VACANCY – Building Energy SpecialistRetrofit Coordinator Diploma scholarship placesMore criticism for Green DealSchools consultation on Building Bulletin 101Are we suffering a (fuel) poverty of ideas? and much more...
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Issue 443
Thursday 4 August 2016
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Former Chair of National Energy Foundation, Brian White, passes away
We were greatly saddened to hear of the death on 5 July of Brian White, a former Trustee and Chair of the National Energy Foundation from 2004 to 2013. Brian passed away after a fairly short illness from cancer. He was proud to become our Chair and to facilitate the bringing together of the Foundation with United Sustainable Energy Agency. He saw this as a practical way of carrying forward the work that he had done as Milton Keynes’s MP when he piloted what became the Sustainable Energy Act 2003 onto the statute book as a successful Private Member’s Bill. Brian also served Milton Keynes as a local councillor and its Mayor. He’ll be remembered for his sly sense of humour and yet unfailing courtesy, even to those he regarded as political foes. Our Deputy Chief Executive, Ian Byrne, attended Brian’s thanksgiving service on 20 July, and we send our condolences to his wife Leena and her family and friends.

NEF one of 30 bodies to call on PM to stick to EU 2020 climate change targets
Dear Mr Clark, We would like to warmly congratulate you on your appointment as the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and wish you well in this important new post. We welcome the 29 June statement of Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, that the UK government would not step back from international leadership in acting on climate change. We agree that both the UK and the EU have been world leaders in addressing the enormous challenge posed by climate change. UK leadership has stemmed from the combination of EU and UK laws, regulations and policies. Together these have given businesses, investors and consumers the confidence to begin putting the UK economy and infrastructure on the path towards a low-carbon future. Following the referendum, it is now critical that Government restores this already-eroded confidence by giving an assurance that, until the terms of leaving the EU are in place, all relevant EU directives and targets are still in place and the UK Government is legally obliged to continue to meet them. In particular, we call upon the Government to commit to hitting 2020 targets under the Renewable Energy Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive:
  • 15% of all energy used for electricity, transport and heating should come from renewable energy sources.
  • UK final energy consumption should fall to 129.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent or less.
  • All new buildings must be nearly zero-energy buildings by the end of 2020 (by the end of 2018 for public buildings).
These targets make a key contribution towards implementing the UK’s world-leading Climate Change Act 2008 - pioneering legislation which requires ever-lower UK emissions in successive five-year carbon budgets. The policies and regulations required to meet these budgets have all been set in the context of EU law and policies on energy and climate.

Bookings open for SuperHome Open Days in September
SuperHome Open Days this September promise to be extra exciting with at least six recently refurbished homes opening to the public for the first time. Around 50 pioneering households are preparing to open their doors across the UK. If you’re considering improving your own home, this is a golden opportunity to visit a similar property and get a real feel for the type of home energy improvements that you could make. When it comes to exploring your options ‘Seeing really is believing’.

VACANCY – Building Energy Specialist
We are looking to strengthen our technical capability and build on our capacity to provide robust and innovative solutions that help to improve the use of energy in both non-domestic and domestic buildings. If you are enthusiastic and self-motivated with excellent written and verbal communication skills, and want to make a difference in the energy use and comfort of existing and new buildings, this role could be for you.
Although we are ideally looking for someone with knowledge and experience in a number of areas, we are prepared to appoint a recent graduate who shows potential; in which case we would adapt the role and responsibilities appropriately and provide training and professional development. Closing date: 5pm on Wednesday 30 September.

National Housing Federation Development, Asset Management and Maintenance Conference and Exhibition 2016. Birmingham. 21-22 September
On the first day of this NHF conference, our Principal Energy Specialist, Luke Smith, will be presenting as part of the 4:30pm session: Innovation in Asset Management. The aim of this conference is to help social housing providers accelerate housing delivery and manage their homes and services to ensure they meet the needs of their tenants and the housing regulator. The conference outlines how associations can develop and integrate new build and asset programmes to deliver great homes and strong and resilient communities. It also provides delegates with up-to-the-minute sessions on current asset management policy development and practical sessions about practice on the ground. It focuses on how asset management can help to deliver sustainable homes and communities, and how to maximise affordable housing delivery in an era of ‘Starter Homes’.
This is an annual event that has a strong audience of asset managers and development practitioners. It also has the added benefit of being part of the first Housing Week, which consists of four huge events:
  • Annual Conference and Exhibition.
  • Young Leaders’ Experience.
  • Health and Housing and Development.
  • Asset Management and Maintenance Conference.
Social housing energy efficiency retrofit – ‘state of the nation’ survey 2016
Against what is arguably a backdrop of the toughest market conditions in a decade for domestic energy efficiency, the ‘state of the nation’ survey - the largest study of retrofit activity in the UK - is seeking the social housing sector’s views on the opportunities, challenges and progress in energy efficiency retrofit. The survey is being undertaken by The National Energy Foundation in partnership with Capita, the University of Salford and Customer Plus. Please take the survey (which should take no more than 10 minutes) and enter a prize draw to a win an iPad mini.

