Monthly Archives: March 2012

Procurement of new RE:FIT Framework

March 2012: GLA start the procurement of a new RE:FIT framework, their programme working to support energy efficiency retrofits  in public sector buildings.

The approval document sets out that “RE:FIT provides a commercial model for public bodies to implement energy efficiency and building integrated improvements to their buildings, reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. The reduction in energy bills and the carbon footprint of buildings is achieved by appointing an EnergyService Company (ESCo) to undertake energy efficiency measures in buildings. The ESCo guarantees a set level of energy savings, this offers a financial saving over the period of the arrangement. The risk associated with the delivery of energy savings is passed onto the ESCo rather than the owner ofthe building.”

A new procurement framework is also being created as the approval form notes that the ” energy services market has also developed significantly since the current Framework was createdwith significant new players entering the market and therefore it is recommended that a new Framework is created by January 2013.”

Full details here. Further information on RE:FIT is also available on the GLA’s website.

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Climate Change Advice to Planners

March 2012: The UK-GBC Green Building Guidance Task Group has created a number of documents to help Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) and the new neighbourhood forums to “understand sustainability issues, to ensure they achieve a balance between requiring robust sustainability standards but also ensuring development remains viable.” Notes produced cover issues on climate change adaptation, climate change mitigation and energy. Download notes from UKGBC website here.

Other useful resources for planners include:

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New National Policy Planning Framework Launched

March 2012: The Government has released its final version of its National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF) which has gone someway from the initial draft in addressing concerns over the absence of guidance to planning authorities on supporting the development of low carbon and renewable initiatives (as highlighted in an earlier article). The new requirements as set out in the NPPF are welcome  – and copied below for information – but are far and away from the detailed guidance that was proposed to be introduced prior to the 2010 election on climate mitigation issues.

National Planning Policy Framework

Included within the 12 ‘core planning principles’ is:

  • support the transition to a low carbon future in a changing climate, … encourage the reuse of existing resources, including conversion of existing buildings, and encourage the use of renewable resources (for example, by the development of renewable energy);

93. Planning plays a key role in helping shape places to secure radical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, minimising vulnerability and providing resilience to the impacts of climate change, and supporting the delivery of renewable and low carbon energy and associated infrastructure. This is central to the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

95. To support the move to a low carbon future, local planning authorities should:

  • plan for new development in locations and ways which reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • actively support energy efficiency improvements to existing buildings; and
  • when setting any local requirement for a building’s sustainability, do so in a way consistent with the Government’s zero carbon buildings policy and adopt nationally described standards.

96. In determining planning applications, local planning authorities should expect new development to:

  • comply with adopted Local Plan policies on local requirements for decentralised energy supply unless it can be demonstrated by the applicant, having regard to the type of development involved and its design, that this is not feasible or viable; and
  • take account of landform, layout, building orientation, massing and landscaping to minimise energy consumption.

97. To help increase the use and supply of renewable and low carbon energy, local planning authorities should recognise the responsibility on all communities to contribute to energy generation from renewable or low carbon sources. They should:

  • have a positive strategy to promote energy from renewable and low carbon sources;
  • design their policies to maximise renewable and low carbon energy development while ensuring that adverse impacts are addressed satisfactorily, including cumulative landscape and visual impacts;
  • consider identifying suitable areas for renewable and low carbon energy sources, and supporting infrastructure, where this would help secure the development of such sources;
  • support community-led initiatives for renewable and low carbon energy, including developments outside such areas being taken forward through neighbourhood planning; and
  • identify opportunities where development can draw its energy supply from decentralised, renewable or low carbon energy supply systems and for co-locating potential heat customers and suppliers.

98. When determining planning applications, local planning authorities should:

  • not require applicants for energy development to demonstrate the overall need for renewable or low carbon energy and also recognise that even small-scale projects provide a valuable contribution to cutting greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • approve the application if its impacts are (or can be made) acceptable. Once suitable areas for renewable and low carbon energy have been identified in plans, local planning authorities should also expect subsequent applications for commercial scale projects outside these areas to demonstrate that the proposed location meets the criteria used in identifying suitable areas.

156. Local planning authorities should set out the strategic priorities for the areain the Local Plan. This should include strategic policies to deliver:

  • the provision of infrastructure for transport, telecommunications, waste management, water supply, wastewater, flood risk and coastal change management, and the provision of minerals and energy (including heat);

162. Local planning authorities should work with other authorities and providers to:

  • assess the quality and capacity of infrastructure for transport, water supply,wastewater and its treatment, energy (including heat)
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Hotting Up? An Analysis of Low Carbon Plans and Strategies for UK Cities

28 March 2012: Interesting – and detailed – report published by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) analysing progress by UK cities work on reducing their carbon impact through the development of climate change action plans and related actions. One of the key recommendations of the report sets out that Government should:

  • Develop a new policy framework which recognises the role of cities in the climate change and low carbon agendas. The majority of the UK’s population lives in cities, and they are vital in providing a focus for tackling climate change and responding to the low carbon agenda through technology deployment and access to finance. A new ‘low carbon city’ framework,which builds on the existing DECC pilots, should be developed and the concepts of ‘low carbon city’ and‘low carbon society’ should be clearly defined within this framework.

The report and accompanying appendix contains significant amounts of analysis regarding London metrics on energy and carbon in relation to other cities.  Download Hotting Up? An Analysis of Low Carbon Plans and Strategies for UK Cities here.

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London 2012 Olympic Park – Energy & Carbon

March 2012: Slides from a recent UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) Masterclass which focused on detailed technical lessons learned from the London 2012 Olympic Park strategy on energy and carbon can now be downloaded from the following weblink (see bottom right-hand corner of linked page for slides).

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Energise Merton

March 2012: London Sustainability Exchange announced earlier this month that they have been working as “part of Energise Merton, in partnership with Sustainable Merton and Parity Projects, seeking to understand how Merton’s communities can help deliver and benefit from the Green Deal.

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City-scale emissions accounting standard for public comment

20 March 2012: ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group released today a draft edition of the Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions(community protocol) to help cities around the world measure and report GHG emissions using a more consistent protocol.

The full document and accompanying fact sheet are now available for review.  Comments on the full document should be submitted through the feedback form template. The deadline for feedback is 20 April 2012. Feedback should be sent directly to

ICLEI and C40 will be hosting two public webinars, with dedicated outreach to ICLEI and C40 member cities, onTuesday 3 April 2012 from 7:00am – 8:00am UTC (GMT) and Wednesday 4 April 2012 from 3:00pm – 4:00pm UTC (GMT).

To register or for receive further details on these upcoming events please contact

Full details on the following news release.

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Delivering Power: The Future of Electricity Regulation in London’s Central Business District

23 March 2012:  This report, commissioned by London First in conjunction with the City of London and City Property Association looks at the “long-standing concerns from developers about the challenge of securing a reliable and timely connection to the electricity network for new projects, particularly in the City and the West End where there is often little spare capacity.” Further detail here; report downloadable here.

Measure of the density of central London’s electricity demand.

The summary highlights problems associated with connecting new consumers to the distribution network, specifically:

  • General communication and performance by the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) in dealing with developers could be improved. We recognise that in confidential interviews of this type there is a danger of focussing on the negatives, but found the level of dissatisfaction notable.
  • There is a sense that developers cannot get the level of service they want,or indeed feel is necessary from the DNO. It is notable that developers stated that they would in general be willing to pay more for such a service,but this was not on offer from the DNO.
  • In practical terms, developers expressed a preference for a quick guaranteed connection and suggested that a greater degree of anticipatory investment by the DNO would help to facilitate this.
  • In relation to the third point, above, there is a lack of understanding as to why the DNO has not invested to a greater extent in London’s Central Business District (CBD) in light of the view that there will be a significant localized increase in electricity demand over the next ten years.

Mayorwatch has posted a news story which includes a comment from London’s DNO- UK Power Networks– in response to the study.

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Islington: £3m for warming homes, energising business

March 2012: Islington Council news release issued which sets out how the cuoncil has announced how “it will take another 1,000 households out of fuel poverty before 2014 while stimulating the economy creating local jobs and apprenticeships for plumbers, electricians and roofers.
A report to the Council’s executive on 27 March will seek to approve £3m for a universal boiler scheme and insulation works that will reduce bills and put money back in residents’ pockets.
Islington Council will use the investment to attract the maximum benefit from the government’s Green Deal programme towards helping fuel poor households.
The good news comes on the back of a successful year for the council’s energy efficiency action in which over 300 council homes have received ‘A rated’ boilers, 2,300 residents have been helped with energy advice, and the energy doctor has visited over 700 households.
In addition, 1,600 households have received help through the award-winning SHINE service (Seasonal Health Interventions Network) – Islington Council and NHS Islington’s one-stop referral service including benefits checks, Telecare applications and befriending services for the elderly.
Signing off the report Kevin O’Leary, Corporate Director of Islington Council’s Environment Department said: “Taking thousands of poorer households out of fuel poverty is the key to making Islington a fairer place.
“In addition, new jobs and apprenticeships for hundreds in the construction trades are much needed by our young people who have been badly hit by recession.”
In addition to the £3m for boiler replacement, local power schemes in Bunhill and Crouch Hill will be completed in time for winter 2013, bringing cleaner, greener and cheaper energy to 750 homes and businesses in the south and north of the borough.”

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Community Energy: Taking stock, moving forwards?

March 2012:The CISE (Community Innovation for Sustainable Energy) project hosted an event to assess the impact of recent policy developments on the community energy sector at at UEA London on March 8th 2012. Chaired by Professor Yvonne Rydin (Director of the UCL Environment Institute), a panel of 5 community energy experts were asked to reflect on the following questions:

  • How have recent developments in national energy policy affected community energy initiatives?
  • Have responses to these policy proposals galvanised and/or unsettled the community energy sector?
  • What should be the key priorities looking ahead; who needs to be involved, and how?

A report of the seminar is available on the Low Carbon Communities Network here.

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Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor

March 2012: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

Climate change data for the Mayor’s energy strategy; London & Quadrant homes RE:NEW delivery; air quality around new energy from waste schemes in London (1, 2 and 3); borough roll out of RE:NEW; an update on RE:NEW; asking the Mayor whether he would support the Energy Revolution Campaign; the use of heat pumps on Crossrail actions the Mayor will take to achieve the targetst in his Climate change strategy; progress of the Mayor’s Low Carbon Employment and Skills Programme; the amount of funding levered in by RE:NEW from the CERT programme;  Mayoral action on the Green Deal; an update on London’s Environment StrategyLWaRB work on waste infrastructureWaste infrastructure investmentLondon Waste & Recycling BoardRE:NEW and Fuel PovertyRE:NEW funding from Decent Homes (1); and RE:NEW funding from Decent Homes (2).

Previous questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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Hills Fuel Data for London

March 2012: The Hills Fuel Poverty report does provide a regional breakdown of data – as the interim did also – and highlights that:

“Table3.9 shows that London households are only slightly less likely to be fuel poor than others, although they do appear to be less deeply in fuel poverty on average, with a considerably lower average fuel poverty gap than other regions. There is a relatively even split between the broad regions in terms ofthe fuel poverty gap, so that region by itself would not be an effective targeting tool.”

Further details on the report with links provided on an earlier post.

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