Tag Archives: Brent

Dawn Butler and Jeremy Corbyn launch #PrePayRipOff campaign

February 2016: The Kilburn Times reports that Brent Central MP,  Dawn Butler, and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (who is also the Islington North MP) have launched a campaign in the House of Commons to tackle the higher costs of using prepayment gas and electricity meters. The campaign was kick-started with the launch of a petition on behalf of more than 13,000 residents in Brent who use the prepayment method.

Following on from an Early Day Motion (EDM) on prepayment meters put forward by Dawn Butler, the Brent MP held a debate in the House of Commons on the 1st of December 2015 highlighting that her “constituency has one of the highest numbers of people on PPMs in the country—at 26%, it is 10% above the national average—and those on PPMs pay on average £226 more a year than those with the cheapest direct debit deals.” (full transcript here – youtube video here).

The Kilburn Times also reported that Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan was at the campaign launch where he said “One in five households in London have no choice but to use prepayment meters to pay their bills. This could be costing the most disadvantaged families in the capital an additional £140 million a year. “I am calling on the energy companies to automatically give Londoners the best possible deal on their energy tariffs and ensure the most disadvantaged in our communities are given reduced standing rates.”

Another London politician supporting the campaign is East Ham MP Stephen Timms.

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Energy & Climate Questions to the Mayor

December 2014:  This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

alternative energy for maritime facilities;  the Mayor’s Energy Advisor’s letter to the Treasury to support tax incentives to help community energy projects; the Belvedere Energy from Waste plant and the Viridor Energy Recovery plant in Beddington, Sutton; the Mayor’s Energy Advisor’s visit to Shanghai and Beijing; the Mayor’s support for minimum energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector; Crossrail stations using decentralised energy; whether the Mayor supports the call for energy efficiency to be made a UK infrastructure priority; research commissioned by the GLA Environment Team this year costing more than £10,000; Islington Council’s recent success at the Energy Institute Awards; TfL officers responsible for examining the potential for solar energy; and again for the Metropolitan Police Service; TfL’s total electricity spend – and the the proportion of electricity it plans to source for low carbon generators in London; whether TfL has undertaken an assessment of solar PV potential across its estate; meetings the Mayor has had with the London Sustainable Development Commission; the amount of solar PV installed across the Met Police’s estate; and also TfL’s estate; a programme for deploying solar across the Met Police’s estate; the Mayor’s support for Cold Homes Week 2015; Excess Winter Mortality (EWM) statistics for London; the number of children in London living in fuel poverty; the number of Londoners living in fuel poverty; if the Mayor had worked with Public Health England on fuel poverty issues; how the Mayor will be helping London households in fuel poverty this winter; Mayoral support for anaerobic digestion facilities in London; the Mayor’s support to older Londoners in fuel poverty; decentralised energy support unit (DEPDU) work on the North London Heat and Power project; the number of RE:NEW households visited with children; RE:NEW programme progress reports; companies on the RE:NEW programme procurement framework and discussions with Brent Council on fracking.

Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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40 ESCO deals signed through RE:FIT programme

June 2014: A response by the Mayor to a question this month provides details that, of the 125 public sector organisations working with the RE:FIT programme, 40 have so far signed energy service deals through the GLA’s RE:FIT procurement framework.  Local authorities signed up to RE:FIT include Harrow, Ealing, Sutton, Enfield, Merton and Camden. A full list of the 40 organisation is provided here (though, confusingly, a few organisations are mentioned more than once – so not it’s not clear if the list is less than 40 – or these organisations have signed more than one deal with an ESCO partner…?).

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British Gas data on energy efficiency retrofits in London

June 2014: Following an extensive evidence session on the Mayor’s domestic energy efficiency programme earlier this year – details of which are here – the Mayor has provided some additional information on work being undertaken by British Gas in London.

The letter states that “British Gas, with its London borough and housing association partners, has already committed to invest in excess of £36 million through eight schemes in London shown in the table below.

These schemes are expected to deliver measures to over 26,000 homes across London.” British Gas has previously stated that they would earmark specific funding to London under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) programme: how much this level has changed following the alternations to ECO proposed by government in their recent ECO consultation is not clear, but has been raised in a recent mayoral question.

