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Monthly Archives: December 2012
Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor
December 2012: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to: the delay in the publication to the Mayor’s evaluation report of his home energy efficiency programme, RE:NEW; a response to the recent report that London experienced the largest increase in the number of Excess Winter Mortality of any region; the number of low carbon and renewable energy installations installed in fire stations currently threatened with closure; on the Mayor’s recent statement that the “energy policy of the country is in chaos“; the Deputy Mayor’s views on renewable energy; the representation of decentralised energy generators on the Mayor’s High Level Electricity Working Group; the Energy Bill and its support to the attainment of the Mayor’s 25 per cent decentralised energy target
Progress on the Mayor’s DE target; CHP capacity in London; TfL arrangements to secure electricity supply for the London Underground ; TfL energy costs; TfL procurement of electricity from London-based low carbon and renewable energy generators
progress being made under the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF); the UK’s attractiveness to clean energy investment; discussions with energy companies over recent price hikes; a London target under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
job losses in the insulation industry in London; Mayor’s liaison with the Insulation Industry Forum; the slow take up under the Green Deal and the January launch of the Green Deal; London bid to the Green Deal Pioneer Places fund and here.
Energy efficiency improvements linked to home extensions and conversions; the 2018 energy efficiency requirement for the private rented sector (and here); that there will be no zero carbon homes developed on the Greenwich Peninsula; checks on the standard of work completed under the RE:NEW programme; future energy consumption related to London’s future population growth; the anticipated energy output from the 25 decentralised energy schemes currently being supported by the Mayor; funding directed to the Mayor’s decentralised energy programme; papers from future meetings of the Mayor’s High Level Electricity Working Group; and the potential for anaerobic digestion in London and the number of future AD plants in London.
Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.
Posted in News Tagged Anaerobic Digestion, CHP, Decentralised Energy, Energy Efficiency, Fuel Poverty, Funding, Green Deal, RE:NEW, Renewable Energy Leave a comment
FIT: Draft Guidance for Community Energy and School Installations
December 2012: Ofgem draft guidance document, open for consultation. It provides specific guidance for solar PV community energy and school installations on how to benefit from provisions available for the FIT scheme.
Further information on community energy and school installations can be found in the following DECC FIT FAQ document and the latest FIT rates here.
Posted in Library, Renewable Energy Tagged FIT, Ofgem, Photovoltaics Leave a comment
London Assembly write to Government about Fuel Poverty
December 2012: Following last month’s evidence session (and see here), the London Assembly Health and Environment Committee has written to the Mayor, Department for Energy and Climate Change and energy companies about fuel poverty and domestic energy efficiency retrofit. The Committee’s correspondence can be seen here.
Writing to Minister for Energy Greg Barker, the Committee say: “The Committee would also like to know what lessons you are taking from the experience of CERT and CESP (and other programmes such as the GLA’s RE:NEW) for the Green Deal and ECO, and in particular for achieving better take-up and delivery in London. These new programmes provide an excellent opportunity to redress the previous imbalance and to show DECC’s commitment to fair delivery in London.”
The Committee quiz the Mayor over future proposals for the RE:NEW programme, asking “the Committee would like information on whether and how the plans it has heard are compatible with any further down-scaling of the annual GLA resource allocated to the programme. Your Deputy referred the Committee to the ECO funding stream but this is, we understand, for the retrofitting work itself. Is it expected to support GLA front-end activity, promotion or pipeline assembly? He also referred to a team of 90 staff within the Housing and Land Directorate, including staff transferring from the Homes and Communities Agency. The Committee would be interested to hear what quantum of staff time, and what other resource, will be allocated to RE:NEW work in 2013/14.”
