Getting ready for HECAEnergy customers massively overchargedWalkie-Talkie sign of things to comeSustainable Cities. New book now available at 30% DISCOUNT and more...
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Issue 440
Wednesday 22 June 2016
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Sustainable Cities: Assessing the Performance and Practice of Urban Environments. New book now available at 30% DISCOUNT
With more than half the global population now living in urban areas, one of the key issues confronting us today is how we make our growing cities sustainable. A new hardback book Sustainable Cities offers valuable insights for addressing this vital challenge. It evaluates our urban environments and assesses the progress that is being made towards achieving cities that are sustainable.

Our Chief Executive, Kerry Mashford, has written the chapter on energy use in buildings and the book is essential reading for academics and professionals in: urban planning; energy and environmental policy, practice and management; urban geography; climate change; and environmental science and technology.

Sustainable Cities is available to buy at a 30% discount using the promotional code CITIES30

£4.23m for Energiesprong
Energiesprong is awarded €5.4 million (£4.23 million) of European funding through the Interreg NWE programme, to scale its existing innovative housing programme in the UK, France and the Netherlands, and to stimulate mass uptake of net-zero energy refurbishments.

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.

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.
Public funding for energy efficiency in EU grows
Research by Ecofys shows that public funding for energy efficiency across the UK increased by €1.1 billion between 2012 and 2014 - but there have been many policy changes, in the UK for example, since then.

Is the Capacity Market achieving what it was designed to do?
The purpose of the Capacity Market, which is part of the government’s Electricity Market Reform, is to ensure security of supply by procuring sufficient reliable capacity to meet demand. Is the policy working?

Keeping the lights on post-coal
The Bright Blue group makes some recommendations for the successful phasing out of coal based on a series of base, low and high case stress options.

MEEPS - how the law has changed 1
A look at the change of law that came into effect on 1 April as a result of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Performance Standards, in particular the fact that tenants now have right to request energy efficiency improvements.

MEEPS – how the law has changed 2
Another look at how the rules on minimum standards of energy efficiency for rented properties in England & Wales have changed recently.

ICT solutions needed to meet EU targets
A new BT report claims that smart, ICT-enabled solutions are needed to reduce energy use and carbon emissions to meet EU target levels.

Half solar jobs go
The UK solar industry estimates that more than half the jobs in the sector (18,000) have been lost in the wake of Government subsidy cuts.

Call for energy efficiency to be priority in Scotland
In Scotland, with its high levels of fuel poverty, the Existing Homes Alliance calls for household energy efficiency to be a priority in the country’s infrastructure investments.

ECO failure rates
Ofgem publishes it report on ECO installation failure rates (July – September 2015).

Uncertainty spooking investors
An Energy Institute survey finds that investors are deterred by the uncertainty around the Government’s energy policy.
Ofgem consultation on deemed ECO scores
Ofgem consultation on its proposed approach to implementing a system of deemed scores for use in the ECO scheme from 1 April 2017, if introduced in legislation. The Government intends to consult on proposals for the successor to ECO2 and that this will include a proposal to move from the current scoring approach to deemed scores. This change would entail the use of a finite set of scores that reflect the savings expected from different measures in different properties, based on a limited number of simple inputs.
Closing date: Friday 8 July.
Energy customers massively overcharged
Research by uSwitch reveals that 3.8 million customers have been overcharged by their energy suppliers to the tune of £270 million over the last year.

Concern over Ofgem ‘safety net’ proposals
Under new Ofgem ‘safety net’ plans, the costs of reimbursing customers who are in credit when their energy supplier goes bust could be paid for by all customers.

More boiler scrappage schemes needed
On back of a successful scheme in London, Wolseley’s Plumb Center calls for more local authority boiler scrappage schemes.

NI EnergyWise blasted
Manufacturing Northern Ireland reacts negatively to the proposed EnergyWise energy efficiency scheme and brands it “ill-conceived” and “illogical”.

Tariff price gap widens among ‘Big Six’
New Which? research reveals that the gap between average ‘Big Six’ standard tariffs and the cheapest tariff has widened significantly since the Competition and Markets Authority started its investigation two years ago.

Selecting Indicators to Measure Energy Poverty
A study to support the European Commission better understand energy poverty, by improving the collection and monitoring of EU-wide data.

Complaining about your energy supplier
Advice from Ofgem on making a complaint about your energy supplier, including a video on how to get results.
Implementing deep energy step-by-step retrofits
A project to raise consciousness, inform and stimulate a response by policy makers, financing bodies and product developers to promote an innovative ecosystem committed to deep energy retrofits of Europe’s building stock.

Green Deal Communities project wins award
The Green Deal Communities project headed by Bracknell Forest Council wins in the 'Regional Large Scale Project' category at the retrofit awards.

Radical retrofit
A radical net-zero carbon and net-zero energy retrofit of a Leeds house built in the 1850s.

Savings for GSHP pilot households
Gloucestershire residents in a ground source heat pump trial report big reductions in their heating bills.

