DCLG consultation on DECs, Third GDHIF release, Solid wall insulation consultation, CAB slams fuel poverty strategy, Regulator shake-up promised by Labour, and more...



eNews

Issue 407 – Wednesday 18 March 2015


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CONTENTS

National Energy Foundation

DCLG consultation on the future of DECs
Practical workshops and seminars at Sustainability Live 2015. NEC, Birmingham. Tuesday 21 –
NEF at Sustainability Live 2015. NEC, Birmingham. Tuesday 21 – Thursday 23 April
New online community engagement tool and action packs
CoRE training courses
Greenbuild Expo returns alongside new show, Buildings & Energy Efficiency
Buildings & Energy Efficiency Awards 2015


Policy

Third GDHIF release
GDHIF guide
Don’t ditch DECs
Green Deal companies struck off
Verma addresses Heat Conference
Domestic RHI tops 25,000
GDF take-up disappointing
£3m for heat networks
Smart meter problems
Fund to research Scotland’s geothermal capacity
The Government’s ongoing record
Davey addresses Ecobuild


Consultations

Solid wall insulation
New scheme for international refurbishment and fit-out projects


Consumers/Fuel Poverty

CAB slams fuel poverty strategy
NICE advice
Low level of energy literacy
Compensate duped comparison site users
Cheaper bills in NI
Lower gas bills for more households
14 fictitious reasons for not switching


Industry

Brussels to toughen up on EU energy efficiency laws
Big 6 profits fly
LAs back in the energy business
Ban energy suppliers’ lost leaders
Energy strategies move from boiler room to boardroom
Regulator shake-up promised by Labour
Missing piece in the EU energy debate
No to standard tariff ban
UKGBC building plan
Domestic U-values
Labour pledge on ‘green bonds’
Flint interviewed by Marr
How CHP works on view
Energy storage becoming feasible
Capacity market scheme criticised
Sales ban for one of the Big Six
How to Build a Passivhaus
Largest East London Passive House
Halogen ban
Hospitality savings
Savings for York hospital
Sugar beet is energy cool
Outstanding hotel
Green power for the smallest of buildings - bus shelters!
Toilet power


Jobs

Jobs across the UK


Events

Energy efficiency in traditional and historic buildings. York. Friday 20 March
Energy Storage UK 2015: The role of energy storage in the future of solar PV. London. Wednesday 15 April
Low energy know how. Manchester. Thursday 16 April
Retrofit Live. Stoke-on-Trent. Wednesday 29 – Thursday 30 April


National Energy Foundation 

DCLG consultation on the future of DECs
In response to DCLG's consultation on how the current regime of Display Energy Certificates could be streamlined and improved, the Foundation believes that the current mandatory requirement should be broadly unchanged but could be improved by the introduction of a centralised enforcement body, an accessible register and the possibly national league tables. We stress that DECs provide a visible incentive to make continuous improvements to energy management, and hence consistent and meaningful energy savings, which far exceed the cost of compliance. Even in the private sector there's an appetite for the kind of information DECs provide as witnessed by the growing demand for VolDECs, our new and innovative voluntary operational energy rating scheme for commercial buildings.
http://www.nef.org.uk/about-us/publications/

Practical workshops and seminars at Sustainability Live 2015. NEC, Birmingham. Tuesday 21 – Thursday 23 April
Sustainability Live (incorporating NEMEX and Energy Recovery) is a leading exhibition for innovative energy management and sustainability. This year’s busy event includes a free-to-attend seminar programme designed to help energy and sustainability professionals operate more efficiently – and gain essential CPD hours. The practical sessions span three theatres:
- Energy Efficiency Theatre 1, which explores people, policy, processes and best practice.
- Energy Efficiency Theatre 2, which foregrounds developments in technology, tools and kit
- Energy Recovery Theatre, which covers the latest technologies for driving on-site energy generation.
Register: sustainabilitylive.com/workshop-seminar-programme

NEF at Sustainability Live 2015. NEC, Birmingham. Tuesday 21 – Thursday 23 April
On Tuesday 21, our Deputy Chief Executive, Ian Byrne, will give a talk on the new ISO standard for energy baselines and performance indicators, ISO 50006. This will be in a session about ISO and chaired by Martin Fry, ESTA President. On Thursday 23 April, our Technical Director, Malcolm Hanna, will present on ‘Effective energy management strategies'.
http://www.conference.sustainabilitylive.com/

