Social housing sector willing and able to deliver on low-energy retrofitVIDEO - iAIM: social housing portfolio performance made simpleLords blame broken electricity supply market on constant Government interventions, and more...
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eNews
Issue 453
1 March 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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Social housing sector willing and able to deliver on low-energy retrofit
The recent ‘state of the nation’ survey carried out by the National Energy Foundation, Capita and the University of Salford has highlighted the social housing sector’s views on opportunities, challenges and progress in low-energy retrofit. The survey report ‘State of the Nation: Low Energy Retrofit in Social Housing’ includes a series of insights and findings from the survey, including:
  • Social housing providers are willing and able to deliver.
  • The importance of good data to make a sound business case for retrofit.
  • The adoption of technology and the increased use of performance monitoring and evaluation.
  • A decline in the perception that retrofit is actively championed at board level.
VIDEO - iAIM: social housing portfolio performance made simple
iAIM is our exciting new software tool that enables registered providers to better understand their assets' performance, target investment and strategically improve their portfolios. Having successfully piloted iAIM on an existing portfolio, we are looking for additional providers who are keen to have the added benefit of better insight on their portfolio performance, and unlock the advantages that iAIM can provide. Please contact us using the details on our iAIM web page.
VIDEO - Better Housing, Better Health success
Better Housing, Better Health, our scheme for providing advice and energy efficiency measures for people whose health conditions had been impacted by a cold or damp home, has come to an end.

The focus is now on evaluating the project, with the final report due in the next few weeks. Interim results suggest that the project saved the NHS and wider society significant amounts of money. In addition, grant recipients reported an improvement in their health and a reduction in their use of the health service, after just three months after improvements were made to their homes. Our video looks at the success of the project and how it improved the health and wellbeing of those who benefitted from the initiative.
Young people in Glasgow enthusiastic to sign up as Energy Envoys
Our Alexandra Steeland reports on her recent trip to Glasgow where she promoted our Energy Envoys volunteering scheme to a number of local schools. Alex found that young people in the area were enthusiastic to sign up to help their communities save money, energy and carbon as part of their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE).
NEF fuel poverty services
In the run-up to the recent Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, our Households and Communities Project Officer, Richard Vale, looked at our fuel poverty projects and services, and the impact they have on people's health and wellbeing.
ASSEMBLE case study
ASSEMBLE, our two-year project supporting the UK SME, TerOpta, to develop a low-cost building energy management system using its innovative power-line carrier technology, has recently come to an end.

The project included the installation of software at two sites, the first of which was our building in Milton Keynes (where the energy used for lighting was monitored). The second was a temporary Costain office that was part of a smart motorway upgrade project. Here, the energy used by the air conditioning was monitored. In both cases, savings were identified.
 
The ASSEMBLE project is one of a number of new case studies recently added to our website. Others include:
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.

After some high-profile examples of poor quality new-build residential developments, 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 nearing the end 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 this month on their plans to improve energy efficiency, and identify practicable and cost-effective measures that are likely to result in significant energy reduction in all residential accommodation in their areas.
 
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.
edieLIVE. London. Tue - Wed 23 - 24 May
edieLIVE 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.
Energiesprong at Ecobuild 2017
Come and find out more about the first Energiesprong demonstrator properties in the UK, from a line-up of exciting speakers at a session at Ecobuild on 7 March. Funded through Transition Zero, an EU Horizon 2020-funded project, Energiesprong UK has arranged for a number of speakers to update progress on the first UK properties to be retrofitted using Energiesprong principles.
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.
Lords blame broken electricity supply market on constant Government interventions
In its report "The Price of Power: Reforming the Electricity Market" the Lords Economic Affairs Committee argues that constant intervention by successive governments in the electricity sector has led to an opaque, complicated and uncompetitive market that fails to deliver low-cost and secure electricity.

National Grid tenders for this year’s summer grid balancing programme
National Grid has launched Demand Turn Up, a service to encourage large energy users and embedded generators to either increase demand (through shifting) or reduce generation when there is excess energy on the system – typically overnight and during weekend afternoons.

Government policies shift the UK energy supply model in the direction of decentralisation and renewables
How wind and solar are contributing to moving the UK’s centralised energy supply to a more decentralised model with an increased reliance on renewables, and helping to keep blackouts at bay.

Huge capacity to decarbonise energy for heating buildings
The capacity to decarbonise the energy used to heat buildings is huge. Change inevitable and district heating, hydrogen gas, expanding the electricity grid and carbon capture and storage all in the frame for significant development.

