Tag Archives: Funding

£10m Urban Community Energy Fund launched

January 27 2014: The Government’s new Community Energy Strategy is being launched today and press reports have highlighted that it will include a new £10m Urban Community Energy Fund (UCEF).  This mirrors the existing Rural Community Energy Fund, and is clearly welcome news for London-based community-led energy projects.

This fund will be open to non-rural communities and will provide up to approximately £150,000 of funding for feasibility and pre-planning development work to help projects become investment ready. The funding will be available in two stages:

  • Stage one will be a grant of up to approximately £20,000 for feasibility of renewable energy projects.
  • Stage two will be a loan of up to approximately £130,000 to support pre-planning development work, planning applications and to develop robust business cases to attract further development.

No details as yet to when the Fund will be launched or how long it will operate for. Hopefully this will all become apparent later today…

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RE:NEW – Progress & Setbacks Outlined

December 2013: The latest GLA Investment Performance Board meeting includes a useful progress report on the various Mayoral delivery programmes. ‘Project Performance Report‘ paper 10b Appendix 2 includes information of some challenges currently being faced by the Mayor’s residential energy efficiency scheme RE:NEW. The paper states:

Delivery of the RE:NEW Phase II carbon targets are significantly delayed and contractors will miss their contractual obligations. This is largely due to delays in the availability of ECO. The mitigation options are being reviewed including withholding performance payments and reallocating funding to the RE:NEW Support Team to reduce any shortfall in achieving the carbon targets. This combined with  a delay in having to wait for confirmation from the EIB for ELENA funding prior to commencing procurement of the full RE:NEW Support Team means the 2013/14 carbon targets may not be achieved…”

The delays have led to the project being graded an ‘amber’ rating under the paper’s ‘traffic light’ performance system.

A few days later, an update paper on RE:NEW was presented to November’s GLA Housing Infrastructure Group monthly meeting. This paper sets out:

  • RE:NEW has retrofitted over 99,000 homes to date since it was created in 2009
  • Over the next three years, RE:NEW will aim to support the letting of contracts that will save approximately 186,000 tonnes CO2 per annum through retrofitting approximately 232,000 homes
  • Capita Symonds were appointed to operate an interim RE:NEW Support Team – and began work in June of this year, with the GLA’s £150k funding covering programme activities until the end of December 2013. The RE:NEW paper proposes extending this funding by up to £200k for the Support Team to continue activities until the end of March 2014.
  • In contrast to the Investment Board’s mention of programme delays, the Housing Group’s paper relates that “progress made by the [RE:NEW Support] team to date has been excellent. The target of 1,500 tonnes of CO2 saved has been substantially exceeded; two contracts have been signed, with Brent Housing Partnership and LB Lewisham representing a total capital value of £24 million, and a saving of 4,333 tonnes CO2 per annum. There are a further 6 projects in procurement equating to a further £17.5 million capital investment and a saving of almost 6,000 tonnes CO2. This includes projects from Tower Hamlets Homes, LB Wandsworth and LB Havering. A further 17 boroughs and housing associations are engaged with the Support Team at the earlier stages of project development.”

The Housing paper also relates that the GLA is hoping to secure up to £3.85 million from the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) ELENA programme to procure the full RE:NEW Support Team for three years”. The funding process with the EIB has however taken longer than anticipated, leading to the necessity to provide funding to an interim support team.

The paper interestingly also sets out risks associated with not securing this ELENA financing, as well as not being able to access sufficient ECO funds as a consequence of the Government’s recent pronouncements on the supplier obligation energy efficiency programme. The paper states “Changing the ECO model would require secondary legislation…The [GLA] Environment Team is currently developing a proposed lobbying approach to help to address this risk, which may include lobbying for a regional target. If successful this could improve the follow [sic - must be 'flow] of funding for projects.”

The paper highlights that a formal submission to the EIB has now been made and “funding confirmed in principle” should be sometime this month. Hopefully the EIB will be presenting the GLA with a welcome Xmas present this year – watch this space!