New online community engagement tool and action packs
Our new online tool and series of action packs aim to help communities engage more people as they initiate, plan and deliver sustainable energy projects. The website provides detailed ideas, tips and real-life case studies on a wide range of community engagement activities, from recruiting an initial group and holding the first event, to building community participation into decision-making and developing effective channels of communication. The website will feature case studies from countries across North West Europe, offering a range of different perspectives on activities to carry out and outlets to use to promote community engagement.
http://www.nef.org.uk/about-us/insights/our-new-online-tool-for-communities

CoRE training courses
Responsible retrofit of traditional buildings. London. Thursday 23 March
This CoRE training unit is presented by Dr Sarah Price (Project Manager and building Physicist at Encraft) and Helen Brown (Head of building Physics at Encraft). It builds on the work of the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA), presents methods of identifying and assessing vulnerable traditional buildings, and reviews appropriate retrofit specifications. 
http://www.core-skills.com/events/event-15070627653/#.VQMF__msUlQ

Retrofit building services. Birmingham. Thursday 2 April
This unit is presented by Alan Clarke (Energy Consultant and Building Services Engineer) and John Willoughby (Energy and Environmental Design Consultant). It covers retrofitting domestic buildings with new services; ventilation, heating, hot water, lighting and appliances, and their controls. Low-carbon technologies such as heat pumps, micro CHP, solar water heating and solar photovoltaics are also covered. Options are reviewed in terms of their characteristics, constraints, energy performance and compatibility with each other and with the building fabric. 
http://www.core-skills.com/events/event-15154404231/#.VQMHPPmsUlQ

Greenbuild Expo returns alongside new show, Buildings & Energy Efficiency
Greenbuild Expo 2015 is a well-established exhibition for the sustainable built environment professional and, new for this year, it will run alongside the new Buildings & Energy Efficiency (B&EE) Event, a show dedicated to helping businesses meet their energy efficiency objectives. Greenbuild Expo will continue its emphasis on promoting sustainable building practices and tackling some of the important issues of our time, such as building high-quality and sustainable housing, refurbishing the current stock and eradicating fuel poverty.
http://www.nef.org.uk/about-us/press-releases/greenbuild-expo-returns-alongside-new-show-buildings-energy-efficiency

Buildings & Energy Efficiency Awards 2015
Entries for the 2015 Buildings & Energy Efficiency (B&EE) Awards are now open. New for 2015, the B&EE Awards celebrate buildings and products that truly encapsulate energy efficiency.
Culminating in a glamourous event held at the Palace Hotel Manchester on Tuesday 10th November, the B&EE Awards seek out and reward those who have placed energy efficiency at the heart of their new build and refurbishment projects. Previously known as the Greenbuild awards, the B&EE Awards reward genuine innovation and achievement in energy efficiency. Winning a B&EE Award will demonstrate that a project or product has a proven and successful track record when it comes to delivering an energy efficient building or solution.
http://www.nef.org.uk/about-us/press-releases/buildings-energy-efficiency-awards-2015-entries-open


Policy

Third GDHIF release
The Government releases a further £70 million for home energy efficiency through the third phase of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.
https://www.gov.uk/green-deal-energy-saving-measures/get-money-back-from-the-green-deal-home-improvement-fund

GDHIF guide
A quick DECC guide on how to apply for the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund and the process involved.
https://decc.blog.gov.uk/2015/03/04/update-on-green-deal-home-improvement-fund-2/

Don’t ditch DECs
The influential Committee on Climate Change, which advises the Government on greenhouse gas emission targets and preparing for climate change, has written to the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, questioning the Government’s consultation on weakening or scrapping the present legislation.
http://buildpositive.net/2015/03/12/governments-climate-adviser-urges-pickles-not-to-ditch-decs/

Green Deal companies struck off
One in ten (350) of the companies registered to carry out Green Deal assessments and installation work have been 'struck off' for breaking the schemes code of practice.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/11471036/One-in-ten-Green-Deal-companies-struck-off-for-breaking-the-rules.html

Verma addresses Heat Conference
Baroness Verma addresses the first Community Heat Conference and speaks on the heat challenge, heat demand, RHI, HNDU, community energy, the Rural Community Energy Fund, the Community Energy Strategy and smart meters.
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/speech-to-the-community-heat-conference

Domestic RHI tops 25,000
DECC reports that there are now 25,000 accreditations for the "world-first" domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, and promotes its nationwide roadshows to answer questions about the scheme from homeowners, manufacturers, installers, customers and academics.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/world-first-renewable-heat-incentive-proves-renewable-heating-is-a-genuine-choice-for-home-owners

GDF take-up disappointing
Ed Davey admits that the take-up for Green Deal loans has been 'disappointing' but he emphasises the extent of energy efficiency measures undertaken via ECO.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/05/green-deal-loan-take-up-disappointing-ed-davey-eco?CMP=share_btn_tw

