Huge fine for ScottishPowerUK energy efficiency second worst in EUHousehold energy from cheese‘Green’ pod homes coming to Oxford and more...
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Issue 436
Wednesday 27 April 2016
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Energy Envoys help Milton Keynes Mayor save energy
Students from Ousedale School in Newport Pagnell taking part in our Energy Envoys volunteering scheme recently helped the Mayor of Milton Keynes make his home more energy-efficient and reduce his fuel bills.

Volunteer Project Officer (Energy Envoys)
We are looking for someone to fill an exciting volunteer post supporting the promotion and roll-out of our Energy Envoys volunteering opportunity. Energy Envoys is offered to The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants to complete the Bronze, Silver or Gold volunteering section of their Award. The person who takes on the role will:
  • Build relationships with schools and centres.
  • Raise awareness of the scheme using social media and blogs.
  • Develop opportunities for professionals in the energy efficiency and built environment sectors to mentor Energy Envoys during their volunteering.
edie Live, 17-18 May. NEC, Birmingham
edie Live (formerly Sustainability Live) is the UK's leading sustainability, energy and resource efficiency exhibition for business end users. Learn how to sell your ideas to your employees and your boardroom. See the latest tech solutions in live demonstrations and find partners to collaborate with to future-proof your business.

Get the broadest yet most detailed view on the ‘here and now’ operational practicalities in the seminar theatres, as well as look into the future of a more sustainable business world in the strategic edie Leaders conference. You’ll find it all in just two days at edie Live.

On day one in the Energy Efficiency Theatre, our Ian Byrne will be speaking: Visions for the future – planning, priorities and staying ahead of the energy curve at a session entitled 'Energy Efficiency – present and future’.

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 both London and Manchester:
  • Assessing Dwellings for Retrofit.
  • Building Services Retrofit.
  • Business Case for Retrofit.
  • Introduction to Domestic Retrofit.
  • Retrofit Building Fabric and Solid Wall Insulation.
  • Retrofit Building Physics.
  • Retrofit Coordination and Risk Management.
  • Ventilation and Air Tightness for Retrofit.
UK energy efficiency second worst in EU
Against progress towards the EU target of saving 20% of its primary energy consumption by 2020, a survey of experts reveals that the UK’s energy efficiency is the second-worst in Europe.

Lightbulbs excluded from new EU regulations on energy efficiency claims
Lightbulbs are excluded from new EU rules that close loopholes previously allowing home appliance manufacturers to make claims about their products’ energy performance using a 10% margin of error between their advertised and actual energy consumptions.

Green Deal and ECO failed and not cost-effective
A National Audit Office report reveals the financial cost of the Green Deal and ECO schemes, and concludes that they actually increased costs and failed to deliver any significant benefits.

Labour attacks failed Green Deal
Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Lisa Nandy, accuses the Government of “short-changing” taxpayers over the failed Green Deal energy efficiency scheme.

Two sides of RHI – domestic and commercial
Businesses rush to secure heat subsidies ahead of cuts to the Renewable Heat Incentive tariff while domestic biomass nosedives by nearly two-thirds.

Government energy policies and how they impact on bills
In response to claims that ‘green energy’ is putting up bills and costing the UK jobs, a summary of the facts about subsidies for renewables, their impact on domestic and non-domestic energy bills and how the situation compares with other sources of energy.

DECC organogram
The latest, updated DECC organogram provides an overview of the department’s top level structure and senior team leaders.

Ode to the meter
Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, is to write an ode to the meter, to mark the passing of traditional gas and electricity meters, the coming of smart meters and the end of estimated bills.
Parliamentary inquiry into energy efficiency
The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee is to hold a session on household energy efficiency schemes on Wednesday 11 May, and invites written submissions.

Further consultation on non-domestic smart metering
DECC opens consultation on the Data and Communications Company opt-out, seeking further evidence on the impacts of retaining the opt-out and views on the proposed amendments to the regulatory framework should the opt-out be removed. Closing date: Fri 27 May.
Energy efficiency uptake and energy savings in English houses
A study looks at which households have (and have not) taken up retrofits and the factors involved. It also examines what impact these retrofits have had on energy use and how this differs among different types of households. 

