HECA (Home Energy Conservation Act)
The Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) 1995 requires that every local authority with housing responsibilities to prepare, publish and submit an Energy Conservation Report to the Secretary of State. The report must identify:
- Practical and cost effective measures to significantly improve the energy efficiency of all residential accommodation in their area; and
- Report on the progress made by implementing the measures.
HECA is designed to focus the attention of local authorities more closely on the energy efficiency of all residential accommodation, and on developing an integrated approach to their energy efficiency strategies. Any improvements implemented through the Home Energy Conservation Act will contribute to meeting the UK’s Climate Change commitments.
The Energy Conservation Report must include the cost of carrying out the works identified and the CO2 savings they are expected to achieve. If the authority has a ‘Personal Circumstances Policy’, this must also be included in the report.
The report may also include, if the authority so chooses:
- The potential savings in both nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides
- The number of jobs that will be created
- The average savings on fuel bills
- Any other factors considered appropriate
The Home Energy Conservation Act has a lot of potential benefits, including:
- Significant reductions in CO2 emissions – it is estimated that a 30% improvement in energy efficiency could result in a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions
- The creation of a national energy efficiency database that will contain accurate data on both public and private housing
- An integration of energy conservation into local government strategies such as funding, sustainable housing renewal and environmental duties
- Strategic plans for improving UK housing including the cost, measures and potential savings.
The Home Energy Conservation Act does not grant any new powers to authorities regarding issues such as access or grant making.