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Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor

September 2013: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

How the Mayor’s programmes will respond to the forthcoming IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 5th Assessment Report; the Mayor’s “climate sceptic views“; London’s growing energy demand; £145k spend on climate change adaptation;  the amount of energy generated from waste incineration; the number of GLA officers working on energy efficiency retrofit; the amount of ECO funding that could be directed to London; the operation of the RE:FIT schools energy efficiency programme in Harrow; the RE:FIT schools programme in Brent; Government’s proposed changes to building regulations and its potential impact on London Plan energy requirements; the Mayor’s response to DECC’s Community Energy – Call for Evidence; the Mayor’s support for community energy schemes in London – such as Brixton Energy; publication of the latest London Energy and Greenhouse Gas Inventory (LEGGI); the cost of producing Using Local Powers to Maximise Energy Efficiency Retrofit – How to’ materials for London’? (report here); the terms of loans provided by the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF); extending LEEF loans to the private sector; details of the LEEF Advisory Committee; consultancy companies working on LEEF; the amount spent by LEEF; the number of loans given out by LEEF; rollover energy contracts for SMEs; Londoners energy bills; the amount of renewable electricity provided by Source London electric vehicle charging points; funds previously spent on adding energy efficiency measures to Metropolitan Police buildings currently for sale; developing a Fuel Poverty Action Plan for London; the supply of electricity to London’s electric vehicle charging points; the supply of electricity to London Underground; London Green Deal targets; a London Green Roofs map; the Mayor’s Green Deal assessment on his home; stimulating Green Deal finance packages; spend of the Green Bus Fund; funding received from the Green Bus Fund; identifying brownfield land in London suitable for sustainable energy projects; CO2 savings achieved by the Mayor’s climate change programmes; potential for the London Pension Fund Authority to invest in low carbon energy projects; when the next update to the Mayor’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy is to be published; how climate change will affect London’s summer temperatures; new anaerobic digestion plant in Surrey; the level of waste being directed to the Beddington incinerator; the London Plan’s policies on incineration; the Mayor’s approval of the Beddington incinerator; if the Mayor had pressed for the Beddington project to develop as a anaerobic digestion plant; if the Beddington incinerator can operate in combined heat and power (CHP) mode; heat network around the Beddington incinerator; the growth of waste incineration in London to 2016; the role for future incineration in London; local planning controls and fracking; the fracking potential in London; details of the new RE:NEW domestic energy efficiency programme; targets for the new RE:NEW programme; the choice of the Capita Group to manage the new RE:NEW programme; GLA buildings that have been treated by the RE:FIT programme; whether the Mayor’s Environment advisor had visited the Kings Cross CHP and district heating scheme.

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£67.23m of DE projects to be delivered in London

22 April 2013: A useful update on some of London’s key decentralised energy (DE) projects being supported by the Mayor has been produced for the GLA Investment and Performance Board meeting taking place tomorrow (23 April). The Mayor’s Decentralised Energy Project Delivery Unit (DEPDU) is a three-year programme set up in August 2011 with €3.3m funding, 90% of which was secured from the European Investment Bank’s ELENA facility.

The paper (link to paper, direct here) sets out that the GLA has a contractual target with the EIB to deliver £67.23m of DE projects to market before the 3rd of August 2014.   The following projects as of 31st December 2012 have been taken to market through the GLA’s Decentralised Energy for London programme and, as agreed with the EIB as eligible projects. Together, they represent £42.3m, or 64% of the final ELENA target.

Project Eligible CAPEX (£) Construction completed CO2 savings (t/year) Project stage
Islington Bunhill Phase 1 £6,499,107 2011 2,950 Operational
Cranston Estate £7,800,000 2011 1,200 Operational
Crystal Palace CHP £1,490,000 2011 1,850 Operational
Olympic Fringe Extension £1,350,000 2011 960 Operational
Royal Free £6,073,621 2012 4,060 Operational
Brent South Kilburn £17,170,000 Unknown* 835 Procurement
Lewisham Goldsmiths College £1,911,706 2014 947 Construction
TOTALS £42,294,434 12,800

The paper states that when “fully developed and in operation, these projects will contribute with 4.7 MW of installed electrical capacity (and 35.7 MW of installed thermal capacity (enough to provide heat and power to 6,000 homes) to London’s generation from DE sources and will save up to an estimated 12,800 tonnes of CO2 per annum.

“In addition, the DEPDU is also currently supporting the development of an additional 22 projects with a combined value of £304m. Of these, five are in advanced stages of development, and are expected to be brought to market within the following 12 months.”

