Tag Archives: Ealing

Focus on London’s Private Rented Sector and Energy Efficiency

August 2014: An important Early Day Motion (EDM) for London is currently doing the rounds in the House of Commons. EDM 95 ‘Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for Private Rented Homes‘ sets out:

  • the Private Rented Sector (PRS) has over five times more homes in EPC Bands F and G than the social housing sector
  • nearly half the PRS households living in Band F and G properties are in fuel poverty
  • the Energy Act 2011, placed a duty on the Government to introduce a minimum energy efficiency standard for the PRS by April 2018
  • the EDM calls on the Government to ensure that the regulations are made clear and enforceable by specifying Band E as the minimum standard in all cases, and by keeping exemptions to an absolute minimum.

Suprisingly, only 4 London MPs have as yet signed the EDM:

  • Corbyn, Jeremy (Labour) Islington North
  • Jackson, Glenda (Labour) Hampstead and Kilburn
  • Love, Andrew (Labour) Edmonton
  • McDonnell, John (Labour) Hayes and Harlington

The Mayor’s recent consultation on a London Housing Strategy sets out how critical the PRS is to London and the challenges faced by Londoners living in rented accommodation. These include:

  • Rents are higher in the capital, with the median monthly rent for a private rented home at £1,300, compared with a national average of £595.20 Private sector tenants in London spend an average of 36% of their gross household income on rent.
  • the proportion of private renting households with children has increased sharply, from 19% to 29% between 2001 and 2011, indicating a growing reliance on this sector by families.
  • Retrofitting in the private rented sector has always been challenging, but the Mayor remains committed to seeing progress.

Together with the knowledge of the poorer levels of energy efficiency in rental properties, London clearly has much to do to help tackle energy costs and fuel poverty in the PRS.

The Mayor has introduced a ‘London Rental Standard‘ (updated in May 2014) setting out a voluntary set of minimum standards that the Mayor expects from landlords, managing agents and letting agents that operate in London’s private rented sector. Though London’s PRS faces particular stresses on energy, the Standard does not go above the national regulation requirements but simply points to the Energy Act’s defined minimum standard on energy efficiency:

  • Energy efficiency: 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.

And, in relation to this Energy Act 2011 duties, in July DECC issued a consultation on the of the introduction of the Private Rented Sector Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard Regulations setting out a series of questions around the scope and implementation of the regulations (with a deadline for responses of 2 September 2014). Minutes from a working group that lead to the development of the consultation can be viewed here.

London’s particular challenges are not picked up anywhere in the consultation document or impact assessment. Delivering energy efficiency to London’s PRS was however looked at in a National Energy Action (NEA) seminar earlier this year, which highlighted London’s added logistical, demographic and architectural challenges. Presentations from the event can be viewed here.

Much more information on the PRS is set out in the April 2014 ‘Housing In London‘ evidence base document.

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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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London’s Electricity Infrastructure

July 2013: A recent meeting of the London Infrastructure Group, part of the London Enterprise Panel (the local enterprise partnership for London) included a paper considering requirements for London’s growing electricity infrastructure.

The paper highlights that “UK Power Networks (UKPN) is London’s main Distribution Network Operator (DNO) for electricity serving all except the London boroughs of Hillingdon, Hounslow and Ealing. Scottish and Southern Energy serve these boroughs. As DNO UKPN’s responsibility extends from the Grid Supply Points where it takes electricity at high voltages from National Grid to the supply of London’s homes and businesses.”

UKPN is currently consulting on its 2015 – 2023 Business Plan which is to be submitted to Ofgem.  Much of the detail around UKPN’s proposals in the Plan have been discussed in recent meetings of the Mayor’s High Level Electricity Working Group and an appendix paper to the London Infrastructure Group meeting considers some key elements of the Plan.

