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Tag Archives: RE:FIT
“Mayor Khan has promised action on energy efficiency through building standards and his proposed Energy for Londoners not for profit company. But with the Mayor’s Office yet to choose an environment appointee and currently reviewing all ongoing programs, it was unable at time of writing to provide BusinessGreen with any details about future plans for the RE:FIT scheme.”
However, a recent MQ response from the Mayor seems to set the issue to rest for now with the Mayor not only stating that the programme will continue, but will need to be ramped up:
Do you intend to continue with the GLA’s RE:FIT and RE:NEW energy efficiency programmes? How effective do you understand the programmes have been?
I intend to continue with homes and buildings retrofit programmes. But to achieve my ambitious target of becoming a zero carbon city by 2050 we will need to rapidly increase the pace of retrofitting, so I am currently exploring what more can be done.
Much more can be seen on RE:FIT on the GLA website
June 2016: Positive to see the focus on energy and climate issues by a number of London Assembly members at the first question time of the new Mayor, Sadiq Khan. This month’s questions included the following issues:
the quantity of electricity supplied to TfL through the Mayor’s Licence Lite operation and few other questions on Licence Lite (here and here); supporting the growth of London community energy schemes; the London Energy Strategy; committing to London’s 25 per cent decentralised energy target; the 2020 nearly zero energy buildings target; the publication of the annual update to the GLA Energy and Climate Change Mitigation Strategy; London Energy Plan supporting studies; supporting the growth of district heating projects; support for London’s 2025 60 per cent carbon reduction target; the future of the RE:NEW and RE:FIT building retrofit programmes; the number of domestic energy efficiency retrofits supported by RE:NEW since January 2015; numbers on the GLA’s boiler scrappage list; ring fencing London’s Zero Carbon Homes offset fund; the number of zero carbon homes that could be built by 2020; zero carbon buildings planning requirements will come into force in 2019; how much money could be raised through the Zero Carbon Homes offset fund; interim targets to the Mayor’s manifesto commitment for London to be a zero carbon city by 2050; climate change and water vapour; how the Mayor will support London’s low carbon economy; emissions from river traffic (and another); zero emission cabs and PHVs abd if CO2 is a pollutant – and finally:
whether the Mayor understands “that further increases in carbon dioxide levels will not significantly increase average global temperatures due to near saturation absorption by CO2 in the 13 – 17 µm band of the infra-red spectrum”.
Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.
23 October 2015: The Mayor has posted his submission to DECC’s Feed in Tariff (FIT) consultation online today (the deadline for the response) alongside a letter to Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom, from Deputy Mayor for Energy & the Environment, Matthew Pencharz.
The letter pulls no punches, stating “Unfortunately, the proposals that have been consulted on, with little or no prior warning, to come into force, in the new year has created great uncertainty in the solar PV industry, potentially putting at threat thousands of jobs across the UK. The Mayor is concerned about the potential impact on the 3,100 jobs, mainly in SMEs, which make up the solar PV industry in London.”
“The Mayor’s view is that in order to ensure an orderly transition to subsidy-free solar PV industry, there should be a gradual tapering of the FIT over a two-three year period.”
The Mayor has voiced his concerns over DECC’s proposals for some months now (see previous statement here) and his sentiments for a ‘gradual tapering’ echo calls from industry organisations, such as the Solar Trade Association, who have strongly campaigned against the proposed ‘cliff edge’ withdrawal of support for solar, setting out their own recommendations in a ‘£1 plan‘ to 2019.
The Mayor’s response to the FIT consultation goes on to raise a number of highly relevant issues for London, including:
- the proposed cuts to the FIT could significantly hamper solar PV deployment rates in London, which already face major rollout challenges, including negatively impacting upon the delivery of Mayor’s retrofit programmes, RE:NEW and RE:FIT
- the proposed tightening of the energy efficiency criteria would prevent a large number of properties in London from installing solar PV without significant investment in energy efficiency improvements, for which there is no longer support available following the termination of the Green Deal
- whilst a move towards smart metering with net metering functionality is welcome, making it a requirement for receipt of the export tariff would require a commitment or obligation on the energy suppliers to install a smart meter in a timely manner, as well as ensuring that the property was currently suitable for installation of a smart meter – an issue which arises frequently in London.