Project Estimated CAPEX (£) Construction completed CO2 savings (t/year) Project stage
Euston Road £7,025,000 2014 4,594 Procurement
Westminster PDHU / Whitehall £5,480,000 2015 5,500 Business case
SELCHP £6,000,000 2013 3,395 Construction
LSIP £2,000,000 2014 1,584 Procurement
Haringey North Tottenham £8,060,000 2016 5,148 Pre-feasibility
TOTALS £28,565,000 20,200

When fully developed and in operation, the paper states “these projects will contribute with 3.2 MW of installed electrical capacity and 90 MW of installed thermal capacity (enough to provide heat and power to 14,000 and 4,500 homes respectively) to London’s generation from DE sources and will save up to an estimated 20,200 tonnes of CO2 per annum.”
The paper goes on to say that the “paper does not include projections on jobs created. However, it is our intention to incorporate estimates of jobs created for future reporting and we will work with GLA Economics to establish a robust methodology.”
Further information on many of these projects can be found by searching on this website.

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Wembley Decentralised Energy Plans move forward

January 2013: An update on plans for a decentralised energy network around Wembley has become available through the following news release from energy consultancy firm Ramboll:

“London Borough of Brent and Greater London Authority have recently commissioned Ramboll Energy to develop a decentralised energy masterplan for the Wembley Regeneration Area. …The scale of regeneration, together with the nature and mix of building uses, suggests that a district heating network is likely to have a strong role to play in delivering carbon reduction to the area. The masterplan will focus on the role of district heating, but also consider the role for building level and plot level renewable technologies in locations where the heat network may not be suitable or economically viable.”

Brent have already commissioned a heat map for the borough (which is downloadable from the London Heat Map website) and an initial feasibility study for a Wembley decentralised energy project was originally undertaken in 2008 (see earlier post on this). Details for DE network are also set out in the 2011 Wembley Local Development Framework consultation sustainability report. Brent are also advancing plans for a DE network in Kilburn – see earlier post on this.

Finally, an academic study of Brent’s planning rules and decentralised energy can be viewed here.

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£11m awarded to London energy programmes

January 2013: Responding to a competition launched last October, DECC have just announced that 132 projects have won a share of £46 million of funding. The three strands of the funds were  “to help reduce fuel poverty, boost energy efficiency, and encourage collective switching and purchasing in regions across Great Britain.” The full press release is here and boroughs successful (and amounts awarded) can be downloaded here, and shows London did well with a total of £11m worth of projects selected. These were:

Fuel Poverty

  • Barnet (£107,500)
  • Waltham Forest (£97,000)
  • Tower Hamlets (£2,254,000)
  • Camden (£407,500)
  • Brent (£102,000)
  • Hillingdon (£106,500)
  • Hounslow (£706,000)
  • GLA together with 18 London boroughs (£5,360,421)

Green Deal Pioneer Places

  • Brent (£153,000)
  • Camden (£120,180)
  • Hounslow (£262,000)
  • Haringey (£275,200)
  • GLA together with 18 London boroughts (£266,921)

Cheaper Energy Together Funding

  • Tower Hamlets (£37,351)
  • Kingston upon Thames with 16 London boroughs (£686,655)

Little information is available at the moment on what exactly these various schemes will do in their respective areas, however, some  guidance released when the competition was launched provides details of what this funding is supposed to be delivering.

London Councils reports that the last of the collective energy purchasing schemes, where Kingston Council is the lead borough, will help “Vulnerable residents in up to 1.75 million homes across London will be offered assistance by their local council to get a better energy deal and save money.” DECC’s Secretary of State, Ed Davey, is hugely supportive of such collective purchasing deals (see here and here), and promoted such programmes in his former role at the Department of Business (BIS). He’s also the MP for Kingston and Surbiton, so it’s not surprising that his local council undertook a strong role in this competition.

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25 heat network projects being supported in London

November 2012: A recent speech by Ed Davey, Secretary of State at DECC on the department’s emerging policy around heat energy highlighted how the efficient use of heat is being promoted in the capital through its promotion of district heating. Mr Davey stated:

“London contains an example of the potential. The Greater London Authority is supporting 25 heat network projects. These have the capacity to leverage over £230 million of investment.”