Energy-efficient building refurbs prevent illness, study finds
A study that surveyed 14,000 people in 14 EU countries found that people living in unhealthy homes suffer flu-like symptoms and fatigue more often, and that building renovations can help prevent illness.

Integrating advice into smart meter rollout
Research shows the benefit of integrating household energy efficiency advice into the nationwide smart meter rollout programme.

Better buildings, better occupants, better results
Buildings are increasingly expected to directly contribute to the health and wellbeing of the people who live, work and learn inside them. As this change of outlook continues, more businesses will be interested in how a building impacts on the performance of the humans who use it every day.

Scotland – a nation of cold homes
New figures from Existing Homes Alliance Scotland reveal that there are 1.5 million cold homes across the country - with tens of thousands in every parliamentary constituency.

Cut bills by another 10%
A report calls for energy bills to be cut by a 'further 10%' on the back of wholesale energy costs being at an almost 10-year low.

Latest on household energy bills
DECC releases the latest annual estimates of gas and electricity bills, plus statistics on household expenditure on fuel.

Small fall in domestic energy bills
According to the latest statistics released by DECC, domestic energy bills fell by around 2% in 2015.

‘Big Six’ suffer in switching
The latest energy switching data (for March 2016) shows the highest recorded number of switches away from large companies. Small and mid-tier suppliers attracted 43% of all switches.

British Gas losing customers
‘Big Six’ energy supplier, British Gas, loses 224,000 residential customers (a reduction of 1.5%) in the first quarter of 2016.

Council tax discount for green Welsh homes
A plan is launched by Welsh Liberal Democrats for households to receive a £100 council tax discount if their energy efficiency is improved by two EPC bands.

Council energy company
Wakefield Council considers setting up an energy firm to provide cheaper gas and electricity to its residents.

Ed Davey to launch renewable energy company
The former Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, is to launch Mongoose Energy, a new community energy generation company specialising in the supply of renewable energy.

How green are solar panels?
A look at the environmental impact of the installation and use of solar panels, plus the cost of their manufacture regarding energy and C02.

Danish award-winning energy-saving advice
A local council in Denmark provides award-winning, tailor-made support for saving energy in the home, based on four key action points.
Targeting retrofit for the maximum effect
New research shows how to identify the buildings in a city where retrofitting for energy efficiency will have the biggest impact on the area’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.

New factory for new retrofit system
A new factory is opened to develop a 'wrap-around' retrofit system that’s supported by Innovate UK and reduces heating bills in cold, poorly performing homes by up to 80%.

Green transformation for Henley semi
A couple in Henley retrofit their semi and transform it into a SuperHome, reducing its C02 emissions and improving its energy efficiency.

PV provides power at water treatment plant
A quarter of the electricity needed to run a Scottish water treatment facility is to be met by a recently-installed 1,000-panel PV array.

ENERFUND is a European project aimed at developing and promoting a tool for stakeholders to make intelligent decisions with regard to energy renovation strategies and financing deep retrofit of buildings.
OLEDs push lighting innovation
Just as the world gets used to LED bulbs and uptake increases, technology moves on and OLED successors are on their way.

Energy efficiency analysis through drones
Students from Strathclyde University are to commercialise their development of a thermal imaging service that uses drones for analysing the energy efficiency of buildings.

Tomatoes to energy
After successful trials by researchers in the US, discarded tomatoes could be used to produce a low-cost alternative energy.

Household energy from cheese
Biogas made from whey and other waste from the cheese-making process is to be used to supply around 4,000 homes in Cumbria.

Power from waiting for a bus
The UK’s first solar bus shelter opens in Canary Wharf and it’s predicted to generate 200KWh of electricity a year.

Solar panels that generate power from rain
Scientists develop all-weather solar panels that include graphene and can also generate power from raindrops.

Australian battery storage market hots up
The makers of the innovative ZCell flow battery challenge Tesla and its lithium battery in the Australian domestic storage market.
Huge fine for ScottishPower
Ofgem has ordered ‘Big Six’ energy supplier, ScottishPower, to pay £18 million after poor customer service, which resulted in over 1 million complaints between June 2013 and Dec 2015.

Private energy experiment failing
A National Economics Foundation report asserts that the privatised experiment for providing energy is failing, and that public energy led by local government would be better able to achieve social and environmental objectives, and could provide a boost to local economies.

