I was able to offer some input on an earlier draft on the the issue of the Energy Company Obligation.
On Page 8 it states a proposal to
"allow Councils, not just energy companies, to use the percentage of money already collected for energy efficiency schemes through fuel bills to insulate homes, reducing household bills and giving those families in greatest need more money to put towards rent and mortgages" .
All very well so far, but I argued that the money from the Energy Company Obligation should be managed exclusively by Local Authorities and 'The Big 6' should no longer act as the gatekeepers of ECO funding. So I was pleased to see on Page 22 with the tabulated summary of the proposals that the word 'just' from the above quote is removed, effectively cutting the Energy Companies out of management of ECO'. The £0.9 Billion/year indicated is well short of what is needed for a mass national energy efficiency programme like the GreenNew Deal, but at least there will be a greater opportunity to ensure funding is properly targeted if made available by Government directly to Councils. The best way of targeting this limited funding would be to ask Councils to produce credible plans showing how they will deliver energy efficiency schemes in their areas, reducing fuel poverty and carbon emissions. Local authorities would be encouraged to find matched funding from a variety of sources such as the EU, public health budgets etc to demonstrate joined up working and thinking.
There are some disappointments in the document. An assumption that the fracking issue for local government is all about how much money localities can extract from the process with an implicit assumption that Fracking is an acceptable policy option.