Meeting HECA requirements with tailored and cost-effective supportEnergy Company Obligation (ECO): Help to Heat consultationNew lease of life for Green Deal and more...
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eNews
Issue 452
1 February 2017
eNews is our monthly publication, focused on the important issues in the energy sector, how NEF relates and responds to those issues, and the contribution it makes to improving the use of energy in buildings.

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National Energy Foundation looks to appoint new Chair
With our current Chair due to retire, we are now looking to appoint another inspirational individual who can build on our strong foundations and work with our Chief Executive to lead the Foundation through the next stage in its evolution. We’re looking for someone who shares our passion for improving the use of energy in buildings, and has the ability to lead a national organisation. In return, you’ll be guaranteed an exciting, challenging and rewarding experience within a progressive and forward-thinking organisation.
NEF strengthens its Advisory Council and thanks retiring members
We welcome 10 new members to our Advisory Council, all of whom have extensive expertise in their respective fields and will bring valuable knowledge and experience to the council. The Foundation also says good-bye and thank-you to 11 retiring members, and is delighted to have benefited from their experience since the council was set up in 2014.
Assured Performance Process – reducing the performance risk and protecting the reputation of developers and local authorities
All too often, the actual energy performance of new homes fails to meet their design standards. Despite the efforts planners, designers and developers put into achieving efficient energy use, occupied homes typically use at least twice as much energy as predicted.

Our Adam Tilford looks at how the Assured Performance Process can help developers and local authorities ensure that new housing schemes achieve their design standards and provide customers with the performance they expect. APP maps to the RIBA Plan of Work and provides specialist expertise in five stages of impartial review and assessment. It means that the energy and low-carbon aspirations expressed in the brief and planning stages translate into executable designs that deliver as they were intended.
Our top tips for setting up and running a carbon offset scheme
As of October, the GLA introduced the ‘Be Lean, Be Clean and Be Green’ requirements under the London Plan. All new major residential developments have to be zero-carbon homes, contribute to improved energy efficiency and subscribe to carbon offsetting.

Our Jane Richardson Hawkes takes a look at how carbon offsetting makes a significant contribution to both reducing carbon emissions and meeting nationally-determined targets. It also offers opportunities for local authorities to engage with their residents on issues such as climate change and provides a mechanism for financing a range of practical energy efficiency improvements and renewables that help improve the local area and residents’ wellbeing. Finally, Jane offers our top tips for setting up and running a carbon offset scheme.
Meeting HECA requirements with tailored and cost-effective support
Now that we’re in the final quarter of the local government financial year, many local authorities will have a number of 2016-17 projects that need to be completed – not least the requirement under the Home Energy Conservation Energy Act (HECA) to submit a report to BEIS by end of March, 2017. The National Energy Foundation has over 25 years’ experience of working with local authorities in the fields of energy and fuel poverty.

In the face of increasing pressures on local authority finances and time, and the burden this places on meeting HECA commitments, we can provide a range of tailored and cost-effective services to help:
  • Review and update existing policies.
  • Produce a recommendations and strategy report that is also fully compliant with HECA requirements.
  • Provide visualised GIS mapping data for more effective targeting and investment decisions.
For an informal initial discussion on how we can help, please contact Chloe Lloyd on chloe.lloyd@nef.org.uk or 01908 354531.
Helping local authorities get ready for ECO ‘flexible eligibility’
In its recent response to last year’s Help to Heat consultation, the Government proposed a stronger role for local authorities in identifying and nominating households that could benefit from energy efficiency measures funded through ECO. ‘Flexible eligibility’ (also known as ‘LA-flex’) allows local authorities to provide “…a declaration to energy suppliers that they had determined a household, or a number of households, as eligible.”
 
This new local authority power is not mandatory but is being introduced as of April this year. To exercise it effectively, councils will need a robust way of identifying those residents most in need. Our experience developing local authority housing stock databases could help you to understand both the physical characteristics of your region’s housing as well as the socio-economic circumstances of your residents. The database we recently developed for Suffolk was used by the council to design and target domestic energy efficiency programmes and campaigns - and could also be used to identify households that might benefit from ECO-funded measures.
EMW seminar: The Energy Summit. Thursday, 26 January, 2017
Our Senior Energy Specialist, Dr Thomas Whiffen, presented on: The benefits of energy-efficient buildings. In the context of the commercial/non-domestic sector, Thom looked at how buildings often fail to perform as expected; how energy efficiency in the sector has progressed over recent years; the impact of the Government's ESOS and MEES policies; and the National Energy Foundation's VolDEC scheme (an innovative voluntary operational energy performance rating scheme for non-domestic buildings).
edie LIVE. London. Tue - Wed 23 - 24 May
edie Live is the UK’s destination event for sustainable business, and provides the inspiration, information and introductions to help you become smarter and more sustainable. With hundreds of world-class experts and exhibitors, it is the only event for sustainability and environment professionals to pinpoint innovation, source new suppliers and learn from their peers.
 
