Monday, 8 August 2011

Brent lagging behind on home insulation

A council by council area breakdown of how many British homes have been insulated by the Government’s energy saving scheme is published today. Kirklees Council where the Green Party spear-headed a systematic scheme is the top performing local authority.

Lagging lofts and filling cavity walls can save households over £100 in fuel bills every year. The figures, published by the Energy Saving Trust (EST), are released on a regional, council and constituency basis. They show how much loft and cavity wall insulation was professionally installed under the Government’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) up until 31 March 2011. The CERT places requirements on energy companies to help consumers cut their emissions through energy efficiency.

Energy companies have been told by the Coalition Government to increase the help they make available to people to insulate their homes and save money. A total of 3.5 million homes are set to benefit by December 2012 as a result of a tougher CERT.
Key statistics include:
  • Over the last year (April 2010 to March 2011), the largest number of insulation measures were installed in Birmingham (12,079); Leeds (11,244); Bradford (9,078); Fife (8,163); Wiltshire (7,872).
  • The lowest number of insulation measures were installed on the Isles of Scilly (0); Westminster (39); Kensington and Chelsea (177); Hackney (272); Shetland Islands (349).
  • The top five performing local authorities under the CERT scheme over the past three years, in terms of percentage of housing stock insulated, are Kirklees (24.8%); Isle of Anglesey (22.5%); Carmarthenshire (19.2%); South Ribble (19%); Wyre (18.2%).
  • The five local authorities that have seen the lowest percentage of the housing stock insulated over the past three years through CERT are City of London (<0.1%); Westminster (0.3%); Kensington and Chelsea (0.8%); Hackney (1.3%); Hammersmith and Fulham (1.6%).
How does Brent compare?

Over the 3 years, starting April 1st 2008 the figures for Brent's 100,177 homes are:
Year 1 152 cavity wall insulation, 752 loft insulation
Year 2 1,985 cavity wall insulation, 2,319 loft insulation
Year 3 358 cavity wall insulation,  913 loft insulation

In total 6% of homes have been treated compared with 24.8% in Kirklees. Although this is a higher figures than many London boroughs the decline in numbers this year is concerning. With energy bills again on the rise and the need to tackle climate change it is clear from the example of the higher performing authorities that Brent could and should be doing much more. Brent Green Party has called for a street by street programme of insulation measures on the Kirklees model in its Green Charter submission to Brent Council.

Described by the BBC as "unique to the UK" Kirklees Council, covering the Huddersfield area,  has achieved much with its Warm Front scheme which has been strongly pushed by the Greens. Kirklees' approach has been: let's get the whole job done and in the last 2 years the Council has filled 9,000 homes with cavity wall insulation and 18,000 homes with loft insulation.

Warm Front reduces bills for people by an average of £150 a year per home and makes a huge dent in fuel poverty. The scheme also gets unemployed builders back into work - it has created an estimated 200 jobs locally - and cuts carbon emissions - with "No catch!"

The long term benefits mean Kirklees Council is saving people £4.5 million a year. The scheme is so impressive that Scotland's Greens has been trying to bring it in nationwide.

LINK to main reports

Brent Green Party's submission on the Green Charter can be found HERE

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