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Tag Archives: CERT
January 2013: Tim Starley Grainger has posted some useful graphics on how London is faring under some key Government energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes, such as CERT, Warm Front and progress under the Feed in Tariffs (FITs). As highlighted in various posts on this site, it doesn’t make for cheerful viewing. Graphics posted here.
November 2012: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to: the way the supplier obligation support for energy efficiency works and its shortfalls in terms of London; promotion of anaerobic digestion plants through the London Plan; how the GLA’s asset strategy can promote the low carbon economy; compensating for unavoidable carbon emissions during the Olympic Games; the Mayor’s view on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS) and the international response to aviation being included in the EUETS.
Previous questions to the Mayor can be found here.
23 November 2012: A number of concerns around the the delivery of energy efficiency measures in London are raised in a paper presented earlier this month to the Greater London Authority’s Housing Investment Group. The paper sets out that:
“3.2 Due to delays in clarifying and implementing the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal, additional work is now needed to ensure a smooth transition from the end of the previous CESP /CERT funding scheme in December until the Green Deal goes live in April.
“3.3 In particular we need to ensure there is no slow down in environmental domestic retrofit in London from January to April 2013.
Critically for the insulation industry the paper goes on to say:
“We have met several suppliers who are concerned they will not be able to continue in business due to the potential drop in delivery from Jan-April.”
As a consequence, the Mayor’s RE:NEW domestic energy efficiency programme has decided to continue to contract the EST who “will help manage the transition period and maintain the supply chain framework until the implementation of Green Deal and ECO in April.”
It’s becoming clear that the insulation industry’s concerns – arising out of the Government’s decision not to implement a transition plan from CERT, which is heavily focused on the installation of cavity wall and loft insulation, to the Green Deal and ECO, which is not – are now being realised. An estimate of job losses to the insulation industry in London was also released last week (see earlier post ‘’625 jobs under threat in the Insulation Industry in London’)
November 2012: Though there has been much discussion on the ‘start’ of the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO), there has been little mention of the new ECO brokerage system that had been proposed. The key idea behind the brokerage – a new online system that would allow Green Deal Providers to access ECO funds by bidding in projects which energy suppliers could choose to ‘buy’ – was that it would potentially allow a wider number of actors to participate in the ECO, such as local authorities and community groups. It would also provide DECC with greater transparency with regard to the costs met by suppliers in meeting their ECO obligation, something which DECC has little information of to date under CERT.
The brokerage was discussed in a workshop at last week’s Local Government Association’s Green Deal and ECO conference where the following updates were provided by DECC:
- DECC had established a brokerage working group to discuss how the system could operate. No agreement was reached however on the key issue of what level the brokerage would play in suppliers achieving their ECO targets – ie to what extent suppliers would be obligated to purchase ECO ‘points’ from Green Deal Providers submitting projects – or if suppliers participation in the brokerage system is to be volutnary
- An ECO brokerage consultation document was to be issued in the ‘summer’. DECC’s Green Deal’s progress document in June 2012 stated that “we will seek voluntary commitments from the energy companies to use the brokerage mechanism from October to allow other organisations to access ECO subsidy. In September we will consult on whether there is a need for further legislation to oblige energy companies to use the ECO brokerage mechanism and if so how much subsidy they should be required to trade.” All of this is behind schedule.
- In yesterday’s Green Deal webchat DECC Minister Greg Barker stated “Energy Compnies can already start delivering against their ECO targets already but we want to open the market up further and will be consulting shortly on the ECO Brokerage.”
- DECC announced at the LGA conference that they had hired a ‘trader’ within the department and a few trial trades will take place this December to help with some ‘active learning’ on how such a system could work
- DECC also stated that they ‘would not oblige energy companies to use the brokerage – but could do’
- The brokerage would operate as a ‘blind mechanism’ – ie energy companies would not see which specific organisation were bidding in projects, to ensure that all trades were fair
- The brokerage would not deliver 100% of all ECO projects: existing obligation programmes had established good relationships between energy companies and local authorities and other housing providers. Such bilateral contracts should continue
- Related to the above – British Gas – who were at the workshop – stated that their aspiration was to continue building such longer term partnerships
- Only Green Deal Providers would be allowed to submit projects into the brokerage system. Local authorities and social landlords would fit this criteria – and some are looking at registering as Providers. There would still be scope for smaller organisations, such as community groups, to participate in the brokerage, as they could partner with a Green Deal Providers to submit projects, without having to go through the necessary ‘due diligence’ Green Deal Provider process themselves
- A key concern raised was the ability of local authorities to develop projects to submit into the brokerage when funds were being withdrawn from key growth sectors such as environmental and energy services.
19 November 2012: The Insulation Industry Forum have issued a news release stating that “a coalition representing over 70% of the UK’s £700m insulation industry has warned that 625 jobs in the insulation industry are under threat in London in 2013, with job losses starting this Winter.”
