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Delivering energy and fuel at local level

3 March 2015

The Citizens Advice service provides free, confidential and impartial advice to help people resolve their problems. As the UK’s largest advice provider, the service is equipped to deal with any issue, from anyone, spanning debt and employment to housing and immigration plus everything in between.  We value diversity, promote equality and challenge discrimination. Citizens Advice represents the interests of consumers across essential, regulated markets; we use compelling evidence, expert analysis and strong argument to put consumer interests at the heart of policy making and market behaviour.

At Citizens Advice, we believe there is a powerful economic, social and environmental case for an ambitious nationwide home energy efficiency programme, which prioritises low-income households and which is both broader and deeper than current programmes. There is widespread consensus that the local delivery of home energy efficiency programmes and the use of area-based approaches should play an important role in making sure this national ambition is achieved, and that this is done as cost-effectively as possible.

We therefore commissioned the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE), the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE), CAG Consultants and Dr Joanne Wade to carry out a programme of participative research to investigate models for delivering energy and fuel poverty services at the local level.

The research involves a literature review of existing local initiatives, including those in other policy areas such as urban regeneration, interviews with stakeholders, a survey of local authority officers and other decision makers, and the running of five workshops around Great Britain. The research will propose governance structures for the local-level delivery of energy and fuel poverty  services, and will consider the implications of potential reform of the main energy efficiency programme in Great Britain, namely the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).