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Tag Archives: Energy Efficiency
1 December 2013: …is not anywhere on Number 10 or DECC’s websites but behind a ‘paywall’ in today’s edition of the Sun on Sunday. But is now also reproduced below:
Cameron: We can help the poorest and stick to our green policies
Coalition on pledge to keep energy bills down
By DAVID CAMERON, Prime Minister, and NICK CLEGG, Deputy Prime Minister
LABOUR leader Ed Miliband rocked Westminster with his pledge of a 20-month freeze on energy bills.
While ministers scoffed it wouldn’t work, they were stung by its popular appeal with voters.
Now after two months of head-scratching, they have come up with an alternative plan to keep prices down.
Here the Prime Minister and his Lib Dem deputy reveal plans to slash £50 off the average bill – and explain how they’ll do it:
BECAUSE of the hard work of the British people, and because we have stuck to our long-term economic plan, Britain’s economy is now on the mend – and we’re determined to help families in every way we can.
The Coalition is offering real help in these hard times: income tax cuts, a council tax freeze, a fuel duty freeze and free school meals for young children.
We have only been able to do this because we have taken difficult decisions and our economic plan is working.
This week, we will announce further help: proposals that will be worth around £50 on average to energy bill-payers.
We’re doing it without taking any help away from poor families or sacrificing our green commitments; and in a way that will keep Britain’s lights on in the long-term too.
When you look at your bill you see it is made up of various costs. Some of these we can’t control.
Most of what you pay is determined by the price of energy in the global market – the gas and oil we’re buying from the Middle East or Europe.
Politicians in the UK cannot wave a magic wand over these prices. To pretend you can is fantasy politics.
But there are bits that government can control – the parts of your bill that go to helping the poorest families heat their homes and to making Britain more energy efficient.
Some say we should drop these commitments entirely but we do not agree. As we approach winter, we refuse to turn our backs on the worst-off families. And if we abandon our green commitments, it is our children and grandchildren who will pay the price.
This Coalition Government has never pursued quick fixes today when they’ll hurt people tomorrow - and we’re not going to start now.
So we are going to stick to these commitments but we are not going to ask you to pay for all of them through your bills.
The two million poorest families who currently receive a discount on gas and electricity will continue to do so, but Government will pay for it. We’re able to afford this because we have cracked down on tax avoidance – leaving us more money to help struggling families. We are also changing the way we fund improving energy efficiency in Britain’s homes.
We will all be better off when our homes lose less heat, so we want the energy companies to help insulate as many homes as possible over the next decade.
But – apart from in the worst-off homes – we’re going to spread the costs of these programmes over a longer time frame, reducing people’s bills.
And to make sure we carry on cutting enough carbon, the Government will pay for new incentives for people to insulate their homes.
Alongside the Green Deal, when you buy a new home you could get up to £1,000 from Government to spend on energy-saving measures – equivalent to half the stamp duty on the average house – or even more for particularly expensive measures.
It is an all-round win. Better insulation means cheaper bills, it will cut carbon emissions and boost British businesses who provide these services.
On top of that, we will offer cash incentives to landlords of the least energy-efficient properties so that, when they are between tenants, they can better insulate their properties. And we’ll also make sure our schools and hospitals are more energyefficient, too.
Taken together, these things mean we will meet our green commitments and support those employed in the insulation industry but, crucially, without putting the cost on energy customers.
Labour have promised a temporary price freeze on energy bills. But they’re taking people for fools. Energy companies would hike up prices both before and after the freeze – so families would end up paying more.
Not only that, by cutting investment in green energy, their freeze would threaten thousands of jobs.
Labour’s con is the worst of all worlds. When an offer sounds too good to be true it usually is.
The Coalition has come up with a serious and credible plan that actually works.
By taking the time to get this right, we’ve got the best outcome all round. No poor family will lose a penny of help.
Our clean energy sector will get the investment it needs, the lights will stay on and we will cut just as much carbon as we planned.
Instead of a fake giveaway, we’ve found another way to support Britain’s hard-pressed families when they need it most.
November 2013: The GLA’s RE:NEW team have recently produced a guide identifying “potential sources of funding and finance available to London Boroughs, Registered Providers of Social Housing, private landlords and individuals to pay for energy efficiency retrofit measures in their housing.”
November 2013: The GLA have commissioned research to determine the “most effective way for buildings to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions through the design and fabric, based on the Building Regulations modelling tools.” This study will support the GLA’s recent Supplementary Planning Guidance on Sustainable Design & Construction guidance (for more of which here) and London Plan targets which requires all major planning applications from 1 October 2013 will need to provide CO2 emission savings 40% beyond the 2010 building regulation requirements.
Full details of the commission here.
October 2013: In the most recent of his weekly columns in the Daily Telegraph, the Mayor relates a story of a meeting he had with Labour leader Ed Miliband a few years ago, when Ed was the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. The Mayor’s account is in part a response to the announcement Mr Miliband made at last week’s Labour Party Conference that, if Labour were to come into government after the 2015 general election, they would enact a 18 month ‘energy price freeze’ on energy company tariffs.
