DD2250 Solar Action Plan and Fuel Poverty Action Plan publication

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD2250
Date signed: 
18 May 2018
Decision by: 
Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment

Executive summary

The Mayor has prepared a London Environment Strategy as required by the Greater London Authority Act 1999, as amended by (“GLA Act”). Whilst not a formal part of the strategy, the Mayor has developed a Solar Action Plan and Fuel Poverty Action Plan (action plans) setting out his actions to meet environment objectives in these specific areas. These will be published at the same time as the final London Environment Strategy.

On 11 August 2017 the Mayor published the draft Solar Action Plan and Fuel Poverty Action Plan alongside the draft London Environment Strategy and Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) for public consultation. The consultation ran for 14 weeks, closing on 17 November 2017. The preparation of the final action plans (Appendices A & B) has taken into account the comments received from stakeholders and the public through the consultation. The director is asked to approve these final versions of the action plans, having considered the consultation response report which includes feedback on solar and fuel poverty aspects of the strategy.

Decision

That the Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment approves the final versions of the Solar Action Plan (Appendix A) and the Fuel Poverty Action Plan (Appendix B) for publication.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Mayor has prepared a London Environment Strategy as required by the Greater London Authority Act 1999, as amended by (“GLA Act”). The Strategy is being approved separately via MD2292. Whilst not a formal part of the strategy, the Mayor committed to and has subsequently developed a Solar Action Plan and Fuel Poverty Action Plan (action plans) setting out his actions to meet environment objectives in these specific areas. As these documents closely align with the content of the London Environment Strategy and contain the actions that the Mayor will take to deliver key aspects of the strategy, it is recommended that they are published alongside the strategy.

The London Environment Strategy and related action plans have been drafted to reflect the priorities and direction set out by the Mayor in ‘A City for All Londoners’, which the Mayor published for consultation in October 2016. These priorities included accommodating growth, providing more housing, supporting the economy, improving the environment, transport and public spaces, and ensuring social integration. Both of the action plans are Mayoral commitments and provide more detail than the strategy on how the Mayor will take forward work on increasing solar energy in London and tackling fuel poverty.

The Mayor’s draft Solar Action Plan and draft Fuel Poverty Action Plan were published for public consultation in August 2017 alongside the draft Environment Strategy , with the strategy including the objectives of these draft action plans. The consultation ran for 14 weeks, closing on 17 November 2017.

The consultation process for the draft Environment Strategy was conducted in accordance with the statutory requirements, and the action plans followed this same process. A comprehensive consultation, and public and stakeholder engagement programme was devised and implemented to ensure that stakeholders and the public were provided sufficient information to facilitate meaningful and constructive feedback.

The draft action plans were made publicly available on the London.gov.uk website. There was also a dedicated page on the Talk London webpages. Respondents were able to submit their response to questions through a number of channels, including:

1. by completing a webform on London.gov.uk
2. by completing surveys on TalkLondon
3. by email, letter or telephone

An extensive technical stakeholder (including community groups) engagement programme was undertaken to ensure stakeholders were briefed, and to provide opportunities to hear and understand their views on the draft London Environment Strategy and the action plans. 370 technical stakeholders responded on the draft London Environment Strategy and action plans. 2,900 Talk London members completed 5,400 surveys and there were over 5,500 downloads of the strategy document.

The preparation of the final Solar Action Plan and Fuel Poverty Action Plan has taken into account the comments received from stakeholders and the public through the consultation process and includes updated evidence and analyses where available.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The Solar Action Plan and Fuel Poverty Action Plan will contribute to meeting the objectives of the London Environment Strategy, namely:

• reduce emissions of London’s homes and workplaces while protecting the most disadvantaged by tackling fuel poverty
• develop clean and smart, integrated energy systems utilising local and renewable energy resources

In the Solar Action Plan the Mayor has set an ambition for London to achieve 1 gigawatt (GW) of installed capacity by 2030 and 2 GW by 2050. This can’t be done through the Mayor’s leadership and programmes alone. It will need strong and supportive policy from national government and the support of local government, the private sector, charities and individuals. Overarching mayoral actions include:

• lead by example by maximising solar energy technologies on GLA group buildings
• encourage solar energy installations through the planning system
• help Londoners to retrofit solar energy technologies on their homes and workplaces through the Mayor’s programmes and funding
• help Londoners to make informed decisions about investing in solar energy technologies
• call on government to set a national policy framework to help London realise its solar energy potential

The Mayor’s ambition is to reduce both the prevalence of fuel poverty in London and the ‘depth’ of fuel poverty that Londoners experience. Actions include:

• investing directly in energy efficiency programmes targeting carbon reduction and tackling fuel poverty
• providing funding to support and create local advice and referral networks as a way of helping to improve the living conditions of fuel poor households signposting the fuel poor to more affordable energy tariffs and offering fairer energy through Energy for Londoners
• implementing a programme to help Londoners get access to all of the income support they are entitled to
• providing guidance and support to boroughs on how they can use data to identify households in fuel poverty
• establishing a high-profile cross-sectoral Fuel Poverty Partnership to coordinate action in London
• calling on government to develop fiscal incentives for solid wall insulation and review the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard to remove exemptions and increase the number of properties treated:

Progress against actions in the Solar Action Plan and Fuel Poverty Action Plan will be reviewed as part of the London Environment Strategy Implementation Plan. The Implementation plan will be reported against annually and updated to show progress each year.

Equality comments

Under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 (‘the Equality Act’), as public authorities, the Mayor must have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics under the Equality Act are age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status (the duty in respect of this last characteristic is to eliminate unlawful discrimination only). Further, s33(1) of the GLA Act requires the Mayor to make appropriate arrangements with a view to securing that in the formulation of the policies and proposals to be included in any of his statutory strategies, and in their implementation, there is “due regard to the principle that there should be equality of opportunity for all people”.

The consultation materials in respect of the draft London Environment Strategy and action plans were made available in a format that was accessible to blind and visually impaired people who use screen readers, and the executive summary of the strategy was available in an EasyRead format for people with learning disabilities. Deaf and hearing impaired people were provided with a means of contacting the GLA if they required further information or were not able to access the internet or email. In addition, people were welcome to provide responses in writing. Requests for the documents to be made available in other formats and translated into other languages were to be considered on a case by case basis, although no such requests were made.

An Equalities Impact Assessment in respect of the draft London Environment Strategy is included in the Integrated Impact Assessment. This identified that proposals to introduce water meters should help address water poverty for low income households, with the exception of those who have higher essential use requirements, such as large families with children and disabled people with certain medical conditions.

Financial comments

Approval is sought for the Mayor to approve the final recommended versions of the Solar Action Plan (Appendix A) and the Fuel Poverty Action Plan (Appendix B) for publication. The GLA’s business planning process is aligned with the London Environment Strategy and the Solar Action Plan and Fuel Poverty Action Plan. However, the strategy and related plans look beyond the business planning period and funding this far ahead is necessarily attended by a degree of uncertainty. The Mayor is required to have regard to the resources available for implementation of the London Environment Strategy and related plans when setting future years’ budgets.

Activity table
Activity Timeline
Copies of action plans provided to the Chair of the London Assembly for information only alongside the final London Environment Strategy 10 May 2018
London Assembly plenary to consider the final London Environment Strategy (and associated documents) 21 May 2018
Final Solar Action Plan and Fuel Poverty Action Plan formally published alongside the final London Environment Strategy June 2018

 


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