EU toaster laws delayedLords call for policy roll-backPre-pay and poorConverting Drax and more...
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Issue 432
Wednesday 2 March 2015
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Industry leaders explore supply chain opportunities provided by Energiesprong
Delegates at a recent REMI workshop in Coventry met to look at the nature and scale of the supply chain opportunities offered by Energiesprong, a transformative approach to whole-house refurbishment developed in the Netherlands. The presentations from the workshop are available on our website.

Ecobuild 2016
Our staff will be taking an active part in Ecobuild again this year. On 8 March, Adam Tilford (Senior Energy Specialist) will be one of the speakers presenting in a session chaired by Rob Pannell, Managing Director of the Zero Carbon Hub, on closing the loop on building performance in new homes. Adam’s presentation will be entitled: Developing a robust process to close the performance gap at Whitehill & Bordon.

On 10 March, Arno Schmickler will present at a seminar on Energiesprong in the UK. This session will include a number of speakers on Energiesprong and will be chaired by our Chief Executive, Kerry Mashford. Arno will present: The business case and potential for an Energiesprong approach in the UK.

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 two 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 – the past, present and future’.

The Retrofit Academy Retrofit Coordinator Diploma courses
  • Introduction to Domestic Retrofit. Tue 3 May. London
  • Assessing Dwellings for Retrofit. Tue 10 May. London
  • The Business Case for Retrofit. Tue 17 May. London
  • Retrofit Building Fabric and Solid Wall Insulation. Thu 26 May. London
  • Building Services Retrofit. Wed 1 June. London
DECC departmental plan: 2015-2020
DECC publishes a five-year, single departmental plan and priority objectives, including commitments to keep energy bills low, combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions.

Energy efficiency strategy for Wales
The Welsh Government publishes its 10-year energy efficiency strategy, the aims of which include improving well-being, cutting energy costs and reducing fuel poverty.

RHI closed in Northern Ireland
Another energy efficiency policy goes as the Renewable Heat Incentive is closed in Northern Ireland due to the budget all being spent.

Implementing energy saving opportunities
DECC issues a guide on how businesses can implement energy saving opportunities identified through ESOS or other energy audits.
Latest update on ‘green’ installations
The latest figures from DECC on household measures installed under the ECO and Green Deal schemes.

Lords call for policy roll-back
The  House of Lords built environment committee recommends the reinstatement of both the zero-carbon homes policy and the Code for Sustainable Homes. See page 52, section207

Commercial sector not meeting standards
A fifth of commercial buildings are currently not meeting the UK Government’s minimum energy standards that are due to come into force in 2018, research finds.

Private rented sector struggles to meet standards
Politicians conclude that private rented housing energy efficiency schemes are too complex, that tenants should be given better information and rights, and that the sector will need support to meet the Government’s standards.

Smart energy outlook
Smart Energy GB findings show an increased positive public attitude to smart meters and the benefits they can provide.

Smart alternatives go-ahead
The Government gives the go-ahead for energy companies to trial online alternatives to smart meters, such as apps and web-based portals.
Pre-pay and poor
A Labour MP discusses the stark facts about excess winter deaths, fuel poverty and living with a prepayment meter in winter in twenty-first century Britain.

‘Heating or Eating’
A British Political Economy brief reveals the impact of austerity on the difficulty of low-income households in the UK to be able to afford sufficient food and fuel.

The high costs of cold and damp homes
Fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action, claims that cold or damp homes cost lives, and that every local health and wellbeing board in England spends over £27,000 per day on preventable illnesses caused by people living in houses blighted by these conditions.

Should I make the change to LED lighting?
The thoughts and experiences of one woman who has made the change to LED lighting in her home.

Overcoming the hassle factor
A CBI report examines the barriers facing consumers interested in energy efficiency measures, and how to overcome the hassle factor associated with retrofitting homes.

Where did green energy tariffs go?
How, following Ofgem regulations to cut the number of available tariffs, the energy companies have axed many of the less popular and therefore less profitable green tariffs.

Choosing renewable energy
What you need to know about choosing a renewable energy tariff, and what else you need to take into consideration from your energy supplier.

Annual switching up
The number of UK households switching energy supplier increased by 15% in 2015. 6.1 million gas and electricity accounts were switched, around 800,000 more than in 2014.

Kent fuel poverty strategy
A short video outlining the Kent fuel poverty strategy 2016.

Tackling fuel poverty in Camden
A video on fuel poverty – its main causes and effects, and what's being done to tackle it in Camden.

1m UK solar homes
The solar industry reckons that the UK now has over 1 million 'solar homes' that get either electricity or hot water from the sun.
Europe launches the world’s largest collaborative building retrofit project bringing together over 1,000 organisations, 13 countries at over 80 events during the course of 2016-17.

New energy efficiency scheme for Scottish public sector
The Scottish Government introduces a major retrofit programme to make public sector buildings more energy efficient. 12 suppliers have been appointed to a procurement framework to fit modern, efficient technology that could save £30 million per year on public sector energy bills.

Massive retrofit needed in London
The London Assembly reports that the capital needs a huge quantity of building energy efficiency retrofit over the coming years if it’s to meet its emissions targets.

Solar savings in Doncaster
Savings are predicted for both the local council and its housing tenants (up to £4 million) as a result of solar panels being fitted to over 600 homes in Doncaster.

High Rise Hope
Videos on tower block retrofit from Rockwool.
Energy-saving compressor
How a variable speed drive compressor saves 35% energy compared with a traditional idling compressor.

Another rival for Tesla
An Australian company develops a cheaper domestic storage system to rival Tesla’s.

See-through solar panels
Solar panels have been developed that look like normal glass and charge themselves. Every window and screen could be a source of power with, for example, mobile phones charging themselves using sunlight.

Researchers develop thinnest, lightest solar cell ever
Scientists develop what they believe to be the thinnest, lightest solar cell ever produced, which could one day lead to a world without mobile phone charging cables, and provide the ability to power portable devices with built-in solar arrays without adding substantial weight or bulk.
Converting Drax
The massive job of turning Drax power station in North Yorkshire from the UK’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide into Europe’s largest decarbonisation project.

Match-funding cuts higher education energy costs
£25 million of funding creates over £50 million of investment for energy efficiency projects in the higher education sector, and results in over £210 million cost savings.

Pitfalls and solutions for internal wall insulation
When installing internal wall insulation, what happens to the large quantity of water vapour generated by building occupants? A deeper understanding of this particular issue should be incorporated into both IWI training, and into the industry in general.

EU to tackle heating and cooling energy
The EU’s plan to tackle the massive amount of energy used to heat and cool Europe’s buildings, which account for half of the EU’s annual overall energy consumption and 68% of all its gas imports.  

EU toaster laws delayed
The introduction of new EU rules on inefficient household appliances such as toasters and kettles are rumoured to have been put on hold because of the UK referendum.
‘Practical Approaches to the Building Renovation Challenge’
An EU paper summarises the energy efficiency findings from 40 EU-funded renovation projects.

Solar installs cancelled in London following FiT cuts
The London Assembly learns that £2.7 million of solar installations have been cancelled in the capital following the Government’s cuts to the feed-in tariff scheme.

What can we learn from Denmark’s DH?
Lessons from Denmark's district heating programme, and its resulting benefits for energy security, reduced carbon emissions, improved energy efficiency and tackling fuel poverty.

Energy exchange swap
A corporate ‘energy exchange swap’ in the US helps businesses cut their energy use. Could we see the idea cross the pond?

LENDERS project
A project that brings together a number of organisations from across the green building and finance sectors, with the aim of proving that more accurately estimating the energy expenditure of a property can contribute to a virtuous cycle for energy-efficient homes, which could spark a drive towards buying low-energy houses.

£2bn windfall for energy companies
A claim that the energy companies could reap the benefit of a £2 billion windfall over the next three years, following changes to green levies and the ECO energy efficiency scheme.
What future for the Home Quality Mark
Although the Home Quality Mark is the new voluntary national housebuilding rating scheme and might herald a new era of building quality, it’s still currently a work in progress.

Zero-carbon is dead, long live passive house
Although the zero-carbon standard for dwellings is dead, could the positive outcome be that the better, passive house regime fills the gap?

Largest non-dom passivhaus
The Centre for Medicine at the University of Leicester becomes the largest non-domestic passivhaus building in the UK.

Passivehouse Devon flats
An affordable housing scheme in Exeter vindicates the local council’s decision to embrace the passivehouse standard, with many of the units requiring no additional heating.

Irish LA votes for passive house
A local authority in south-east Dublin votes to make all new buildings either passive house or equivalent, in a move that could see up to 20,000 new passive houses by 2022.

Solar thermal panels
A look at the potential of installing solar thermal panels on contemporary housing projects.

Bristol Energy goes live
A new energy company is set up by Bristol City Council begins trading with its profits to go back into the local community to help projects and services.

Green tech homes worth more
A survey finds that homes fitted with the latest technology and features such as solar panels are more desirable and buyers will pay more for them.

Bespoke energy centre for new London development
A new commercial and residential development in London is to have its own energy centre housing a combined heat and power unit, gas-fired boilers and ground source heat pumps, all of which will provide the site with heating, cooling and hot water.

Energy savings by the bale
See how one company has developed its energy-saving straw bale housing insulation product.

France rules on green rooftops
France introduces legislation specifying that all new rooftops in the country’s commercial zones must include either plants or solar panels.

Green light for green road
Also in France, the builders of a 1,000 kilometre-long road made of solar panels aim to supply electricity to 5 million people.

Carbon Action Network changes its name and becomes the Association of Local Energy Officers, a name-change that reflects its increased focus on domestic energy efficiency and fuel poverty.
Jobs across the UK
Various energy-related jobs across the country are available on the following websites. Take a look at:
ESOS Showcase. London. Tue 15 Mar
This UK-GBC event will take a detailed look at the debut year of the scheme. The first half of the event will focus on learning lessons from the policy itself: what worked and what didn’t, and how the scheme could be improved ahead of the next audit cycle. The second half will focus on how industry responded: showcasing ambitious action taken by those covered by the scheme, and how the supply chain rose to the challenge of supporting that ambition.

Low Energy Cambridge. Cambridge. Wed 16 Mar
This free event is run by the Zero Carbon Hub in collaboration with House2020 and the Federation of Master Builders. It provides delegates with the latest policy updates and practical support to deliver energy-efficient new homes. It looks at commercially viable, practical examples to help deliver to current and future regulations. Attendees will also receive the ZCH good practice ‘Builders’ Book’, an easy-to-read guide to improving site processes, reducing risk and constructing high-quality, healthy homes.

Building Better Buildings Breakfast Seminar. Cardiff. Tue 22 March
Hosted jointly by Innovate UK and the Zero Carbon Hub, this breakfast seminar will provide an opportunity to hear more about the Innovate UK’s Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) project. The seminar promises to demystify the ‘performance gap’ and highlight the latest learning from two BPE projects.
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