HOUSE OF COMMONS
LONDON SW1A 0AA
Mr Denis Walker
Our ref: RSE8241
8th December 2010
Dear Mr Walker,
Thank you for contacting me about local carbon budgets and minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented homes, and for inviting me to sign related Early Day Motion 653.
In May 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron appointed me to be a minister as part of the Coalition Government. I am not allowed to sign Early Day Motions, which are a way for backbench Members of Parliament to highlight issues. However I would like to address the concerns this Early Day Motion raises.
Local authorities need to show strong leadership and accountability in cutting emissions, and have an important role in contributing to the United Kingdom’s reduction targets.
Until the end of the financial year, the new Government is taking forward the Local Carbon Framework programme, introduced by the last Government. This programme aims to better understand how climate change mitigation policies can be increasingly facilitated at a local level.
The Government is committed to creating a structure through which local authorities can take the lead in tackling emissions in their own areas. Ministers are exploring all options for local carbon reduction and are discussing how to optimise the local authority contribution through discussions with parties such as Friends of the Earth.
Over half a million privately rented homes have the lowest energy rating, and the Government’s new measures will act to protect those who rent privately from higher bills and cold homes. The new Green Deal will enable landlords to make energy saving measures to their properties, to be paid for [in] instalments via energy bills.
The Energy Bill will also create powers allowing any tenant asking for reasonable energy efficiency improvements to receive them from 2015 onwards. Additionally, it will allow local authorities to insist that landlords improve the worst performing homes.
Though I am keen to see these environmental improvements made, unfortunately my front bench duties prevented me from being able to attend the briefing on 1st December.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
James Duddridge MP