This situation arises as a result of changes being made to the Government’s home energy efficiency programme, moving from the existing CERT scheme, to the new Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal from the beginning of 2013. The IIF state that:
“The losses come from the gap between the ending of the existing subsidy schemes for cavity wall solid wall and loft insulation, and the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) becoming fully functional. This will seriously impact on the continuity of work and number of cavity wall, loft insulation and solid wall jobs undertaken from the 1 January 2013. As a result of the gap, 625 jobs will go in London in 2013.”
As detailed in a number of previous posts, London has missed out from energy supplier CERT funds (and its predecessor programmes) over the last decade (clearly shown in slide 2 of a recent GLA presentation on the ‘History of Attracting CERT’ here). There are still significant numbers of lofts and cavity walls to be insulated in the capital. However, the new ECO and Green Deal programmes will remove the market stimulation programmes for loft and cavity insulation – apart from those households who fall within a subset of ECO – the Carbon Saving Communities Obligation (CSCO) areas.
At the Local Government Association’s Green Deal conference held in London last Friday, a presentation from East London based organisation Otesha highlighted that programmes they had initiated to help get young unemployed people trained in the insulation sector, as part of their ‘green jobs’ initiative, where stalling as a result of insulation companies losing contracts because of the change in Government programmes.
October 2012: Just posted on the GLA website is a Mayoral approval form for the current round of RE:NEW 2012/13 (also called RE:NEW II). The approval form is signed and dated by the Mayor back in April (pre-election) but has only been posted on the GLA website on 16 October. It provides for £3m to be allocated to retrofit a further 24,000 homes (on top of the 64,000 homes treated under RE:NEW I) by the end of this calendar year. An additional £300,000 is being spent on stimulating early Green Deal uptake with a delivery agent procured (using the RE:NEW framework) to deliver RE:NEW Green Deal to residents in selected areas.
The approval form sets out that “The focus of the RE:NEW Green Deal delivery would be to generate early leads for Green Deal assessments once it becomes available, test different methods for generating this take up (including the creation of local champions and referral fees) and other engagement and education tools.”
“It is expected that through this work stream, 3,500 homes would have signed up for a Green Deal visit by March 2013. As part of the wider engagement, there would also be an element of education and promotion of Green Deal across London as a whole. This would enable any Londoner to sign up to receive a Green Deal survey as soon as available.”
Further information on RE:NEW targets is available in the following post.
October 2012: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:
a London-specific target under the Government’s forthcoming Energy Company Obligation (ECO) programme; progressing in achieving the Mayor’s Hydrogen Powered Vehicles strategy; the provision of energy efficiency support to SMEs in London; work being undertaken under the Mayor’s Decentralised Energy Project Delivery Unit; support for Cooperative Renewable Energy projects; how London will benefit under Energy Company Obligation (ECO); a list of all current Decentralised Energy projects supported; the roll out of the Green Deal in London; work to support the support the non-domestic Green Deal programme in London; the scale of the Mayor’s Green Deal programme in London; Guidance on low carbon cooling systems; low/zero carbon measures secured through the GLA’s planning process; GLA review of the potential for low and zero carbon microgeneration technologies; future carbon emissions related to new infrastructure projects; work by the GLA with ICLEI, C40 and Eurocities on climate mitigation and adapation; and update on Low Carbon Skills Forum; planned budgets for future carbon mitigation programmes; carbon savings achieved by the Mayor’s programmes; the success of the Feed in Tariff (FIT) programme in London; an update on the London Thames Gateway Heat Network; the publication date of the Mayor’s Technical Guide for District Heating; and progress on the development of district heating commercial templates and a London Heat Charter. Planning guidance on sustainable design and construction; progress under the RE:FIT programme; targets under the RE:NEW 2 programme; annual progress report on the Mayor’s climate programme; an update on the London greenhouse gas inventory (LEGGI). Publication of the London Environment Strategy (see here for the answer referred to); the number of Solid Wall Insulation companies in London; Mayoral action on tackling Fuel Poverty; energy efficiency of new homes in the Olympic park; proposal for a zero carbon development around the Olympic site; energy consumption of superfast broadband; and future plans for Edmonton incinerator.
A series of questions (below) were asked in relation to RE:NEW – all of which were directed to a question asked earlier this year pointing to the November 2012 publication of the evaluation of the RE:NEW programme.
How many pensioner households treated under the RE:NEW programme; number of solid wall homes treated under RE:NEW; fuel poor households treated under RE:NEW; flats treatedunder RE:NEW; private rented homes treated under RE:NEW; the number of solid wall installations undertaken under RE:NEW; the number of cavity wall insulation installations undertaken under RE:NEW; the number of loft insulation installations under RE:NEW; the number of benefit checks undertaken through RE:NEW; and how RE:NEW has helped drive up the CERT and Warm Front programmes in London.
Previous questions to the Mayor can be found here.
