Tag Archives: Schools

Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor

September 2016: This month Mayor’s Question Time included the following:

progress on Energy for Londonersschools and community energy; schools and solar powercost to business of poor energy efficiency; renewable energy potential on TfL land and buildings; solar on London Overground land; energy efficiency and private rented sector; a discussion on Energy for Londoners; the London Sustainable Development Commission’s work plan; tube station lighting; carbon budgets; GHG emissions linked to London’s goods and services; carbon offsetting funds; cleaner, greener taxis.

Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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London Community Energy Fortnight Events

August 2016: Community Energy Fortnight starts on September the 3rd, kicking off with a major conference in Oxford. A wide number of events are taking place across the country – including a good number in London, links to which are listed below:

Further events may come forward – check the main CEF website for further details.

Energy for London will helping at an event on 8 September with Community Energy England, Repowering London and 10:10 – initiating work for the launch of a new hub for community energy groups in London – Community Energy London.  If you’re working on a community energy project, exploring a potential opportunity, or simply want to find out more information on the community energy sector in London, do come along!

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London schools excel…on energy

June 2014: Congratulations to the Sir George Monoux School in Walthamstow who recently received a prestigious Ashden Award. The school was cited as a “fantastic example of how young people can be inspired in a short space of time to help save the planet. As well as making changes like switching to low-energy lighting and installing efficient boilers, visionary headmaster Paolo Ramella has inspired students of all beliefs and backgrounds to embrace his vision of a carbon-neutral college.” Full details here and here.

And details of what is said to be the UK’s most energy efficient school building have become available following a site visit held in May. Grasvenor Avenue Infant School in Barnet was designed and built by UK Energy Partners, and features high levels of insulation, a heat recovery system, an air source heat pump, LEDs and photovoltaics – further details of which are provided by UKEP here.

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An invitation to the UK’s most Energy Efficient School Building

May 2014: Interesting news that the UK’s most energy efficiency school building is in Barnet, and was recently awarded winner in the ‘Non Domestic’ building category at the 2014 GreenBuild awards. Grasvenor Avenue Infant School is based on a modular building Schoolhaus design by UK Energy Partners (UKEP), which – as this ENDS case study sets out – was inspired by the James Review, which recommended standardised design and modern off-site building methods for schools. A standardised off-site construction processes enables big cuts in embodied carbon emissions in the production and supply chain and delivers a combined energy use and cost savings of 80% compared with traditional school buildings with a passive index-linked revenue from the integrated solar PV roof.

UKEP are organising a tour of the building on 29 and 30 May. Full details on how to register for a tour on UKEP’s website here.

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London’s first Passivhaus School

March 2014: News that a £5m contract has been awarded “by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets for the refurbishment of Stebon Primary School. The school will be the first Passivhaus School in London and only the sixth in the UK to be delivered under the highly sustainable Passivhaus standards, which are more traditionally used in house building.”

A submission to Tower Hamlets council as part of the planning application sets out some detail of how the refurb will seek to achieve a passivhaus standard:

  • The sustainability and energy strategy have informed the building design. Passive design strategies have been adopted and include good orientation, compact building form, low U values, high air tightness, thermal mass, maximizing natural daylight internally, and solar control to southerly facades.
  • Passivhaus utilises passive solar gain and night time purge ventilation in summer, coupled with heat recovery and rigorous thermal and airtightness requirements to greatly reduce energy consumption.

The report goes on to say to “achieve Passivhaus certification requires:

  • Considered form and orientation – typically compact and east-west orientation making Stebon a good contender
  • High levels of insulation
  • Elimination of thermal bridges
  • Air tightness
  • Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR)
  • Winter solar gains
  • Summer natural ventilation with night-time cooling”

An energy statement for the development provides further detail.

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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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New London school energy efficiency initiative launched

June 2013: The Mayor has announced the launch of a new RE:FIT Schools Energy Efficiency  Programme. The GLA press release sets out that the “scheme will offer schools the opportunity to see where energy savings could be made, free technical support to make these changes and access to an interest free loan to cover the costs of installing any necessary energy saving equipment, such as improved insulation, low energy lighting systems and new, efficient boilers. ” The press release goes on to say that “The schools RE: FIT programme is anticipated to run over three years and help up to 200 schools and academies become more energy efficient, creating over 175 jobs and many more apprenticeship opportunities in the capital’s burgeoning energy efficiency sector.For further information see www.refit.org.uk.