Our Dr Thomas Whiffen will be a speaker in the Energy Management Theatre on 23 May, as part of a session entitled “Making good energy decisions: challenges and opportunities in driving down usage”. Thomas will present on: “ASSEMBLE: Small and temporary offices - saving energy by using power-line-carrier building control”.
Register now for edieLIVE and the beginning of your journey to a sustainable future. Get your free pass.
Making the most of switching energy supplier
Thinking of switching your energy supplier? Our Richard Vale looks at what you need to know and how you can ensure a smooth switch-over and also save money on your bills.
The Retrofit Academy diploma courses in Domestic Retrofit Coordination and Risk Management
The Retrofit Academy provides Retrofit Coordinator Diploma courses in London and Bristol, covering:
  • 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.
UK Energy Statistics Q3 2016
The latest quarterly statistics from BEIS show that low-carbon electricity generation increased its share by 50%, and both energy consumption and domestic energy bills were down by 4.6%.

Energy Company Obligation (ECO): Help to Heat consultation
The Government has published its long-awaited response to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO): Help to Heat consultation. The main policy decisions include:
  • 18-month extension to the ECO scheme (April 2017 – September 2018).
  • A more simplified and targeted scheme. Increased funding will be aimed at more households who are in fuel poverty, and those on lower incomes, who may be struggling to meet heating and other bills;
  • Eligibility for certain measures under Affordable Warmth will be extended to social housing in EPC bands E, F or G.
  • Local authorities will have a role in determining eligible homes, following the introduction of the ‘flexible eligibility’ mechanism.
  • Requirement to deliver a minimum of 21,000 solid wall insulations per year.
  • Rural delivery will be protected as 15% of Carbon Emission Reduction Obligation will be delivered in rural areas.
  • Simplified administration. ‘Deemed scores’ will be introduced in place of the current Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) methodology.
Government responds to ECCC report
The Government has responded to the "Future challenges for UK energy and climate policy" – a report on Government policy published by the former Energy and Climate Change Committee in October 2016. The Government recognises the need to ensure continued access to secure, clean and affordable energy in the long term while meeting its commitments to decarbonisation.

Reflections on ‘Each Home Counts’ and energy advisory services
A look at energy advisory services (in the context of the recent ‘Each Home Counts’ report) and how vital and fundamental they are to any effective, sustainable energy strategy to better empower consumers.

£28m for energy innovation projects
The Government has announced £28 million for energy innovation projects. The funding will be invested in smart systems, industrial energy reduction and offshore wind in order to bring down energy costs and build a low-carbon future.

New lease of life for Green Deal
The Green Deal Finance Company (and its existing loan book with a principal value in excess of £40 million) has been sold to a consortium of City investors - Greenstone Finance and Aurium Capital Markets. Under a new management team, Greenstone Finance will focus on improving access to and awareness of Green Deal finance by investing significantly in its website, customer services and the training of Green Deal Providers.

HNDU Round 7 funding opens
Round seven of the Government’s Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU) funding has opened, enabling local authorities in England and Wales to progress the development stages of heat networks projects.

Outlook good for battery storage in capacity market auctions
Having claimed a sizeable portion of the UK electricity Capacity Market Auctions in December, the auctions in 2017 represent an even bigger potential opportunity for battery storage.

UK pays for lamentably failing to implement EU directive
A look at how the UK is paying the penalty for its non-compliance with Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, and its failure to get to grips with energy used for space and hot water heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting – in both new and existing residential and non-residential buildings.

MEES - the implications for rent reviews, lease renewals and property valuation
A report from C02 Estates concludes that the Government’s Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) policy could wipe up to £16.54 billion off the value of commercial property in the UK.

National objectives need to be translated into retrofit standards
A look at what kind of retrofit standards the UK needs to meet its emissions reduction commitments, and how the targets are going to be achieved.

Call for lift on DNO storage restrictions
The UK Electricity Storage Network has called on BEIS and Ofgem to lift restrictions on distribution network operators owning storage assets, in order to facilitate investment in the nascent sector.

Smart meters – what’s in it for you?
The Government is committed to smart meters and has tasked the energy suppliers to install them in 26 million homes in England, Wales and Scotland by 2020. But, what's in it for you, the energy companies and the government - and what are the potential issues?

Latest national household energy efficiency statistics
BEIS has published it latest statistics on household energy efficiency measures installed under the ECO and Green Deal schemes.

Biomass needs common rules across Europe
Drax (Europe’s largest decarbonisation project, providing 20% of the UK’s renewable power) calls for a clear regulatory system around the sustainable use of biomass that is consistent across Europe, to replace the current patchwork of rules.

Give energy efficiency regulation more bite, say bosses
In a recent survey, company directors and managers feel that the Government should incentivise energy efficiency investment and tighten building regulations.