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Energy & Climate Questions to the Mayor

November 2013: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

the price of Londoner’s gas bills; the uptake of the Green Deal in London; details of schools going through the RE:FIT Energy Efficiency Programme; the recent GLA-commissioned study looking at London’s Zero Carbon Energy ResourceLondon Energy Costs; the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF) Loan to Croydon; work undertaken on Energy Efficiency guidance to SMEs; buildings adopting the GLA Sustainable Design and Construction Standards; whether the Mayor had sent a copy of the GLA’s  ’Energy Planning: Monitoring the implementation of London Plan energy policies in 2012‘ research to CLG;  the Mayor’s response to a recent Environment Audit Committee recommendation that local authorities should have a statutory duty to produce low-carbon plans for their area; the GLA’s response to CLG’s Allowable Solutions consultation; Mayoral concern over CLG’s Housing Standards Review consultation; organisations working alongside the Mayor’s Affordable Warmth and Health Action Plan; events proposed around the Mayor’s Affordable Warmth and Health Action Plan; London’s children and fuel poverty; evaluation of the Know Your Rights Campaign; the Mayor’s support for nuclear; the Mayor’s response to former PM John Major’s comments on households having to choose between heating or eating; an update report on the Mayor’s Climate Change Mitigation and Energy Strategy; the Mayor’s response to concerns that the ECO is to be scrapped; the Mayor’s strategy for delivering the ECO and Green Deal in London; whether the Mayor has been in contact with CLG over the Housing Standards Review consultation.

Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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Funding Energy Efficiency Retrofit in London

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.

The sources of funding covered include the ECO, London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF) and the Social Housing Fund. Download the guide here.

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Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor

September 2013: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

How the Mayor’s programmes will respond to the forthcoming IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 5th Assessment Report; the Mayor’s “climate sceptic views“; London’s growing energy demand; £145k spend on climate change adaptation;  the amount of energy generated from waste incineration; the number of GLA officers working on energy efficiency retrofit; the amount of ECO funding that could be directed to London; the operation of the RE:FIT schools energy efficiency programme in Harrow; the RE:FIT schools programme in Brent; Government’s proposed changes to building regulations and its potential impact on London Plan energy requirements; the Mayor’s response to DECC’s Community Energy – Call for Evidence; the Mayor’s support for community energy schemes in London – such as Brixton Energy; publication of the latest London Energy and Greenhouse Gas Inventory (LEGGI); the cost of producing Using Local Powers to Maximise Energy Efficiency Retrofit – How to’ materials for London’? (report here); the terms of loans provided by the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF); extending LEEF loans to the private sector; details of the LEEF Advisory Committee; consultancy companies working on LEEF; the amount spent by LEEF; the number of loans given out by LEEF; rollover energy contracts for SMEs; Londoners energy bills; the amount of renewable electricity provided by Source London electric vehicle charging points; funds previously spent on adding energy efficiency measures to Metropolitan Police buildings currently for sale; developing a Fuel Poverty Action Plan for London; the supply of electricity to London’s electric vehicle charging points; the supply of electricity to London Underground; London Green Deal targets; a London Green Roofs map; the Mayor’s Green Deal assessment on his home; stimulating Green Deal finance packages; spend of the Green Bus Fund; funding received from the Green Bus Fund; identifying brownfield land in London suitable for sustainable energy projects; CO2 savings achieved by the Mayor’s climate change programmes; potential for the London Pension Fund Authority to invest in low carbon energy projects; when the next update to the Mayor’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy is to be published; how climate change will affect London’s summer temperatures; new anaerobic digestion plant in Surrey; the level of waste being directed to the Beddington incinerator; the London Plan’s policies on incineration; the Mayor’s approval of the Beddington incinerator; if the Mayor had pressed for the Beddington project to develop as a anaerobic digestion plant; if the Beddington incinerator can operate in combined heat and power (CHP) mode; heat network around the Beddington incinerator; the growth of waste incineration in London to 2016; the role for future incineration in London; local planning controls and fracking; the fracking potential in London; details of the new RE:NEW domestic energy efficiency programme; targets for the new RE:NEW programme; the choice of the Capita Group to manage the new RE:NEW programme; GLA buildings that have been treated by the RE:FIT programme; whether the Mayor’s Environment advisor had visited the Kings Cross CHP and district heating scheme.

