Energy for London TagsBrent Buildings Camden Carbon Emissions CHP Cities Climate Adaptation Community Heating Community Initiatives Croydon Data DECC Decentralised Energy ECO Energy Costs Energy Efficiency Enfield FIT Fuel Poverty Funding Green Deal Hackney Haringey Housing Islington Lambeth Library Local Authorities London Assembly London Green Fund Mayor Ofgem Olympics Photovoltaics Planning RE:FIT RE:NEW Renewable Energy Retrofit Southwark Sutton Transport Waltham Forest Waste Westminster
- April 2016 (11)
- March 2016 (16)
- February 2016 (8)
- January 2016 (3)
- December 2015 (1)
- October 2015 (16)
- September 2015 (3)
- June 2015 (1)
- May 2015 (1)
- April 2015 (1)
- March 2015 (1)
- February 2015 (1)
- January 2015 (1)
- December 2014 (18)
- November 2014 (4)
- August 2014 (8)
- July 2014 (7)
- June 2014 (25)
- May 2014 (8)
- April 2014 (4)
- March 2014 (12)
- February 2014 (7)
- January 2014 (13)
- December 2013 (11)
- November 2013 (15)
- October 2013 (15)
- September 2013 (18)
- August 2013 (5)
- July 2013 (20)
- June 2013 (33)
- May 2013 (8)
- April 2013 (16)
- March 2013 (25)
- February 2013 (14)
- January 2013 (20)
- December 2012 (23)
- November 2012 (23)
- October 2012 (25)
- September 2012 (14)
- July 2012 (12)
- June 2012 (43)
- May 2012 (20)
- April 2012 (8)
- March 2012 (40)
- February 2012 (39)
- January 2012 (40)
- December 2011 (22)
- November 2011 (40)
- October 2011 (33)
- September 2011 (48)
- August 2011 (40)
- July 2011 (58)
- June 2011 (41)
- May 2011 (80)
- April 2011 (38)
- March 2011 (33)
- February 2011 (25)
- January 2011 (24)
- December 2010 (3)
- November 2010 (7)
- October 2010 (6)
- September 2010 (7)
- August 2010 (1)
- July 2010 (2)
- June 2010 (4)
- May 2010 (1)
- March 2010 (3)
- February 2010 (3)
- December 2009 (5)
- November 2009 (2)
- October 2009 (3)
- July 2009 (3)
- June 2009 (1)
- April 2009 (1)
- March 2009 (1)
- February 2009 (1)
- January 2009 (1)
- December 2008 (2)
- October 2008 (1)
- September 2008 (1)
- July 2008 (1)
- March 2008 (2)
- January 2008 (2)
- October 2007 (1)
- September 2007 (3)
- July 2007 (1)
- March 2007 (1)
- February 2007 (3)
- November 2006 (3)
- August 2006 (1)
- February 2006 (1)
- May 2005 (1)
- February 2004 (1)
Tag Archives: Energy Efficiency
April 2016: With the publication last week of the manifesto of the Liberal Democrat’s Caroline Pidgeon, all four major London Mayoral candidates have now set out their proposals in relation to energy and climate if they were to become Mayor. I’ve produced a summary of these proposals, across various categories of interest, in the following document.
The first thing to notice is the welcome inclusion of energy and climate proposals across all manifestoes: a wide number issues are addressed, but some common themes do emerge:
- The first – and most significant – pledge around energy to emerge from the manifestoes is that all four main candidates have set out their intention to establish a new London government based energy business. Zac Goldsmith references the work that Boris has taken forward over the past few years in advancing Licence Lite – but states he “will go further to set up ‘Energy for London – a new clean energy company'”. Sadiq Khan will establish ‘Energy for Londoners’ and both Caroline Pidgeon and Sian Berry state the will establish a new London energy company – Sian saying that this new business concern will be linked to Transport for London (the detail of which has been previously set out in a Jenny Jones commissioned report).
