Tag Archives: Merton

Merton Net Zero Study

June 2020: Merton Council have commissioned a study to better understand the borough’s existing greenhouse gas impact and decarbonisation pathways to achieve its net zero carbon target. The report sets out “Merton Council declared a climate emergency in July 2019 and set carbon reduction targets to decarbonise the Council by 2030 and the borough by 2050. To underpin the development of Merton’s Climate Strategy & Action Plan, Merton Council commissioned a series of products including greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories for the borough and council, decarbonisation pathways to reach the targets, and means to track progress towards the targets.” Read the full report here.

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RE:NEW retrofit case studies

August 2016: The GLA’s home energy efficiency retrofit programme, RE:NEW, has posted a series of case studies on their website. These include a range of projects including:

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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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Barking & Dagenham most energy efficient local authority in UK

November 2013: A news release from Imperial College highlights a recent study examining the energy consumption of all 198 urban local authorities in the UK, including 33 boroughs in London.  Dr James Keirstead has developed a “new method that draws on three different measures of energy efficiency, currently used by city planners, to create the ranking. The aim was to find the fairest methodology for determining energy efficiency that could give planners an improved way of spotting best practice, leading to more energy efficient and sustainable policies in the future.”

“The London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Hackney topped the league table of all UK urban areas analysed in the study…This may be because both are low income areas, equating to lower energy usage. Residents of those areas are also more reliant on public transport and these boroughs lack energy-intensive manufacturing and commerce, which may also be other factors that explain why consumption is lower.”

The news report is a very short summary of a detailed research paper published by Dr Keirstead in technical journal Energy Policy (which unfortunately has a price tag associated with downloading the paper). The table from the paper providing a ranking of UK local authorities by average energy efficiency score is reproduced below:

Other London boroughs within the top 10 are Hackney, Merton, Redbridge and Kingston. Oddly, the top two ranked London councils are both within inner London, however, the remaining three in the 10 are all suburban local authorities.

Local authorities in England have now reported to Government on energy efficiency activities in their area in HECA update reports – for more of which, see here.

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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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London’s first hydroelectric turbine

November 2012: The National Trust started London’s first ever Archimedes Screw hydroelectric turbine at Morden Hall Park in south west London  sited on the river Wandle. Local MP for Kingston and Surbiton, Ed Davey – who is handily also the Secretary of State at DECC – was in attendance at the launch event. The National Trust’s news release adds that the “Archimedes Screw turbine will generate enough electricity to power the Park’s new award-winning visitor centre.  By acting like a modern waterwheel it will harness the power of the river to generate electricity.  It is estimated that it will generate 59,000 kWh a year – enough for about 16 average households.” The 8.5kWe turbine had a high capital cost – reported at £350,000  fully installed – and much debate about how this cost should be viewed is presented on the following Guardian article (ie high capital cost, but very low ongoing costs for the generator over its life span).

Further details on the project are posted on the Morden Hall Park blog and information on the Archimedes Screw itself on the website of the technology provider for this installation, Halliday’s Hydropower.

A further hydropower project, also using an Archimedes Screw, is planned in London at Teddington Weir, further information for which is at project website  Ham Hydro (and in an earlier post here).

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Merton Rule comes in for criticism

July 2012: Established by Housing Minister Grant Schapps, the Local Housing Delivery Group recently published its review of planning and also local standards in new housing development. The news release sets out that “With the reduction in central planning guidance and the forthcoming abolition of regional housing targets, the role of local authorities in planning for new homes becomes even more critical and the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) poses a challenge for them to develop Local Plans which are both sustainable and viable.”

The Group has produced an interim report: A Review of Local Standards for the Delivery of New Homes. It concludes that there is “significant scope for simplification of the standards regime and recommends an urgent Government-backed review and consolidation of existing local housing standards to ensure they meet the aspirations of local communities without undermining viability.”

As such, the report looks at four key areas of standards that apply to new housing, and have included in their consideration requirements related to energy. The Group have come out critical to the ‘Merton Rule’ and similar mechanisms established by local authorities to drive the use of renewable energy through planning, stating:

“The Merton Rule was the first local planning policy to set a requirement on renewable energy for certain types of new development. It was named after the London borough that established it in 2003.

The rule required any new residential development of more than 10 units, or any commercial building over 1,000 square metres, to generate at least 10% of its energy needs from on-site renewable energy equipment in order to reduce its reliance on the National Grid and to reduce its CO2 emissions. Compliance with the policy was required as a condition of planning consent.

About half of the UK’s local authorities introduced a Merton-type rule. It also became part of national planning guidance through PPS 22.  However, the variations on the Rule have now become confusing:

  • Sometimes the targets are expressed as a percentage of energy generated (measured in kW hours).
  • Sometimes the targets are around a decrease in CO2 instead (measured in tonnes of CO2e). Some local planning authorities “expect” a developer to achieve a 10% reduction through use of micro-renewables, others “require” 20%reductions or more.
  • There are frequently different thresholds for when the policy is required – often 1,000 square metres or 10 units, but sometimes no threshold.
  • About half of all planning authorities have no policy on this issue at all.”

The 2004 London Plan (the Mayor’s spatial planning strategy for London) also had a similar type of renewable energy requirement for new development, but this has been amended over time to set instead carbon reduction targets for new development in line with the Government’s  zero carbon target for new homes by 2016. Go to the www.zerocarbonhub.org for more information on the 2016 target and read an earlier post for details on the Mayor’s current planning and energy requirements. Further information on the London Plan, including links to earlier version of the Plan, can be found on its wikipedia page here.

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Merton’s Low Carbon Zone report

June 2012: Merton have just published their final report detailing the work undertaken in the Wandle Valley Low Carbon Zone. The zone is an area in a small part of South Mitcham and was one of ten zones across London that were set up as part of the Mayor’s RE:CONNECT programme “to radically reduce CO2 emissions at community level using novel routes to engagement. The aim was to make a 20% cut in Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by March 2012 for the whole area.” Download the report here.

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Energise Merton

March 2012: London Sustainability Exchange announced earlier this month that they have been working as “part of Energise Merton, in partnership with Sustainable Merton and Parity Projects, seeking to understand how Merton’s communities can help deliver and benefit from the Green Deal.

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‘Juice your Roof’ meets Energy Minister

7 March 2012: Interesting account posted on the Low Carbon Communities Network website of Merton based solar initiative ‘Juice your Roof’ meeting new DECC Secretary of State – and London MP for Kingston and Surbiton – Ed Davey.

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Community Consultation on proposed energy from waste plant

6 March 2012: The Croydon Guardian reports that: “The company that wants to build a major incinerator in Beddington has announced its programme of community consultation on its plans.
Waste company Viridor has revealed details of the facility on its landfill and waste management site in Beddington Lane, which will create energy from burning 275,000 tonnes of waste each year.
The £200m project, which will handle not only waste from Sutton, Croydon, Kingston, and Merton, but also large amounts of business waste.
By burning non-recyclable waste to create steam to power turbines, the incinerator is expected to produce about 30 megawatts of electricity and heat energy, estimated to be enough to power 30,000 homes.” Read the full story here. Previous Croydon Guardian stories can be seen here and here and here.

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The Green Deal in London: Borough Challenges

February 2012: Future of London are holding a series of events on the challenges boroughs face in implementing the Green Deal and ECO in London. The first of these “focused on how London Boroughs can be “Green Deal Friendly” and drive demand for the mechanism in their area.” Presentations from the session from local authority representatives from Croydon, Merton and others are available to view as well as a summary of the workshop – Borough Challenges Briefing Paper.

The session was well attended  by 12 London boroughs and makes interesting reading. Included amongst the comments:

1) Participants from across the majority of participant Boroughs were concerned about the feasibility of the Green Deal – particularly relating to levels of local demand and the costs of implementing retro-fit programmes in London

1) General doubts over feasibility of the Green Deal
a) Several doubts were expressed from a number of different sources about whether Green Deal will work under current arrangements
b) In particular, concerns were raised about levels of demand locally for the Green Deal, the impact this could have on the Golden Rule, and the particular costs associated with delivering energy efficiency in London.
c) One borough noted a free eco-refurbishment scheme had only been successfully completed on one property
d) It was felt that further incentives are likely to be required to boost participation.

d) At the moment there is a reluctance amongst the majority of Boroughs represented at this seminar to act as Green Deal providers – there is too much uncertainty surrounding the mechanism
e) There is a risk that Boroughs who don’t take on a meaningful role in the delivery of Green Deal will disengage from the Green Deal altogether, because they have less stake in its success

The Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) consultation finished a few weeks ago and  Government are now considering the 600+ responses. Further updates on the Green Deal are available here.

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