Local authorities will have to publish a report on their plans to achieve improved energy efficiency in their area by March 31, 2013, according to new guidelines issued under the Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA).

Government is turning to local authorities to drive energy efficiency awareness and help lower the nation’s energy consumption from a local level. The guidance will ask local authorities to identify the most practicable and cost-effective solutions to dramatically reduce energy wastage for all residential accommodation within the authority’s area.   

The Department of Energy and Climate Change hopes that the upcoming Green Deal will help local authorities reach their targets by allowing residents to access a raft of energy efficiency measures at no upfront cost.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “Local authorities have a vital role to play in improving the energy efficiency of residential homes in their areas, and helping us meet our ambitious energy targets.

“This new robust guidance will support and encourage all local authorities to realise the significant benefits of upgrading homes. The Green Deal will be a fantastic tool to help with this, and I look forward to hearing how local authorities are using it to enable people to save energy and money.”

The new HECA guidance will also encourage local authorities to approach key local partners, such as social housing providers and community organisations, to encourage them to support the energy efficiency plans. Under the new guidelines, local authorities will have to report back on their progress in implementing their measures every two years.