- N.B. There has been a previous attempt during Ken Livingstone’s tenure as Mayor to establish a municipal energy operation. The London Climate Change Agency (LCCA) (see wiki entry here) operated for a few years before made defunct as part of a restructure of the then London Development Agency.
- Worryingly, no candidate commits to working to achieve two long standing London climate targets: the 60 per cent 2025 carbon reduction target and the 25 per cent 2025 decentralised energy target.
- All candidates are keen on electric cars, with Zac Goldsmith pledging to introduce Paris’s Autolib electric car rental scheme to London – something Boris has talked about doing since 2009.
- There are warm words for support for developing community energy projects in London – with most detail set out in Zac Goldsmith’s manifesto.
- Sian Berry and Zac Goldsmith haven’t given up on the Green Deal model – both propose to investigate a London pay-as-you-save energy efficiency retrofit initiative. Caroline Pidgeon interestingly supports working with London councils to introduce a ‘consequential improvements’ policy – a proposal that Government scrapped back in 2012 – a decision which significantly contributed to the eventual demise of the Green Deal.
- All candidates support increasing the number of solar power installations in London with Caroline Pidgeon and Zac Goldsmith committing to specific targets – PV capacity equivalent to 200,000 homes/750MW/a 10 fold increase in solar – all of which amounts to around the same thing (see Greenpeace’s London solar report) which has contributed to candidates consideration on the future of solar in the capital.
All in all, it’s massively encouraging that energy concerns and their relevancy to the future of London have been recognised across all main manifestoes. Issues such as reducing the city’s contribution and response to climate change, increasing energy affordability, and accelerating the deployment of measures to enhance energy efficiency and decentralised energy are promoted by all candidates, which gives confidence that GLA programmes in place, such as RE:NEW, RE:FIT, DEPDU and others will continue to be supported by an incoming Mayor.
Some omissions from the manifestoes which it would have been good to have seen including advancing smarter energy initiatives (such as building on the work the GLA are doing with Tempus Energy and Kiwi Power), addressing potential energy security of supply issues in the capital (an issue previously raised by the Mayor and an area of GLA activity through the Mayor’s High Level Electricity Working Group), energy efficiency in the commercial building sector (a significant and difficult issue for Mayor, with next to no regulatory powers over existing buildings…), and how new sustainable energy activities going forward will be financed. However – despite these concerns – this has been a great start providing much to build upon!
15 October 2015: New study by those excellent boffins at Ecofys for European insulation trade body Eurima which highlights that “Beyond the main benefits of energy efficiency, such as reduced energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency in buildings also has the potential to reduce costs and increase efficiency on the supply side. “
Why would that be the case? It’s due to the amount of heating that is anticipated to shift from gas to electricity (boilers to heat pumps) over the coming decades:
14 October 2015: Lewisham seeking EOIs for a domestic energy efficiency retrofit programme, the aims of which are to:
- Assess the scale and nature of the energy efficiency market in Lewisham and south east London
- Identify methods and mechanisms to maximise take-up of energy efficiency measures
EOIs in by 4 November: contract start date 18 November.
31 December 2014: Short profile of Lerryn’s Cafe in Peckham in Guardian feature on energy efficiency initiatives by cafes.
25 December 2014: Hackney Gazette story on abseiling engineers providing insulation to a number of tower blocks in Tower Hamlets. Energy supplier EDF Energy is funding the work as part of their Energy Company Obligation (ECO) targets.
EDF state that this is one of the largest ECO projects they have worked on with a London borough with some 500 homes included in the scheme on the Bancroft, Avebury, St Stephen’s and Chicksand estates. Work is expected to be complete by March, 2016.
Tower Hamlets has set out its ambition to access ECO funding in its recent 2014/15 Sustainability Action Plan. This work has been planned for sometime now – details of which are set out in a 2013 approval paper from Tower Hamlets council here. Delays have been most likely been caused through the Government’s changes to the ECO programme which the Prime Minister ordered in December 2013 (to which many concerns were raised by practioners to a DECC blog on the ECO changes earlier this year (search for words ‘Brent’ and ‘London’ in blog)).