£3m for heat networks
The Government announces that an extra £3 million is being awarded to 55 local authorities to set up low-carbon heat networks across England and Wales.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/3-million-funding-to-boost-low-carbon-heating
 
Smart meter problems
MPs hear that the smart meter roll-out to 30 million UK households and small businesses, which is due to take place by 2020, will not be delivered on time and might end up a "costly failure".
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/07/smart-meters-may-not-be-delivered-to-uk-homes-on-time-mps-warn

Fund to research Scotland’s geothermal capacity
A £250,000 fund is launched to support research into exploring Scotland’s geothermal capacity to meet the energy needs of local communities. The fund is open to organisations working together to benefit local communities achieving carbon reductions, which are sustainable and commercially viable on a long-term basis.
http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/-250-000-to-unlock-Scotland-s-geothermal-potential-16ef.aspx

The Government’s ongoing record
DECC summarises how the Government is supporting industry, businesses and the public sector to use less energy, which will reduce the impact of rising energy prices.
https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/reducing-demand-for-energy-from-industry-businesses-and-the-public-sector--2

Davey addresses Ecobuild
The transcript of the address by Ed Davey to Ecobuild, in which he covers the Government’s progress on energy efficiency, energy efficiency as a social good, ECO, the Green Deal, fuel poverty and support for the new ‘warmth on prescription’ scheme.
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/address-to-the-ecobuild-exhibition


Consultations

Solid wall insulation
The Green Construction Board commissions Chief Construction Adviser, Peter Hansford, to undertake a review of solid wall insulation. The review is to consider what more might be done to unlock demand for SWI, improve its affordability and increase its attractiveness as a solution. The consultation closes on Friday 24 April 2015 and a report will be made to the Green Construction Board in June.
http://www.greenconstructionboard.org/index.php/resources/solid-wall-insulation-review

New scheme for international refurbishment and fit-out projects
A draft of the latest in the BREEAM family of sustainability assessment schemes for buildings “BREEAM International Refurbishment and Fit-Out 2015” has been published for consultation.
http://www.bre.co.uk/news/BREEAM-consults-on-new-scheme-for-international-refurbishment-and-fitout-projects-1063.html


Consumers/Fuel Poverty

CAB slams fuel poverty strategy
The Citizens Advice Bureau criticises the Government's new fuel poverty strategy for not being ambitious enough and lacking in both commitment and the detail of how it’s going to be achieved.
https://blogs.citizensadvice.org.uk/blog/the-new-fuel-poverty-strategy-2015/

NICE advice
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says that heating engineers should report vulnerable people living in cold homes to their local councils, in an effort to reduce excess winter deaths.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11449877/Plumbers-should-warn-the-council-if-homes-are-too-cold.html

Low level of energy literacy
A recent survey shows that the British public knows very little about energy efficiency even though the people surveyed considered it to be 'very important' to them.
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/561893/Britain-energy-lethargy-80-per-cent-homeowners-unaware-energy-efficiency 

Compensate duped comparison site users
The Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee suggests that energy price comparison sites should show users all the tariffs available and compensate any customers who are not given the cheapest deal.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31661858

Cheaper bills in NI
An energy supplier in Northern Ireland is the latest to cut its prices. As of next month, the price of electricity will come down by 8% and gas by 7.8%.
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/energy-company-airtricity-aims-to-slash-its-prices-by-8-31034655.html

Lower gas bills for more households
Another independent energy supplier, Utilita Energy, announces a reduction in the price of its gas to householders, which will come down by 5.6% as of 1 April.
http://www.energylivenews.com/2015/03/05/independent-energy-firm-cuts-gas-prices-by-5-6/

14 fictitious reasons for not switching
Ovo Energy dispels the 14 most common myths (hassle, time, etc) about switching energy provider.
http://www.ovoenergy.com/blog/2015/02/14-fictitious-reasons-why-you-don-t-switch-energy-supplier/?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=Brand


Industry

Brussels to toughen up on EU energy efficiency laws
EU leaders are to discuss strengthening the enforcement of existing energy laws at their 19 March summit, after the European Commission signalled it would toughen its policing of energy efficiency rules (including those relating to buildings) by launching infringement procedures against recalcitrant EU member states.
http://www.euractiv.com/sections/efficient-energy-union/eu-toughens-energy-efficiency-laws-312830?utm_content=buffer5c3f0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Big 6 profits fly
The Big Six energy companies’ profits from their domestic customers increased tenfold between 2007 and 2013, from £110 million to £1.1 billion, resulting in a dramatic increase in their profit per household figures.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/11475989/Big-Six-energy-companies-profits-increased-tenfold-since-2007.html

