................................................................

         ..................................................................................................................................................

Q36.     Which one of the following indicators do you use for measuring the % improvement in energy
         efficiency included in your HECA Report                       Reduction in CO2 emissions                    
                                                            Theoretical reduction in fuel usage                      
                                                        Reduction in actual fuel consumption                         
                                       Other (what?)................................................................ 
                                                                 None/Don’t do a HECA Report                         
                                                                                                 Don’t know          

Q37.     How do you believe the Government assesses the HECA Progress Reports which you submit?

         .................................................................................................................................................

         .................................................................................................................................................

Q38. How do you believe the Government uses the information in HECA Progress Reports?

         .................................................................................................................................................

       ..............................................................................................................................................


                                                                            5
Q39.      What are your views on the current requirements for the HECA Progress Reports?

          .................................................................................................................................................

          .................................................................................................................................................

Q40a. How useful is your annual HECA Progress Report to you in your role as HECA Officer?
                                                                                                       Very useful                 
                                                                                                      Quite useful                 
                                                                                               Not very useful                   
                                                                                                Not at all useful                  
                                                                                                     Don’t know                  
      Q40b. Why or how is that? ......................................................................................................

          ................................................................................................................................................

Q41.      How useful to you in your work as the HECA Officer is each of the following programmes?
                                                                                           Very        Quite Not very Not at                      Not used/
                                                                                          useful       useful useful all useful                   available
                      Warm Front or its managing agents                                                                                         
                                                      Warm Zones                                                                                
          Fuel companies/Energy Efficiency Commitment                                                                                           
                       Energy Efficiency Advice Centres                                                                                         
                   Local Authority Support Programme                                                                                          
                                                   Practical Help                                                                              
                                   Innovations Programme                                                                                       
                                                       HECAction                                                                               
                          National Energy Action (NEA)                                                                                          
                                  The Housing Corporation                                                                                       
                          Single Regeneration Pot/SRB                                                                                         
                     Neighbourhood Renewal Funding                                                                                           
                                         Health Action Zones                                                                                   
          Charities (which?).............................................                                                                      
          Others (which?).................................................                                                                     

Reshaping HECA and future reporting arrangements
In these next questions could you please consider what you would like to see “in an ideal world” – i.e. if you
were not worried about funding and resources.

Q42.      What do you feel should be the aims of submitting annual HECA Progress Reports? (PLEASE
          TICK ALL WHICH YOU FEEL APPLY)
                    Monitoring your progress toward energy efficiency targets set by HECA                     
                      Identifying opportunities for cost-effective improvements in your area                  
                                   Helping you evaluate the HECA initiatives in your area                   
                             Monitoring the extent of Fuel Poverty and the ways to reduce it                  
                     Helping you demonstrate energy efficiency problems to your Council                     
                      Making the case for extra funding for energy efficiency in your area                  
                    Any other aims (PLEASE STATE)............................................................ 
                                                                                          Don’t know          

Q43.      On which aspects do you feel you should be required to report for each tenure category?
          (TICK all that apply) a) % improvements in energy efficiency            b) HECA activities
                              Council owned stock                                               
                                  Owner occupied                                                
                                Privately rented                                              
                         Housing Association/RSL                                                
                                           None                                               
                                      Don’t know                                                
                                                                             6
Q44.   Do you think that the annual HECA Progress Report should be widened to include any of
       these other measures of progress towards sustainability? (PLEASE TICK ALL WHICH YOU
       FEEL SHOULD BE INCLUDED)
                                     Energy efficiency information on all domestic tenures              
                            Information on the adoption of renewable energy technologies                
             Information on fuel switching (e.g. from electricity to gas) so reducing CO2             
                               Information on local co-generation/energy from waste/CHP                 
                         Levels of Fuel Poverty in your area, and progress on reducing it             
               Energy efficiency progress in non-domestic/commercial/industrial sectors               
                                         Information on local Climate Change strategies               
                                Information on LA21 initiatives not connected with energy               
              Anything else which should be included? (What?)........................................ 
                                                                                 None of these          
                                                                                    Don’t know          

Q45.   With which, if any, of these other energy-related policies do you feel HECA Progress
       Reporting should be more closely linked?
                                                                                                  Best Value                                                        
                                                                                            Decent Homes                                                            
                                                                                Building Regulations                                                              
                                       Homebuyer Energy Surveys/EU Buildings Directive                                                                              
                      Any others? (Which?)..........................................................................                                                
                                                                                                 Don’t know                                                         
                                                                                                         None                                                    

Q46a. If energy supply data were available from fuel suppliers, how useful do you feel these data
      would be to you?
                                                                              Very useful       
                                                                           Quite useful       
                                                                        Not very useful       
                                                                         Not at all useful      
                                                                              Don’t know        

                                IF “Very useful/Quite useful”: Q46b. How would you use these data?

                .................................................................................................................................................

Q47.   Do you feel that any of the current requirements in the annual HECA Progress Report should
       be removed? Which?

       ................................................................................................................................................

       ................................................................................................................................................

