Kettles and toasters confusing the big issueGetting ready for HECAEnergy supplier worst ever resultsAustralian-style building standards for UK? and more...
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Issue 439
Wednesday 8 June 2016
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Assuring the performance of new social sector homes: delivering what it says on the tin. Birmingham. Tue 21 June
The Knowledge Transfer Network, the Sustainable Housing Action Partnership and the National Energy Foundation are holding a free, half-day morning event on new-build social housing. The session will include presentations relating to the findings of the recently-completed £8 million Innovate UK Building Performance Evaluation study comprising 350 homes, most of which were in the social housing sector. The project investigated the success and risk factors in narrowing energy, indoor air quality, comfort, and maintenance performance gaps.

Register for your FREE place. The event will be an opportunity to:
  • Hear from relevant organisations about their experiences and learning from the Innovate UK programme.
  • Learn more about the recently-published Innovate UK social housing meta-analysis study undertaken by National Energy Foundation, and its recommendations.
  • Find out how to access all the information and findings arising from the Building Performance Evaluation programme.
  • Meet like-minded professionals to share experiences and explore opportunities for collaboration.
Energising asset management in the social housing sector
Our Principal Energy Specialist, Luke Smith, looks at how a more integrated approach to data can help social landlords manage their assets more intelligently, and how the National Energy Foundation’s new 'Data Health Check' service can be used to review and improve the quality and completeness of housing stock data.

Getting ready for HECA
Dale Hoyland, our Strategic Development & Affordable Warmth Manager, considers the next round of Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) reporting, the deadline for which is 31 March 2017.

He looks at how the National Energy Foundation can help councils report on their actions from their last reports, set out their energy-saving ambitions and targets, and outline the key actions and partnerships needed to deliver them.

Has the EU helped or hindered sustainable energy use in buildings?
Our Deputy Chief Executive, Ian Byrne, looks at how the EU has influenced the use of sustainable energy in buildings and industry; in particular, through the main EU Directives relating to energy use and demand.

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.
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 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.
The Retrofit Academy has secured government funding to cover the cost for local authorities (100% of course fees) and supply chain/SMEs (66% of course fees) but the funding is ONLY available for the Milton Keynes course and to organisations based in the following areas, on a first-come, first served basis: Aylesbury Vale, Bucks County, Cherwell, Chiltern, Cotswold, London Borough of Ealing, Milton Keynes, South Bucks District, South Oxfordshire, Three Rivers, Vale of White Horse, Watford Borough, West Berkshire, West Oxfordshire and Wycombe.
DECC single department plan
DECC issues its departmental plan up to 2020, which includes security and resilience; keeping bills as low as possible for households and businesses; electricity decarbonisation; and managing the UK’s energy legacy safely and responsibly.

UK energy policy
Having made very little progress over the last three years, the UK is lacking in its energy efficiency policy and ambition, , says a report from the Energy Efficiency Watch Project, which looks at progress in energy efficiency across EU Member States.

Warm Homes Bill for Scotland
Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announces plans to introduce a Warm Homes Bill in an effort to tackle fuel poverty and give the Government new powers over energy efficiency.

Smart meter roll-out realistic?
A look at whether the Government’s timescale behind the rollout of smart meters is realistic.

Energy efficiency progress across the EU
An interactive map and an overview of the documents summarising the implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive across EU member states.

Kettles and toasters confusing the big issue
How the anti-European obsession with kettles and toasters is distorting the energy efficiency debate in the run-up to the EU referendum.

Campaign for leasehold reform (energy efficiency)
The Association for the Conservation of Energy campaigns to encourage MPs to adopt the Leasehold Reform (Energy Efficiency) Bill (which will make it easier for freeholders and leaseholders to install energy efficiency measures in both individual flats and whole blocks) as their Private Members Bill.

Concerns over CMA proposals
Smaller energy suppliers fear that only gas and electricity deals from the "Big Six" will show up in searches under proposed new Competition and Markets Authority proposals, and want all available tariffs to be shown on price comparison websites.

Investment in district heating is needed in Scotland
A group of MSPs, environmentalists and academics calls for the Scottish Government to encourage investment in district heating in an effort to meet climate change targets.

Industry fears worst for micro-CHP
The Government’s proposals on feed-in tariffs for micro-CHP systems will decimate the industry, says the HHIC, the heating and hot water body.

Farmers against Government’s latest proposed cut to green energy subsidies
Farmers are leading a backlash against the Government’s proposed cut in feed-in tariff payments to anaerobic digestion installations, warning that it will deprive the struggling agricultural sector of a valuable source of income.
Consultation on AD and micro-CHP
DECC issues its consultation document on feed-in tariffs for anaerobic digestion and micro-combined heat and power systems, which include reductions in the rates paid and caps on expenditure. Closing date: Thursday, 7 July.

EnergyWise for Northern Ireland
Consultation on proposals for EnergyWise – a new, loan/grant-based energy efficiency scheme in Northern Ireland. Closing date for responses: 5pm Friday, 10 June.
New deal needed for consumers
MEPs call for more power for consumers in the energy market, and demand a new deal for energy consumers, including collective buying, household power generation, better price comparison tools and the ability to make it easier to switch energy providers and tariffs.

Any nearer a better deal for customers?
A look at what's happened in the year since Amber Rudd challenged the ‘Big Six’ over the price of energy concludes that there is still more to do to get a better deal for energy consumers.

Big Energy Saving Network
DECC and National Energy Action launch a £1.7 million fund (which is available to third sector organisations) to help vulnerable consumers reduce their energy costs through assisted action on tariffs, switching and the take-up of energy efficiency offers.