19 December 2014: A mayoral approval document outlines support to two new projects to save energy and carbon in properties in the private rented sector (PRS) and to boost membership of the London Rental Standard (LRS).
The Mayor has approved:
- Expenditure of £141,000 of capital grant funding and £45,000 of revenue funding including for assessments and testimonial material to support delivery of at least 50 demonstration projects with LRS-accredited landlords, each resulting in a retrofitted PRS home and raising awareness of the benefits that can be achieved.
- Expenditure of up to £80,000 revenue funding for the development and implementation of a pilot programme to trial the use of incentive payments to LRS-accredited lettings agents for achieving retrofit works on at least 400 PRS properties they let or manage on behalf of private landlords.
- Expenditure of up to £20,000 revenue funding for the evaluation of both projects.
The approval document sets out the strong rationale for driving ahead the energy efficiency message in the PRS:
- the PRS accounts for a quarter of London’s housing stock (850,000), is growing fast (nearly doubling in size since 2000)
- the Energy Act 2011 requires that from 2016 it will be unlawful for landlords to refuse reasonable requests from tenants for energy efficiency improvements, and from 2018 it will become unlawful to rent out EPC F and G rated properties (see DECC’s recent consultation on PRS Energy Efficiency regulations here
- the Landlords Energy Saving Allowance (LESA), a tax allowance of up to £1,500 per building per year, is available but will end on 6 April 2015
- the PRS is the worst performing sector in terms of quality of stock. 17% of PRS tenants are in fuel poverty, while 30% of PRS homes fall below the Decent Homes standard (compared with 10% and 21% across London overall).
Full details of each programme is set out in the approval form. The project will be overseen by the Mayor’s Housing Investment Group, which has previously discussed this initiative (see item 8 of minutes) and raised a number of issues including:
- reasons for targeting PRS properties rather than owner-occupied properties
- Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) had not yet had a big impact but this would likely to change as from 2017
- Questions were raised as to whether the scheme would be replicable on a greater scale. The Group heard that, if successful, the programme could be scaled-up and delivered through energy suppliers or contractors, as part of their marketing budgets. A discussion was held regarding the potential involvement of energy suppliers to incentivise the programme. It was agreed that while this could be looked at for future iterations of the programme, to engage energy suppliers at this stage would complicate and delay the start of the programme.
December 2014: A pretty major study undertaken for the C40 Cities network – ‘Urban Efficiency: A Global Survey of Building Energy EfficiencyPolicies in Cities’ – which was sponsored by Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The report is available to download here.
The report’s objectives in terms of building energy efficiency programmes were to:
- capture the range of different policies being implemented in cities around the world;
- obtain detailed information on the necessary conditions, opportunities and potential challenges when introducing and implementing such initiatives; and
- analyse what approaches have been successful in which context and why.
The policies it highlights as being most commonly implemented across cities across the world include:
- Building Energy Codes
- Reporting and benchmarking of energy performance data
- Mandatory auditing and retro-commissioning
- Emissions trading schemes
- Green building rating and energy performance labelling
- Financial incentives
- Non-financial incentives
- Awareness raising programmes
- Promoting green leases
- Voluntary leadership programmes
- Government leadership
A chapter – ‘Experiences from Frontrunner Cities’ – presents detailed case studies from “ten pioneering C40 cities implementing various kinds of programmes to drive energy efficiency and sustainability in existing commercial and residential buildings” – but doesn’t unfortunately include experiences from London. London is however included in a ‘policy map’ survey for new and existing buildings (pages 19-21).
Page 34 mentions “Almost all cities have shown a willingness to lead by example. In London, all new buildings for the Greater London Authority are required to meet the London Development Agency’s Sustainable Design and Construction Standards or exceed targets in the London Plan.” Some information on the application of the LDA’s SDC Standards can be seen from a MQ from earlier this year here.