Sustainable Cities: Assessing the Performance and Practice of Urban Environments. New book now available at 30% DISCOUNT
With more than half the global population now living in urban areas, one of the key issues confronting us today is how we make our growing cities sustainable. A new hardback book Sustainable Cities offers valuable insights for addressing this vital challenge. It evaluates our urban environments and assesses the progress that is being made towards achieving cities that are sustainable.
Our Chief Executive, Kerry Mashford, has written the chapter on energy use in buildings and the book is essential reading for academics and professionals in: urban planning; energy and environmental policy, practice and management; urban geography; climate change; and environmental science and technology.
Sustainable Cities is available to buy at a 30% discount using the promotional code CITIES30

The Retrofit Academy Retrofit Coordinator Diploma courses
The Retrofit Academy is the leading provider of training for businesses involved in the sustainable refurbishment of buildings, and provides Retrofit Coordinator Diploma courses on the following subjects in London, Manchester and Milton Keynes:
  • Assessing Dwellings for Retrofit.
  • Building Fabric and Solid Wall Insulation.
  • Building Services for Retrofit.
  • Introduction to Domestic Retrofit.
  • Retrofit Building Physics.
  • Retrofit Coordination and Risk Management.
  • The Business Case for Retrofit.
  • Ventilation and Air Tightness for Retrofit.
Retrofit Coordinator Diploma scholarship places
The Retrofit Academy has partnered with industry to provide scholarship places on the Retrofit Coordinator Diploma taking place in London between September and November 2017. Two applicants will receive free places on the intensive, eight-day, expert-led training programme, which aims to create leaders for complicated domestic refurbishment projects. The Diploma usually costs £2,000 plus VAT. There are also two half-scholarships, with 50% funding available.  Applications are invited from PhD students, local authorities, housing associations, ALMOs and architectural, surveying and engineering professionals. Closing date: 8th August 2016. Apply by email to:
Ministerial responsibilities for energy announced at BEIS
Following the creation of the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the appointment of Rt Hon Greg Clark MP as Secretary of State, responsibilities for energy within the department have been confirmed:
  • Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
  • Nick Hurd MP, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry.
  • Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister of State for Energy and Intellectual Property.
  • Jesse Norman MP, Minister for Industry and Energy.
Latest annual DUKES statistics
BEIS releases the latest DUKES annual energy statistics, which provide a detailed and comprehensive picture on the production and consumption of individual fuels and of energy as a whole for the last three years, and a detailed picture for the last five.

The death of DECC & the future of retrofit
A look at the demise of DECC and the possible future of Building Regulations, Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards and research funding.

More criticism for Green Deal
The Public Accounts Committee slams the wildly optimistic Green Deal, its ‘abysmal’ take-up rate and its lack of testing among householders.

Latest information on building energy efficiency certificates
BEIS releases information about energy efficiency certificates relating to domestic and non-domestic buildings in England and Wales that have been constructed, sold, or let since 2008, and of larger public authority buildings since 2008.

Latest Public Attitudes Tracking survey statistics
BEIS also releases the latest findings from the eighteenth quarterly wave of its Energy and Climate Change Public Attitudes Tracker (PAT), covering energy bills, suppliers, switching, security, saving and renewables.

Five ideas for Greg Clark
Dr Steven Fawkes suggests five energy efficiency ideas for Greg Clark’s policy 'to do' list.
Schools consultation on Building Bulletin 101
The Department for Education consults on guidelines on ventilation, thermal comfort, and indoor air quality in schools, Building Bulletin 101. Closing date: Thursday 25 August.
Are we suffering a (fuel) poverty of ideas?
Why do people in the UK still struggle to afford energy and why are we still failing to eradicate fuel poverty after so many years? Despite numerous targets, programmes and action plans, and even an attempt to redefine it, we seem no closer to its solution than we have ever been.

Survey reveals tenants refused energy efficiency improvements
A new study of 500 tenants, conducted by, reveals that 58% of those who have requested that their landlord make energy efficiency improvements, have been refused.

Energy efficiency high on Scots’ home improvement lists
New research by the Energy Saving Trust finds that Scottish homeowners are very keen on upgrading their homes, and that improving energy efficiency is one of their main priorities.