Fund helps smart meter rollout
A new Smart Energy GB fund is launched to support the rollout of smart meters to people who face a range of disadvantages.

Fuel poverty training needed
A charity calls for Scottish front-line health and social care professionals to be trained to spot fuel poverty and for them to refer households for help.

Energy Impact Awards
The National Energy Action launches its Energy Impact Awards, which are open to local groups in England and Wales, and offer prizes of £10,000 and £7,500 for the most innovative energy projects. 

Municipal energy company for London
London’s new Mayor, Sadiq Khan, pledges to follow Nottingham and Bristol by establishing a municipal, not-for-profit energy supply and services company.

How to make storage attractive
Although battery energy storage is advancing like never before, it’s still relatively expensive for domestic customers so the question is how to make it attractive enough to increase its take-up.

Can you run a house entirely on solar power?
Three new trailblazing homes that make the idea of solar-powered houses and low energy bills a viable possibility.

Household electricity and gas prices across the EU
Eurostat publishes interesting facts and figures on electricity prices in the EU.
The case for energy efficiency
A short Knauf video showing why energy efficiency in buildings should be an infrastructure priority.

Energy Garden project
The Energy Garden project is transforming some of London’s stations for the benefit of local communities and using renewable energy in the process.
Nature and engineering inspire alternative to storage
How a combination of light-absorbing microbes and genetic engineering could provide a potential alternative to battery storage.

Quick response facility using storage launched
The country’s first sub-second frequency response service using electricity storage batteries is launched. The project aims to address energy security risks from frequency changes in a power sector increasingly exposed to tight capacity margins and low-carbon but intermittent renewable generation.

Significant potential for electricity from human sewerage
A leading sector company reckons that human sewage could produce enough electricity for over half a million UK homes.

Scotland could benefit from industrial waste
A second golden age of Scottish steam is envisaged with the development of new methods of capturing industrial waste energy.
Energy supplier worst ever results
Extra Energy records the worst ever figure for customer complaints in the latest Citizens Advice quarterly league table.

Green to Gold
A new report from property consultant Bilfinger GVA reveals that, although the property industry has sustainability strategies in place, it is failing to act on them.

Australian-style building standards for UK?
A UK project looks at the Australian standards for designing new offices, and the possibility of introducing a similar system in UK, in an effort to help solve the performance gap issue.

Supply-side confidence plummets
A new survey finds that confidence among the supply-side industry in the UK’s energy efficiency sector drops to its lowest point.

Sustainability training material for valuers
The Renovalue project develops training material to provide practising valuation professionals with the tools to include sustainability in their daily practice. 

Why are we warming to the idea of heat pumps?
A look at how public perceptions of heat pumps have changed on the back of soaring fuel prices and the Government subsidising renewable energy schemes.

Multi-comfort building
VIDEO – the UK's first multi-comfort building is launched at a Worcester school. The building meets Saint-Gobain's Multi-Comfort building concept, which is a holistic approach to design and construction, resulting in a sustainable building structure that not only respects the environment and is economic to run – through minimal energy usage and low maintenance.

Window films – the energy efficiency benefits
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to drive energy efficiency in buildings is improving the efficiency of windows. Window films are a good way of doing this and also offer other advantages.

Lighting for libraries – the alternatives
The changing role of libraries brings with it different lighting requirements – here’s a look at three alternatives.

Solar-powered car plant
Car manufacturer, Nissan, goes live with a new 19,000-panel solar farm to power its north-east production plant.

IKEA commits on renewable exporter
The world's largest furniture retailer, IKEA, commits to be a net exporter of renewable energy by 2020.

First passivhaus nursery in UK
The first commercial passivhaus building in Scotland and the first passivhaus nursery in the UK opens on the campus of Aberdeen University.

Levelling the playing field: Unlocking heat infrastructure investment
A report from The Association for Decentralised Energy reckons that, given a level playing field, low-carbon district heat networks could succeed subsidy-free from 2021.

Investment opportunity to buy out feed-in tariffs
A £10 million investment scheme offers to buy the feed-in tariff rights from domestic solar panel owners who had their systems fitted before 2012.
Jobs across the UK
Various energy-related jobs across the country are available on the following websites. Take a look at:
ESTA 3rd Annual Energy Conferences and Exhibitions
Energy Services and Technology Association events:
  • Manchester. Wed 15 June.
  • London. Tue 21 June.
  • Birmingham. Thu 23 June.
PassivHaus Trust Local Authority Debate. London. Thu 23 June
The aim of this PassivHaus Trust afternoon is to find out:
  • What local authorities have tried to do and why.
  • How they’ve succeeded in getting to this point.
  • If there are any barriers stopping them adopting Passivhaus.
  • What the PassivHaus Trust can do to help remove some of the barriers.
Following this meeting, the PassivHaus Trust will form one or more Working Groups to discuss and research the findings of the meeting.

New approaches to funding and delivering energy-efficiency in homes. Watford. Tue 5 July
This one-day Retrofit4Change 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.

Solar PV Summit 2016. London. Tue 19 July
Despite recent changes to the Feed-in Tariff, solar PV for commercial buildings continues to offer owners and investors a way to reduce operating costs and improve the value of a building. The Solar PV Summit will review the current policy landscape, ‘post-subsidy’ funding and PV from a valuer’s and lawyer’s perspectives. It will give examples of successful PV installations in a wide variety of sectors, as well as advice on getting the best out of solar assets. It will also examine energy storage, solar car ports and building integrated PV.

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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