National Infrastructure Commission establishedUK still the ‘cold man of Europe’NIHE Energy Efficiency Good Practice GuideBattery storage gathers pace and more...
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Issue 424
Wednesday 11 November 2015
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Jason Palmer joins NEF
At the beginning of November, Jason Palmer joined the Foundation as a Principal Energy Specialist in a part-time capacity. Jason has worked on energy use in buildings since 1998. He was the Technical Editor of the CIBSE Journal between 1999 and 2001, and went on to develop a portfolio of work spanning domestic and non-domestic buildings. He designed DEMScot, the Scottish Government’s housing energy model, and the Cambridge Housing Model, used by DECC for national policies on household energy use. Jason is also one of Innovate UK’s Evaluators and has written four books and 10 published journal papers.

FREE ENTRY Homes exhibition. London. Wed 18 - Thu 19 Nov
The Homes exhibition includes 100 speakers from across the housing sector and will attract over 3,000 housing professionals from housing associations, local authorities, ALMOs and TMOs - as well as architects, specifiers, funders and consultants. Arno Schmickler, Programme Director of Energiesprong UK, will be presenting on Energiesprong at a session on tackling fuel poverty and reducing emissions between 11:30 and 12:15. For FREE ENTRY (saving £190) to the Homes exhibition, please use this guest invite link to register.

National Measurement and Verification Conference (MAVCON). Bham. Thu 19 Nov
Our Deputy Chief Executive, Ian Byrne will be talking about new international standards for measuring and verifying energy savings.

CoRE Retrofit Coordinator Course
The Centre of Refurbishment Excellence has developed a 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. The course has been recognised and endorsed by RIBA as Advanced CPD. Check for dates and venues.
Government green policy criticised
Lord Deben, a former Conservative Minister and the current Chair of the Climate Change Committee, accuses the Government of failing on green energy and energy efficiency.
National Infrastructure Commission established
The Chancellor of the Exchequer announces the establishment of the National Infrastructure Commission, and describes the £100 billion it will have to spend between now and 2020 as "… about jobs, growth, living standards and ensuring Britain is fit for the future…"  in an effort “to get Britain building”. But will energy efficiency refurbishment be considered an infrastructure project?
BPVA report questions basis of DECC feed-in tariff review
A report on behalf of the British Photovoltaic Association concludes that some of the assumptions and data used by DECC in the Impact Assessment of its review of feed-in tariffs for small-scale solar PV arrays are either “not suitable or not robust".
FiT hammer blow
The Government’s proposed cuts to feed-in tariffs are describes as "a hammer blow" causing firms to go under and thousands of jobs to be lost.
London Mayor tasked to meet with Rudd
The London Assembly pressures Mayor, Boris Johnson, to lobby Amber Rudd on the Government’s proposed feed-in tariff review, which one member describes as “the last thing we need”.
FOE campaigns on FiTs
A Friends of the Earth campaign is lobbying MPs to get the Government to think again about its proposed cuts to feed-in tariff rates.
Tax reliefs for community energy to go
The Government announces that it is to remove tax reliefs of 30% or more for community energy schemes (such as solar and wind) that reduced the risk for investors and encouraged private capital to help build new energy capacity.
Community energy suffers “nail in the coffin”
The Government’s removal of tax relief for community energy schemes is seen “as the final nail in the coffin for future projects”.
ESOS deadline extended
With just 647 companies (out of around 10,000) having achieved ESOS compliance, the Environment Agency provides a temporary reprieve for some by extending the deadline.
Dyson takes case to Europe
Vacuum cleaner manufacturer, Dyson, is currently in a European court battle which involves asking the EU to change its policy by scrapping its energy labelling law on the basis that the labels don’t match real-life energy use.
Contracts for Difference Regulations
DECC announces consultation that seeks views on the government’s proposal to amend the Contracts for Difference (CfD) Regulations in order to make retrofit Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects eligible. Closing date: Wednesday 2 December.
UK still the ‘cold man of Europe’
In a report on housing stock and fuel poverty in 16 EU countries, the UK performs worst across a range of indicators, thereby retaining its nickname ‘the cold man of Europe’.
1m elderly suffer in silence
Findings from Ombudsman Services and Age UK reveal that almost 1 million elderly customers are “suffering in silence” about poor service from their energy suppliers.
We want fair energy prices
The Which? 'We want fair energy prices' campaign has received over 335,000 of its 350,000 target signatures.
Big Energy Saving Week criticism
DECC is criticised for its focus on switching (rather than saving) during Big Energy Saving Week.
£1bn held by energy companies in overpayments
Research claims that the energy companies owe households an average of £95 in overpaid energy bills - or a total of £1 billion.
Public in favour of green
A new survey shows that the majority of the UK public supports subsidies to cut energy waste and encourage renewables but is far less in favour of supporting fossil fuels.
Public still paying too much for energy
Which? research finds that the new laws introduced by the UK Government to make switching easier have had no effect on uptake, with millions of people still on expensive tariffs.
NIHE Energy Efficiency Good Practice Guide
The Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s strategy for moving forward with the next phase of domestic energy efficiency retrofit in the province.
Multi-million pound retrofit programme for Glasgow
A £13 million retrofit refurbishment of 314 difficult-to-heat high-rise homes in Glasgow is to go ahead next year.
Minister visits housing association retrofit heating project
Lord Bourne visits Trent & Dove Housing’s retrofit heating upgrade programme. The first phase involves 133 properties across 15 sites in the Burton-upon-Trent area, and is expected to reduce tenant fuel bills by £350-£500 per annum. Phase two includes extending the works to a further 60 properties.
Sweet solar
Food and confectionery giant Nestlé switches on the largest PV system in north-east England, situated on the roof of its factory in Northumberland.
Housing association phase two PV
A Manchester housing association is to complete its second phase of solar panel installations on a further 1,400 homes before end of year.
Housing association rolls out LED
Hanover cuts its energy costs and carbon emissions in one of its regions by replacing all the lighting in communal corridors, meeting rooms and residents’ lounges with LED bulbs.
Tate Modern’s heritage re-awaken
A new £1 million 82kWp solar PV system goes live on London’s iconic Tate Modern, reviving its heritage as an energy generation site.
Hospital CHP success
Scarborough Hospital’s new combined heat and power system is set to achieve huge energy savings and help move the organisation to a low-carbon energy environment.
Solar scheme for Darlington tenants
Darlington Borough Council invites tenants to sign up for a free solar panel scheme as part of its plan to reduce energy bills, cut emissions and tackle fuel poverty.
Rural voice speaks up for energy efficiency
The Campaign to Protect Rural England launches a campaign to persuade Amber Rudd to make improving home energy efficiency a national priority.
Battery storage gathers pace
Battery storage technology is developing rapidly and is becoming increasingly practical and affordable in buildings, to such an extent that it could soon become a popular topic for dinner party chat.
Breathing building saves energy
A new-build Pittsburgh bank uses its natural air cycle to reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling, resulting in a 50% saving.
National Grid uses “last resort” powers
The National Grid is forced to use its “last resort” powers to avoid blackouts by issuing a ‘demand-side balancing reserve’ (DSBR) notice, which asks businesses to cut their electricity use at peak times.
E.ON £7m fine
Ofgem fines E.ON £7 million for missing its smart meter installation targets between 2009 and 2014.
Manufacturing calls for energy efficiency
A report from the cross-party Manufacturing Commission urges the UK Government to promote energy efficiency measures as part of a redesign of the country’s industrial system to make it more sustainable, improve national security and enhance the quality of life.
'Electricity Storage: Realising the Potential'
The Institution of Civil Engineers launches a report on how electricity storage could offer a secure, affordable and cleaner future for Britain’s electricity grid if regulators, Government and industry took steps to break down the barriers that are hindering its potential.
Avoiding Triad costs
How Triad management is becoming increasingly popular in business, to avoid periodic sky-high electricity costs during the winter.
EPCs under investigation
Leading accreditation body executive raises concern about the accuracy, reliability and quality control of EPCs, quoting some disturbing results.
Overheating in Homes – Keeping a growing population cool in summer 
A WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff report (resulting from a survey of 1,005 Londoners on the levels of thermal comfort at home) concludes that “Britain urgently needs to put in place plans to reduce the risk of homes overheating.”
Decentralised energy planned for East London
Plans are published for a decentralised energy scheme in the East London Riverside Opportunity Area, and the possible development of satellite district heating networks across the area that interconnect over time to supply locally-produced low to zero-carbon energy.
Solar industry about to be crippled
A survey estimates that the Government’s proposed cuts to the feed-in tariffs would cripple 70% of the solar PV industry’s financial stability.
IKEA closes down PV partnership
IKEA terminates its three-year partnership with the Chinese company, Hanergy, which had allowed shoppers to buy solar panel systems through the retailer’s stores.
Balcombe PV plan shelved
Plans by villagers in Balcombe to install a new community-owned PV array of 18,500 panels near East Grinstead have been shelved due to changes in Government policy.
Pay-as-you-save energy efficiency schemes
A look at domestic pay-as-you-save energy efficiency schemes and how and why they work. The UK’s Green Deal is compared with schemes in the USA and Germany.
Launch of Our Power Energy
Our Power Energy, a not-for-profit energy supplier serving tenants in the social housing sector, is to be set up in Scotland by a group of 35 housing associations, local authorities and social landlords.
Ferrybridge given go-ahead
Approval to build a new power station at Ferrybridge has been granted. The plant will generate electricity from refuse and both industrial and commercial waste that would otherwise have been destined for landfill.
EfW for Northern Ireland
A £107 million energy-from-waste plant planned for Belfast moves a step closer as finance to develop the facility is put in place.
Wind energy for nearly half a million homes
The world's biggest wind farm gets the go-ahead, and will eventually produce electricity for over 460,000 UK homes.
Suffolk wind farm to go ahead
After it looked like it might not go-ahead, a £1.5 billion wind farm off the Suffolk coast is salvaged and is scheduled to produce enough electricity for 336,000 homes from March 2018.
Largest floating wind farm in the world
Consent is given for the construction of the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, which could provide enough electricity for nearly 20,000 homes.
Bristol benefits from going green
A report claims that the lasting impacts of Bristol’s year as European Green Capital could see the city saving millions of pounds in energy bills, adding thousands of jobs to the local economy and creating lots of warmer homes.
First Passivhaus leisure centre
The first Passivhaus leisure centre in the UK is predicted to save 70% on its energy costs.
World first Passivhaus premium
A mixed residential and commercial building in Bavaria is the first in the world to earn Passivhaus premium certification.
The Intelligent Energy Europe project EPISCOPE aims to track the progress of energy performance (savings and climate protection targets) in residential buildings across 20 European countries, and to trigger any enhanced measures or corrective actions. The tool makes data available by country, topic, building type and owner profile.
Jobs across the UK
Various energy-related jobs across the country are available on the following websites. Take a look at:
Senior Technician - Physical Building Performance
UCL Energy Institute
Salary: £41,430 – £48,873 pa (inclusive of London allowance)
Closing Date: 15 Nov 2015. Interview date: 27th November 2015
This is a unique position and a unique opportunity to participate in the development of a physical measurement unit supporting the empirical work of UCL Energy Institute and the Complex Built Environment Systems group in the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies (BSGS). The ideal candidate is someone with expert knowledge of measurement in academia and industry, with significant experience of energy related measurement of buildings, coupled with significant experience with quality assurance systems.
Low Energy Know How. Liverpool. Fri 13 Nov
This free Zero Carbon Hub event (in collaboration with Encraft and Liverpool College) provides delegates with the latest policy updates and practical support to deliver energy efficient new homes. The event also looks at commercially viable, practical examples that help deliver to current and future regulations. In addition, attendees will receive a copy of Zero Carbon Hub’s good practice Builders’ Book, which is an easy-to-read guide to improving site processes, reducing risk and constructing high-quality, healthy homes.
UK Passivhaus Open Days. Nationwide Fri 13 – Sun 15 November
Passivhaus buildings nationwide open their doors to the public to share their experiences and facilitate the learning of Passivhaus benefits.
Encraft Retrofit Seminar. Stock-on-Trent. Tue 17 Nov
This seminar looks at case studies on a wide variety of ongoing retrofit projects. It also includes a dedicated session on the use of the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA) Guidance Wheel in retrofitting traditional buildings. The seminar is of interest to retrofit professionals including architects, local authority officers, registered social landlords, asset owners and those involved in the retrofit of historic buildings.
CoRE Retrofit Summit. Stoke-on-Trent. Thu 19 Nov
CoRE hosts an exclusive event with BRE Chief Executive Peter Bonfield to support the review he is undertaking of the energy efficiency sector.
Energy performance contracting: what the UK commercial sector can learn from the public sector. Web clinic. 3pm Thu 26 November
Whereas the market for energy performance contracting in the public sector has matured significantly over the last three to five years, adoption of energy performance contracts in the commercial sector has been much slower. Learn about the different energy performance contracting drivers in the commercial sector; how and why the public sector is leading the way in the UK on delivering energy savings; and how to overcome challenges such as the long-term nature and complexity of agreements to unlock the same potential for the commercial sector.
Building Better Buildings. Various locations. Various dates.
A series of free Zero Carbon Hub half-day events organised in collaboration with leading industry partners. Each event covers the Performance Gap and highlights the latest learning from a number of domestic and non-domestic Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) projects. They also include speakers discussing cutting-edge research findings on building performance.
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