Monday, 28 July 2014

DECC chaos; Governments shambolic energy efficiency programme hits Hyndburn hard

Hyndburn Council launched an energy efficiency scheme on the back of government grants last November. Within weeks the government scrapped the incentive. This month Hyndburn Council launched a second scheme based on new government grants. Last week after just a few weeks of the governments launch of energy efficiency grants, they scrapped the scheme pulling the plug on Hyndburn Councils efforts before they had even begun.

As a result of both schemes being closed Hyndburn has lost out £milions and there is little chance of the Council or residents being able to fund the insulation measures necessary to tackle drafty and damp homes.

I have written to the Secretary of State and received two replies this week on what consultation he has had with companies and councils on the provison of energy efficency measures.

Scheme 1 

Last November I wrote about a national scheme that the local Labour Council was tapping into to tackle solid wall / terraced / hard to treat cavities from cold damp Hyndburn homes. This was a scheme paid for by energy companies to insulate Hyndburn homes of around 50% are expensive to heat terraced, some 17,000.

Such is the cost it cannot be done without government subsidy (because the costs is so high at the moment and the payback period is long) but if we are too tackle damp homes, fuel poverty, UKs energy use and carbon emissions then such measures are important.

In national terms, it is a transfer payment from those in newer build and more southerly areas to those in old industrial areas and in old industrial housing. In other words good for Hyndburn and with local employers directly benefiting,m good for the local economy including the maker of one such cavity foam insulation, Isothane at Huncoat.

The crucial £millions would have come under the CSCO - Hard to Treat Cavity Wall Insulation.

However the government in the Autumn statement scrapped that funding (and other 'green crap') to give all consumers a £50 reduction in energy bills.

I spoke up in Parliament about it. 

So with scheme 1 in shambles before it had even launched and with very few applicants in Hyndburn the Council had to come up with other measure to tackle drafty homes.

Scheme 2

Not yet officially launched but with leaflets printed the this scheme has already been scrapped.

Below is the government leaflet promising a grant of £7,600 to residents - all of which have been cancelled just weeks after being launched nationally.The details on which can be found on the other government leaflets at the bottom.
- £6,000 towards solid wall insulation for all,
- £1,000 cash back TO EVERYONE on cavity wall insulation or any two measures from twelve (see below)
- with a BONUS £500 if you had bought your home in the last twelve months
- and £100 cash back on Green Deal assessments (usually £100-£150).
 It appears of the £120million allocated very little if any came to Hyndburn.

Too late for the Council who were about to launch Scheme 2 with Dyson (the Council's Green Deal accredited partner) just months after Scheme 1 was abandoned.

Option 1 is still available as for homeowners who cannot borrow the £6,000 or so required to install a solar PV system. Payback on such systems usually takes 7 or 8 years and the payment form the government lasts 20 years. Under this scheme the finance company take all 20 years of payments but you get a free system and free electricity during daylight hours* (when it is producing electricity)

Option 2 - is a straight forward Solar PV system purchase from Dyson

Option 3 - is a credit option for a new boiler from Dyson

Option 4 - Is a government grant to ALL homeowners putting in insulation measures (+1 more measure) of of which the £6,000 solid wall element and £1,000 cavity wall cash back has now been cancelled

Option 5 - Is an option form Dyson but was with a £1,000 cash back form the government that has now been cancelled

So where are we now?

1. The Affordable Warmth Obligation HHCRO is coming to an and. This provided new boilers, loft insulation to people on qualifying benefits such as Pension Credits and out of work and disability benefits.

2. The CISCO - Carbon savings Community Obligation provides free cavity and loft insulation (but not hard to treat properties) in the lowest 25% super output areas. Was lowest 15%. Ring Homewise on 01254 232249 to see if this covers your area.

3. The CERO - Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation or ECO which has been reduced so much that hard to treat cavities no longer qualify ending Hyndburn's scheme 1 before it had begun.