Getting Warmer

Getting Warmer: The Mayor's role in domestic energy and fuel poverty

Date published: 
02 May 2017

Key facts

  • London homes produce over a third of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions - 13.4 million tonnes of CO2 in 2014 - yet many are leaky and hard to heat.
  • At least one in five Londoners has a pre-payment meter for gas and/or electricity. The best energy tariffs are not available to these customers.
  • In December 2016, Ofgem found that there were more than 1.7 million customers with a particular supplier who could save over £260 a year by switching to the cheapest tariff from that same supplier.
  • After having a smart meter installed, eight in ten people take steps to reduce their energy usage.

Our findings

The London Assembly Environment Committee investigated what the Mayor can do to reduce domestic carbon emissions and fuel poverty in the capital. The findings include:

  • London requires transformative action to break out of under-delivery in domestic retrofit: there is a need for more investment.
  • There is a need for support from the planning system.
  • The Mayor must promote retrofit much more effectively.
  • The rented sector is particularly challenging.
  • The Mayor can support London’s significant potential to generate low-carbon energy, especially through his emerging role as an energy supplier.
  • Community energy is an emerging source of potentially low-carbon and affordable energy.
  • There is a debate over the desirability of heat networks and combined heat and power.
  • Customers make energy choices that can have a significant impact on their bills, carbon emissions and quality of life. There is great scope for the Energy for Londoners company to help Londoners understand their energy choices.
  • Energy prices and tariffs, and the different payment methods including pre-pay meters, also have a significant effect.

Recommendations

The report’s recommendations to the Mayor include:

  • Supporting improvements in the rented sector, with clear advice to small landlords on energy efficiency and how to achieve it, plus support for councils on enforcement of private landlords’ energy efficiency obligations.
  • A consultation on clearer regulations for the private rented sector with a view to improving energy efficiency and affordable warmth.
  • Working with boroughs and other large landlords to promote the rollout of smart meters in rented housing, for example when a property changes tenants.
  • Supporting people to move off pre-payment meters where it is in their interests, or offer pre-payment tariffs at the same price as credit.
  • Investigating the feasibility of, and set up if possible, a finance provider (within or alongside the Energy for Londoners company) to provide a version of the Green Deal in London, ideally offering lower interest rates than commercial loans.

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