Issue - meetings

Issue - meetings

Energy Strategy - Housing & Property

Meeting: 05/10/2016 - Housing Panel (Panel of the Scrutiny Committee) (Item 68)

68 Energy Strategy - Housing & Property pdf icon PDF 272 KB



Background Information


The Panel asked to pre-scrutinise a decision on the Council’s Housing Energy Strategy.  This decision was deferred indefinitely but in it was agreed that a briefing would be provided to the Housing Panel and this item was included in the Panel’s work plan for 2016/17.


Why is it on the agenda?


The Panel is asked to note and comment on the report. The Panel may also wish to agree one or more recommendations to put to the City Executive Board in November.


Who has been invited to comment?


·         Cllr Mike Rowley, Board Member for Housing;

·         Debbie Haynes, Energy Efficiency Projects Officer.





Additional documents:


The Energy Efficiency Projects Officer provided a presentation of the Council’s Energy Strategy 2016-20 (published as a supplement to the main agenda) and offered to provide a written response to Councillor Wolff’s submission (also published as a supplement to the main agenda).  She said that the Council used the affordable warmth definition of fuel poverty and that the health impacts of fuel poverty were huge.


The Panel heard that the Council was evaluating the work of the two Energy Advice Officers, who were being employed for two years and were aiming to make contact with all Council tenants.  £37k of savings had already been identified from people accessing the Warm Homes Discount but it was not possible to quantify everything, for example the benefits of behavioural changes supported by the officers.  Officers had found that some households and in particular older tenants had refused to switch from electrical to gas heating, the likely reasons being that they had reservations about gas or because they did not want intrusive work taking place in their homes for a week or more.


The Panel questioned how thermal efficiency was measured and heard that SAP calculations were used.  SAP calculations did not tell you everything but they formed the basis of the energy performance certificates, therefore offer the standard accepted energy approach. In addition, the BRE Home Quality Mark can be used for newbuilds, housing stock data adds value and information on energy performance and the Council’s surveyors had excellent local knowledge which all improved accuracy of data.


In response to a question about the use of heat pumps, the Panel heard that there were three different kinds; ground source, air source and water source.  They were run on electricity so they were not renewable but in principle, they worked in the reverse way to a fridge.  If well installed and used correctly, heat pumps could provide a 3:1 ratio of heat output to electricity used, which represented a good deal.  However, heat pumps did not always perform and there were high risks around relying on them as a main source of heat.  There were some heat pumps in use across the Council’s housing stock but some had had to be removed.  The Council would continue to evaluate where their use may be an appropriate solution.