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Tag Archives: Tower Hamlets
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:
- Retrofit of 204 properties at Lansdowne Green in Stockwell across
12 blocks all with a SAP rating of below 65.
- Converting individual electric heating to communal gas heating in 800 units across 10 blocks in Hackney
- Other projects profiled include retrofits in Tower Hamlets and Merton.
11 April 2016: “The UK’s first solar power generating bus stop has been opened in Canary Wharf. Designed by Polysolar Ltd it is made with transparent photovoltaic glazing, which captures the sun’s rays even in low light. It was unveiled on Friday, April 8, outside the HSBC building in Canada Square by London Mayoral candidate Sian Berry.” Read the full story in The Wharf – with more on this story at Gizmag.
25 December 2014: Hackney Gazette story on abseiling engineers providing insulation to a number of tower blocks in Tower Hamlets. Energy supplier EDF Energy is funding the work as part of their Energy Company Obligation (ECO) targets.
EDF state that this is one of the largest ECO projects they have worked on with a London borough with some 500 homes included in the scheme on the Bancroft, Avebury, St Stephen’s and Chicksand estates. Work is expected to be complete by March, 2016.
Tower Hamlets has set out its ambition to access ECO funding in its recent 2014/15 Sustainability Action Plan. This work has been planned for sometime now – details of which are set out in a 2013 approval paper from Tower Hamlets council here. Delays have been most likely been caused through the Government’s changes to the ECO programme which the Prime Minister ordered in December 2013 (to which many concerns were raised by practioners to a DECC blog on the ECO changes earlier this year (search for words ‘Brent’ and ‘London’ in blog)).
24 June 2014: A series of interesting papers presented at the first UCL symposium on energy, people and society include a number of case studies focused in London, which include:
- District Heating in Pimlico: Analysing the social contract created through energy infrastructure available here.
- Capturing the Social Value of Retrofit at Scale (a case study in Poplar) available here
- Heritage and Environmental Values in Sustaining Heritage Domestic Buildings: A Residents’ Perspective (case study in Walthamstow) available here
- Greenroofs and Sustainability: Energy, Performance, Time (case studies across London) available here
- Urban Energy Landscapes available here
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.
June 2013: Analysis by consultancy WSP in their report – ‘Solar Success: Space Not Cash the Key for Solar’ reflects previous posts by Energy for London (see here and here), highlighting London’s poor progress when compared to other regions in relation to the installation of solar photovoltaic systems.
The conclusions summarise the Feed in Tariff Installation report data, produced by energy regulator Ofgem, highlighting local authority installations per 10,000 households.
The analysis shows that London boroughs make up 23 of the 25 lowest ranking local authorities for solar installations and the entire bottom 10 in the national league table. Westminster, Tower Hamlets, the City of London, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Southwark are all found in the bottom five.
The report points out that: “Even The Orkneys at 232/10,000 houses comes 55th out of 760 on installation rates – higher than every local authority in Surrey, Kent and London – areas which receive much more sun than Scotland. To get most bang for buck, incentives should encourage the sunniest areas to get more panels than the furthest north. This, however, isn’t the case – the reality of politics over good green policies.”
Reasons for London’s limited success with PV put forward include: “While we might think that cities should be happy hunting grounds for solar sales, in reality houses in towns are smaller, their roofs are more likely to be obscured and there’s also less owner occupation.”
January 2013: Responding to a competition launched last October, DECC have just announced that 132 projects have won a share of £46 million of funding. The three strands of the funds were “to help reduce fuel poverty, boost energy efficiency, and encourage collective switching and purchasing in regions across Great Britain.” The full press release is here and boroughs successful (and amounts awarded) can be downloaded here, and shows London did well with a total of £11m worth of projects selected. These were:
- Barnet (£107,500)
- Waltham Forest (£97,000)
- Tower Hamlets (£2,254,000)
- Camden (£407,500)
- Brent (£102,000)
- Hillingdon (£106,500)
- Hounslow (£706,000)
- GLA together with 18 London boroughs (£5,360,421)
Green Deal Pioneer Places
- Brent (£153,000)
- Camden (£120,180)
- Hounslow (£262,000)
- Haringey (£275,200)
- GLA together with 18 London boroughts (£266,921)
Cheaper Energy Together Funding
- Tower Hamlets (£37,351)
- Kingston upon Thames with 16 London boroughs (£686,655)
Little information is available at the moment on what exactly these various schemes will do in their respective areas, however, some guidance released when the competition was launched provides details of what this funding is supposed to be delivering.
