Agenda item

Affordable Energy Strategy and agreement to proceed with public consultation

[Report of the Director of Housing, Regeneration and Planning. To be introduced by the Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Sustainability.]


This five-year Affordable Energy Strategy replaces the previous Affordable Warmth Strategy 2009-2019.  This is in recognition that fuel poverty or ‘energy vulnerability’ goes beyond cold homes and related health effects.


The Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Sustainability was pleased to introduce Haringey’s Affordable Energy Strategy which set out the Council’s 5 year plan to improve the energy efficiency of homes in all tenures and a referral network throughout the borough to tackle fuel poverty. Unlike previous Affordable Warmth Strategies, the risk of overheating and the associated health impacts were considered due to the impacts of Climate Change already being felt in Haringey.


The Cabinet Member described tackling fuel poverty as a priority and one which was even more important with the ever-increasing cost of energy. Given the impact of climate change, there was also an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions from homes.


In response to questions from Cllr Brabazon and Cllr Emery, the following was noted:


  • Agreed that Cllr Brabazon be provided with a written response outlining the learning from the previous strategy. A key issue was considering fuel poverty and energy use in relation to the cold and heat and this was a significant change from the previous strategy as there was also now increased costs associated with warmer weather and keeping cool in the summer.


  • With regards to consideration being given to encouraging properties that cannot connect to the DEN[ District Energy Network] to utilise use of solar power, the Council had done some work with N10, a year ago ,and spoke with residents to come forward if they wanted to have solar panels in their home and they were supported to this. The service would look at a whole range of issues to make home more energy efficient.





  1. To approve the draft Affordable Energy Strategy 2020-2025 at appendix 1 for public consultation.


  1. To note that following the public consultation the final strategy will come back to Cabinet for approval


Reasons for decision


Energy vulnerability’ is a recognised term that highlights that some households find it difficult to adequately power their homes which adversely affects their daily life and health. It incorporates fuel poverty, which is caused by low incomes, high energy prices and energy inefficient housing. In England fuel poverty is currently measured using the low income-high cost definition, which states that a household is in fuel poverty if:

  • Their income is below the poverty line (taking into account energy costs and;
  • Their energy costs are higher than is typical for their household type


Overheating can impact the same groups that are at risk from fuel poverty.

The existing Affordable Warmth Strategy (2009-2019) has now expired. It is estimated that over 15,000 households in Haringey experience fuel poverty. By adopting a new strategy Haringey will have a clear way forward to tackle fuel poverty in the borough and improve the health and wellbeing of its residents.

The proposed revised strategy- the Affordable Energy Strategy (2020-25), has a wider scope to recognise that fuel poverty goes beyond cold homes. The ability to adequately power household appliances, lighting and communication equipment can impact academic attainment, digital inclusion, access to employment opportunities and increase social isolation. The strategy also recognises that in a changing climate, there is a need to keep homes cool during periods of high temperatures as well as warm in winter.

The government’s Fuel Poverty Strategy For England (Cutting the Cost of Keeping Warm) 2015 and Fuel Poverty Regulations (England) 2014 set a target to ensure that as many fuel poor homes ‘as is reasonably practicable’ achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of Band C by 2030.

Interim milestones have also been set to ensure ‘as many fuel poor homes as is reasonably practicable’ achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of Band E by 2020, and Band D by 2025. The phased approach follows a principle of prioritising assistance to those in the deepest levels of fuel poverty.

Public consultation will ensure that residents have the opportunity to reflect on the proposals and provide their views. A key recommendation of the strategy is to develop a referral network to reach those most in need, conducting a public consultation exercise will begin the relationship building process required to develop such a network.

The draft vision is:

To reduce the number of households struggling to afford to adequately power their homes and improve the health and wellbeing of residents by:-

·         Improving the energy efficiency of housing and reducing overheating risks,

·         Connecting residents to support services and initiatives to overcome the many causes of fuel poverty, such as energy prices, low incomes and unemployment.”

This vision will be delivered through the following objectives:-

  • Increase the number of struggling households receiving energy advice and expand the support available to create a people-centred solution
  • Improve housing energy performance to reduce fuel poverty, cold homes and overheating
  • Maximise the funding and resources secured within Haringey to alleviate fuel poverty


Alternative options considered

Do nothing

The strategy would not be redrafted and released. The Council will have no coherent strategy to improve the circumstances of around 15,000 households living in fuel poverty in Haringey and meet the ambitions of the Borough Plan by driving up the quality of housing for everyone and exploring setting up an alternative local or regional energy savings company(s).

Reduce the scope of the strategy

Reducing the scope to address the energy efficiency of homes would not necessarily lift households out of fuel poverty. Ignoring overheating risks could cause problems in the future as periods of hotter weather increase.

Supporting documents: