Energy efficiency inquiryEnergy efficiency as a national infrastructure priorityDemocratise not nationalise and more...
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Issue 421
Wednesday 30 Sep 2015
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New Senior Energy Specialist for NEF
Welcome to Thom Whiffen who joined the National Energy Foundation as a Senior Energy Specialist this week. Thom is a specialist in the sustainable built environment and has a broad interest in energy use. He provides a great depth of knowledge from his process engineering background and years spent researching sustainable energy technologies for the non-domestic built environment. Previously a part of the University of Nottingham’s Architecture and Built Environment department, Thom has experience of industry and academic collaborations, publishing and presenting work in international journals, and conferences. In previous roles he has delivered informative lectures and engagement events for a wide range of audiences from world leaders to local school children.
Verdantix Summit 2015: Getting Value from Investments in Energy Innovation. London. Thu 8 Oct
The Verdantix Summit will be attended by 250 senior managers and executives and will provide comprehensive analysis of all the key issues facing energy managers. The agenda covers: how to engage with finance, business case design, the changing role of utilities, demand response, ESOS, energy performance contracts, facility energy efficiency and post-election energy and carbon policy.
Greenbuild Expo/Buildings & Energy Efficiency Event. Manchester. Tue 10 – Wed 11 Nov
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.
The National Energy Foundation is actively involved over the two days:
  • On the Tuesday, our Chief Executive, Kerry Mashford, will be at the awards dinner in her capacity as one of the judges.
  • Also on the Tuesday, Luke Smith will be speaking on: ‘Integrating low-energy refurbishment in the social housing sector with day-to-day repairs and maintenance’.
  • On the Wednesday, Kerry will give a presentation entitled: ‘Float your boat with operational energy use data’.
  • Kerry will also be participating in the Performance Gap and Fuel Poverty debates later that day.
Hope to see you there!
EMEX. ExCel, London. Wed 11 – Thu 12 Nov
EMEX is for anyone wanting to reduce their organisation’s energy consumption and it connects energy users with leading experts, policy makers, suppliers and technical solutions. The EMEX marketplace includes a free-to-attend conference programme that helps attendees control energy costs, gain industry insights, source innovations, share knowledge and stay up-to-date with the latest and upcoming legislative changes and how these are affecting businesses in the UK. A speaker from the National Energy Foundation will be presenting - to be confirmed.
Minister defends record
Amber Rudd is forced to defend the Government's renewable policy at the first House of Commons Energy and Climate Change questions.
Latest Green Deal statistics
DECC releases the latest statistics on the Green Deal and the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (to the end of August) and ECO (to the end of July).
Rethink FIT proposals
Wave of businesses throw their weight behind the calls for the Government to reconsider its "extreme" and "damaging" proposals to cut the Feed-in-Tariff scheme.
FIT proposals damage
The Government’s plans to cut Feed-in Tariff subsidies will cause “irreparable damage” to the community energy sector, warn experts, with up to one million schemes not able to go ahead.
London Mayor ‘very concerned’ about solar
In a move contrary to his own party’s message, the Conservative Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, says that he’s ‘very concerned’ about the Government's proposed cuts to the Feed-in Tariff rates, and the possible impact they might have on investment and jobs in the capital.
PV petition
With a target of 100,000 (at which point it will be considered for debate in the House of Commons) an online petition asking the Government to urgently review its current approach to the solar feed-in tariff has so far attracted over 22,000 signatories.
Heat pump schemes pump primed
Scotland launches a £2.3 million Challenge Fund to encourage the development of large-scale water source heat pump schemes.
ESOS 1% compliance
With less than three months to go before the deadline, 99% of those businesses affected by it are still not ESOS compliant.
ECO replacement?
With ECO due to end at the end of March 2017, business and consumers need to see plans for a successor before the end of the year, says the CBI.
Energy efficiency inquiry
The Energy and Climate Change Committee launches a new inquiry into home energy efficiency. The committee is looking for responses to three questions:
  • Why have previous approaches to energy efficiency failed to deliver significant results?
  • What lessons can be learnt from current and previous schemes including Green Deal, Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, and ECO?
  • How does the UK’s performance on home energy efficiency compare with other countries? What lessons can be learned from these countries on energy efficiency?
Closing date for responses: Monday 12 October.

Reforming the business energy efficiency tax landscape
This consultation sets out proposals to reform the landscape in order to deliver a simpler and more stable environment for business; with a view to reducing administrative costs and improving incentives to invest in energy efficiency. Consultation closes: Monday 9 November.
Energy saving scheme closed
Birmingham City Council scraps its Birmingham Energy Savers scheme after it claims that the Government "moved the goalposts" on its policy, and low take-up from local residents.
Potential for smart Scotland
Its potential for leading the world in smart integrated systems will help Scotland meet carbon targets, tackle fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency, says a Carbon Trust report.
Warmer homes for Scotland
Scotland sets up the Warmer Homes Scotland energy-efficiency scheme, which will use £224 million of funding to help up to 28,000 fuel poor residents install measures such as insulation over the next seven years.
Figure put on North East elderly deaths
The charity, National Energy Action, puts a figure of 5,000 on the number of elderly who will die during this winter in cold homes in the North East due to a lack of Government energy efficiency measures and a reduction in the number of those benefitting from them.
Beware of PV scams and false promises
How disreputable salesmen oversell solar panel systems and particularly target the elderly.
Switching up
DECC reports that switching has increased by 9% in the second quarter of 2015, against the same quarter last year. In the latest period, there have been 250,000 households per month switching their electricity supplier, and 200,000 gas.
Asthma linked to air tightness
A study warns that asthma could be made worse by increased air tightness in energy-efficient homes, which causes indoor air to become more polluted.
Collective switch to Good Energy
Good Energy is on the point of increasing its customer base as 100,000 households express interest in a mass switch to its cheaper, greener energy deal.
Huge fine for spam sales calls
In a case seen as a victory for consumers, a South Lanarkshire-based company is fined £200,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office for making 6 million automated solar panel sales calls.
Energy efficiency should be a national infrastructure priority
On the subject of making domestic energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority, new research by frontier economics concludes that there is a case for Government intervention, in the form of a publicly-funded investment programme, and there would be benefits to an approach that is directly funded by Government. 
Biggest ECO scheme
A £27 million ECO project partnered by British Gas and Southampton City Council, and covering 1,500 homes in 14 housing blocks, is the biggest in country.

LED refit saves on cost and CO2
Menzies Distribution saves £12,000 per annum and reduces its CO2 emissions by 74% thanks to a LED lighting refurbishment at its distribution centre.
Pre-payment heat monitor launched
A multi-functional pre-payment heat monitor is launched in Nottingham to help people manage their energy consumption in communal and district heating schemes.
Democratise not nationalise
New Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Lisa Nandy, tells the Labour Party Annual Conference: “But Jeremy and I don’t want to nationalise energy. We want to do something far more radical. We want to democratise it.”

Energy [R]evolution
With heating and transport the biggest challenges, a Greenpeace report nevertheless claims that a move to 100% renewable energy by 2050 is achievable – but it will need a committed approach and the necessary investment.
Growing link between energy efficiency and economic development
How cities are learning that aggressively promoting ways for buildings to cut their energy use – through a carrot and stick approach - is an important growth strategy, and reaps the most benefits in terms of building communities.
CMA report pushed back
The Competition and Markets Authority issues a revised timetable for its investigation into energy supply and acquisition, with the provisional report now scheduled for January 2016.
Still more “invest and save” needed
Although the past 50 years have seen UK GDP increase threefold and energy consumption reduced, Energy Managers are still all too often thwarted in their attempts to implement opportunities to “invest to save”.
Zero carbon dropped but nearly zero energy still on the cards
Although the Government recently dropped it targets for zero carbon buildings, a pathway to nearly zero energy buildings is still open through the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, which takes effect in January 2021.
New heating products regulations to cut energy consumption
New EU rules on the ecodesign and energy labelling for boilers, heat pumps and water heaters, and which came into effect on 26 September, could reduce consumer's energy bills by up to 20%.
'Support The Big Switch'
A new report claims that a global move to LEDs across all sectors would reduce electricity use by 10% and CO2 emissions by 2.3% each year.
Energy companies resist calls for price cuts
The UK’s big energy companies continue to stand firm in not passing on wholesale price cuts to consumers.
Energy companies bottom of the league
Energy and telecoms firms dominate the bottom of the customer satisfaction table in the latest Which? study of 100 household brands.
Off-site modular construction delivers
A new housing concept demonstrated at the BRE Innovation Park delivers on cost, quality, sustainability and energy efficiency, and halves build time.
House Planning Help
A new website hub is launched for building energy efficient eco houses.
Community Energy Hub
A single point of access on the internet for information on community energy.
Solar to become cheapest electricity
Solar PV will probably be the cheapest form of electricity generation in most countries in the coming decades, a European Photovoltaic Technology Platform report claims.
Solar themed power
After a £150,000 investment, a Welsh theme park becomes the first in the UK to be solar-powered (80%) and is set to save over £1 million on its energy bills.
The smart money’s on EMR
Although many businesses are currently focused on the cost that Electricity Market Reform (EMR) will add to their energy budget, smart businesses are seeing it as an opportunity, not just an overhead. EDF White Paper.
Heat meter research findings
DECC releases the findings from recent research commissioned to evaluate the accuracy of heat meters when subject to installation and other errors.
GSK Supplier Exchange
GSK sets up its Supplier Exchange and asks 200 suppliers to share their ideas to improve energy efficiency and help reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
Renters denied cheaper energy deals
uSwitch calls for an end to misleading contract terms and better training for landlords after it’s discovered that renters are being forced to spend an estimated extra £161 million a year – an average of £339 each – because landlords are denying them the right to switch energy supplier.
South West central heating success
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are awarded £1.3 million to provide central heating and reduce fuel poverty in hundreds of homes.
Broadmoor commits to green
The redevelopment of Broadmoor Hospital will cut CO2 emissions, reduce energy bills and increase energy efficiency. Works include the installation of a new combined heat and power (CHP) unit that will burn wood pellets for fuel, eventually allowing the trust to use more economic and environmentally-friendly methods to power its buildings.
Waste coffee beans to energy
A scheme is launched to collect London's waste ground coffee beans and turn them into biomass pellets, which will be burned to create energy to power buildings across the capital. The scheme begins with collections from London’s main train stations but there are plans to extend it further.
UBS advances on 100% renewable pledge
Finance company, UBS, is to install a 576-panel PV array on its new London headquarters, as part of its commitment to using 100% renewable energy by 2020.
BREEAM excellent for college centre
Bradford College’s new Advanced Technology Centre, which includes solar panels, a bio-diverse roof and a super-efficient plant, is on track to achieve a BREEAM excellent rating.
North East CHP plant one step closer
Plans for new £138 million biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) energy plant in Northumberland are given a further boost with a £48 million investment.
US defines NZE building
The US Government reaches an energy milestone with its release of a common definition for a net zero energy building.
First NZE certified US library
The first library in the US and the first school building in California to achieve Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) Certification is unveiled.
Low Carbon Entrepreneur 2016
The Mayor of London launches a competition for current students and recent graduates to cut carbon emissions and give youngsters useful employment skills. The winner of the competition will receive £20,000 to develop their idea and bring it to market, as well as mentoring and support from City Hall.
Jobs across the UK
Various energy-related jobs across the country are available on the following websites. Take a look at:
ESOS Implementation. London. Thu 8 Oct
This free CBx evening event focuses on industry uptake of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme. Hear from Keith Brierley, Senior Advisor at the Environment Agency, on the implementation of ESOS so far and the learning outcomes from the process. University College London will present research on Energy Audits in complex buildings and the speakers will be joined by industry experts for a panel discussion.
Building Better Buildings. Glasgow. Thu 8 Oct
This Zero Carbon Hub event, organised in collaboration with Innovate UK and a number of leading industry partners, aims to demystify the ‘performance gap’ and highlight the latest learning from a number of local domestic and non-domestic BPE projects. Delegates will receive a copy of Zero Carbon Hub’s new Builders' Book.
How to turn P272 into a revenue generating opportunity for your business. Webinar. Thu 8 Oct. 11am
Confused by P272 & P322? Sign up for this 2degreesnetwork webinar for:
  • An improved understanding of P272 and the recent amendment, P322.
  • The potential costs associated with the changes and who stands to benefit.
How to turn a risk into reward - tips on using P272 to reduce your energy usage and associated costs.
Addressing the Retrofit Performance Gap. London. Wed 14 Oct
This Sustainable Homes national conference brings together experts from the sector to discuss the issues around the ‘performance gap’ and how to address them:
  • Commissioning more effectively to reduce risk.
  • Managing installations and ensuring quality.
  • Demanding more from contractors.
  • Ensuring residents and landlords maximise savings.
UK Passivhaus Conference 2015. London. Tue 20 Oct
Includes presentations, seminars and the only passivhaus exhibition in the UK, with over 30 specialist exhibitors. The exhibition is open to the public featuring soap box talks from exhibitors, built demonstration models, videos and networking.
Opportunities in energy efficiency. Stoke-on-Trent. Wed 21 Oct
This joint SBEN and CoRE event is an interactive seminar on how to start assessing your energy-saving opportunities. It also includes case studies and a ‘market place’ of local providers of energy-saving solutions.
CoRE Retrofit Summit. Stoke-on-Trent. Thu 19 Nov
CoRE is hosting an exclusive event with BRE Chief Executive Peter Bonfield to support the review he is undertaking of the energy efficiency sector.
Retrofit and the Performance Gap. Salford. Wed 3 Dec
This Retrofit Innovation Network event will discuss what the ‘performance gap’ is, how it is shown in buildings and what issues we need to think about to ensure we deliver energy efficient buildings.
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