ADD2077 Fuel Poverty in London: Research

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2077
Date signed: 
01 February 2017
Decision by: 
Patrick Feehily, Assistant Director, Environment

Executive summary

The Mayor in his election manifesto committed to ‘Lead on work to cut energy bills for Londoners by promoting the roll out of smart meters and exploring the business case for potential savings on bills by bulk-buying energy’. The Mayor also committed in Mayor’s Question Time in October 2016 to produce a fuel poverty action plan. 

Approval is sought to procure a consultant to develop a comprehensive understanding of the state of fuel poverty in London, current fuel poverty alleviation programmes, and options available for additional support at a pan-London scale.
 

Decision

That the Assistant Director of Environment approves:

The expenditure of up to £49,000 on a consultant to develop a comprehensive understanding of the state of fuel poverty in London, current fuel poverty alleviation programmes, and options available for additional support at a pan-London scale.
 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The Mayor in his election manifesto committed to ‘Lead on work to cut energy bills for Londoners by promoting the roll out of smart meters and exploring the business case for potential savings on bills by bulk-buying energy’. The Mayor also committed in Mayor’s Question Time in October 2016 to produce a fuel poverty action plan. 

1.2    The fuel poverty action plan will be one of many outputs of the Energy for Londoners programme, an umbrella programme for all of the Mayor’s activities on energy efficiency, fuel poverty, low carbon energy generation and climate change mitigation.  The fuel poverty action plan will set out what is currently happening in London on fuel poverty alleviation, what more needs to happen and who is best placed to undertake the actions. The action plan will also set out what the Mayor, GLA and GLA family will do to alleviate fuel poverty directly. 

1.3    In order to develop the fuel poverty action plan a comprehensive understanding of the state of fuel poverty in London, current fuel poverty alleviation programmes and options available for additional support at a pan-London scale needs to be undertaken.

1.4    Approval is sought to procure specialist consultants to undertake a Research and Policy Report on Fuel Poverty in London in line with the GLA’s Contracts Code.
 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1 The primary objectives of the project are to:
•    provide a detailed assessment of fuel poverty in London
•    identify and assess the fuel poverty alleviation programmes being implemented in London
•    make policy and delivery recommendations in order to inform the development of the Fuel Poverty Action Plan

2.2 Specifically the project will provide:
o    A comprehensive analysis of the state of fuel poverty in London, identifying any trends or specific areas support programmes should address as a priority
o    An inventory of the fuel poverty alleviation programmes currently supporting Londoners, including those run by boroughs, charities and other organisations
o    An assessment of the funding available to support fuel poverty alleviation, particularly through the provision of household energy efficiency improvements
o    An understanding of the potential of benefits entitlement checks and energy company/tariff switching to improve fuel poverty levels, including the fuel poverty gap
o    Recommendations on how the GLA can contribute to fuel poverty alleviation support, adding value without duplicating the efforts of those currently running programmes
o    Recommendations of policy changes that could improve fuel poverty levels in London
o    Recommendations of how current and planned GLA energy delivery programmes could better support action to alleviate fuel poverty
o    Recommendations on any other actions the GLA could take
 

Equality comments

3.1     The proposal is in accordance with the Greater London Authority’s Equalities Framework in relation to this procurement. Consultants will be asked to demonstrate how they comply with the Mayor’s Equality and Diversity Policy Statement and related documents.

3.2     The Energy for Londoners programme and the fuel poverty action plan has equality at its core and the successful bidder will be required to assess each of the options against a number of equality indicators
 

Other considerations

a)    Key risks 
4.1    No-one tenders for the project
4.2      The project does not capture a true reflection of the state of London’s fuel poverty situation
4.3     The actions required to tackle fuel poverty are not in the gift of the Mayor and the GLA family  
    
b)    Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities
4.2     The Mayor, in his manifesto, committed to the establishment of a not-for-profit company, Energy for Londoners, to offer fairer and more affordable energy bills for Londoners and to increase the generation of low carbon energy.

4.3     The developing Mayor’s Environment Strategy will reflect the manifesto pledge and the outcome of the fuel poverty action plan.
    
c)  Impact assessments and consultations

4.4     The recommendations of this report and the fuel poverty action plan will be consulted on with stakeholders, including boroughs in spring 2017.
 

Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for expenditure of up to £49,000 to commission a specialist consultant to research and produce a report on fuel poverty in London. The cost will be funded from the Environment Programme Budget 2016-17.

 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Tender issued

w/c 30 January 2017

Deadline for bids

13 February 2017

Bidder clarification meetings (if required)

w/c 13 February 2017

Bidders informed of procurement decision

w/c 13 February 2017

Contract awarded

w/c 20 February 2017

Inception meeting

w/c 20 February 2017

Interim (report) milestone 1:

20 March 2017

Presentation of interim report to internal audience

w/c 20 March 2017

Final report milestone 2:

31 March 2017