Temporary prepayment price cap set by Ofgem
Ofgem has set a prepayment price cap to protect over four million households least able to benefit from competition. The temporary cap is one of the Competition and Market Authority's remedies resulting from its previous investigation of the energy market, and is expected to save many typical prepayment customers around £80 a year from April.

Fuel poverty group responds to Bonfield Review
The End Fuel Poverty Coalition has welcomed the Bonfield Review as an "important opportunity" but expresses concern that it overlooks the role of local fuel poverty advice and support, as well as the poor integration between local and national government in the development and delivery of the measures proposed.

Lack of transparency over green energy subsidies is 'shambolic', say MPs
The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has criticised the Government for its failure to regularly spell out the impact of green policies on household energy bills.

BEIS non-domestic MEES guidance
BEIS has issued guidance for landlords of privately rented non-domestic properties on complying with the forthcoming Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards regulations, which start to fully take effect as of April 2018.

AD tariffs reduced, despite opposition
In its review of support for anaerobic digestion and micro CHP under the Feed-in Tariff scheme, the Government is to introduce a number of measures from 1 April, including a reduction in the AD generation tariffs and changes to the deployment cap.

Report questions validity of subsidies for biomass
A Chatham House report argues that most existing policy frameworks support practices that raise greenhouse gas concentrations over the short, medium and sometimes long term rather than help cut greenhouse gas emissions. It further maintains that, as a result, subsidies for many types of biomass should be discontinued.

Latest capacity market auction closes below expectations
The early capacity market (held to secure 53.7GW of generation capacity over winter 2017/18) closed at well below market expectations at £6.95kW. Although this might seem good from a consumer’s perspective with substantially less than anticipated charges for the capacity market next winter, critics claim that the Government had sought to procure far more capacity than was required, resulting in “a few hundred million pounds loaded onto energy consumers that did not need to be spent”.

Best practice guidance for delivery of energy efficiency advice during smart meter installations
Consumers can benefit greatly if they are given tailored energy efficiency advice during their smart meter installation visit. 400 homes and two energy suppliers took part in a pilot to understand how this could be best delivered, resulting in BEIS issuing an installer toolkit, various factsheets and two research reports.

“Smart energy outlook” - public opinion on energy and smart meters
Smart Energy GB, the body responsible for the smart meter roll-out, has published “Smart energy outlook”, the largest independent barometer of national public opinion on energy and smart meters. This latest edition shows that 81% of people who have upgraded to a smart meter would recommend them to others, and 82% of people with smart meters have taken at least one step to reduce their energy use.

Smart meters – potential benefits, skills gap and sharing information
The roll-out of smart meters in the UK is described as “one of the biggest national infrastructure projects in a generation”. A report by ECTA Training looks at: consumers’ views of smart meters and their potential benefits; how the “smart skills” gap is impacting the Government’s roll-out pledge; and consumer attitudes to sharing energy usage information with third party websites. Overall, the patchy uptake of smart meters might mean missing the 2020 deadline.

MPs highlight need for more resources to tackle fuel poverty
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency publishes a report that highlights the need for significant additional resources to tackle fuel poverty, and provides best practice examples of schemes that offer excellent help and assistance.

UK-France electricity connection given the green light
As part of the Government’s policy to provide secure, resilient and low-cost electricity, a new interconnector between the UK and France has been given the go-ahead at a cost of £490 million.

Household Energy Efficiency National Statistics
BEIS releases the latest national household energy efficiency statistics, covering measures installed under ECO and the Green Deal schemes.

Latest BEIS Public Attitude Tracker
BEIS has released the latest (wave 20) of its Public Attitude Tracker survey, the aim of which is to understand and monitor public attitudes to the department’s main business priorities, including those in the area of energy. The Tracker covers the public’s feelings towards: energy bills; energy suppliers; switching; saving energy; and renewables.

£11m to test energy efficiency innovation in Scotland’s local authorities
The Scottish Government has allocated £11 million to the second wave of Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) pilot fund. The money will help local authorities test new and innovative energy-saving approaches with households, community groups and businesses, which can then be taken forward when SEEP is rolled out fully in 2018.

£104m for domestic energy efficiency in Wales
Over the next four years, the Welsh Government is to provide £104 million to improve the energy efficiency in up to 25,000 of the principality’s most vulnerable homes.
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. Wed 5 April
Our Dr Thomas Whiffen will be presenting on the first day of this two-day conference (13:30, Session 8, Room B) 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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