Elsewhere in the report, London’s Better Building Partnership initiative is referenced. Pages 40 and 41 also provide a useful list of weblinks to London documents on energy efficiency initiatives.
20 November 2014: The Mayor announced the winners of his Business Energy Challenge at an awards ceremony which took place at City Hall today.
The Business Energy Challenge was launched earlier this year. 59 participants submitted energy usage data over a six week period and were assessed on the carbon intensity per square metre of their properties. 27 of the most successful energy cutters were given a Bronze, Silver or Gold award to recognise their efforts when compared against their baseline 2010/11 energy usage.
The press release states that” “Some of London’s leading businesses across 1000 London locations (including shops, restaurants, banks and office premises) signed up to the challenge including Boots, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Marks and Spencer, BT, Lidl, Workspace Group, McDonalds, Asda and Aviva. The energy data collected will be used anonymously by University College London to inform energy performance benchmarks for wider use across the private sector.”
Gold award winners were EC Harris LLP, ExCeL London, Intu, JLL, Linklaters LLP, and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Case studies of some of the award winning companies are posted here.
November 2014: A news report highlighting a new ‘Smart Homes’ retrofit Project which provides “homeowners in six North London boroughs access to upgrades that can help to significantly boost the sustainability of their properties…The year-long scheme will be the first of its kind in the UK, and aims to make it simpler and more affordable for residents to install insulation that will help to reduce their energy costs.”
Haringey Council’s website reveals that the project is one that was successfully awarded funding earlier this year under government’s Green Deal Communities Fund, details of which can be found in an earlier post here. The project focuses on solid wall insulation and on Victorian and Edwardian terraces where simple, cheap energy upgrades can be difficult because of the design of the older buildings. Residents in Haringey, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest are eligible for the scheme, which is designed see more than three quarters of work carried out by local traders. The scheme is open to both owner occupiers and landlords (or tenants with landlord consent) from the boroughs and is available up to 31st March 2015.
August 2014: The Mayor’s Energy Advisor, Matthew Pencharz, writes on the GLA website “the Mayor is launching the Business Energy Challenge: a programme to stimulate action, encourage competition between companies taking that action and recognise what is being done by businesses in reducing the carbon intensity of their London portfolios.”
To find out more about the Business Energy Challenge, read the blog by the GLA’s Assistant Director for Environment, Stephen Tate. To enter the awards please email: BEC@london.gov.uk
6 August 2014: There have been a number of major updates to the Mayor’s flagship home energy efficiency programme RE:NEW, which has been neatly set out in the August meeting of the GLA’s Housing Investment Group. These include:
- Following a successful bid for funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB), RE:NEW was awarded €3,016,440 (£2,513,700) on 15 July 2014
- This funding is being matched by a 10 per cent contribution by the GLA of €335,160 (£279,300), taking the funding for a three year support team to €3,351,600 (£2,793,000). The funding will provide a RE:NEW Support Team to 14 July 2017.
- As with the previous phase of the RE:NEW, the programme is to be delivered by Capita Symonds, who were the successful bidder in an OJEU-compliant procurement
- Capita will catalyse investment of £352 million through supporting retrofit to 175,000 properties in London over the next three years. This intervention is the largest and most ambitious retrofit programme anywhere in the UK and will save 93,000 annual tonnes of carbon by 2017.
- An incentivisation model is built into the contract based on these three key performance indicators (KPI) and Capita have committed to achieving these through putting 20% of fees at risk.
- Below is the three year KPI profile.
- A RE:NEW Support Team ITT Schedule of Requirement provides additional programme aims, objectives and proposed benefits
- A new GLA webpage sets out a revised and comprehensive list of RE:NEW Support Team Specialist Services available to local authorities.
The London Assembly has highlighted patchy progress reporting from the RE:NEW team to its members over the past few years (see here and here). In response to this criticism, the Mayor has now committed to providing quarterly reports.
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.