Possible new stamp duty to provide funding pot for domestic energy efficiency improvements
In an effort to drive energy efficiency refurbishments, a new strand of domestic stamp duty is proposed, with the money being ring-fenced for homeowners to spend on improving the energy efficiency of their homes.

Green gas is key and only a matter of time
If the UK is to meet its carbon emissions targets, a policy to decarbonise heat and a plan to achieve it is crucial. Converting to green gas is a key part of that process. It’s not a question of if it will be introduced, it’s simply when.

Renewable energy from community and local sources in Scotland smashes 2020 target
Scotland has exceeded its 2020 target of achieving 500 MW generating capacity from renewable energy in community and local ownership, and pledges to double this to 1GW in the same time frame. 

Improved domestic energy efficiency does not necessarily mean reduced fuel poverty
A Scottish study concludes that it’s an "error" to assume that improving domestic energy efficiency automatically reduces fuel poverty, after a flagship policy left some households feeling even poorer.

£40m for domestic energy efficiency in Wales
The Welsh Government is to make an extra £40 million available over the next four years to improve the energy efficiency of up to 25,000 homes across the province. The money will be targeted at households on low incomes or in deprived communities, to help them to heat their homes at a more affordable cost and improving their health and wellbeing.

£40m grant funding for Welsh farmers
The Welsh Government is also to provide a further £40 million of funding (in the form of grants up to £12,000 each) to help farmers invest in energy efficiency and carbon reduction measures, for example.
Regulating large energy suppliers’ smart meter roll-out plans
Ofgem has set out its proposed amendments to the framework for regulating large energy suppliers’ smart meter roll-out plans, and the setting of annual milestones. The proposed amendments recognise that suppliers will develop their approach to the installation of smart meters as the programme progresses. These amendments will create a framework that prompts suppliers to keep their plans under review, maintaining appropriately challenging annual milestones, and ensuring that any revisions are made with a view to completing the 2020 roll-out obligation. Closing date: Wednesday, 15 February.

Enabling consumers to make informed choices
Ofgem launches consultation on overhauling the energy suppliers’ sales and marketing licence condition, replacing the vast majority of prescription with five narrow. Energy suppliers will be required to take part in trials to find the best ways of engaging with customers to help them make informed choices and get better deals. The closing date for responses is Monday, 6 March.
 
Standards of sonduct for suppliers in the retail energy market
Ofgem also begins a consultation exercise on the requirement for suppliers to behave, provide information and carry out customer service processes in a manner that ensures customers are treated fairly. The aim of these requirements is to improve consumer outcomes, facilitate innovation and boost trust and engagement levels. Closing date for responses: Mon 13 March.
 
‘Building our Industrial Strategy’ prioritises affordable energy and clean growth
The Government has published its green paper outlining its new industrial strategy, the aim of which is to deliver a high-skilled, competitive economy that benefits people throughout the UK. Part of the strategy includes the delivery of affordable energy and clean growth. BEIS has described the paper as not the last word on the subject, but the start of a consultation process. The closing date for responses is Monday 17 April.
 
Scottish Energy Strategy: The future of energy in Scotland
The Scottish Government opens consultation on its draft Energy Strategy and vision for the future energy system in Scotland, for the period to 2050. The draft covers all aspects of energy and includes a new target to deliver 50% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030. Consultation closes: Tuesday 30 May.
ecobuild 2017. London. Tue 7 March
ecobuild is the UK’s largest event for specifiers across the built environment. It attracts over 33,000 high calibre, senior-level decision makers and influencers from architects and developers to local government and major infrastructure clients. Our Technical Director, Malcolm Hanna, will be chairing the session: “Improving energy efficiency in non-domestic buildings”. He will also be one of the presenters at the session, talking on: “Drivers for energy efficiency – MEES, carbon taxation and sustainability reporting”.
CIBSE ASHRAE Technical Symposium. Loughborough. Thu 6 – Fri 7 April
Our Dr Thomas Whiffen will be presenting at this two-day conference on: Energy savings in temporary buildings using power line carrier in an adaptable building energy management system.
Housing and Health-Working in Partnership conference. Manchester. Wed 10 May
Our Senior Project Officer, Alexandra Steeland, is to attend this Open Forum Events event and will speak on the success of our Better Housing, Better Health programme. The aim of the project was to reduce the health impacts of cold and damp housing, and improve health and wellbeing for those living with a cardiovascular disease or respiratory illness in Oxfordshire or Buckinghamshire.
edie LIVE. London. Tue - Wed 23 - 24 May
Our Dr Thomas Whiffen will be a speaker in the Energy Management Theatre of edie Live on 23 May, as part of a session entitled “Making good energy decisions: challenges and opportunities in driving down usage”. Thomas will present on: “ASSEMBLE: Small and temporary offices - saving energy by using power-line-carrier building control”.
Register now for edieLive and the beginning of your journey to a sustainable future. Get your free pass.
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