How long do solar panels last?
The 'pay-back period' on solar panels is important to many owners so it’s important to know how long they last and how their efficiency deteriorates over time.

Double trouble ahead for consumers on energy prices?
Supply problems and the Brexit effect pose a possible double whammy for UK energy consumers with the possibility of increased prices this winter.
Another look at one of the UK’s greenest retrofits
Six years on for a pioneering retrofit upgrade that turned a Victorian redbrick house in Birmingham into one of UK’s greenest homes.

Baby boomer couple consider energy efficiency as part of their planning for a comfortable retirement
How one south-east London couple have spent 23 years transforming their 1930s solid brick property into a warm, energy-efficient SuperHome that will provide a comfortable sanctuary for their later years.
Artificial intelligence used to significantly reduce energy use
Google takes a ‘phenomenal step forward’ in its efforts to drive energy efficiency, after developing artificial intelligence that has reduced energy consumption at its data centres by 40%.
Energy regulator’s proposals following CMA investigation
Ofgem responds to the CMA investigation into the energy industry with proposals aimed at freeing up competition and innovation in the market to drive down bills and improve service for all consumers. In particular, those on pre-payment meters will be protected by an interim price cap from next April.

Scrap Hinkley Point nuclear for clean green alternatives
Liberal Conservative think tank, Bright Blue, proposes substituting Hinkley Point C with a combination of clean energy, electricity storage and energy efficiency.

Impact of Government subsidy cuts on solar sector
The UK lost one third of its solar jobs after the Government cut subsidies earlier this year, and one in four companies are now considering leaving sector altogether.

A change to DSR regulations needed
A new report argues that nearly 10GW of business-led Demand Side Response could be released in the UK if regulations were changed to allow industrial users to sell DSR directly to the wholesale market.

How can we make our cities more energy efficient and sustainable?
With half the world's population living in cities, they will need to become more sustainable. A look at how this can happen and how making buildings (especially those in the so-called emerging economies) as green and as efficient as possible is a significant part of the process.

Why aren’t we tackling energy efficiency in buildings when it’s so simple to solve?
The easiest thing we could do to reduce energy use, tackle climate change and make life healthier, more affordable and more comfortable for millions of people in the UK is to build all new homes and other buildings to an energy standard that’s ten times more efficient than that of the average home existing in the UK today. 

Estimating the impact of reveals on transmission heat transfer coefficient of internal insulated solid wall dwellings
During retrofit, junctions that are hard to deal with are often left uninsulated, increasing the risk of heat loss and surface mould growth at thermal bridges. Furthermore, the effect of junctions (insulated or uninsulated) is not properly taken into account in commonly used assessments of heat loss. This paper presents a study on the impact of the junctions around openings (also called reveals) on the transmission heat transfer coefficient of internally insulated dwellings and a discussion on potential areas of improvement of common assessment tools for retrofit.

Tube stations to be powered by low and zero-carbon energy
Under a new pioneering eco scheme including five London boroughs, a social housing provider and two energy companies, the escalators and ventilation systems in Tube stations, as well as offices and other facilities, will be powered by green energy.

Sports stadium goes solar
A Bristol sports stadium harnesses the power of sun to reduce its carbon emissions and save what is expected to be £150,000 over 20 years.

£7m for energy improvements at manufacturing plant
A north-east chemical manufacturing plant secures a £7 million investment from the Green Investment Bank for an energy efficiency upgrade.

Historic university building receives BREEAM Excellent
The University of Bristol’s refurbishment of a Grade II Listed Georgian townhouse receives a BREEAM Excellent rating.

Solar from on high
In the face of low solar take-up in London, the capital’s churches are urged to follow the lead set by a project in Highgate.

‘Tesla town’ planned
The world's first 'Tesla town' is planned in Australia, where every house will have a solar panelled roof and battery storage.
Jobs across the UK
Various energy-related jobs across the country are available on the following websites. Take a look at:
STBA masterclass. Ventilation, energy efficiency and old buildings:  the risks and challenges? London. Tue 6 Sep      
Increasing airtightness, either by virtue or as part of a strategy, can significantly change the way moisture behaves in a building and, without due consideration, might be detrimental to the health of both the occupant and the building fabric. In these situations a planned ventilation strategy is essential. But what strategies are available, and what is appropriate for the age and type of building? What are the challenges?

Zero Carbon Buildings Annual Conference. Birmingham. Thu 8 – Fri 9 Sep
Zero carbon building projects are becoming less of an exception and more of a norm. This international conference and exhibition provides a forum for exchange of knowledge, and for establishing collaboration networks and partnerships in this rapidly developing field.
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