The papers report that the Mayor has raised concerns regarding future investment in London’s electricity distribution infrastructure and that UKPN latest proposals “represent a step backwards regarding the prospects of UKPN investing in advance of need. It gives rise to concern about whether UKPN has taken sufficiently full account of the needs of the City of London and other central London boroughs facing business and development growth. The reason for the backward step is mainly attributable to the intervention of Ofgem” (some of these concerns on future needs were recently raised by businesses in the recent West End Commission report).

Investment in major substations has been reduced from £170 million to £100 million compared to the original draft. UKPN now includes only four of the planned six (plus Earls Court1) major substations for central London on a funded basis (see Table 1 below for details). The origin of the change is principally Ofgem’s unwillingness to accept the remaining three substations as part of UKPN’s regulated asset base, since they would amount to investment by UKPN in advance of an actual connection being requested.

Interesting to note that other changes have been made to UKPN’s forecasts of sustainable energy investment in response to comments to the original consultation. These include changes to the assumptions regarding the uptake of electric vehicles and to the infrastructure investment for Feed–in–Tariff eligible generation.

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Waltham Forest continues to lead on PV

January 2013: DECC have released their latest quarterly dataset of “Sub-regional statistics show [ing] the number of installations and total installed capacity by technology type at the end the latest quarter that have been confirmed on the Central FIT Register (CFR)”. [DECC weblink;  Excel file] The data provides a useful breakdown of installations under the Feed in Tariff (FIT) programme by ‘local authorities’ and also ‘parliamentary constituency’. The top 10  London boroughs by total installs of PV (photovoltaic) installations under the FITs programme (which started in April 2010) is provided below.

Waltham Forest 861
Bromley 730
Croydon 577
Havering 491
Bexley 404
Richmond upon Thames 397
Barnet 394
Ealing 383
Redbridge 336
Lewisham 315

Points to note:

  • Waltham Forest continues to be the local authority with the most number of total PV installs
  • By comparing the latest dataset to the previous October 2012 dataset, it can also be seen that Waltham Forest had the highest number of PV installs over the past quarter (136) – 3-4 times as much as the next nearest boroughs (Bromley (49), Croydon (33) and Havering (32)
  • Over the last three quarters London has seen a small drop in its percentage of total PV installs as a proportion of the UK total – from 2.79% to 2.76%
  • Further comparison of PVs in London compared to other UK regions can be seen here.
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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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RE:NEW to roll out across nine more London boroughs

27 September 2011: The Mayor has announced today that homes in specific areas in Wandsworth, Croydon, Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Hounslow are the next to benefit from the RE:NEW energy efficiency programme.  To find out if you are in an area which is getting the RE:NEW treatment go to the postcode search facility here.

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Ealing

Towards zero carbon development in Ealing: Energy Evidence Base September 2010
Ealing Climate Change Strategy September 2008
Energy Efficiency Advice webpage

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Ealing’s social housing PV programme

1 March 2011: Ealing council are working with energy provider Eaga to install free solar photovoltaic systems on social housing tenants properties. More information on EAGA’s website here.

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Ealing slick at cooking oil recycling

7 January 2011: An Ealing Council recycling centre is top of the tables for waste cooking oil collection. Greenford Recycling Centre has collected the most cooking oil for recycling in London, and the second highest volume in the country. Just one litre of used cooking oil can be converted into a new green fuel called LF100 to produce enough clean electricity to make 240 cups of tea. The total amount collected in Ealing is enough to power eight homes for a year or an energy-saving 20W light bulb for each Ealing resident for five and a half hours.

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Towards zero carbon development in Ealing

September 2010: Towards zero carbon development in Ealing: Energy Evidence Base. This report establishes the rationale and viability of carbon emission saving targets in the borough  and examines measures to promote sustainable design and construction.
Working jointly with the GLA and LDA, the council are also assessing the feasibility of decentralised energy networks within the borough. Phase 1 of this project was completed in May 2010 and encompasses a heat mapping exercise (post at the above link).

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