The Mayor account prove interesting reading: “I don’t think I have ever told you about my last official meeting with Ed Miliband. I must have somehow blanked it out, as one of those experiences that is just too harrowing to relate. It took place a few years ago, and my City Hall team was very excited in the run-up. We had an absolute corker of a plan, you see. We had the spreadsheets, the data, the options – and all we really needed was for Government to get behind it, and make sure that London got its fair share of the funding.
“We were going to launch a huge drive to improve the energy efficiency in the capital’s homes. We were going to hit all sorts of nails pretty smartly on the head: we were going to cut CO₂ emissions, and thereby stop the polar bears from plopping off the ice floes. We were going to cut NO₂ emissions from our noisome old boilers, and so improve air quality. We were going to help get thousands of people into work as retro-fitters – people who went around helping to insulate homes.
“As I told my team during the preparations, Britain might be lagging in some respects, but once our programme was under way we would certainly not be lagging in lagging. Above all, we were going to achieve the number one objective of the scheme: we were going to help cut the cost of heating people’s homes and help stabilise fuel bills.
“I was interested in the plan as a way of helping the planet and helping people in tough times. As for Ed – well, it was, frankly, a bit disheartening. He wasn’t remotely interested. He didn’t want to talk about retro-fitting and, as I gabbled away about a new legion of “boiler bunnies” bouncing up to your door, I was aware that a deep tranquillity had settled on the minister.
“He didn’t want to talk about cutting the cost of living. He just wanted to trade jokes about the forthcoming general election; and as one of my team put it later: “He was only vaguely in command of his brief and had no interest in achieving anything.” We wrote a long and optimistic follow-up letter, hoping that perhaps he had been taking it in. Nada. Not a peep.”
It would be great to read a response from the Labour leader of his account of this meeting…but it seems unlikely that one will be forthcoming anytime soon. It is true that national governments – of all political persuasions – have neglected to provide the tools to London-government to exploit in full its carbon-saving and sustainable energy potential. And a recent letter from the Secretary of State for Energy to the Mayor suggests a similar indifference continues today…
September 2013: New Green Deal data released by DECC last week (see earlier post for full details) provides for the first time Green Deal assessments undertaken in each parliamentary constituency. It turns out that constituency with the highest number of assessments was a London one – Poplar and Limehouse. Table 1b of the dataset records assessments over the period January to June 30 2013 for each of the 573 UK constituencies. Poplar and Limehouse reports the highest number with 462 assessments: however another London constituency also records the lowest number – ‘Cities of London & Westminster‘ with only 3. To put these numbers in context, from the dataset it can be calculated that the average number of assessments undertaken to per constituency date is 75.
A full list of London parliamentary constituencies and number of Green Deal assessments taken – from highest to lowest – is provided below. Continue reading…
September 2013: Following the publication of the first quarterly set of detailed Green Deal and ECO (Energy Company Obligation) data back in July (details of which are outlined in the following post here) DECC has now published the much anticipated second quarter’s data set on 19 September 2013 (press release here).
In contrast to the regular monthly DECC datasets, the quarterly data provides a regional breakdown of i.Green Deal assessments undertaken ii. ECO measures installed and data on iii. Green Deal cashback vouchers offered, allowing some idea of how the Government’s new energy efficiency regime is progressing in London.
September 2013: The GLA have recently produced their latest update on how the energy and climate policies in London’s spatial planning strategy – the London Plan – have helped drive forward the development of lower carbon buildings in the capital. The new 2013 report – along with previous years studies – can be downloaded here. An earlier post here provides some details on these reports.
The study ‘Energy Planning: Monitoring the implementation of London Plan energy policies in 2012‘ provides an analysis of the energy assessments relating to all finalised (stage II) planning applications determined from 1 January to 31 December 2012. As the Executive Summary of the report sets out “London planning authorities must consult the Mayor on all planning applications that are of strategic importance to London . For each planning application referable to the Mayor, an energy assessment is required setting out how the development will meet the London Plan energy policies. Following the order of the Mayor’s energy hierarchy, each energy assessment is required to set out how the development will:
- Use less energy
- Supply energy efficiently
- Use renewable energy”
The analysis highlights how the London Plan’s policies are making significant headway in helping drive forward the development of more energy efficient, climate-friendly buildings in London. Some of the findings include:
- High levels of energy demand reduction achieved with developments exceeding the requirements of Building Regulations through energy efficiency alone. The associated investment of circa £32 million will help to reduce consumers’ energy bills.
- Circa £20 million of investment in new, high efficiency combined heat and power (CHP) plant able to produce 29MW of electricity and a similar amount of heat.
- 74MW of cumulative CHP electrical capacity has been secured through the planning process since 2010 to the end of 2012, broadly equivalent to the capacity required to supply 150,000 homes.
- Circa £133 million of investment in heat network infrastructure for approximately 53,000 communally heated dwellings
- Continued investment in on-site renewable energy systems, including approximately £16 million to provide circa 87,000m2 of photovoltaic solar panels.