The Mayor’s response also raise concerns about the impact of the proposals on community energy projects in London. All in all, this is a significant intervention by the Mayor in what has become a highly politicised consultation.
At a recent DECC FIT workshop, officials have said they are looking to respond to the consultation by late November/early December (this is needed as the consultation proposes to introduce changes to the FIT programme as early as January 2016!). With the number of responses predicted to be in the thousands (the shorter-run FIT pre-accreditation consultation had over 2,000 responses), and with the threat of major job cuts in the department, it looks like it’s going to be a busy few weeks over at 3 Whitehall Place…
September 2015: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:
data gathered through the Mayor’s Business Energy Challenge; the impact on the London Plan carbon targets as a result of the government scrapping the Zero Carbon Homes policy (and again) and again – and one more time; encouraging renewable energy investments through the London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA); a discussion around potential winter electricity ‘blackouts’; impact of the government’s proposals to change the Feed in Tariffs (FITs) on the Mayor’s retrofit programmes – and again; lobbying to reduce business rates to district heating – and again; whether the Mayor will attend COP21 in Paris this December; the Clean Bus Summit recently held in London; fuel economy of the New Routemaster bus (and again, and again); a dossier of problems associated with the New Routemaster; GLA and boroughs discussions on coordinating fuel poverty responses across London; the roll out of electric vehicles in London; and supporting zero emission taxi fleets.
Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.
January 2015: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:
Fuel Povery and Children; Meetings of the Mayor’s London Green Infrastructure Task Force; Membership of the Mayor’s London Green Infrastructure Task Force; London Plan policies encouraging development of solar farms; consideration of carbon emissions in policy decision making
Invitation to attend the European Capital Cities meeting ahead of the Paris 2015 IPCC summit; Progress made in 2014 to delivering the London Climate Change Adaptation Strategy; Measuring CO2 emissions across the GLA Group; An update on the GLA group’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) reports; the Mayor’s concern over increasing signs of climate change; GLA Economics analysis on energy
Communication to the Treasury over tax incentives for community energy projects; TfL’s hedging policy on energy prices; Misleading information on shale gas; Reallocation of RE:NEW funds to RE:FIT programme; Havering Solar Farm planning application; New powers to Ofgem; RE:NEW programme underspend; An update on RE:NEW programme projections; Research commissioned by the GLA’s Environment Team
Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.
December 2014: GLA Directors have approved further funds for the Mayor’s public sector building retrofit programme RE:FIT. Directors’ Decision 1291 (DD1291) sets out that additional GLA funding is being directed to the programme to help ensure that its investment targets – as set by the EU funding programme ELENA, which provides the bulk of the funding to RE:FIT – can be met.
The DD states that RE:FIT’s Programme Development Unit (PDU) – which is managed by Turner & Townsend – “is funded until 31 March 2015 by a combination of ELENA and GLA funding (a total of £2.781 million – 85% from ELENA, 15% from the GLA). To date £2.537 million have been spent since September 2011. Under current arrangements, the PDU will be working at full capacity until the end of December 2014 and will be in closedown mode for the final three months.” Continue reading…
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…?).
June 2014: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:
Energy efficiency in the private rented sector; carbon offsets used by new developments;
How much energy is produced in London by decentralised energy systems;
heat recovery from London’s buildings; meetings with London community energy groups; total spend by the Mayor on domestic energy efficiency programmes;
Mayoral action following the publication of the government’s Community Energy Strategy; energy companies supporting the Mayor’s License Lite application;
progress against the Mayor’s decentralised energy target; the government’s new Urban Energy Fund; money spent by the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF);
hospitals using the Mayor’s RE:FIT programme; visits to the Kingston heat pump development; visits to the London Array Wind Farm; Ofgem approval of the Mayor’s License Lite application; local authorities using RE:FIT; the Mayor’s first license lite supply deal; feedback from the C40 Johannesburg summit; consumer redress to high heat charges on district heating networks;
ESCO deals signed under the Mayor’s RE:FIT programme; Mayoral support for the Green Deal in London’; Green Deal Communities Fund; costs associated with applying to DECC’s Green Deal Communities Fund; green jobs created by Mayoral programmes;
low carbon sector jobs created; attracting green investment into London; the Mayor’s High Level Electricity Working Group;
Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.
