Council Motion: Home Decarbonisation Service

Better insulated homes and using renewable energy are key ways in which households can meet the rising cost of living and help their local areas reduce carbon emissions. Only 1/3 of houses in Britain are considered to be well-insulated and 13% are still in fuel poverty.

There are many barriers that can prevent households from improving their home insulation and accessing greener, cleaner forms of energy – such as cost and lack of information.

Calling on your Council to establish a Home Decarbonisation Advice service is a great step towards residents being able to access the options that are available for home insulation, energy storage and switching to renewable energy sources.

Below is a Council Motion from Wokingham Liberal Democrats that can be used a template for you to call for Home Decarbonisation Service in your council area.

The motion is below:

We are in a cost-of-living crisis.  One of the factors is the sharp increase in energy bills.  Insulating homes and generating renewable energy directly on homes not only helps our communities during this difficult time but has the added benefit of helping us reach our carbon neutral aspirations. 

Little progress has been made in reducing emissions from the energy used for heating and cooling buildings in the UK.  This is mainly due to the UK’s poor standards of building insulation and an ageing housing stock, coupled with a heavy reliance on fossil fuels for heating. 

In Wokingham Borough, housing is the largest source of carbon emissions, which needs to be tackled urgently if we are to become carbon neutral by 2030.  Progress has been made in insulating some of the borough’s housing stock through the ECO and GHG-LAD schemes which assists low income and vulnerable residents.  The majority of households do not qualify however, and insulation is just one of the tools that homeowners can use in reducing their carbon emissions. 

In order to stimulate the market, the barriers of consumer inertia and the lack of trust and understanding need to be addressed.  Investing hard earned income into home improvements can be daunting, especially when there’s a wide range of options and combinations to consider, each property is unique, and there are cowboy tradespeople in the industry. 

To overcome this, this Council seeks to facilitate the creation of a home decarbonisation service, to provide impartial advice for residents on the options available for

  • home insulation,
  • alternatives to gas for heating,
  • generating renewal energy, and
  • energy storage,

and to assist with assessing value for money from these options.  

Officers are requested to prepare a business case assessing the feasibility and options for delivering such a service and make a recommendation as to whether it should be operated in house, or as a shared service with other local authorities, as a partnership with the voluntary sector or others, or through a 3rd party, with the business case to be presented to council at the September 2022 meeting.

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