The RE:FIT Programme Delivery Unit will be holding regular workshops to brief interested groups of schools.  Contact the programme if you are wish to attend.

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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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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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Practical Energy Saving for Eco-Schools

September 2012: Croydon and Carbon Trust practical guide specifically intended to help Eco-schools to deliver immediate energy cost savings when they are working on the Energy topic.

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10 July 2012: Brent is looking for a “Schools Technical Energy Advisor … to help schools in Brent manage their energy use and reduce their carbon emissions.” The Advisor would help deliver the council’s Collaborative Low Carbon School Service (CLCSS) and look to:

  • Identify energy efficiency / improvement projects that the schools are interested to act upon to reduce energy use
  • Discuss Display Energy Certificate (DEC) Rating with the school as means of measuring annual energy usage performance.  Initially target schools in F and G categories.
  • Assist with the promotion of Brent Council’s Energy Strategy for Buildings

Further information here. The job is offered as a short term contract to April 2013 with a deadline for applications of 15 July 2012.

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Olympic Schools Retrofit Project

July 2012: The GLA has approved procurement of  “specialist technical services to supervise and inspect energy efficiency works… during the delivery of RE:FIT to 12 schools as part of the Olympic Retrofit Project. It is estimated that these services will cost no more than £60,000.”
The approval form sets out the history to this project, which arose as a consequence of the shortfall in carbon emission savings and renewable energy generated on the London Olympics site due to the failure to secure a viable large-scale wind turbine project.

“The Olympic Retrofit project is a CO2 reduction project that will be fully funded by an ODA grant. It will be delivered with zero costs to the GLA. The ODA set ambitious targets within its 2007  Sustainable Development Strategy including a target “To achieve a reduction in carbon emissions for the built environment of 50 percent by 2013”. This subsequently became legally binding under a Section 106 agreement [Schedule 11]. The planning conditions for the Park also include a twenty percent renewable energy target, which contributes to the overall fifty percent carbon target. So far, the ODA has invested in a suite of carbon mitigation measures including energy efficiency; district heating and cooling from the Energy Centre; and renewable energy...

“The strategy to meet the renewable energy target on the Olympic Park had originally relied on a 2MW wind turbine that had received outline planning permission and was expected to deliver thirteen percent renewable energy for the Olympic Park. Diminished commercial interest however meant that the plan had to be abandoned. With consideration of cost and programme, the ODA could only reasonably deliver a further two percent renewable energy through the installation of photovoltaic (PV) panels on the Multi-Storey Car Park and the Main Press Centre. The overall impact is a gap in the ODA carbon target of circa 1,100 tonnes of CO2. The ODA assessed the options to compensate for the onsite shortfall and a local retrofit project based on the RE:NEW and RE:FIT models proved to be the best value for money. The ODA have amended their Section 106 agreement allowing funding of £1,700,000 to be spent on this compensation project to retrofit homes and schools within the host boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, and Waltham Forest.The ODA is a ‘sunset organisation’ meaning it has a limited timeframe for operation (related to the London 2012 Games) and so it was necessary to seek a third party to deliver the programme onbehalf of the ODA. The ODA identified the GLA as best-fit to deliver through the existing RE:NEWand RE:FIT models (see Appendix 1 of MD839).

“A project led by the GLA, in conjunction with the boroughs, comprised of RE:NEW-style treatments in homes and RE:FIT works within schools will achieve this objective. The ODA has grant funded the GLA, and the GLA has entered into a grant agreements with each ofthe host boroughs to deliver the RE:NEW-style measures within homes. The GLA has called-off from the RE:FIT framework and entered into a service contract with EDF Energy. EDF Energy are currently undertaking an investment grade proposal for the portfolio of 12 schools.”

A recent update on the scope the RE:FIT project is available in the following June 2012 conference presentation – ‘The London Experience of RE:FIT’.  A tender was issued in June by Mayor for companies to be added to the RE:FIT procurement framework. More on RE:FIT here.

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