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Councils struggle to identify leaky homes

Councils struggle to identify leaky homesWednesday, 4 February, 2015

A study by Energy Saving Trust (EST) indicates that housing managers lack the data required to develop retrofit strategies and bids for funding programmes such as ECO, Green Deal and EU Funds.

EST undertook the study because councils are often identified as the organisations to take the lead in helping householders that live in hard-to-heat homes. Most political parties have indicated that ‘local delivery’ of energy efficiency schemes will be one of their election pledges.

EST will share unique data on housing stock analysis, as well as outline how meaningful insight can lead to cost-effective targeting of energy inefficient homes during a Webinar at 10am on Monday 16th February.

David Weatherall, policy adviser at EST, said:

“Millions of households have installed straightforward energy efficiency measures and it has become difficult and expensive to find homes that haven’t been addressed.

“Meaningful data and insight can remove barriers to finding the homes and communities that we should target with energy efficiency programmes. There is a real opportunity for councils to develop cost-effective strategies to improve homes locally.”

The EST study – 20 in-depth interviews with council managers across England – uncovered their four key problems when implementing local energy efficiency schemes:

1. While much progress has been made on social housing stock, local authority managers are concerned that only very basic support can be given to the owner-occupied and the private-rented sector where fuel poverty is more prevalent.

2. Opportunities for easy-to-treat energy efficiency measures, such as loft and cavity wall insulation, are increasingly limited making them difficult, time consuming and costly to identify.

3. Funding pots are becoming available at short notice and so councils need to be able to plan a scheme at short notice.

4. Housing managers lack the level of insight required to develop retrofit strategies and develop bids for funding programmes such as ECO, Green Deal and EU Funds.

Who could benefit from the Webinar?

All local authority managers involved with retrofitting homes with energy efficiency measures.

Webinar registration details:

Please register here. 

Media Contact:

Lindsey Taylor at the Energy Saving Trust at

Methodology for Local Authority research

This was a qualitative study into challenges facing local authorities in delivering energy efficiency programmes. The approach was to conduct semi-structured interviews with managers involved in energy efficiency from twenty authorities across England. Interviews covered different types of councils (unitary/district/borough) and different job roles within which energy efficiency is delivered (housing/environmental health/sustainability).