Elmhurst submission to the ECC enquiry on priorities for holding Government to account

The Energy and Climate Change Committee is looking to gather views on which areas of DECCs policies will require particular scrutiny over the years to come. Responses will help inform the Committees future work programme and its priorities for holding Government to account. Elmhurst responded to the two questions posed:

Which DECC policy areas do you think require particular scrutiny over the next five years?

All Energy Efficiency Policies: ECO3 – ensure that this does not go back to deemed scoring measures, where there was little accountability on Carbon and Cost Savings. The measuring stick of EPCs should continue to be used but within a suitable QA framework; reducing bureaucracy from the current complex system, but vitally ensuring quality and accountability. Use the base EPC to link to other possible policy routes such as RHI, FITs and future versions of energy efficiency tools. Thereby the person who is not ‘fit’ for a particular measure may have another door open to them.

 Green Deal needs to re-organised, but effectively stripped of the overly complex bureaucracy and loops. The fundamental idea of ‘pay as you save’ should not be thrown away; but build upon the simple infrastructure of an EPC, plus a tailoured Occupancy Assessment, followed by a simple route to easy to understand finance.

 Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards – ensure this is effectively delivered to drive standards in the UKs poorest performing homes.

 Look at linking Council Tax to EPC ratings – driving demand from homeowners for energy efficiency?

 Remembering that the cheapest form of energy is the energy we don’t consume!

What should be the Committee’s scrutiny priorities over the next twelve months?

Build up confidence within the market place – recent announcements have disillusioned many who have invested very heavily in gearing up for Government policies. DECC must ensure that they build upon success and solutions that work rather than start all over again. Essential that the replacement for ECO2, is organised and understood by industry well in advance of April 2017.

Green Deal replacement – build upon the successes and removing the red tape to enable industry to deliver this policy ideal. If not done quickly the knowledge base and technology will disappear and be lost.  

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