HECA report 2023


  1. Introduction
  2. Statistics
  3. Energy Efficiency Schemes Overview
  4. Local Retrofit Supply Chain
  5. Social Housing Decarbonisation
  6. Fuel Poverty

1. Introduction

1.1. The Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 (HECA) requires all local authorities in the UK to submit reports demonstrating what energy conservation measures they have adopted to improve the energy efficiency of residential accommodation within that local authority. Reports are required to be published every two years.  The HECA reporting framework consists of a series of questions completed on an online portal.  This report draws on those responses and provides wider access and interpretation of the data so that the public are aware of the work Arun District Council is undertaking to meet HECA.

1.2. The UK Government is committed to a 100% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050 compared with 1990 levels. The government supports local authorities in setting their own priorities, ambitions, and any related targets as they are best placed to assess their local needs and judge what will achieve significant improvements based on their local circumstances.  

1.3. Recent legislation relating to the private rental sector (PRS) has been introduced to improve the energy efficiency of domestic properties in the rental sector.  The private rented sector is the second largest tenure in England and has grown significantly in the last 20 years. The proportion of private rented sector households has doubled since 1996 increasing from 2.1 million to 4.7 million in 2017  the growth has, however, slowed in recent years.  Compared to other tenures the PRS in England has the largest number of energy inefficient properties; with F and G energy performance certificate (EPC) ratings.  In addition, 45.7% of PRS households are classed as living in fuel poverty1.  

1.4. Arun District Council has an Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty Strategy 2020-2025 which addresses the energy efficiency of the housing stock in Arun.  Recognising that energy efficiency actions can have multiple benefits for the local area; environmentally, socially, and economically, the strategy explains the local impact and extent of fuel poverty across the district and identifies the opportunities for energy efficiency action in the area. This includes details of local work streams and programmes already in place which are addressing these issues such as the Home Energy Adviser service, the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS),  ECO4 and the Safe, Suitable and Warm Grant scheme.

1Department of Energy Security and Net Zero Annual FP statistics in England 2023 Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics LILEE Report 2023 (2022 data) (publishing.service.gov.uk)

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2. Statistics

Table 1: Carbon emissions for domestic properties (kt CO2e)2

Table 1: Carbon emissions for domestic properties (kt CO2e)2
Per capita emissions (t) 2005 2010 2015 2020 % reduction
Arun 372 353 267 220 40%
West Sussex 1,982 1,905 1,435 1,191 39%
National 152,970 145,616 109,513 90,738 40%

In the Arun district, CO2 emissions from domestic properties fell by 40% from 2005-20201; this is the national average and slightly greater than the West Sussex average. 

Table 2: Domestic energy consumption in Arun3

  Line graph showing the decline in average energy consumption in Arun from just over 4500 kWh in 2005 to 2000 kWh in 2020  

Energy consumption has continued to fall in Arun and particularly in the last few years. This indicates that there is an increased awareness of the need to save energy and that the energy efficiency of properties has improved.

2UK Local Authority and Regional CO2 Emissions National Statistics June 2020 UK local authority and regional greenhouse gas emissions national statistics, 2005 to 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

3Sub-national electricity consumption statistics 2005 to 2020 Regional and local authority electricity consumption statistics - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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3. Energy efficiency schemes overview

Arun District Council has developed and continued various schemes and projects over the last two years to promote carbon reduction and energy efficiency to our residents and improve the condition of housing in the district.

3.1 Safe, Suitable and Warm scheme

Arun District Council offer Safe, Suitable and Warm grants for domestic properties funded through the WSCC Better Care Fund.  These help homeowners on a low income and with a health condition to access fully funded grants for heating replacements and repairs.  We administer these directly from the council. In addition to heating systems, park home insulation grants are provided these consist of external wall and underfloor insulation.   Approximately 150 grants were awarded with just under £500,000 spent on boiler upgrades and park home insulation over the last two years.

Feedback has shown residents are very appreciative of the support helping many people in significant crisis situations to stay warm.   

MJ “Thought you would like to know that when I received our gas bill for August-October, our gas was down 11% due to the underfloor insulation you kindly arranged for us. Also, the thermostat is warm enough at 6 degrees, can you believe, instead of our normal 10/12 degrees, so a fantastic result. Thank you again for helping us, it is certainly warmer in our home, all due to you”.

CT “I am thrilled with my boiler a big thanks to you all, this is such a relief to have sorted and will help me recover faster”.

DP “you wouldn’t have believed the squeal of excitement ** had having hot water for the first time thank you all so much for arranging this for her, much appreciated” – This was a 92-year-old resident who had never had heating and hot water in her home, which she has lived in her whole life.