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Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor

July 2013: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

the Mayor and climate change denial; whether the Mayor will be publishing an update to his Climate Change Adaptation Strategy; if an audit of the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF) will be undertaken; progress under LEEF; promotion of water efficiency measures; commissioning an energy security of supply study for London; the proposed Memorandum of Understanding between the Mayor and energy suppliers; Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and RE:NEW; confirmation of the single loan provided by LEEF; the Transport for London (TfL) energy strategy; TfL emissions action plan; clarification on the Mayor’s policy on waste incineration; fracking in London; the Mayor’s comments on climate prediction; differences between the Mayor’s comments on climate prediction and the London Climate Change Adaptation; the Mayor’s 2013/14 budget for climate adaptation; TfL climate risks action plan; the Mayor’s work with the insurance industry on building regulations; funding a health sector building to be climate resilient; climate risk information to Health & Well Being Boards; the Mayor’s commitment to look at overheating; work on risks related to flooding and critical infrastructure; flood risk data portal; surface water management plan for London; performance of the Green Deal in London; avoiding future electricity blackouts in London; weather data for London; work on the London Rivers Action Plan;  developing community-led responses to heatwaves in London; buildings in London using cool-roof technology; studies with social housing groups on insulation and overheating; work with CIBSE on overheating in new developments; green roofs in London; helping offset the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect in London; in light of the Mayor’s recent article – whether he will be abandoning Action 5.1 of his Climate Change Adaptation Strategy; an update on the London Drought Plan; the number of schools in London with rainwater harvesting systems; work on an intensive urban greening retrofitting pilot project to manage surface water flood risk; the work of the Drain London Forum; working with communities at flood risk; approved suppliers on the RE:FIT framework; the Citigen CHP scheme;  how the Mayor will stop the Green Deal being a total disaster in London; Job losses in the insulation industry.

Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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£80m to invest in London energy efficiency retrofit projects

July 2013: The London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF) was established in November 2011 with £100m to invest in energy efficiency retrofit to public sector-owned / occupied buildings. To date one loan has been made to the Tate Modern.

LEEF has just announced that it is now open to offering loans to the private sector also stating that “The £100m fund has £80m remaining to invest in energy efficiency retrofit projects in London by the end of 2015.”

A presentation by the LEEF team to the recent BASELondon conference provides some additional information setting out that loans can be accessed for up to 10 years and interest rates from 1.65% if:

  • You are a public, private or voluntary sector body;
  • Your project is in the Greater London area;
  • Your project contributes to improved energy efficiency through reducing consumption and/or carbon emissions; and
  • Your funding requirement is between £1m and £20m.

The presentation also illustrates (below) how LEEF funding compares to other typical public sector funding opportunities, such as Salix Finance, the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB), the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Green Investment Bank – stating that LEEF offers higher affordability and higher availability than all these other funds.

Further information at www.leef.co.uk.

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Disabled Facilities Grant to fund heating

April 2013: The Department for Communities and Local Government announced last week new funding to help councils fund the adaptations disabled people need to live independently in their own home. The press release states that “Ministers have protected the Disabled Facilities Grant programme for the last 3 years, with a further £185 million expected in next year’s funding.

Included in eligible types of work for funding are:

  • adapting heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use
  • improving or providing a suitable heating system

A document setting out the allocation awarded to each local authority is provided here. Looking at London councils , it can be seen a total of £23.5m has gone to the capital – a breakdown of each borough’s funding is provided below:

Continue reading…

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Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor

March 2013: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

the number of applications to the London Energy Efficiency Fund; the Mayor’s correspondence with DECC on the ECO;  fuel poverty and health; Details of decentralised energy schemes being supported by the Mayor; visits to Brixton Energy Solar projects; energy efficiency targets in the Mayor’s London Rental Standard; fuel poor families in London – and RE:NEW delivery in the private rented sector; the Mayor’s work to plug the energy gapprogress under the RE:FIT programme in London boroughs; the level of Green Deal activity in London; Is the GLA a Green Deal provider; plans in place to spend the £5,627,342 DECC Green Deal and Fuel Poverty funding to the GLA; 2013/14 funding to the RE:FIT programme; evaluation of the RE:FIT programme;
RE:CONNECT programme budget for 2013/14; Better Building Partneship programme budget for 2013/14/; events attended by the Mayor’s Environment Advisor; Bunhill CHP scheme; attendance at the High Level Electricity Working Group; and participation on environmental issues on the Talk London website.

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Supporting the Green Deal in Social Housing

March 2013: A paper presented at the most recent GLA Housing Investment Group meeting has set out of the opportunities and challenges in expanding the Mayor’s housing retrofit programme, RE:FIT under the new landscape of the Green Deal and ECO. The paper sets out a proposal for additional funding for 2013/14.

“This paper seeks approval to allocate up to £150,000 for interim support to deliver early Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) projects through the existing RE:NEW framework.

“To avoid a slowdown in delivery during this period, we intend to procure interim support to help manage the early pipeline of projects that have been developed through our work with social housing landlords.

Response to this project has been very positive and currently there are over £10m of potential projects currently being reviewed which could be ready to tender in the next 3-6 months, with a further £77m of identified projects under review. The total pipeline includes over £950m worth of potential projects and over 100,000 dwellings.

Additional information is available in Appendix A- RE:NEW project pipeline and Appendix B- Pipeline projects currently under review – status update

The process to identify projects was kicked off in a workshop at City Hall in December 2012: a great paper on Financing retrofit in London social housing by Verco was presented – and post workshop Verco have also prepared a summary of proceedings. Amongst the outputs  the key points for future success in attracting funding for energy efficiency retrofit in the social housing sector included:

  • Senior leadership buy-in (e.g. to overcome barriers)
  • Economies of scale
  • Get dedicated lead
  • Accurate stock data
  • Build relationships with suppliers and contractors ASAP
  • Know your stock – to be able to negotiate
  • Data – Tower Hamlets have a database of all properties in the borough (do surveys, get EPC data from DECC, not HEED – automatic calculation of Golden Rule) and;
  • There are wide differences in the helpfulness of planners in different London boroughs – if planners are less cooperative, try a multi-prong approach via sustainability officers or ward councillors (!)
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Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor

February 2013 This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

the Mayor’s position on nuclear and its role in securing London’s future energy supplies; the number of ‘low carbon generators’ currently helping power Transport for London’; the Mayor’s application to DECC’s  Fuel Poverty and Green Deal Pioneer Places funds; European Investment Bank (EIB) funding for energy efficiency retrofits in housing; the amount of energy consumed by The Shard; the potential for the Green Deal in London; further funding for the Mayor’s RE:NEW home energy efficiency programme; promoting the Green Deal to Londoners over-65; publication of the latest TfL Environment report; GLA environment publications; hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles; the number of fuel poverty households treated under RE:NEW; revised publication date of the RE:NEW evaluation report; the total number of homes treated under RE:NEW; funding and evaluation of the RE:CONNECT Low Carbon Zones programme; zero carbon developments on the Greenwich Penisula; the Mayor’s Low Carbon Prize; the RE:FIT Schools initiative; the number of jobs created under RE:FIT; progress on the LED traffic lights initiative.


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Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor

December 2012: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to: the delay in the publication to the Mayor’s evaluation report of his home energy efficiency programme, RE:NEW;  a response to the recent report that London experienced the largest increase in the number of Excess Winter Mortality of any region; the number of low carbon and renewable energy installations installed in fire stations currently threatened with closure; on the Mayor’s recent statement that the “energy policy of the country is in chaos“; the Deputy Mayor’s views on renewable energy; the representation of decentralised energy generators on the Mayor’s High Level Electricity Working Group; the Energy Bill and its support to the attainment of the Mayor’s 25 per cent decentralised energy target

Progress on the Mayor’s DE targetCHP capacity in London; TfL arrangements to secure electricity supply for the London Underground ; TfL energy costs; TfL procurement of electricity from London-based low carbon and renewable energy generators
progress being made under the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF); the UK’s attractiveness to clean energy investment; discussions with energy companies over recent price hikes; a London target under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
job losses in the insulation industry in London; Mayor’s liaison with the Insulation Industry Forum; the slow take up under the Green Deal and the January launch of the Green Deal; London bid to the Green Deal Pioneer Places fund and here.

Energy efficiency improvements linked to home extensions and conversions; the 2018 energy efficiency requirement for the private rented sector (and here); that there will be no zero carbon homes developed on the Greenwich Peninsula; checks on the standard of work completed under the RE:NEW programme; future energy consumption related to London’s future population growth; the anticipated energy output from the 25 decentralised energy schemes currently being supported by the Mayor; funding directed to the Mayor’s decentralised energy programme; papers from future meetings of the Mayor’s High Level Electricity Working Group; and the potential for anaerobic digestion in London and the number of future AD plants in London.

Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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