Building Reg’s revised
The 2016 amendments (no technical changes) to the 2010 Building Regulations, Part L1A, Conservation of Fuel and Power.

Latest non-domestic energy prices
DECC releases the latest quarterly and annual gas and electricity prices for the non-domestic sector.

Brits polled on future sources of home energy
In a poll that asked more than 2,800 members of the British public for their predictions on future sources of energy in homes, sweat, sewage and renewables were among the suggestions.

Guidance on PV battery storage
In a period of rapid change and development in the solar panel market, Renewable Energy Assurance Limited (REAL) publishes a helpful guide on battery storage for installers and sellers of solar PV.

Ecotricity snaps up failed PV business
The renewable energy supplier, Ecotricity, purchases the SunEdison UK home rooftop solar business after the US giant files for bankruptcy.

New builds in San Fran to have PV
A new law is passed in San Francisco, which stipulates that all new buildings under 10 storeys high must have rooftop solar panels.

Stunning Solar promotes ‘kerb appeal’ of latest PV systems
The Solar Trade Association launches a campaign to raise awareness of how the latest in rooftop solar technology can produce beautiful and aesthetically pleasing installations.

Community produces four times energy than needed
Germany’s Solar Village near Freiburg is the first community in the world to produce four times more energy than it uses.

IKEA Solar Shops contract announced
The winner of the contract to supply IKEA’s new in-store ‘Solar Shops’ is announced as the roll-out begins.

Tidal energy turbine farm gets approval
Go-ahead is approved for the construction of a tidal energy turbine farm off the coast of the Isle of Wight. 60 seabed turbines will generate the equivalent of enough electricity for 15,000 homes.

Apartments with $60 energy bills
The builder of a six-storey, 77-unit apartment block in Vancouver predicts energy bills of $60 per annum or less.

Fund supports SME to buy energy-saving kit
The Carbon Trust’s Green Business Fund offers support of up to £10,000 to small and medium-sized businesses with a staff of less than 250, to encourage them to buy energy-saving equipment.

Uni on course to becoming carbon neutral
An energy centre under construction takes St Andrews closer to being the first carbon-neutral university.

CHP approved for BP terminal
The Scottish Government gives the go-ahead for a gas-fired combined heat and power plant to provide heat for the BP Kinneil Terminal in Grangemouth.

Glasgow to become renewables capital?
Glasgow considers establishing a community-owned company to convert derelict land or buildings into renewables hubs in an effort to reduce the city’s dependency on fossil fuels and reduce fuel poverty.

Bristol goes passivhaus
Bristol City Council embraces the passivhaus standard for a number of new-build housing developments across the city.

‘Green’ pod homes coming to Oxford
Oxford City Council considers a trial of small 'green' pod homes that would sit on stilts above car parks and other ground-level facilities.
Jobs across the UK
Various energy-related jobs across the country are available on the following websites. Take a look at:
The new low energy guides for homes – breakfast session for busy professionals. Bristol. Thu 5 May
The Green Register provides the latest on building services, good practice on site, thermal bridging, SAP assessment and compliance with Building Regulations Part L1A. All delegates will receive a copy of four illustrated Zero Carbon Hub sustainable building guides aimed at achieving energy-efficient homes.

Introduction to ground and water source heat pump schemes. London. Tue 10 May
Aimed at building owners or those involved in developing energy strategies, this CIBSE course provides an overview of ground and water source heat pump schemes. It outlines the key benefits and challenges of this technology and the different ways it can be applied.

Heat Networks: From cash to commissioning - Practical steps for project delivery. Manchester. Thu 26 May
The Association for Decentralised Energy’s annual District Heating Conference and Marketplace provides the opportunity for the industry to network, exhibit and learn about the latest best practice in the district heating sector.

New approaches to funding and delivering energy-efficiency in homes. Watford. Tue 5 July
This one-day conference, aimed at housing associations, large private estate owners, architects and contractors, examines alternative funding for projects and explores how refurbishment projects can be made more efficient and cost-effective through improved management of the supply chain and the use of innovation.

Delivering Energy Efficient Homes. London. Wed 6 July
Westminster Briefing on the latest policy developments and a discussion on good practice in delivering energy-efficient homes. The session will also look at how stakeholders can work together to deliver, and the differing challenges faced with new and existing housing.

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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