A recent Mayoral question provides a little more detail on where these schemes are:

“The Decentralised Energy Project Delivery Unit is currently supporting the development of 25 decentralised projects. The following lists the activities with the boroughs:
Projects at procurement: Brent and Camden;
• Projects at post-feasibility: Croydon, Enfield, Haringey, Waltham Forest and Westminster;
• Projects at feasibility: Southwark, Islington, Hammersmith and Fulham, Newham, Sutton;
• Projects at pre-feasibility/energy master planning: Hillingdon, Ealing, and Westminster.”

Further information on Brent’s South Kilburn DE project can be found here.
Details of the innovative scheme being supported by Camden in Gospel Oak can be found here (and recent October newsletter here), which is using heat from a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant situated in the Royal Free Hospital, to provide low carbon affordable heat to nearby residents.
Other information can be found in the various borough heat map reports posted on www.londonheatmap.org.uk

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10 July 2012: Brent is looking for a “Schools Technical Energy Advisor … to help schools in Brent manage their energy use and reduce their carbon emissions.” The Advisor would help deliver the council’s Collaborative Low Carbon School Service (CLCSS) and look to:

  • Identify energy efficiency / improvement projects that the schools are interested to act upon to reduce energy use
  • Discuss Display Energy Certificate (DEC) Rating with the school as means of measuring annual energy usage performance.  Initially target schools in F and G categories.
  • Assist with the promotion of Brent Council’s Energy Strategy for Buildings

Further information here. The job is offered as a short term contract to April 2013 with a deadline for applications of 15 July 2012.

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External Insulation for London Semis

June 2012: South Kenton and Preston Park Residents Association (SKPPRA) recently obtained a grant from the Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF) to externally insulate a pair of semi-detached houses on the estate to show residents how this will make the houses warmer and easier to heat. Under the ‘warmhouse’ project two houses in Wembley were clad in external wall insulation and a series of detailed reports of the project have been published and are available to download from the ‘warmhouse’ website, which will provide some valuable learning for the roll out of the Green Deal in London.

Some points of interest:

  • Detailed photographic records of the retrofit are posted in the first document, setting out the level of work undertaken to externally insulate these two homes.
  • The second report provides a useful ‘scope of works’ document, which sets out the requirements of the insulation project to the contractor – a helpful template to any other similar project being considered.
  • The fourth report highlights that, via a survey of local residents applying for to have their homes insulated, annual gas bills are shown to range from just over £400 to just under £1400 (presumably down to occupation levels rather than energy efficiency levels of the various homes?) with the majority of gas bills between £850 to £1100.
  • The average annual gas consumption across residents submitting information is 21,500kWh of gas (hot water and space heating)
  • Actual energy consumption modelling over the year hasn’t been undertaken(the project timeline most didn’t allow for this) and page 33 of this fourth report sets out a modelled indicative spread of space heating (only) consumption over the year
  • Page 34 of the report then provides an indicative idea of how space heating consumption will be reduced as a result of the using external insulating walls, suggesting a >50% reduction in energy use in the home
  • However, the FAQs set out however that “Utility bills and monthly gas readings will be required after the work is done so that the effect of the insulation on your energy consumption is recorded. As part of the preparation work a forecast will be made of the effect of the insulation on your heating energy consumption and the monthly gas readings will help to assess the accuracy of the forecast computer model.”
  • Unfortunately,  the project will not undertake a full fabric approach, the FAQs saying  “No your windows will not be replaced – the grant is for the external insulation only”, but it’s possible the homes were already double-glazed…? However, it’s not immediately clear if this is the case with the two homes insulated
  • Both external (and internal) wall insulation – and also replacement glazing (see Annex 1 of the Government’s recent response to the Green Deal and ECO consultation on the full list of qualifying measures) – will be subsidised under the forthcoming £1.3 bn a year Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, which starts in October 2012
  • It will be interesting to see how the houses perform in their new insulated state, and hence post-occupancy evaluation reports from the project will be of great value.
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Update on London Power Tunnels project

May 2012: An update on the London tunnelling project reports that “significant milestones in the construction of three deep level tunnels as part of the London Power Tunnels contract for National Grid” have been reached as part of a project to build new high voltage electricity cable tunnels between Hackney and Willesden (via St John’s Wood) and Kensal Green and Wimbledon. Read the full  story here. Further information on the London Power tunnels project can be read here.

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