§ Lord Brougham and Vaux
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What progress has been made in preparing updated guidance for local authorities on energy efficiency in council housing in follow up to interim guidance published last year.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment (The Earl of Arran)
I am pleased to inform the House that updated and consolidated guidance has been published today. A copy of the guidance, titledEnergy Efficiency in Council Housing, has been placed in the Library.
Improving energy efficiency in council housing brings benefits to tenants, landlords and the environ-ment. Tenants benefit from warmer, healthier homes which are cheaper to heat. Landlords gain from lower maintenance and management costs. The environment benefits from reductions on CO2 emissions.
Since last year, all local housing authorities have been expected to take account of energy efficiency in their housing strategies and investment programme submissions. Performance here is one of the factors taken into consideration in determining housing investment programme allocations.
The guidance, which draws on lessons from my department's successful green house demonstration programme and the Energy Efficiency Office's best 87WA practice programme, provides practical assistance on how to go about developing an effective energy efficiency policy. Accompanying the main guidance is a series of guides providing further advice on key themes such as funding sources for energy efficiency work, tenant consultation and the benefits that can flow from integrated packages of measures.
Some authorities have been making great strides on energy efficiency. We welcome that. But much remains to be done not only to combat environmental problems but also to maximise the scope for cost-effective energy efficiency action and getting added value from planned investment.*** I look to authorities to translate this important guidance into action.