Introductory Questions

Type of Local Authority

Unitary Authority

Name and contact details of officer submitting the report

Miles Davidson, Housing Sustainability & Affordable Warmth Manager.

Send an email to

Headline and overview

Does your Local Authority have a current strategy on carbon reduction and/or energy efficiency for domestic or non-domestic properties?  

The current HRA Energy Strategy was approved in 2018, since this time we have declared a Climate Emergency and an ambition for the city to be Carbon Neutral by 2030. In response to the increased ambition to reduce carbon emissions from the city’s housing stock a report and outline strategic action plan were agreed at our Housing Committee in January 2021

What scheme(s) is your Local Authority planning to implement in support of energy saving/carbon reduction in residential accommodation properties in the next two years? 


  • will be installing up to 1,000 solar PV systems across our own housing stock over the next 3 years.
  • have submitted outline proposals for the LAD2 scheme, including the installation of ASHPs in our own homes and those of private householders in the city, alongside solar PV and loft insulation.
  • have participated in the Solar Together Sussex programme, a collective buying scheme for solar PV in the private sector and anticipate further schemes in the next 2 years.
  • have an annual Warmth for Wellbeing programme that works with local partners to give energy saving advice and install small energy saving measures in homes.
  • are part of and promote the LEAP programme (and associated schemes) locally
  • anticipate further capital investment in our own housing stock over the next two years which will be informed by further asset analysis and feasibility studies, this is likely to include replacement of at least one communal gas boiler system with renewable heating and hot water provision

What has been, or will be, the cost(s) of running and administering the scheme(s), such as the value of grants and other support made available, plus any other costs incurred (such as administration) as desired

Capital investment in our own housing stock will be funded by our HRA Capital investment programme, we anticipate the cost of the solar PV programme to be approx. £3.5M, other costs for investments to be confirmed.

What businesses, charities, third sector organisations or other stakeholders do you work with to deliver the scheme(s)? 

We work with a range of local partners including Brighton & Hove Energy Services Cooperative, Brighton & Hove CAB, Money Advice Plus, National Energy Action and Brighton Peace and Environment Centre.

What has been, or will be, the outcome of the scheme(s)?

These outcomes could include energy savings, carbon savings, economic impacts such as job creation and/or increased business competitiveness or societal impacts such as alleviation of fuel poverty and/or improved health outcomes

The above schemes are aimed at reducing carbon emissions however we are equally focussed on tackling fuel poverty through a programme of energy efficiency improvements and reducing the health impacts of cold homes. We also see the opportunity presented to support local supply chains, job creation and skills development. We are working with local further education providers to support this area of work.


Does your Local Authority provide any advisory services to customers on how to save energy?

In addition to signposting on the council website we have an annual ‘Warmth for Wellbeing’ programme that offers advice on energy saving and bills to vulnerable householders throughout each winter. This is provided through local partners. In addition to this we participate in the LEAP programme and have resources within our HRA Tenancy Sustainment Team who offer energy saving and bill saving advice to council tenants.

Local Green Supply Chain

What actions are you taking, if any, to upskill and/or grow the local energy efficiency installer supply chain? This could include the facilitation of training, and local installer networking opportunities.  

Do you have any plans to develop policies or initiatives in this space over the next 5 years as part of supporting your local decarbonisation efforts? 

We are working with, and support the work of, a number of partner organisations to develop the supply chain, support local jobs and skills development;

  • The Green Growth Platform at the University of Brighton
  • Retrofitworks Warmer Sussex
  • We are also working with the Coast 2 Capital Local Economic Partnership, Energy Systems Catapult and local education providers to develop a local Decarbonisation Academy

Social Housing

What action, if any, has your LA taken to install energy efficiency or low carbon heat measures in social housing? Have these been installed to a satisfactory quality? What actions (if any) have your social housing partners taken? 

