Open Letter to the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero

We are encouraging organisations to sign our open letter. If your organisation would like to sign, please sign below.

Dear Secretary of State,

The Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme is coming to an end. Over the last three years it has enabled English councils to make significant improvements to the energy efficiency of low-income homes across England, with nearly 67,000 measures installed into over 50,000 properties since 2020.

Many LAD programmes have been oversubscribed and hundreds of eligible households are now on waiting lists. However, to date the government has indicated that no that further LAD funding will be made available.

This winter fuel bills are expected to remain unaffordable for many families. The only sustainable solution to high energy costs is through schemes like LAD, which improve homes with energy saving measures so that they use less energy to stay warm.

Councils in England are at the forefront of the fight against fuel poverty. This winter they will be able to deliver such improvements to homes that are not on the gas grid via the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) programme, but will not be able to directly support the three-quarters of English homes that use mains gas central heating, more than 2.5 million of which are in fuel poverty.

Properties that are eligible for HUG are relatively scarce, and this is reflected by the number of households supported – fewer than a quarter of the number achieved by LAD.

Many millions of pounds were returned to Government this year from HUG Phase 1 schemes that did not meet their expected targets. There is an opportunity to reallocate this funding into a new LAD programme to help more low-income households living in energy inefficient homes.

£100 million of recycled funding could support over 9,000 households and save them an average of nearly £250 a year for many decades to come.

We recognise that the government has developed other funding schemes for retrofit schemes that are not controlled by councils, such as ECO4 and The Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS). These are continuing to ramp up month on month but are not yet running at full steam and cannot effectively replace LAD in the short term.

Therefore, we the undersigned call on the government to urgently make additional LAD funding available to English councils to use this winter.

Such a programme would be certain to succeed, as:

  • there is huge demand from households, with thousands of households on waiting lists
  • robust delivery partnerships with installers and referral organisations are already in place
  • the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) rated LAD delivery in 2022/23 as green for timescales, budgets and quality

A new LAD scheme would support thousands of low income and vulnerable homeowners and private tenants, and help improve our country’s long-term energy security by reducing demand for imported gas.

It would also help England to catch up on progress towards delivering the statutory fuel poverty and net zero targets, complementing other energy efficiency schemes that are currently available.

Agility Eco Services Limited

Signatories to this letter