ADD2173 Reallocation of LBCS capital underspend to Better Boilers

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2173
Date signed: 
06 November 2017
Decision by: 
Patrick Feehily, Assistant Director, Environment

Executive summary

The Mayor’s Better Boilers scheme aims to replace and repair inefficient and broken boilers in up to 500 owner-occupied homes of people who are in receipt of qualifying benefits (a proxy for fuel poverty). Mayoral Decision 2057 approved the reallocation of capital funding of up to £1m from the London Boiler Cashback Scheme budget to the Better Boilers scheme. A small amount of additional capital funding is, however, required to complete the remaining boiler replacements and repairs. 
It is proposed that up to £25k of capital funding underspend from the London Boiler Cashback Scheme (from a total underspend of £122,000 of its £1.6m capital budget) is reallocated to Better Boilers to complete these remaining boiler replacements and repairs.
It has been agreed with the Governance Team that an ADD form is the most proportionate way of seeking this approval.
 

Decision

That the Assistant Director approves expenditure of a further £25k of capital funding on the Better Boiler scheme to complete the remaining boiler replacements and repairs, with the funding being reallocated from the London Boiler Cashback Scheme budget. 

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    On 6 December 2016, the Mayor approved the reallocation of existing capital funding of £1m from the London Boiler Cashback Scheme  (LBCS) budget to the Better Boilers scheme to directly address fuel poverty (MD 2057). 
1.2    Subsequently, Better Boilers was launched on 9 January 2017, to replace and repair inefficient and broken boilers in up to 500 owner-occupied homes of people in receipt of qualifying benefits (a proxy for fuel poverty). The scheme is managed and administered by the Energy Saving Trust (EST).
1.3    The Better Boilers scheme closed to new applications on 31 August 2017, and delivery of the final boiler replacements and repairs are nearly complete. As at 24 October 2017, 827 full-applications had been received and 486 installations had been completed. Customer satisfaction is high (around 95 per cent), and a promotional video showing testimonials has been widely shared through social media channels. The scheme has already provided key insights which will help inform potential future schemes under the Mayor’s draft Fuel Poverty Action Plan.  
1.4    In order to deliver the remaining pipeline of boiler replacements and repairs, a small amount of additional capital funding is required due to average boiler installation costs being higher than expected (due to some homes requiring e.g. additional work undertaken on heating systems and removal of asbestos, which has increased overall delivery costs). It is therefore proposed that up to £25k of capital funding underspend from the LBCS is reallocated to Better Boilers. This will enable the remaining pipeline of boiler replacements and repairs to be delivered.   
 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The proposed reallocation of existing capital funding underspend from the LBCS to Better Boilers will allow the successful delivery of the remaining pipeline of boiler replacements and repairs in vulnerable households which have inefficient or broken boilers and are deemed to be in fuel poverty. The scheme was originally established to drive savings in the energy bills of vulnerable Londoners and/or allow them to heat their home adequately, and to reduce CO2 and NOx emissions by: 

a.    supporting up to 500 households in fuel poverty and helping to prevent excess winter deaths
b.    saving carbon - replacing 500 inefficient boilers should save up to 368tCO2 per year 
c.    cutting an individual household's energy bill by an average of £150 a year, (depending on the size of the property, the efficiency of the boiler being replaced and whether the property was previously being underheated)
d.    improving air quality. Each boiler installed through the scheme is ultra-low NOx (and must emit no more than 40 mg/kWh NOx, as per the requirements for new build energy performance standards in the London Plan)
e.    reducing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning
f.    promoting behaviour change through the installation of new heating controls, and energy efficiency advice and support. 
 

Equality comments

The GLA will take appropriate steps to ensure that there are no potential negative impacts expected on those with protected characteristics. Those with protected characteristics will gain from the positive benefits of this scheme in equal measure should their properties be selected, and there will be equality of access to participate in the delivery and benefit from the scheme, without discrimination. This scheme has a positive impact on lower income and fuel poor households directly through the direct grant support they receive. 

 

Other considerations

a)    Risks and issues

Risk

Likelihood (out of 5)

Impact (out of 5)

Rating

Mitigation

Scheme takes longer to deliver than anticipated, resulting in further administration costs.

1

2

2

Avoid. A learning point from the scheme to date is that some applications are far more time consuming than envisaged, often due to difficulties in processing some vulnerable customers (requiring on occasion nearly 20 interactions over a four week period). Separately, through DD2168, we have agreed a fixed-fee contract with EST which administer the scheme so the GLA will not incur extra costs (revenue or capital) if the remaining boiler replacements and repairs take longer to deliver.

Final boiler replacements and repairs hold up evaluation of the scheme.

1

1

2

The evaluation of the scheme is already underway and will be updated with final delivery information and outturn data.

 

b)     Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

Continued administration and evaluation of the scheme will contribute to meeting the following Mayoral priorities: 
c)    London becoming a zero-carbon city by 2050
d)    investing in older homes to make them more energy-efficient
e)    restoring London’s air quality to legal and safe levels.
 

Financial comments

5.1       The Decision is seeking approval for additional capital budget of £25k for the Better Boilers scheme. A budget of £1m was originally approved in MD 2057 for this scheme. Energy Saving Trust, the organisation that managed the London Boilers Cashback scheme, has an unspent balance of £122k, which will be returned to the GLA. The additional spending of £25k on the Better Boilers scheme will be funded from this £122k.

 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Target date for remaining claims receipted and processed by the end of October (with GLA acceptance that there will likely be some that are not processed until November).

14 November 2017

Final scheme reconciliation - once all applications have been claimed/cancelled provide a final report of applications made/claimed and any funds remaining, if applicable.

30 November 2017