LAs back in the energy business
The first new local authority-based community energy supplier for over 60 years is launched by a partnership between Ovo Energy and Cheshire East Council, with more local authorities to follow suit.
http://www.cityam.com/211616/ovo-and-cheshire-east-council-launch-new-energy-provider

Ban energy suppliers’ lost leaders
The CEO of Ovo Energy is critical of the loss-leader deals offered by the Big Six, saying that they should be banned, and that companies should be forced to prove that prices charged for different tariffs reflect their supply costs, as this would force them to cut costs across the if they wanted to compete on price.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/11457945/Big-energy-suppliers-loss-leading-claims-Ovo-Energy.html 

Energy strategies move from boiler room to boardroom
Although corporate energy strategy used to focus on saving money and projecting an ethical message to customers, it’s now up there with sales, marketing, finance and HR in terms of its strategic importance. Good energy management and planning is considered to make for a better business. 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/business/business-energy/11458713/energy-strategy-boiler-room-boardroom.html

Regulator shake-up promised by Labour
Ed Miliband announces that, if Labour wins the general election, it will give the energy regulator the legal duty to ensure prices are fair and the power to cut bills in time for next winter.
http://press.labour.org.uk/post/113467814579/miliband-labour-will-bring-in-new-powers-to-cut

Missing piece in the EU energy debate
The significance of heating and cooling technologies for Europe is underlined at a major conference on district energy in Brussels.
http://www.cospp.com/articles/2015/03/heating-and-cooling-the-missing-piece-in-the-energy-and-emissions-debate.html 

No to standard tariff ban
Ed Davey rejects a ban on energy suppliers’ standard variable tariffs as it would involve a "major intervention" in the market and on the grounds of competition.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/ed-davey-rejects-ban-on-standard-energy-tariffs-10094668.html

UKGBC building plan
The UK Green Building Council publishes its low-carbon, high-growth plan for buildings in the next parliament. Based on investment, innovation and knowledge, the potential benefits are huge - jobs in every constituency, lower energy bills for people and businesses, better health outcomes and carbon reductions.
http://www.ukgbc.org/resources/publication/low-carbon-high-growth-10-point-plan-buildings-next-parliament

Domestic U-values
DECC releases a commissioned report by BRE into in-situ wall U-values in 300 domestic dwellings in England.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/in-situ-measurements-of-wall-u-values-in-english-housing

Labour pledge on ‘green bonds’
In a speech by Caroline Flint, Labour pledges to ask the Green Investment Bank to introduce 'green bonds' which will have an attractive interest rate and will enable the UK to fund billions of pounds of investment in clean energy.
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/mar/08/green-premium-bond-pledge

Flint interviewed by Marr
Caroline Flint is interviewed on the Andrew Marr show discussing energy prices.
http://www.shadowdecc.org.uk/caroline_flint_on_andrew_marr

How CHP works on view
Watch a video on how a new combined heat and power plant works. The recently-opened plant in Fife is the biggest in the UK.
http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/news/national-news/125700-uk%5Cs-largest-biomass-chp-plant-opens-to-help-paper-plant-cut-emissions.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6ISGXUfoT8&feature=youtu.be

Energy storage becoming feasible
Although it’s not quite there yet, either technically or financially, "Over the next three to five years, energy storage will become very affordable, very quickly" – thereby paving the way for electricity independence.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31040723

Capacity market scheme criticised
MPs on the Government’s Committee on Climate Change, which advises the Government on greenhouse gas emission targets and preparing for climate change, slam the capacity market scheme for raising energy costs, encouraging fossil fuels and increasing C02 emissions.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/04/mps-slam-capacity-market-scheme-for-raising-energy-costs

Sales ban for one of the Big Six
Scottish Power is hit with a 12-day proactive sales ban by Ofgem after failing to meet the regulator’s targets to clear up all its outstanding Energy Ombudsman decisions regarding customer complaints.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31728249

How to Build a Passivhaus
The Passivhaus Trust’s “How to build a Passivhaus: Rules of Thumb” highlights the key aspects of the do's and don'ts on how to successfully build a Passivhaus. 
http://www.passivhaustrust.org.uk/news/detail/?nId=473#.VQbya_msUlS

Largest East London Passive House
A case study of east London’s largest Passive House scheme in Rainham, which consists of 51 new homes and where it’s predicted that residents living in a three-bedroom home could see their energy costs slashed from £1,240 per year to around £350.
http://www.zehnderpassivehouse.co.uk/case-studies/climate-energy.html

