How to write a Statement of Intent (SOI) for LA Flex ECO funding
A Statement of Intent (SOI) is required to be published by local authorities to allow residents access to ECO funding via flexible eligibility (LA Flex).
An SOI is a published document that specifies
the criteria a local authority intends to use to identify households for ECO funding via the LA Flex strand of ECO3.
LA Flex requires participating councils to publish their SOI to create transparency and public accountability for the eligibility
By publishing an SOI, councils can also demonstrate their approach to energy efficiency to residents,
energy suppliers, charities and community groups.
What should be included in an SOI?
An SoI must include a description of how a local authority intends to identify householders in its area who may benefit from energy efficiency measures.
The criteria must state that residents are eligible if they have a low income and high heating bills.
In addition, it must be stated that residents on a low income and are vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home are eligible.
Local authorities can determine the thresholds, and can also include further criteria they deem appropriate to qualify residents in their area.
Selecting LA Flex criteria in an SOI
Identifying vulnerable to cold households
Generally a householder living in a cold home is vulnerable if they are:
a person with a long-term or terminal illness affected by cold.
a person with a disability.
over 60 years old.
living in a household with dependent children under five.
a pregnant woman.
Despite these generalities, local authorities are encouraged to use their discretion in identifying those most at risk by using their insight into the local community.
For example, an area may have a high proportion of older people but they may not be on low income, and there may be other households in the area in greater need of support.Local authorities can identify these circumstances and adapt their SOI in relation to them.
Identifying low income households
Local authorities should consider the impact of income thresholds set, and whether this could disadvantage lower income households in the area or across the scheme as a whole.
High thresholds may lead to a situation where a household on an income of £28,000 benefits from the scheme meaning that another household on £16,000 is left out.
SOI best practices
Statements of Intent should:
be short and concise so they are easy to read - three to four pages is recommended.
list the criteria in a clear layout - tables usually work best.
state clearly how the local authority will target households, this could include how referrals will be made.
list all local authorities in which the SOI applies to upfront. Please note that each local authority must still publish the SOI on their website.
Provide relevant contact details.
Statement of Intent consultation from YES
YES Energy Solutions have experience in developing SOIs alongside local authorities. Our 19 years in the energy efficiency industry have provided us with an in-depth understanding of how to approach the alleviation of fuel poverty in specific areas.