Posted in Energy Efficiency, News Tagged ECO, Energy Efficiency, Fuel Poverty, Green Deal, Housing, RE:NEW Leave a comment
Barking Collective Energy Switching Scheme
17 December 2012: Barking and Dagenham news release highlighting how the council is developing a collective purchasing (or switching scheme) which, from 2013 will allow: “Residents to sign up to the scheme for free in January. In February a broker will negotiate a special tariff direct with the major energy companies. Because a number of customers are buying at the same time, the price negotiated will be lower than most tariffs available on the market place.” Full details here. DECC have supported such schemes including a £5m ‘Cheaper Energy Together’ competition launched last month.
Posted in News Tagged Barking and Dagenham, Energy Costs Leave a comment
South Bank Decentralised Energy Scheme Proposed
14 December 2012: There were several news reports this week (here, here and here) that plans have been released to redevelop the area around the Shell Centre on the South Bank which include mention of an onsite ‘energy centre’.
The developer’s press release goes on to say that “The system will be designed to interconnect with a district heating network being explored for the wider South Bank area.” This is referring to a study undertaken in 2009 looking at the potential for an area-wide decentralised energy heat network connecting new and existing buildings along the South Bank, which was undertaken by London South Bank University for the South Bank Employers’ Group (SBEG).
The planning application is to be submitted to Lambeth before Christmas. Some additional information on the South Bank Master Plan is posted here and on the Shell Centre Dialogue here.
Posted in Decentralised Energy, News Tagged Community Heating, Decentralised Energy, Lambeth Leave a comment
London Housing and Community Heating Presentations
December 2012: Three talks focused on communal heating were presented at the recent National Housing Federation ‘London Development Conference. The series of ‘go on, go green’ slides – downloadable here – contain some useful information:
- Sam Hunt of BSSEC sets out some really clear slides on the design approach for heat mapping, as well as issues that need to be considered when implementing district heating and CHP. Worth a look.
- Robert Greene of a2dominion housing association states that they have a 6,000 home development pipeline over the next 5 years, of which 70% will use communal heating systems
- Results from an ongoing G15 – Communal Heating Research Project are also presented (G15 group – consists of London 15 largest Housing Associations) and highlight that there are currently 134 Schemes with Communal (Decentralised) heating. Much more very useful info is touched upon from the research, however the final results from this will not be published until April/May 2013. See the slides for the full information (slide 28 onwards).
Posted in Decentralised Energy, News Tagged CHP, Community Heating, Decentralised Energy, Housing Leave a comment
FAQs on ECO Brokerage
December 2012: Further to the ECO Brokerage consultation document issued earlier this week, DECC have now issued an ECO Brokerage FAQ briefing.
Posted in Library Tagged ECO, Energy Efficiency, Fuel Poverty, Green Deal Leave a comment
Survey of commercial property investors’ views on sustainability
December 2012: Interesting report from independent commercial property adviser GVA who have issued their latest annual survey of commercial property investors’ views on sustainability. Points to note from the report include:
- It is only five years to go before the EPC minimum energy performance standards kick-in (for both domestic and non-domestic properties). In accordance with The Energy Act 2011, by April 2018, it will become illegal to let residential or commercial properties that do not meet a minimum energy performance standard. The government have announced their intention to use an EPC rating of E as the minimum standard. This could have very significant implications for landlords and property investors alike with currently a fifth of commercial properties below this standard.
- This latest survey indicates an increased emphasis on the importance of sustainability in property, despite the significant economic challenges that remain. However it will still do little to convince industry critics that the current trajectory of improving property stock will meet Government deadlines.
- The survey shows a trend between 2007 and 2012 of investors placing increasing importance on sustainability factors within their acquisition and disposal decision making.
- The report also stated that only a third of survey respondents believe the current poor market conditions have caused a lessening of importance towards sustainability issues by investors.
Posted in Library Tagged Buildings, Energy Efficiency, EPCs Leave a comment
Are EPCs a true indicator of energy efficiency?
