Local authorities need to take the lead if the government's flagship energy efficiency policies are to work, according to a new report from the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE).
While the government has intended the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) to be market led, the role played by the public sector – and local authorities in particular – will mean the difference between success and failure in practice, says the report.
APSE's chief executive, Paul O'Brien, comments: 'Local authorities are community leaders on environmental and economic issues and major owners of housing and public buildings. With an estimated £1.3bn annual budget, ECO represents a huge pot to be spent on energy efficiency and councils can take the lead in creating a new industry of retrofit works and supply chains. Local authorities are in a great position to put together schemes involving communities, public and private partners, funders and product suppliers. Success of the Green Deal also depends upon take up and local government is in a pivotal position to influence communities.'
APSE's latest publication, The Green Deal: ECO implications for local authorities, provides a useful outline of key issues and players and places policy developments within the context of climate change, fuel poverty and local economic development. It sets outs the operational principles and potential opportunities arising from the Green Deal and ECO.
The report points out that energy efficiency is still not getting sufficient attention in many local authorities. Co-author, Steve Cirell, a local government lawyer and APSE associate specialising in renewables and climate change issues, has identified different models of local government behaviour on the Green Deal and ECOs: 'While there are a lot of 'ostriches' out there ignoring this important agenda, we have also identified councils that are taking a leadership role, collaborating or becoming fully fledged Green Deal providers in their own right. Local authorities need to take the lead on Green Deal and ECO and those authorities that don't will rue the decision to leave it to the market,' he says.
For further information, or to arrange for interview contact Mo Baines, principal advisor at APSE on tel: 0161 772 1810 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For copies of The Green Deal: ECO implications for local authorities please email: email@example.com