London Councils reports that the last of the collective energy purchasing schemes, where Kingston Council is the lead borough, will help “Vulnerable residents in up to 1.75 million homes across London will be offered assistance by their local council to get a better energy deal and save money.” DECC’s Secretary of State, Ed Davey, is hugely supportive of such collective purchasing deals (see here and here), and promoted such programmes in his former role at the Department of Business (BIS). He’s also the MP for Kingston and Surbiton, so it’s not surprising that his local council undertook a strong role in this competition.
September 2012: The Retrofit for the Future programme’s Low Energy Buildings database website has recently been updated. The database is a repository of low-energy building information created to help inform the planning and development of low energy new build and refurbishment. The website allows users to browse projects in the database, and create and edit projects if you have a log-in.
A projects map highlights schemes funded across the UK and direct links to the 11 London based retrofit schemes follow below.
Eco Hub at Lordship Recreation Ground, Haringey
Hawthorn Road – Metropolitan Housing Trust, Haringey
The Muse – Islington
Mayville Community Centre
Tower Hamlets Passivhaus Retrofit
Camden Passivhaus – London’s first certified Passivhaus
PassivHaus Retrofit – Princedale Road
Hounslow Passivhaus Retrofit – Grove Road
One Planet Sutton Retrofit
Further information on the ‘Retrofit for the Future’ programme and evaluation of the projects submitted can be viewed here.
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.
June 2012: Tower Hamlets council has announced that it has established Tower Hamlets Energy – “a large scale domestic power purchasing co-operative, which comes at a time when residents are facing huge increases in the cost of living.” The news release continues “Once the co-op is established it will provide additional benefits to members, including free and impartial advice on grants, insulation, fuel debt, and energy efficiency to help residents keep their bills down.
It will also offer access to energy efficiency resources and household renovation schemes. These plans go hand in hand with the council’s Decent Homes programme which will see all of the borough’s council homes improved to become more energy efficient and include modern kitchens and bathrooms by 2015.
The scheme is free to join, and residents will only be encouraged to switch suppliers if it offers a cheaper deal.”
June 2012: London has a high incidence of solid wall homes and as such has been poorly served by existing national energy efficiency schemes, which – with the exception of the troubled CESP programme – have not included support to solid wall insulation (SWI). The forthcoming Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation – scheduled to start in October of this year – are to change that, with the Government very strongly focusing on a significant uptake in SWI. Such projects are not without their difficulties – being much more complex to install and fairly invasive when insulation is fitted on the inside wall of solid wall homes (Internal Wall Insulation – IWI), hence, there is much to learn from projects currently underway. An External Wall Insulation (EWI) project has recently been completed on the Coventry Cross estate in Poplar, Tower Hamlets with the “energy efficient retrofit expected to cut residents’ energy costs by as much as 25% while achieving greater comfort.” Further information is provided on the following news release. Further information can be found here.
April 2012: From the East London Advertiser “Eight-out-of-10 pensioners in London’s deprived East End are paying too much for their gas and electricity, according to Tower Hamlets councillors. Now Labour members on the council are backing a national campaign for companies to put those over 75 on the cheapest tariff—by law.
“Cllr Rachael Saunders, Labour’s Adult Care spokesperson, said: “It’s no surprise that 80 per cent are paying over the odds with 400 tariffs on offer. “This rip-off must end—the big energy companies must make sure those over 75 are on the cheapest deal.” Nearly 8,000 in Tower Hamlets are paying £200 a year more than they need to, according to estimates. Labour is calling on the Government to legislate for energy companies to put the over-75s on the lowest tariff automatically.”