December 2012: Jones Lang LaSalle with the Better Buildings Partnership have issued the output of some interesting work they have undertaken: “Using data gathered from over 200 buildings over the past four years, we’ve measured the actual energy performance of BBP members’ managed properties in London with surprising results…There is little or no correlation between EPC ratings and actual energy performance”. This is something often raised by EPC assessors, and so it is useful to get this comprehensive research confirming this view.
The report concludes that:
“If the commercial property industry is to succeed in achieving the Government’s ambition of cutting the associated CO2 emissions of the built environment, it is imperative for the industry, backed by Government direction, to focus on actual energy performance rather than just ‘design intent’. We have shown that there is little or no correlation between a building’s design (as measured by its Energy Performance Certificate) and its actual consumption.
The BBP members’ portfolios achieved a reduction in the associated CO2 emissions of 8% and made a saving of more than £4 million in energy bills, between 2009/2010 and 2011/2012. If the level of success achieved by BBP members were applied to the total existing office stock of Greater London, savings could be in the order of £70 million.”
Somewhat disappointingly, the publication of this research was very shortly followed by the following news report from the Government Minister overseeing this policy concerning extending the coverage of EPCs:
U-turn over compulsory energy assessments for commercial buildings
“Correspondence from building regulations minister Don Foster, confirms that plans for compulsory display energy certificates (DECs) for the private sector have been dropped. Instead, the commercial sector will be required to obtain less stringent energy performance certificates, which measure projected energy use. Display energy certificates, which measure a property’s actual energy performance, are already compulsory for public buildings.”
Posted in News Tagged Buildings, CLG, Energy Efficiency, EPCs Leave a comment
Mayor to encourage energy efficiency in the private rented sector
13 December 2012: The Mayor has today published a new ‘London Rental Standard’ where- the press release states – he “has called for the establishment of a new deal with landlords, letting agents and tenants based around a voluntary and transparent ‘London Rental Standard’ (LRS), which will be consulted on with the industry and launched next year by the GLA.”
Today’s publication, ‘The Mayor’s Housing Covenant: Making the private rented sector work for Londoners’, sets out the Mayor’s proposals for improving private renting for Londoners. Included in there are commitments that:
- The Mayor has three principal objectives for improving the private rented sector (PRS) in London which includes promoting standards through improving the energy efficiency of the stock.
- To do this the Mayor will work with government and energy providers to ensure that the Green Deal works for London’s PRS
- The Mayor has also committed (para 2.3) to address fuel poverty and encourage more landlords to take advantage of energy efficiency programmes.
The report goes on to say (page 33) that:
Improving energy efficiency
In terms of energy efficiency the PRS tends to perform well compared with other tenures but there is still significant room for improvement. In 2010/11, the average SAP rating for private rented homes in London was 57.3, worse than in social housing but better than in owner occupied properties and better than the national average for the PRS. The latter is probably explained by the larger share of flats in London’s PRS compared with elsewhere (flats are generally more efficient than houses).
From 2016, landlords will not be able to unreasonably refuse requests from their tenants for consent to undertake energy efficiency improvements where they can be funded by the Green Deal, and from 2018 all private rented properties must be brought up a minimum efficiency standard.” The latter requires all private rented properties (domestic and non-domestic) should be brought up to a minimum energy efficiency standard rating, likely to be set at EPC rating “E”. Further information on DECC’s website here.
Appendix 1 of the document contains the draft London Rental Standard and the energy commitment goes no further than the rather disappointing standards set by Government in the Energy Act 2011 stating that “landlords must work towards compliance with duties imposed upon them by the Energy Act 2011, especially related to requests for energy efficiency improvements by tenants and in relation to low ratings in energy performance.” The Mayor should instead look to bringing in the recommendations on PRS energy efficiency made by a coalition of organisations during the passage of the 2011 Energy Bill.
Any feedback on the contents of the Housing Covenant paper need to be sent to the GLA by 15 February 2013.
Posted in Energy Efficiency, News Tagged Energy Efficiency, Fuel Poverty, Housing Leave a comment