We have been successful in upgrading domestic gas boilers to A rated efficient boilers across our stock and have trialled the retrofit of Air Source Heat pumps in several of our own properties and are including this in new homes projects going forward. We have plans to install our first communal ground source heat pump system in one of our New Homes for Neighbourhoods projects in 2022. The experience of air source heat pumps as a retrofit have been well received and successful, however these have been in place of failing, inefficient and expensive electric heating. We see the transition away from gas boilers over the next 10 to 15 years as possibly the biggest challenge we face in meeting our decarbonisation plans and are developing strategies to support this through our heating installation supply chain.

Do you have easy access to the information/knowledge within your organisation that you would expect to need for social housing retrofit projects?

For example:

  • stock condition
  • property data
  • approach to procurement
  • alignment with existing internal maintenance/upgrade plans
  • tenant engagement and management plans
  • costings

We have a level of expertise and knowledge however we acknowledge that this internal resource needs to expand to meet our ambitions (we have allocated resources to do this), we also acknowledge that external expertise will continue to be needed. We work closely with neighbouring authorities to share experiences and knowledge and identify opportunities for joint working where we can. We have an increasingly important relationship with the Greater South East Energy Hub to support this area of work.

We have access to asset data through condition surveys and EPC data for our own housing, we also have access to wider EPC data for housing across the city.

Have you experienced any challenges to retrofit, including during any previous government schemes you have taken part in.For example supply chain, funding, tenant cooperation, mixed tenure, split incentive, policy clarity? Please provide some detail. Have social housing partners reported any challenges to retrofit? 

The most significant challenge with recent government schemes such as the Green Homes Grant and the Local Authority Delivery elements of this programme has been the short term nature of the funding and timescales for delivery, this has made it impossible for us to participate in and bid for funding in LAD1a or b. The certainty of ongoing funding and policy has been a challenge for a number of years for both residents and the supply chain, recent experiences of Green Deal and more lately Green Homes Grant undermine confidence for local authorities to resource and promote, residents to engage and the supply chain to invest.

How does your LA currently/how will your LA in future plan to go about identifying suitable housing stock and measures for retrofit? How do social housing partners identify suitable stock? By the same measures or via a different method? 

For our own stock we will use locally and nationally available data including EPCs, stock condition surveys, IMD data to identify suitable households. We will also use opportunities presented by other capital investment programmes such as roof and window replacements to coordinate works and maximise benefits. This approach will be fundamental in our Asset Management strategy going forward.

What considerations would make you more or less likely to apply for government funding? If known, what is the opinion of your social housing partners?

The key elements for participation are; realistic time frames for applying for funding and delivering works, access to and support with datasets to identify suitable properties and households and compliant and accessible routes for delivering works.

To what extent are social housing tenants willing or unwilling to undergo retrofit, and what are the barriers and facilitators to their participation? If known, is this the same opinion across all social housing tenants or is it different with HA and ALMO tenants?

The main barriers are disruption caused by works, we see we have a key role to play in explaining the benefits of retrofit in carbon and potential bill saving. It is paramount that we engage with and work alongside residents and representative groups to identify and promote the benefits of retrofit.

Does the approach to retrofit change for leaseholders in mixed tenure blocks? What encourages them to co-operate?  

Leaseholders require the same level of engagement in relation to the benefits of the work and also assurance about quality and value for money where they are making a financial contribution.

Domestic Private Rented Sector (PRS) Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards

Is your authority aware of the PRS Minimum Efficiency Standards regulations requiring private rentals in England and Wales to meet a minimum energy performance rating of EPC Band E as of April 2020, unless a valid exemption applies?


Which team within your authority is responsible for, leading on enforcement of the PRS minimum standard? Please provide the contact details of the person leading this team.  

Private Sector Housing - send an email to

What barriers, if any, does your local authority face enforcing these regulations. For example identifying non-compliant properties/landlords, budgeting/resourcing, any legal issues)? 

In the past a lack of additional resource to work with landlords and enforce the standards has been a barrier, we are awaiting the outcome of the current consultation on standards and support around enforcement before developing our approach going forward. Landlords are engaged with around energy efficiency and thermal comfort through existing interventions including requests for assistance from tenants and HMO licensing schemes.

Do you directly target landlords of EPC F and G rated properties to enforce these regulations? If yes, how? If no, please explain. 

Not currently, we have carried out analysis of EPC data across the city however we are awaiting the outcome of the current consultation before confirming our approach to future work with landlords including the potential for enforcement.

Financial Support for Energy Efficiency

What financial programmes, if any, do you have to promote domestic energy efficiency or energy saving? If applicable please outline the budget (and % of the budget that is used), where such funding is sourced and where it is targeted.

What future investment for energy efficiency or low carbon heat measures do you have planned, and when are these investments planned for?

As previously referenced a solar PV Programme on up to 1000 homes was agreed in 2020, funding for this estimated at approximately £3.5 million will be included in HRA capital budget planning for 2021 to 2023.

Funding for heating and hot water improvements, energy efficiency and renewables is allocated within HRA capital budgets for each year, specific details of the investment are being worked up. We are committed to developing more detailed and costed retrofit programmes throughout 2021.

Investment in the private sector has been identified, how this is distributed is to be confirmed.

Fuel Poverty

Does your Local Authority have a Fuel Poverty Strategy?

Yes, find information on our Fuel Poverty Strategy, however this will be reviewed in light of recent changes to national strategy

What steps have you taken to identify residents/properties in fuel poverty? What blockers, if any, have there been in identifying households in fuel poverty?

The majority of identification of fuel poor households through our local Warmth for Wellbeing project and the LEAP programme has been through working with local partners either through existing networks and client groups or via outreach work. For example Brighton & Hove Energy Services Cooperative have held regular helpdesks and events across the city in public spaces or targeted for example at food banks.

How does fuel poverty interlink with your local authority’s overall Carbon Reduction Strategy?

Addressing fuel poverty and the health impacts of cold homes will be integral to our overall carbon reduction strategy, we acknowledge the tension that can sometimes exist between the two areas, for example the move away from gas as the main energy source for heating and hot water to potentially more expensive electricity supply.

Please highlight any fuel poverty issues specific to your area.

The nature of the local housing stock being older and harder to treat than national averages and the large private rented sector creates barriers to improving homes and addressing fuel poverty.

What measures or initiatives have you taken to promote fuel cost reduction for those in fuel poverty? Include information on partnerships with local businesses or energy providers you have.

Covered elsewhere in the report. We work with a strong network of local agencies and have a multi-agency Fuel Poverty and Affordable Warmth Steering group that meets regularly to work towards the goals set out in the local strategy. Brighton & Hove Energy Services Cooperative, NEA and Brighton & Hove CAB are permanent member of the steering group alongside BBHCC Housing and Public Health.

Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery

Has your Local Authority Participated in GHG: LAD?

Not in phases 1a or 1 b, outline proposal submitted for phase 2.

If no, please indicate what barriers prevented you from participation in the scheme.

Timescales for bidding and delivery and unavailability of compliant delivery mechanisms for measures

Would your Local Authority be in a position to manage the delivery of upgrades through a scheme such as LAD in 2022?

Yes with the support of the local Energy Hub and the support they are setting up for local authorities for Managing Agents and Dynamic Purchasing Systems and support with data.

If yes, please indicate the anticipated number of homes that could be upgraded per year.

100 to 400 homes across tenures if supply chain is available and capacity of Managing Agents to manage projects.

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

Has your local authority published a Statement of Intent (SoI) for ECO flexibility eligibility? (Y/N)


Smart Metering

Please provide a brief statement outlining your current or planned approach to promote smart meter take up and supporting residents to achieve benefits.

We include brief advice on smart meters on our website and signpost residents to further support and advice.

We will install smart meters in void properties where the meter is in need to replacement.