Open letter to Prime Minister-call for continuation of support for the Energy Company Obligation

20th November, 2013

12th November 2013

Dear Primer Minister


I am writing this open letter on behalf of the Sustainable Homes Index For Tomorrow (SHIFT) network of housing associations, other associations, academics and the supply chain companies that maintain millions of affordable homes. As a group we own or manage the homes of over three million people. We are working hard to improve homes and reduce energy bills for residents. We note with alarm your recent statement that “We need to roll back some of the green regulations and charges that are putting up bills.”

We do not accept that measures such as ECO are the cause of increasing energy bills. Indeed they are in the front line of tackling fuel poverty and reducing its impact. The latest World Health Organisation research indicates that up to 40% of excess winter deaths can be attributed to fuel poverty, amounting to 7,800 deaths in the UK each yeari.

Supported by ECO, social landlords are taking action. They are responsible for thousands of projects to improve homes across the country and in some of our most impoverished communities. As well as reducing household energy bills by hundreds of pounds each year this is generating tens of thousands of jobs and improving the quality of homes. One recent study by Nottingham City Homes and Nottingham Trent University concluded that every £1 pound spent on retrofitting generates a social value of £4.76ii. Research by Cambridge Econometrics shows that up to 130,000 jobs are likely to result from continued significant investment in retrofitting homesiii.

The current uncertainty over the future of ECO is already having a damaging impact as social landlords rethink their plans. Many of our members are considering delaying or disbanding much needed investment. This will have perverse impact, increasing fuel bills and reducing employment.

Improving the nation’s housing stock will not happen overnight. It requires a long term perspective and certainty to create a favourable climate for investment. The supply chain is evolving rapidly and innovative products such as online quality management systems and new insulation methods for solid wall take time to develop. All this is now at risk.

We ask that you take urgent action to recognise the benefits of investment in the housing stock by social landlords and retain and improve ECO 1 and ECO 2 for the long term.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Eagles

Managing Director

Sustainable Homes

On behalf of the following organizations:

Advance Housing; Affinity Sutton; Alliance Homes; Amicus Horizon; Anchor; Ashden; Aspire Housing; Aster Homes; Baily Garner LLP; Bolton at Home; Broadland Housing Group; Carbon Savings Alliance (representing 300,000 homes); Cartrefi Conwy; Catalyst Housing; Centre for Alternative Technology; Circle Housing Group; City South Manchester Housing Trust; CityWest Homes Limited; City West Housing Trust; Croydon Churches Housing Association; East Devon District Council; Eastlands Housing Group; First Wessex; Genesis; Gentoo; Habitat for Humanity Homes; Hanover Housing Association; Hastoe Housing Group; Hexagon; Housing Solutions; Hyde Housing Group; ISOS; L&Q; Lakehouse Contracts Ltd; Liverpool Housing Trust, part of Symphony Housing Group; Liverpool Mutual Homes; LSE Housing and Communities, London School of Economics; mhs; New Charter Homes; Nottingham City Homes; Nottingham Community Housing Association Ltd; Northwards Housing; Octavia; Orbit Housing Group; Placeshapers (Placeshapers represents 103 housing associations); Poplar Harca; Regenda; Rochdale Boroughwide Housing; ROCKWOOL® Ltd; Roseberry Housing Group; Salvation Army Housing Association; Save Water Save Money; Southern Housing Group; South Tyneside Homes; Southway Housing Association; Stockport Homes; St Vincent’s Housing; Staffordshire Housing Group; Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance; SYHA; Swan Housing Association; The Climate Change Collaboration; The Guinness Partnership; The Havebury Housing Partnership; Thrive Homes; Tower Hamlets Homes;Trident Social Investment Group; Vela Group; VRM Technology Limited; Wates Living Space; Wigan and Leigh Housing; Yarlington Housing Group; Yorkshire Housing Ltd.; Your Homes Newcastle

cc. Deputy Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change

Source: Sustainable Homes

Hastoe Housing Group have been shortlisted for a Retro Expo Award. The Retro Expo Awards are taking place alongside Retro Expo on 05 December. Tickets are just £25, to book, CLICK HERE.

Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance are hosting a master class on 06 December and an exhibition stand on 05 and 06 December at Retro Expo, taking place at the Business Design Centre, London. To learn more, or to register for Retro Expo FREE, CLICK HERE.

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