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).
January 2014: The London Assembly’s Environment Committee is to hold an oral evidence session next week (30 January) on the Mayor’s carbon targets. A paper sets out that the evidence session forms part of an “investigation” into the delivery of the carbon targets, which will take place over February and March 2014.
At the evidence session – which is open to the public – the Committee will meet with Mayoral Advisors and GLA officers in the environment and the property portfolios, as well as external guests from the energy sector, local government and other external stakeholders to discuss targets to improve energy efficiency in homes, targets to increase decentralised and low-carbon energy supply, and general carbon reduction targets and strategy.
The targets are set out in the Mayor’s 2011 Climate Change Mitigation and Energy Strategy and include:
- Energy efficiency in homes and workplaces – particularly under
- RE:NEW (a support team to help social housing providers and local authorities to enable domestic retrofit projects to be delivered faster, bigger and with better value for money)
- RE:FIT (a building retrofitting scheme to support public sector organisations to reduce their carbon footprint and subsequent energy bills)
- non-GLA work such as the Green Deal (a Government initiative that is designed to help businesses and home owners to employ more green technologies in their properties);
- Low-carbon transport;
- Low-carbon energy generation;
- Tackling fuel poverty;
- Reducing carbon emissions in the GLA group;
- Measuring London’s carbon emissions; and
- Funding routes, business models and skills opportunities in the low-carbon economy.
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.“
20 December 2013: The Mayor today published for consultation his budget for the GLA group for 2014-15 (press release).
The budget document states that a “new look GLA business plan has been published which includes a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) covering all main Mayoral policy and programme activities to be delivered by the GLA.” It’s welcome to see that amongst the 10 “major GLA programmes supporting the Mayor’s ambitions” [p7] a key deliverable will be “retrofitting more of London’s homes and public workplaces, saving carbon and cutting bills” – referring to the RE:NEW and RE:FIT programmes respectively.
Page 14 of the document also states that:
“The Mayor is continuing to work towards improving London’s environment.
Energy supply and master planning is key to delivering sustainable development for London’s economy. Investment will continue through a Decentralised Energy programme to help bring decentralised energy projects to the market.”
At the same time however, it appears from the draft budget that the ‘Development, Enterprise & Environment’ Directorate is facing a massive reduction in its funding from the Mayor. No separate breakdown for the ‘Environment’ section is provided, but the data (table below) indicates that:
- The draft 2013/14 budget for this Directorate seems to be have massively overestimated – the current forecast outturn being 25% lower than predicted. It’s not clear however what is contributing to this huge underspend.
- The level of underspend must have contributed to a significantly reduced future budget for the department – from a forecasted £31.2m just over a year ago, down to £19.9m for the forthcoming year (a 36% reduction)
- And the 15/16 plan for the ‘Development, Enterprise & Environment’ Directorate is down to just £10.7m – a 66% reduction from the forecasted 13/14 budget
- The planned reduction in budget for this Directorate far exceeds all others, some of which – like the Mayor’s Office – will remain static over the three year period.
There’s unfortunately to detail whatsoever within the budget document on the specific environment-team spend, or of future funding going to individual programmes. No further information is provided on the KPIs for the 10 ‘key deliverables’ (as mentioned in para 1 above) – however – future RE:NEW and RE:FIT programme targets to 2016 were recently set out in the Mayor’s draft Housing Strategy. Additionally, an interesting exchange on the Mayor’s retrofit programme RE:NEW was recorded in a November 2013 evidence session on the draft budget to the London Assembly Budget & Performance Committee (see page 17 of transcript) – also copied below: