eNews

Issue 417 – Wednesday 5 August 2015


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CONTENTS

National Energy Foundation

Energiesprong UK – retrofit with the WOW! factor
VolDEC website launch

Localism - what does it mean for energy efficiency?
SuperHome Open Days – September 2015 
Greenbuild Expo returns alongside new show, Buildings & Energy Efficiency
CoRE Retrofit Coordinator Course


Policy

The axe man commeth!
Industry comments on, and reactions to, the Government’s most recent policy announcements
Latest Green Deal statistics
DECC postpones next CfD auction
Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics
Latest energy certificate statistics
£500,000 for Scottish renewable projects
Changes to non-domestic RHI regulations
ErP & Energy Labelling Directive for heat pumps


Consultations

Solar PV financial support
FiT scheme


Consumers/Fuel Poverty

BG to cut gas prices by 5%
Power failure: Five fundamental faults of our energy system
“It’s like MPG for your house"
Energy efficiency in private flats
Big Six complaints continue to rise
How to use less electricity
Pass on lower costs


Retrofit

Energy efficiency for Solihull high-rise homes
PV for prisons
CHP benefits two historic public buildings
EWI guide


Technology

Storage market becomes more crowded
Young innovator energises tiny amounts of wind
Smart windows
ecoGater
Making office workers ‘Comfy’


Industry

Zero Carbon Hub Builders' Book
Changes to biomass standards completed
EDR phase two open for business
A promise of quick switching
Energy management at the NEC
Energy Barometer
Product energy labelling unreliable
First energy-positive home
Biomass balance
Internet of things helps cut costs
Non-profit energy company
Micro-hydro on the up
Profits and jobs at British Gas
SSE loses custom
And so does EDF
Renewables banked
Green roastery planned
Mars finds renewables sweet


Jobs

Jobs across the UK

Programme Manager - Nottinghamshire Warm Homes On Prescription

Events

CAN training-day conference. Islington Assembly Hall, London. Wed 2 Sep
Fuel poverty: our vision for the future. Sheffield. Mon 14 – Wed 16 Sep
Constructing quality homes to save lifetime costs and create better environments. London. Wed 16 Sep
2015 Public Sector Sustainability Awards


National Energy Foundation 

Energiesprong UK – retrofit with the WOW! factor
The National Energy Foundation announces the launch of Energiesprong UK, set up by a group of housing providers, charities and construction companies with the intention of bringing the game-changing Dutch retrofit system to the UK to deliver whole-house refurbishment with near zero energy bills.

VolDEC website launch
The National Energy Foundation and Phil Jones of Building Energy Solutions announce the launch of a new website to support the full commercial release of VolDECs (Voluntary Display Energy Certificates) which – following piloting and testing with office buildings - are now available to clients across the non-domestic property sector. VolDEC is a new and innovative operational energy performance rating scheme for non-domestic buildings. It’s a not-for-profit scheme, which has been developed through a working partnership between the National Energy Foundation and Phil Jones and piloted with Legal & General Property.


Localism - what does it mean for energy efficiency?
The Foundation's Chief Executive, Kerry Mashford, looks at the 'perfect storm' that localism and the wider political and economic environment has created, and what it might mean for energy efficiency in buildings.


SuperHome Open Days – September 2015 
SuperHomes are older homes refurbished by their owners for greater comfort, lower bills and far fewer carbon emissions - at least 60% less! They are some of the most improved homes for energy use in the UK and have superior insulation. Some also have alternative heating sources and produce their own energy. SuperHomes Open Days make some of these homes available to the public where they can learn about a range of installed technologies. They also include tours and Q&A sessions with the owners. Book now.

Greenbuild Expo returns alongside new show, Buildings & Energy Efficiency
This year, Greenbuild Expo 2015 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.

CoRE Retrofit Coordinator Course
The Centre of Refurbishment Excellence has developed a 10-day training programme to up-skill existing professionals to become Retrofit Coordinators. Courses are run regularly across the UK, and can even be delivered exclusively in-house for groups of 10 or more. Learners can complete the programme at their own pace – either taking a fast-track route or spreading units over several months to suit their schedule. This leads to successful participants being awarded a CoRE Diploma with a specialism in Retrofit Coordination. All courses are fully CPD accredited. Course dates.


Policy

The axe man commeth!
In what has been described as the "worst period for UK environmental policy in 30 years", DECC announces the latest changes to the Government’s green home improvement policies, which include the stopping of any further funding for the Green Deal Finance Company and, in effect, the killing off of the Green Deal scheme. The "Greenest government ever" has now: dumped the Green Deal, reduced FiTs, cut ECO funding, abandoned its Zero Carbon Homes policy and scrapped both Allowable Solutions and the Code for Sustainable Homes. In addition, it yields an axe over Display Energy Certificates and is to sell off the Green Investment Bank.
 
Industry comments on, and reactions to, the Government’s most recent policy announcements
Cameron is taking a "wrecking ball" to the green economy
The nine green policies killed off by the Tory government
Is 'green crap' really driving up energy bills?
What clean power is really doing to British energy bills
Government pulls plug on Green Deal 'to protect taxpayers'
The end of the road for the Green Deal. What went wrong and where to next?
Green Deal dead (BBC Radio 4's You & Yours consumer affairs programme)
Energy Saving Trust CEO responds to Green Deal cuts
Without a replacement, killing off the Green Deal will cost SMEs
Why did the Green Deal fail?
Killing Green Deal 'leaves 350,000 tenants stuck' in cold homes
The case for resurrecting the Landlord Energy Saving Allowance, to fill the gap left by the end of the Green Deal
Solar subsidies to end as Government seeks to control costs
London's community energy schemes under threat from policy uncertainty
Zero chance of success?
Scrapping zero carbon homes undermines trust in government’s commitment to energy efficiency
Smarting from the zero homes shock but there are still opportunities to provide enough hope not to lose ambition
The customer is always right - putting consumers back at the heart of UK energy policy
Delivering the best deal for energy consumers. Options for the next supplier commitment
 
Latest Green Deal statistics
DECC publishes the latest monthly statistics for the Green Deal and the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (both to the end of June) and ECO to the end of May.
 
DECC postpones next CfD auction
DECC confirms the postponement of the next Contracts for Difference auction for large renewables projects. The scheme, which awards subsidy contracts for green energy developers, will not be undertaken in October, as originally planned.
 
Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics
Masses of information in the latest DUKES from DECC, not least that primary energy consumption was down by 6.6% in 2014 and fossil fuels were at a record low (though still 84.5%). Here’s an infographic version.
 
Latest energy certificate statistics
DECC releases the latest EPC and DEC statistics for domestic and non-domestic buildings Q1 2008 to Q2 2015.
 
£500,000 for Scottish renewable projects
23 Scottish communities are to benefit from £500,000 funding for demonstrator projects designed to promote the use and local ownership of renewable energy.
 
Changes to non-domestic RHI regulations
DECC is introducing new sustainability criteria for installations using biomass and biogas fuels, and producers of biomethane under the Renewable Heat Incentive. From 5 October 2015, you must use fuels that meet the sustainability criteria to continue to receive RHI payments.
 
ErP & Energy Labelling Directive for heat pumps
DECC issues a document outlining the effects of the introduction of The Ecodesign of Energy Related Products Directive (ErP) and The Energy Labelling Directive for heat pumps.


Consultations

Solar PV financial support
Consultation on the proposed early closure of the Renewables Obligation to new solar PV projects of 5MW and below; applicable from 1 April 2016. Closing date: Wednesday 2 September.

FiT scheme
Consultation on the proposal to remove pre-accreditation and pre-registration from the Feed-in Tariff scheme. DECC also announces that it will carry out a full review of the scheme later in 2015. Closing date: Wednesday 19 August.


Consumers/Fuel Poverty

BG to cut gas prices by 5%
As of 27 August, the average annual gas bill is set to fall by £35 for British Gas customers, after it announces a price reduction following a fall in wholesale costs.
 
Power failure: Five fundamental faults of our energy system
A National Economics Foundation report looks at the problems that riddle the UK’s energy system and how the system causes dangerous changes to our climate while neglecting and further impoverishing many of the poorest in society. One of the conclusions is that the current energy system is based on correcting social injustices, not preventing them.
 
“It’s like MPG for your house"
A scheme in the US provides information to potential housebuyers on how much it costs to power homes that are for sale.
 
Energy efficiency in private flats
A look at the barriers and solutions to energy efficiency  in private flats, especially those in converted houses, which make up the coldest, least energy-efficient and dampest homes in the UK.
 
Big Six complaints continue to rise
Complaints about five of the Big Six energy companies increase over the past 12 months, with Scottish Power having by far the worst record, reveals a Citizens Advice report.
 
How to use less electricity
A Which? guide with lots of tips and advice for saving electricity at home.
 
Pass on lower costs
Citizens Advice calls on energy suppliers to pass on low wholesale energy costs to their customers.


Retrofit

Energy efficiency for Solihull high-rise homes
A £25 million energy efficiency programme undertaken by British Gas and Solihull Housing results in thousands of warmer and more energy-efficient homes in 30 Solihull tower blocks.
 
PV for prisons
Three Scottish prisons are to get rooftop solar installations, thereby saving on energy costs and contributing to the Scottish Prison Service’s target for reducing carbon emissions.
 
CHP benefits two historic public buildings
Manchester’s historic town hall and library use CHP technology to generate low-carbon energy and reduce their energy consumption and bills.
 
EWI guide
Trade body INCA publishes a best practice guide for external wall insulation for clients, installers, main contractors, designers and architects.


Technology

Storage market becomes more crowded
Moixa becomes the latest player to enter the small-scale energy storage market by launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise £875,000 to get its Maslow product to market, and rival the likes of Tesla and Powervault.
 
Young innovator energises tiny amounts of wind
A UK student develops an energy generation system that produces electricity using sheets of plastic with wave-like filaments.
 
Smart windows
US scientists develop energy-efficient "smart window" technology that allows the passage of light while blocking heat, or vice versa.
 
ecoGater
A new smartphone app provides up-to-date information about the most energy-efficient products on the market.
 
Making office workers ‘Comfy’
A US company develops an app that allows workers to be ‘Comfy’ by giving them control over their own office climate.


Industry

Zero Carbon Hub Builders' Book
A practical guide to improving the performance of new homes, and good practice for delivering them. The book helps builders improve site processes and reduce the risk of condensation, mould growth and excessive heat loss, as well as preventing failure to meet building regulations.
 
Changes to biomass standards completed
BSI confirms that the former European standards relating to the quality of woody biomass have now been withdrawn and that in future only the ISO standards, which were first released last April, should be used. BS EN 14961-1:2010 on solid biofuels, fuel specifications and classes – general requirements has been superseded by BS EN ISO 17225-1:2014, and BS EN 14961-4:2010 on solid biofuels, fuel specifications and classes – wood chips for non-industrial uses has been superseded by BS EN ISO 17225-4:2014. A series of European technical standards for determination of individual elements within biofuels have also been replaced by their ISO equivalents.
 
EDR phase two open for business
How businesses can take advantage of the opportunities provided by DECC’s opening of EDR phase two to fund energy efficiency projects.
 
A promise of quick switching
Energy switching in 24 hours is to be available by 2018 under reforms announced in the Budget.
 
Energy management at the NEC
How smart meters and staff engagement are the keys to energy cost reduction at one of the UK’s most well-known venues and largest exhibition and conference centres.
 
Energy Barometer
The Energy Institute publishes the key messages and challenges facing the UK energy sector, as seen from the viewpoint of its membership of energy professionals. Energy efficiency is identified as one of the key areas – page 22 on.
 
Product energy labelling unreliable
A survey reveals that nearly half of 30,000 products examined in 243 online and offline shops across Europe had energy labelling problems.
 
First energy-positive home
The UK's first purpose-built, energy-positive house opens in Wales. The low-cost, energy-smart house is capable of exporting more energy to the grid than it uses.
 
Biomass balance
Biomass is needed to balance the 'unreliable' supply provided by wind and solar says Drax, which is on schedule to convert its third power unit to biomass by the end of 2017.
 
Internet of things helps cut costs
How joined-up, smart appliances that communicate with each other are reducing the cost of energy for business.
 
Non-profit energy company
Social landlords in Scotland are to launch a non-profit energy company and plan to sell its services to 200,000 homes by 2020.
 
Micro-hydro on the up
Micro-hydro electricity generation is taking off and providing jobs in rural Wales despite the high start-up costs for projects and declining subsidies.
 
Profits and jobs at British Gas
British Gas, Britain’s biggest energy supplier, makes £528 million profits in the first half of 2015 but is to cut 5,000 jobs in the UK.
 
SSE loses custom
The dominance of the Big Six energy companies continues to decline as SSE loses 90,000 customers in three months.
 
And so does EDF
Another of the Big Six energy companies takes a dent in its customer base as it loses 266,000 accounts in a year to other suppliers.
 
Renewables banked
In its latest values and ethics report, the Co-operative Bank reports sourcing 99% of its electricity from renewable energy in 2014.
 
Green roastery planned
The Costa Coffee chain plans a £36 million eco-friendly coffee bean roastery with the building itself to be BREEAM ‘outstanding’ and zero-energy.
 
Mars finds renewables sweet
Global confectionery giant, Mars, used 54% more renewable energy in 2014 than in the previous year.


Jobs

Jobs across the UK

Various energy-related jobs across the country are available on the following websites. Take a look at:
Acre
Carbon Action Network
CIBSE
Ends Job Search
Energy Institute industry vacancies
Energy Institute vacancies
Environment Job
Environment Jobs
Hays
IEMA
National Energy Services
Reed
The Guardian
Total
Utility Week


Programme Manager - Nottinghamshire Warm Homes On Prescription
Temporary, full-time post, 15-month contract with possibility to extend. Newark & Sherwood District Council. £29,558 to £30,978 pa. Closing date: Friday 14 August.

Events

CAN training-day conference. Islington Assembly Hall, London. Wed 2 Sep
How Green is our Government? What the new Government’s policies mean for domestic energy efficiency, fuel poverty and climate change.
 
Fuel poverty: our vision for the future. Sheffield. Mon 14 – Wed 16 Sep
NEA Annual Conference focussing on six vision statements. Expert panels of speakers will explore each of these in turn, drawing upon the experience of those attending the conference.
 
Constructing quality homes to save lifetime costs and create better environments. London. Wed 16 Sep
This one-day Building4Quality conference will help delegates understand:
- The market for quality, low-carbon homes.
- Effective design approaches.
- How to engage the supply chain.
- Approaches to bridging the skills gap.
- Low-carbon design.
- Networking with potential clients and customers.
 
2015 Public Sector Sustainability Awards
The 2015 Public Sector Sustainability Awards will be presented by Lord Redesdale and guests at a ceremony on 12 November 2015 at the London ExCeL exhibition centre. To enter the awards, download the Entrants Information Pack. The closing date for entries is Friday 31 July 2015. For information on sponsoring the 2015 Awards, download the Sponsor Information Pack.

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National Energy Foundation
The National Energy Centre
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