Tag Archives: Enfield

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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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 efficiency programme for London’s ‘Cultural & Heritage’ sector

June 2014: The Mayor’s non-domestic energy efficiency programme, RE:FIT, recently held an event focused on improving the energy performance London’s Cultural & Heritage buildings. Presentations were provided by RE:FIT participants the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Millfield Theatre, who undertook their RE:FIT project through the London Borough of Enfield. Details of the event can be read here – and an article on green improvements made at the Lyric Hammersmith theatre, who plan to work with the RE:FIT programme shortly, can be see here.

Seperately, the always innovative Arcola Theatre was profiled as a case study in the government’s recent solar energy strategy for their work on using solar PV together with energy storage technology (see page 48 of the strategy document here).

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Retrofit London project announced

May 2014: News that the Greater London Authority has approved funding, through the European Development Regeneration Fund (ERDF) to award “£525,000  to LB Enfield for the Retrofit London project, to deliver business support to Small and Medium Enterprises in London”.

The approval document sets out that “The ‘Retrofit London’ project is led by LB Enfield, working in partnership with LB Haringey, LB Waltham Forest, LB Lewisham, Enterprise Enfield (EE) and North London Chamber of Commerce (NLCofC).
Retrofit London aims to support 175 SMEs based in Enfield, Haringey, Waltham Forest and Lewisham, to access new market opportunities, particularly market opportunities driven by the carbon reduction and energy saving agenda.

The approval document also provides some background to the ERDF and sets out that the total project cost is £1.05m as a result of match funding from the partners involved:

LB Enfield (Procurement team): £42,000
Enfield Council: £130,405
LB Haringey: £100,000
LB Lewisham: £75,000
LB Waltham Forest (Procurement team):£42,000
LB Waltham Forest (Economic Development team): £38,000
North London Chamber of Commerce: £47,595
Enterprise Enfield: £50,000

A tender was issued for a Project Manager for the programme, the deadline for which was earlier this week. The project is to set to run until December 2015.

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Decentralised Energy Delivery: the Business Case

April 2014: On Wednesday 2nd April 2014 the Greater London Authority hosted a workshop focussing on the Business Case and Business Planning for Decentralised Energy projects. The event included an introduction from Matthew Pencharz – Senior Advisor, Environment and Energy (GLA), case studies and an open discussion amongst all attendees. The workshop hosted speakers from the London Borough of Enfield, Westminster City Council, Arup and the GLA. Attendees included energy consultants, engineers and local authorities.

Materials presented by the speakers can be downloaded using the following links:
Peter North, Greater London Authority
Robert Tudway Greater London Authority
Bruce Laidlaw, Arup
Jeff Laidler, London Borough of Enfield
Tim Starley-Grainger, Westminster City Council
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London Home Energy Efficiency programme “significantly delayed”

December 2013: An oral evidence session between officials and the London Assembly Budget & Performance Committee (see earlier post for details) highlighted the slow progress of the Mayor’s domestic energy efficiency retrofit programme RE:NEW. A new paper (06a(v)) presented to the 18th December meeting of the London Assembly Budget Monitoring Sub-Committee provides some data helping illustrate the extent of the shortfall.

The current forecast for 13/14 (right hand chart) shows that RE:NEW is predicted to just miss the project target – however, the performance level to date indicated shows that even this reduced level of delivery is still some way off.  The oral evidence session (referred to above) in fact suggests that only 3% of the 13/14 target has as yet been achieved (996 tonnes of CO2 compared to a target of 29,416 - earlier post). Paper 06a(v) provides some explanation for the slow progress:

  • Delivery  of  the  RE:NEW  Phase  II  carbon targets  is  significantly  delayed  and  contractors  will  miss  their  obligations.   This  is  largely  due  to  delays  in  availability  of  ECO  (government  subsidy). Delivery  of  the  carbon  savings  from  the  interim  Support  Team  has  exceeded  targets  for  quarter  two
  • Performance  payments  have  been  withheld  from  contractors  and  the  funding  is  being  reallocated  to  the  RE:NEW  Support  Team  in  order  to  reduce  the  shortfall  in  performance. However, this  is not sufficient  to  completely  mitigate  the  lower  savings  from  RE:NEW Phase  II  and  this,  combined  with  a  delay  in  confirmation  from  the  European  Investment  Bank  for  ELENA  funding  prior  to  commencing  procurement  of  the  full  RE:NEW  Support  Team,  means  its  is  forecast  75  per cent  of  2013/14  carbon  targets  will  be  achieved.
  • The  targets  for  future  years  have  been  reviewed  and  updated  in  light  of  the  above  and  as  planned.   They  have  been  reduced  for  2014/15  and  2015/16,  but  an  additional  year  of  delivery  (2016/17)  has  been  added,  which  leads  to  an  increase  in  carbon  savings  overall – albeit  over  a  longer  period.

The paper goes on to report latest CO2 saving estimates of two further Mayor’s climate change projects – RE:FIT (the public sector building retrofit project) and the London decentralised energy programme. The latter states that “Significant progress has been made on several projects, particularly with regards the Lea Valley Heat Network, Lakeside Energy from Waste, Greenwich Power Station and the Kew Gardens Decentralised Energy scheme.

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Green Deal & ECO in London – six months in

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.

Continue reading…

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Heads of Terms Signed for Funding Enfield Biomass Project

June 2013: News reports provide an update on progress being made by developer Kedco of their 12MW biomass heat and power plant planned in Enfield. The article states that “Kedco plc, the renewable energy developer and operator focusing on the production of clean energy in the UK and Ireland, is pleased to announce the appointment of the Foresight Group (“Foresight”) as the preferred funding partner in relation to its 12 MW Enfield Biomass CHP project located in North London. Kedco has signed a non-binding heads of terms with Foresight for the provision of debt and equity facilities which will part finance the construction and operation of the Project.” See previous posts here for detail on the scheme.

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North London Retrofit SME Network

May 2013: Waltham Forest have posted details of work being done to establish a new network for ‘green’ SMEs.

“North London boroughs are working together to develop a network of SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) located in the North London area delivering energy efficient retrofit services and installations. The Council is working to promote uptake of energy retrofit in each borough.

The Council wants to build upon and support existing local supply chains to deliver this work. This will grow the local green economy and develop an SME/labour market that can be exported beyond North London.

The aims of the North London Retrofit SME Network are:

  • Create a directory of SME builders and installers who carry out green retrofit in North London. The North London SME Retrofit Directory is open to any SME delivering retrofit services located in the boroughs of Waltham Forest, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, Islington and Newham
  • Start a forum to hear from local SMEs how Councils can support locally delivered retrofit in North London
  • Create networking opportunities among SMEs working in the area
  • Strengthen links with local training providers
  • Sign post local retrofit SMEs towards the different initiatives offering support and training in this growing market both locally and London wide

To find out more about the North London Retrofit SME Directory and Network please email: minka.mcinerney@haringey.gov.uk

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Enfield Biomass CHP Update

19 March 2013: Updates from developer Kedco of the biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plant being developed in Enfield (see previous post here for a lot more detail on the scheme).

The Telegraph reports that “The project, which has full planning and environmental permission for the conversion of 60,000 tonnes of waste timber per annum into up to 12MW of electricity and heat, remains on track to reach financial close and start construction in the third quarter of 2013. Chief executive Gerry Madden said: “The company has a clear plan in place for the Enfield Biomass CHP project with the key objective being to reach financial close by Q3 2013.

“Given the flagship nature of the project, which is located in the London area within the M25, the company is pleased to have received numerous enquiries from various parties interested in participating in the project, and we look forward to finalising this shortly.”

Kedco’s website additionally states that: “The company has had discussions with a number of potential large blue chip offtakers for both the electricity and heat which will be generated by the project.”

Further information on a press report here.

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Shining a light on solar power and renewable energy in your classroom

January 2013: Guardian feature on efforts to teach energy issues by a school in Enfield. Shining a light on solar power and renewable energy in your classroom
Deputy headteacher Julia Clarke has designed eco resources to take her school one step closer to a sustainable future. Full story here.

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