31 May 2012: Think tank Future of London having been working with local authorities and other key energy efficiency delivery agents in London over the past few months considering how the Government’s Green Deal programme can be successfully implemented in the capital. The result of these discussions have been published today in a report entitled ‘Delivering Energy Efficiency in London‘. The role of local authorities and other local partners is – as DECC states on its website – “likely to be key in ensuring effective and intensive delivery of the ECO and Green Deal in particular areas.” Hence the findings by Future of London are of particular interest, and include:
- The capital faces a big challenge to make the most of the Government’s new approach to improving energy efficiency through the Green Deal and ECO programmes
- Contributing factors to the installation of energy efficiency measures being more difficult and costly in London include:
-The increased cost of parking and the congestion charge in London
– The particular characteristics of the London housing stock with a high proportion of solid wall properties and large blocks of flats that are harder to insulate
-The lack of accredited suppliers and installers within the M25
– And the increased difficulty with planning processes in London owing to the high volume of properties in conservation areas, and the need for external wall insulation on solid wall properties.
Ways in which boroughs could encourage consumer demand for the Green Deal include:
- Promoting the scheme through council media and public-facing staff such as social workers or housing officers;
- Using data from tax records, planning information and previous energy efficiency schemes to identify properties that could benefit from the Green Deal;
- Working with faith groups, tenants and residents associations and other community groups to promote the Green Deal and energy efficiency.
The research sets out some really interesting points which Government will need to ensure they take into account in their formulation of the Green Deal. These include:
- London contains an estimated 600,000 homes within conservation areas – almost half the national total – where planning laws are tighter in order to protect the character of historic buildings. One of the most efficient ways of insulating solid walls is through external cladding – in a conservation area this procedure is likely to require planning consent. At the very least, this will increase the time and bureaucracy involved in treating London homes, making it more likely that the ECO money will be directed to other regions.
- The number of high-rise buildings in London presents a similar problem that was frequently flagged up in interviews conducted with practitioners working across the Capital. 38 per cent of homes in London are in blocks of flats, nearly triple the amount in any other region. This can drive up costs in a variety of different ways.
- Much of the research on the Green Deal to date has suggested that a lack of consumer demand is the principle barrier to the scheme’s success. For example, even the Government’s own figures project a 93 per cent fall in the number of lofts insulated annually and a 67 per cent drop in the number of cavity walls.
- Boroughs have had difficulty giving away energy efficiency improvements for free, marketing the Green Deal will represent a considerable challenge.
- A participant suggested that ‘[Green Deal] assessors will need to be in people’s homes for about three hours. It’s a long time, and some residents will be uncomfortable with that’.
- It was also noted that, while some Boroughs had been interested in providing a loft clearance service as part of previous energy efficiency schemes, they had been advised against doing so by the Council’s insurance officers.
- experience of staff from an affluent inner London Borough interviewed as part of our research suggests that, for very different reasons, wealthier households may decline to participate in the Green Deal. They told us that “we have had little success reducing emissions from richer households because saving a few hundred pounds a year isn’t worth the hassle to them.”
Download the report here.
22 February 2012: Parliamentary question from Tessa Jowell, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood about the delivery of CERT in London.
Tessa Jowell: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much expenditure under the (a) Carbon Emissions Reduction Target and (b) Community Energy Saving Programme has been incurred in respect of properties in (i) London and (ii) the UK. 
Gregory Barker: Best estimates of energy companies total costs in meeting their GB-wide Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) obligations were detailed in the respective impact assessments at the outset of the schemes. Regionally disaggregated cost estimates have not been made. However, in terms of delivery activity, latest figures published by the Energy Saving Trust show that around 2.6 million homes had received insulation measures by March 2011, including almost 132,000 properties in London.
At present, the Government do not have powers to require the obligated energy companies to disclose their CERT and CESP compliance costs. However, we are taking steps to ensure information is available about the cost of delivery under the forthcoming energy company obligation, which is due to replace the existing schemes at the end of 2012.
The latest EST figures for CERT are posted here (they are anticipated to be updated by the EST in early March). The data above once again highlights the low delivery of CERT and CESP in London, with London only achieving a level of around five per cent of all homes treated in the UK
January 2012: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:
Renewable Electricity used by London Underground; Energy and CO2 emissions associated with lighting tube stations; the Budget spend for energy efficiency programme RE:NEW; the level of payments to assessors of energy efficiency programme RE:NEW; carbon savings achieved by the ten easy measures used in the RE:NEW programme; the carbon savings achieved to date by the RE:NEW programme; the Mayors records in raising key London issues with energy companies; the growth of renewable energy over the Mayor’s term; the borough roll-out of RE:NEW; an update on the numbers of homes treated under RE:NEW; a breakdown of the RE:NEW programme budget; the success of RE:NEW energy efficiency programme; CO2 savings achieved through planning; Guidance on low carbon cooling systems; Fuel Poverty in East London; an update on the capacity of combined heat and power (CHP); an update on the Mayor’s Hydrogen Action Plan; and Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) funding in London boroughs.
Previous questions to the Mayor can be found here.
9 January 2012: E.ON has today announced a new offer of free cavity wall and standard loft insulation, plus a cheque for £100, to anyone in receipt of Child Tax Credit where their annual household income is less than £16,190 or to anyone claiming Pension Credit. The offer is open to anyone who fits these criteria – whether they are an E.ON customer or not. Full details here.