3.2 Home Energy Adviser Service

Arun District Council have a valuable Home Energy Adviser (HEA) Service.  Support is given to the most vulnerable residents in Arun living in fuel poverty.  The HEA undertakes approximately 180 home visits per year.  A range of energy saving advice is given to support the residents to stay warm in their homes. The Home Energy Advisor visits result in 75% of residents saving around £200 or more per annum.  This is through behaviour change, use of installed measures and through guidance regarding the best energy tariffs and access to a range of grants.

3.3 Emergency heater scheme

Arun District Council also has an emergency heater scheme run by the West Sussex Fuel Poverty Co-ordinator. This scheme provides emergency heaters to support residents in fuel poverty. Oil filled radiators are supplied to eligible residents whose heating is not working.

3.4 Solar Together Sussex scheme

Arun District Council is part of the consortium scheme lead by WSCC called Solar Together Sussex.  This is a collective purchasing scheme for solar PV, battery storage and EV charge points to domestic properties.  The scheme offers lower prices, higher quality, and council support.  Collective purchasing offers residents the security and confidence to install these renewable technologies.  Arun District Council have taken part in the 2020, 2021 and 2022 auctions and there has been significant uptake. The most recent auction has seen 103 residents in Arun sign up, of which 58 have been completed to date.  The installations procured through this scheme have so far has achieved 36,256 kg of carbon offset.

3.5 Local Authority Delivery (LAD) Scheme

Arun District Council were successful in a consortium bid led by Portsmouth City Council (PCC) involving several other local authorities for the LAD 1 funding of £17.7million. The LAD3 and Home Upgrade Grant (HUG1) funding combined being £4.1million.  Under LAD1and 3 and HUG1 579 homes were treated in Arun with 695 measures being installed.  HUG2 started in April 2023 and is running until March 2025. To date 51 households have been supported in Arun.         

The whole consortium consists of Portsmouth City Council, West Sussex District and Borough Councils, Gosport, Rutland, Peterborough, Havant, Winchester, and East Hampshire Councils. The managing agent is a company called Agility ECO appointed by PCC. LAD1 started in October 2020 and ran until June 2022.           

This funding is for energy efficiency measures such as insulation, solar panels, air source heat pumps and double glazing, to be installed in eligible properties.

Eligibility is based on household income being under £31,000 per annum and the property EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating being E, F or G (Some Ds are allowed).

3.6 Citizens Advice Energy Helpline Service

Citizens Advice run an energy helpline service which is available five days a week for residents to call and access energy support. This was established following a successful bid for Energy Redress funding that was supported by Arun District Council. In addition, the council has funded one full time member of staff at the helpline dedicated to Arun residents. This ran from January 2023-January 2024 dealing with over 120 people a month supporting around 450 energy saving activities.

3.7 LA Flex/ ECO4 

The West Sussex Local Authority Flexibility criteria (LA FLEX) is an energy saving scheme that utilises Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding for insulation. The scheme and the eligibility criteria have been set by the West Sussex Affordable Warmth Partnership, a partnership of all the West Sussex District and Borough Councils.  Arun District Council is the administrator for West Sussex. 

We support those households in most need, and who are vulnerable to living in a cold home. The LA flex scheme in 2022 supported 30 residents The new ECO4 scheme started in October 2023 and has so far supported  13 properties in the Arun district to access free energy efficiency measures. Arun District Council has produced a statement of Intent for ECO funding in conjunction with other district and borough councils across West Sussex. This is available on the Arun website Energy efficiency | Arun District Council

3.8 Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Project

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations) apply to all privately rented properties in England and Wales. To legally rent out a property they are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of at least an E. This legislation is enforced by local authorities.      

Arun District Council were successful The council was successful in a joint bid for funding from BEIS for a MEES project. This was a joint project with Chichester District Council. £76,500 was awarded for a project team to be appointed. The team identified non-compliant properties and scrutinise the exemption register. The project then went onto promote the legislation and encourage landlords to improve their properties. 

Enforcement policy and procedure has been set up and an updated enforcement policy was produced and approved by Members 22/01/22. Enforcement proceedings started on non-compliant properties where the landlord is not engaging. 

A training session took place on MEES to frontline staff.

An Arun and Chichester Landlord Forum which specifically focused on MEES took place on 30th March 2022.  This involved a talk from a solicitor about the legislation and a presentation on the grants available.

A dedicated webpage has been created on the Arun District Council Website to promote the legislation and offer support. Link below:

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard Regulations (MEES) | Arun District Council

An information leaflet was produced explaining the legislation and various letters have been sent out to landlords. A dedicated grant officer was allocated to support landlords on a 1:1 basis to help them understand and access grant funding available.

At the start of the project 945 properties were non-compliant across the two districts. As a result of the project this has been reduced to 71 (12 in Arun) and the EHOs are still working with these non-compliant properties to enforce improvement.  