Q48.   Ideally which of these data would you like to see collected in your area to help assess the real
       rate of progress on HECA?
                                  Energy efficiency measures installed in the past 12 months                             
                All energy efficiency measures now in place (for year by year comparisons)                               
                       Energy efficiency measures which are appropriate but still missing                              
                                 Potential savings and costs of installing missing measures                            
                           Energy efficiency measures which have broken or been removed                                  
                                   Full energy audit data (including SAP ratings) of homes                              
                                                       Incidence of Fuel Poverty in households                           
                          Fuel consumption data for individual households/the whole area                               
               Any other data? (What?)................................................................................ 
                                                                                                   Don’t know          
                                                                                                             None      


                                                                               7
Q49.   And how would you like to see these data collected?
                                                                 Sample survey in our LA area                                                       
                                              Co-ordinated Regional sample surveys                                                                 
                                                    Co-ordinated National sample surveys                                                            
                                                       A national energy efficiency database                                                          
                         Through fuel consumption data supplied by energy suppliers                                                                 
                                            Through information supplied by installers                                                              
                 In other ways (What?).............................................................................                                   
                                                                                             None of these                                            
                                                                                               Don’t Know                                             

Q50.   Do you feel that there should be a standard reporting format for HECA Progress Reports?
                                                                                                         Yes    
                                                                                                          No    
                                                                                          Don’t know          
                                        Other answers.......................................................... 

Q51.   Who do you feel should pay for any data collection needed to assess progress on HECA?
                                                                              Our Local Authority                                                     
                                                                               Central government                                                     
                               Others (Who?).................................................................                                       
                                                                                            Don’t know                                                
                                                              No one – it’s not worth doing                                                         

Q52.   What should any data collected for HECA Progress Reports be used for? (TICK ALL THAT
       APPLY)                                      Criticising poorly performing Councils                      
                                                          Praising Councils which do well                      
                                                  Planning local HECA/energy strategy                        
                                                Planning regional HECA/energy strategy                         
                                                Planning national HECA/energy strategy                         
                                    Allocating extra funds to areas which need them most                       
                         Other purposes (What?)............................................................. 
                                                                                           Don’t know          

Q53.   What indicators do you feel should be used in future to assess progress on energy efficiency?
                                          % improvement in energy efficiency (as now)                                
                                                                                         % CO2 reduction             
                                                                % reduction in fuel consumption                      
                                        % of possible measures still requiring installation                            
                 Other indicators (What?)............................................................................. 
                                                                                                None of these          
                                                                                                  Don’t Know           

Q54.   How do you feel the Baseline Figure for this indicator in your area should be set?

       ................................................................................................................................................

Q55.   Which ONE of the following combinations of HECA Targets and Timescales do you feel is
       the most realistic one to adopt if a new target were chosen by Government? TICK ONE BOX
                                                  % Improvement (on chosen Indicator )since 1996 Baseline
       Timescale               5%              10%      15%         20%         25%          30%         35%                                         40%
       By 2010
       By 2015
       By 2020
       By 2025
       By 2030
       By 2035




                                                                          8
Q.56    Which of these approaches do you think should be used for Baseline Figures in future?
                                             Continue to use your existing 1996 Baseline                                                                  
                          New 1996 Baselines recalculated by a common national method                                                                     
                                                              New Baselines set in 2004/5                                                                 
                                  Other approach (what?)....................................................                                              
                                                                                         Don’t know                                                       

Q57.    Do you think Government should audit and validate                                          Yes                                                    
        HECA Progress Reporting?                                                                    No                                                    
                                              Other answers..............................................                                                 
                                                                                    Don’t know                                                          

Q58.    How do you think Government should assess the performance of local authorities on HECA?
                                                                                    On indicators alone             
                                                   On an appraisal of their HECA Strategy                           
                                  On a combination of Indicators & Strategy Appraisal                               
                    In other ways (How?)............................................................................. 
                                                                                                 Don’t Know           

Q59a.   Should the Government compare the HECA progress made by different local authorities?
                                                                                                         Yes    
                                                                                                          No    
                                                                                            Don’t know          
        IF “Yes”: Q59b. How should it compare local authorities?
                                                      On a 5-point scale as used with HIP                       
                                                  Placing LAs in performance Quartiles                          
                                                                              In a “League Table”               
                             Other suggestions................................................................. 
                                                                                            Don’t know          

Q60a. Do you feel that Government should encourage HECA Progress Reporting through the greater
      use of incentives and penalties?                             Yes – incentives      
                                                                    Yes – penalties      
                                                                              No       
      IF “Yes” TO EITHER INCENTIVES/PENALTIES: Q60b. How?

        ....................................................................................................................................................

Q61.    If the Government were to make extra resources available for HECA programmes, how do
        you feel that these should be prioritised?

        ...............................................................................................................................................

Q62.    Do you feel that some form of qualification training for HECA Officers                           Yes                                              
        would help you in performing your job as a HECA Officer?                                          No                                              
                                                                                          Don’t know                                                    
                                        Other answers..........................................................                                           

Q63.    Do you have any other views or comments you’d like to make?

        ...............................................................................................................................................

        ...............................................................................................................................................
Thank you for your help by completing this Questionnaire. Please return it by 9th April, 2004, in the
Freepost envelope supplied to: New Perspectives, Freepost IH 3971, Bealings Barn, Great Bealings,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP13 6BR. Your answers will be treated in confidence and not associated with
you or your local authority in the report. If you have any queries about this survey please telephone
New Perspectives on 01473 735638 or the UK HECA Fora Secretariat on 0116 299 5133.
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