Halogen ban
The days of the halogen light bulb seem numbered as the EU considers a ban - but the threatened move prompts a ‘robust’ backlash of comments.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2974856/Now-Europe-wants-ban-halogen-light-bulbs-Sales-stopped-early-year-energy-saving-drive.html

Hospitality savings
“Saving energy without compromising service”. A handy Carbon Trust guide on saving energy in the hospitality sector.
http://www.carbontrust.com/media/39220/ctv013_hospitality.pdf

Savings for York hospital
A York teaching hospital opens its energy centre with a guarantee of over £12.7 million savings during the next 15 years.
http://www.theade.co.uk/york-teaching-hospitals-energy-centre-opens-with-guarantee-of-127-million-in-savings-_2961.html

Sugar beet is energy cool
To save energy, Sainsbury’s is testing a refrigerant derived from waste sugar beet in the fridges and freezers in one of its supermarkets.
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/mar/04/the-natural-refrigerant-set-to-reduce-supermarket-energy-use?CMP=share_btn_tw

Outstanding hotel
The new Whitbread Premier Inn in Covent Garden is the first hotel to achieve an 'Outstanding' BREEAM rating.
http://www.edie.net/news/4/London-hub-by-Premier-Inn-achieves--outstanding--BREEAM-first/#.VP1lnf_hRm0.linkedin

Green power for the smallest of buildings - bus shelters!
Cambridge university researchers develop a method of powering bus shelters by solar by day and plants by night.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-31749026

Toilet power
A prototype 'pee power' men’s urinal is developed by researchers at the University of the West of England in Bristol with a view to using it to generate electricity in third world countries.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/05/university-installs-prototype-pee-power-toilet?CMP=share_btn_tw


Jobs

Jobs across the UK
Various energy, environment and Green Deal-related jobs across the country are available on the following websites. Take a look at:
Acre: http://acre.com/environment-jobs
Carbon Action Network: http://www.can.uk.net/jobs.php
CIBSE: http://jobs.cibsejournal.com/
Ends Job Search: http://www.endsjobsearch.co.uk/
Energy Institute: https://www.energyinst.org/education/job-search-recruitment/Latest-industry-vacancies
Environment Job: http://www.environmentjob.co.uk/
Environment Jobs: http://www.environmentjobs.co.uk/joblist_all.cfm
Hays: http://www.hays.co.uk/index.htm
IEMA: http://jobs.environmentalistonline.com/
National Energy Services: http://www.nesltd.co.uk/jobs
Reed: http://www.reed.co.uk/
The Guardian: http://jobs.theguardian.com/
Total: http://www.totaljobs.com/
Utility Week: http://www.utility-jobs.net/


Events

Energy efficiency in traditional and historic buildings. York. Friday 20 March
This one-day University of York masterclass examines current issues, solutions and progressive new approaches to achieving low-energy traditional buildings while retaining their character and architectural integrity.
http://www.the-nhtg.org.uk/events/2015/03/20/energy-efficiency-in-traditional-and-historic-buildings/
 
Energy Storage UK 2015: The role of energy storage in the future of solar PV. London. Wednesday 15 April
Aimed at Government officials, policy makers, financiers and the energy storage and solar PV companies, this one-day conference will include the leading companies in the energy storage industry presenting their latest innovations, products and technologies. The conference will look at the UK solar and storage market, including:
- Status quo and outlook.
- The energy storage landscape - competitive business models.
- Implications for the PV and storage industry and investment.
- Climate and funding models to facilitate access to capital.
http://www.bpva.org.uk/members/bpva/events/energy-storage-uk-2015/
 
Low energy know how. Manchester. Thursday 16 April
Free event organised by The Zero Carbon Hub and Saint-Gobain. An opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of the latest zero carbon homes policy, the performance gap project and the cost of meeting the Zero Carbon Standard. The proposed Allowable Solutions schemes will also be looked at as well as the importance of retrofitting existing homes and the timeline to 2016. In addition, this event will provide delegates with the practical knowledge to meet the regulations as a number of product solutions designed to meet the Zero Carbon target will be presented.
http://www.zerocarbonhub.org/event/16
 
Retrofit Live. Stoke-on-Trent. Wednesday 29 – Thursday 30 April
This conference is aimed at experienced retrofit practitioners and professionals in the domestic retrofit sector, or those who want to develop expertise. It aims to showcase the best-in-class in terms of technical best practice, the development of effective retrofit delivery models and the latest in research and innovation.
http://www.retrofit-live.com/conference/

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