The funding has been spent; however, the council still monitor new exemptions and periodically looks at the EPC register to determine if there are any more non-compliant properties. 

The Exemption Register is regularly reviewed, and landlords are contacted regarding their exemptions.

3.9 Empty Property Financial Assistance Scheme

The Empty Property Financial Assistance scheme offer non-repayable grants of £5,000 and loans for £10,000 interest free.  The funding is sourced internally. This is a rolling project so it is thought that over the next two years it is estimated a further £100,000 will be spent on improving the energy efficiency of vacant properties.

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4. Local Retrofit Supply Chain

The council promotes the installation of loft, cavity wall and external wall insulation.  These are promoted through case studies of best practice.  No specific makes of product are advised. We have a select list of installers and through our Local Authority Flex/ECO4 Schemes, support residents to insulate their homes accessing grants. Due diligence is carried out to ensure these contractors are working to a high standard. 

We have been running a park home insulation scheme and therefore we have approached several external wall insulation contractors.  We have found this a niche market with very few companies offering this service.   Through the Trustmark accreditation materials are sourced locally as a requirement of this scheme. 

Renewable products have also been promoted through the website and case studies such as the promotion of air source heat pumps and solar PV.

The Solar Together Sussex scheme involves several of the PV Solar contractors being approached and asked to tender.  The winning contractor uses many vetted, smaller PV sub-contractors to undertake the works. 

We have worked with companies such as Retrofit Works and AgilityEco to ascertain supply chains and understand their capacity to support decarbonisation projects.  

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5. Social Housing Decarbonisation

There have been a significant number of reactive repairs undertaken between March 2021 and March 2023.  From March 2023 the Council have implemented a roofing programme with a spend of £1million.  This has been a combination of pitched domestic roof replacements and flat roof replacements to blocks of flats etc. Pitched roof replacements have included loft insulation upgrade to current standards and the replacement of soffits, facias, and gutters. Flat roof replacement has upgraded insulation to current building regs standards. 

A window and door replacement scheme has involved the replacement of timber single glazed and old double-glazed units with new UPVC double glazed units that are FENSA registered.  Doors have been upgraded to UPVC double glazed doors or powder coated aluminium where required. £150,000 has been spent to date.   Fire doors have been upgraded through a replacement programme, £400,000 has been spent to date.  This is mainly to flats and sheltered housing. 

It has been identified that a housing stock condition and decarbonisation survey would help to ascertain the required energy efficiency works required to raise EPC ratings.  £500,000 has been budgeted for this and it is hoped it will commence in 2024.

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6. Fuel Poverty 

Arun District Council has a Fuel Poverty action plan: FUEL POVERTY: WEST SUSSEX FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION 2021- 2026

Vision: To work towards a West Sussex where residents have the information, resources and support available so that they can afford to keep warm and well in their homes.

Aims: 1. To support and empower residents to improve household energy efficiency, reduce their energy costs, and increase income. 2. To identify and support residents in the greatest need, and at most risk of living in a cold home.

6.1 Actions to reduce Fuel Poverty 

West Sussex currently offers: HUG funding and a West Sussex ECO4 Flex energy efficiency scheme. As set out in our fuel poverty framework, our focus is on improving the lowest performing EPC’s first. We also have a webpage proving information and further support to apply for national and local energy efficiency grants across West Sussex. This information is also shared with frontline organisations through a One Drive Document that is regularly updated.  https://westsussexenergy.co.uk/heating-and-insulation-grants/ Residents can also contact a local home energy telephone advice service where advisors have access to this funding list and eligibility criteria.

6.2 Actions to increase financial support to low income or vulnerable households 

Fuel poverty framework for action: “Key priority 4. INCOME MAXIMISATION Work alongside community groups and partners to enhance the provision and diversity of income maximisation advice and signposting. Work in an effective, informed and coordinated way with partners to increase household income of the fuel poor - ensuring maximum take-up of national government and local forms of financial support” Action includes regular home energy frontline workers meeting, the promotion of Council and other cost of living support schemes. 

The council work with community partners to deliver and promote the variety of home energy and energy saving schemes to residents and frontline workers. 

Fund and coordinate the West Sussex Emergency Heater scheme for low-income households with a broken heating system. (Loan of 2 oil filled radiators until the heating is fixed or replaced). 

Energy saving/keeping warm training available for vulnerable hard to reach communities/residents – funded and delivered by community partners.

The council provides Safe Suitable Warm grants for vulnerable residents with broken heating systems.  

Household Support funding is being used for home energy support, housing benefit payments, energy, food and clothing vouchers.

The council supports the Citizens Advice energy helpline and offer Home Energy Advice support.