Retailer crowdfunds for solar
Marks & Spencer has teamed up with a community-focused energy group to crowdfund for solar panels to be fitted on some of its stores.
How smart power could help UK reach 100% renewable energy
If the UK is to usher in an era of low-carbon energy by bringing more renewables online, then its energy infrastructure needs a major overhaul. The energy grid must be smart, flexible and integrated – which means making it more open and accessible via the latest technology. 

Scientists boost sunlight to heat conversion
Researchers discover a new way to increase the amount of sunlight a solar absorber can convert into heat.
Solar and storage trial for Scotland
A battery storage manufacturer and the energy supplier, Scottish Power, deploy 50 grid-connected energy storage systems in a non-government funded trial in Scotland.

Storage has potential to totally transform UK electricity
Heavy investment in battery storage systems could transform the face of the UK’s electricity industry and provide a competitive threat to conventional power stations.

Smart buildings – beyond just energy
The future of smart buildings should go beyond simply managing energy by making them people-friendly and the most optimum space for users, while taking into consideration the issue of privacy.

Scottish commercial sector not ready for energy changes
A Scottish property consultancy reckons that around 70% of the country’s commercial property owners are ill-prepared for the upcoming changes to energy efficiency regulations.

ISO50001 to be updated
The energy performance standard ISO50001, which specifies requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an energy management system to help organisations improve energy performance, efficiency, use and consumption, is to be updated.

Improving sustainable property management
How some of the most forward-thinking property companies are using new techniques and tactics such as BREEAM to create and improve sustainable property management, thereby helping them maintain their commercial advantage.

Investor Confidence Project Europe
Because energy renovation projects in the building sector are all technically different, it’s difficult for banks and investors to trust that the energy savings generated will be a reliable source of revenue. This Horizon2020-funded project is developing a set of commonly agreed protocols, which will improve access to finance for building renovation projects.

Europe to strengthen legislative framework to increase energy efficiency
As part of its review of the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the EU views renovating inefficient buildings as vital for delivering on its energy security, meeting its emissions targets and protecting the climate.

Walkie-Talkie sign of things to come
London’s 'Walkie-Talkie' building shows how property developers are reacting to targets from the Paris climate agreement by making buildings into mini power stations.

Is passive house more expensive?
An in-depth look at the cost of building to passive house standards - is it more expensive?

District heating - does it work with passivhaus?
As residential passive house is moving up in scale from small developments to major projects involving hundreds of dwellings, communal heating in passive house is now on the agenda. So, how does district heating stack up in buildings which need such little heat?

Largest new DH in Europe
Europe’s largest residential new-build district heating system is to come online soon at Greenwich Peninsula in London.

£5m for district heating in Bristol
Bristol moves closer to becoming a carbon-neutral city by 2050 with the investment of £5 million in a low-carbon district heating network.

Green heat for whisky production
A new biomass combined heat and power plant fuelled by local forest residue is to deliver green heat to a whisky distillery.

Whey to go for farm energy
Unwanted waste from a dairy farm is transformed into renewable energy.
Jobs across the UK
Various energy-related jobs across the country are available on the following websites. Take a look at:
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.

UK-GBC Healthy Homes report launch. London. Tue 5 July
As part of the WorldGBC ‘Better Places for People’ campaign, which has been spearheaded by UK-GBC and its members, the report and the event will:
  • Review the evidence on the links between health and wellbeing and the design of homes and neighbourhoods.
  • Explore the metrics for measuring health and wellbeing in homes.
  • Explore the link between value and health and wellbeing benefits.
  • Consolidate guidance and information on green building features that enhance health and wellbeing.
Attendees will hear from some of those involved in the project, and will have the opportunity to take part in a facilitated discussion about this next exciting chapter towards a healthier, more sustainable built environment. 

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.

WEBINAR. Retrofitting LEDs in hospitality. 1pm. Wed 6 July
How to specify and successfully manage a retrofit roll-out of LED lighting in the hospitality sector, including the key strategies to employ and the mistakes to avoid.

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.

National Housing Federation Development, Asset Management and Maintenance Conference and Exhibition 2016. Birmingham. 21-22 September
The aim of this conference is to help social housing providers accelerate housing delivery and manage their homes and services to ensure they meet the needs of their tenants and the housing regulator. The conference outlines how associations can develop and integrate new build and asset programmes to deliver great homes and strong and resilient communities. It also provides delegates with up-to-the-minute sessions on current asset management policy development and practical sessions about practice on the ground. It focuses on how asset management can help to deliver sustainable homes and communities, and how to maximise affordable housing delivery in an era of ‘Starter Homes’.
This is an annual event that has a strong audience of asset managers and development practitioners. It also has the added benefit of being part of the first Housing Week, which consists of four huge events:
  • Annual Conference and Exhibition.
  • Young Leaders’ Experience.
  • Health and Housing and Development.
  • Asset Management and Maintenance Conference.
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