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Posts Tagged ‘Energy Performance Certificates’

Display Energy Certificates,Energy Performance Certificates,European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive,Zero Carbon Homes

Our response to the European Commission’s consultation on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

This consultation forms part of the evaluation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Under the terms of the Directive, the Commission is required to carry out this evaluation by 1 January 2017, with assistance from a Committee of Member States’ representatives. The evaluation should reflect the experience gained and progress made since the adoption of the Directive. If necessary, the Commission should make proposals on the basis of the evaluation.

The evaluation also follows on from the Energy Efficiency Communication of July 2014, which indicated that additional measures to be introduced to improve energy efficiency would need to primarily address the energy efficiency of buildings and products if progress is to be made by 2030. The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is the main legislative instrument in force at EU level covering the energy efficiency of buildings.

With a primary focus the UK energy efficiency market, our response to the consultation highlights: the uncertainty following the abandonment of the zero carbon trajectory; the missed opportunities with respect to driving higher rates of renovation; the low level of compliance with EPBD’s provisions and the virtual absence of enforcement; the question marks hanging over Display Energy Certificates; the need to make EPC data more widely accessible; and the need to plug skills and capacity shortages in the energy services and energy auditing sectors.

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Energy Efficient Buildings,Energy Performance Certificates,Non-Residential Buildings

Don’t let this first step become tied up in red tape

Back in 2011 the Government introduced legislation that Ministers promised would outlaw the letting of any F- or G-rated buildings from 2018. This month marks the conclusion of the
Government’s formal consultation detailing precisely how this potentially market-revolutionising policy will be delivered in practice.

The private rented sector is of growing importance in the residential sector. In the last 15 years the number of people renting from private landlords has increased from 10 to 18 per cent of all households.

That is a sizeable percentage. But nothing like as large as the proportion of the buildings in the non-residential sector that are rented out.

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Energy Performance Certificates,Private Rented Sector

DECC: Consultations on Private Rented Sector Energy Efficiency Regulations

ACE has submitted written responses to The Department of Energy and Climate Change consultations on private rented sector energy efficiency regulations, for the domestic and non-domestic sectors respectively. Following a campaign by ACE and its allies, the Energy Act 2011 placed a duty on the Secretary of State to bring into force regulations to improve the energy efficiency of buildings in the domestic and non-domestic private rented sector in England and Wales.

On the domestic sector consultation, delays have caused concern and uncertainty for an energy efficiency industry gearing up to deliver improvements. We are pleased therefore that the long-awaited consultation has finally been published. However, the Government’s proposals contain a number of key flaws, which must be remedied if the minimum standard is to be enforceable by local authorities and to deliver improvements up to an Energy Performance Certificate Band E in all cases.

We have similar concerns regarding the non-domestic sector regulations. Moreover, as former ACE Director Andrew Warren wrote on September 9, what is deeply worrying is that a very large number of non-domestic buildings have not yet had an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) issued despite the leaseholder having altered (a state of affairs which is in breach of the law). Many of these are likely to be poor performers on the EPC scale. The knock-on problem is that these illegally un-certified buildings are not captured by the regulations for minimum energy performance.

Read ACE’s…:

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Display Energy Certificates,Energy Performance Certificates,Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme

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Public or private – the displays should be the same

The clue is in the name. The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is the government’s latest flagship programme, designed to stimulate every large enterprise to invest in energy efficiency measures. In essence, it mandates having a full energy survey of each outfit’s energy using activities every four years. And identifying the energy saving opportunities.

After a year’s deliberation, at the end of June details were published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change detailing just how each eligible organisation can comply. Broadly, those involved include every business and third sector organisation employing over 250 people or turning over above £50m per year: in all, involving nearly 10,000 different entities.

Mindful that there is already a plethora of other reporting mechanisms in which many may already be involved, DECC seems to be making an overt effort to enable participants in other schemes to re-use any data collected. That is true for those in sectors involved with Climate Change Agreements. Or the European emissions trading scheme. Or the Energy Efficiency Carbon Reduction Commitment. Or greenhouse gas emissions data.

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Energy Efficiency,Energy Efficiency Commitment,Energy Efficient Buildings,Energy Performance Certificates,Stamp Duty

Buy a home and get money back from the government

The Prime Minister was unequivocal. This summer his Government will introduce a new incentive scheme to encourage home movers to invest in energy saving measures.

At his most recent monthly cross-examination by House of Commons Committee chairs, he quite specifically described it as a “stamp duty discount for people who take action to improve the energy performance and energy efficiency of their homes” (Q49).

I only wish that this description had been accurate. Sadly it is not. Because formally the new scheme is not directly related to the stamp duty transaction. And, due to that, it can be argued there is no requirement whatsoever for the key professional groups involved in the buying and selling of homes – specifically, solicitors and licensed conveyancers, and estate agents – to inform anybody about the new scheme.

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DECC,Energy Performance Certificates,Fuel Poverty,Fuel Poverty Advisory Group

Ending cold homes

Consumer Futures commissioned ACE Research to model the cost and impact of introducing ambitious new fuel poverty targets. This new report presents the results of the research, as introduced by William Baker, Head of Fuel Poverty Policy at Consumer Futures, below.

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Energy Performance Certificates

CLG Consultation: Making better use of Energy Performance Certificates and data

ACE together with Friends of the Earth have submitted a written response to the Department for Communities and Local Government consultation: “Making better use of Energy Performance Certificates and data: Consultation”

In Summary

ACE and Friends of the Earth welcome this consultation on improving the delivery of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and Display Energy Certificates (DECs). We also welcome the strong moves that Government is taking to provide access to the growing building stock database created by the logging of EPCs and DECs.
The consultation does not however address three fundamental points that we believe are of central importance to ensuring that this vital policy, which will be instrumental to future building energy efficiency policies, is effective.

  • We strongly urge the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) to investigate and stamp out any inconsistency in EPC assessment and tighten up the certification and training of Energy Assessors.
  • We call for swift revision of the recommendations that are included on the EPC to include all ‘cost-optimal’ improvements (in line with the trajectory of the revised EPBD). Information should be displayed in a way that encourages maximum action including the more expensive measures rather than crudely drawing a line between cost-effective and non-cost effective, which acts a disincentive to whole house retrofit.
  • Thirdly, there is a need for the Government to design, build and introduce a scheme of policy measures that work alongside and in support of EPCs with the objective of improving the overall standard and energy efficiency of the housing stock. This scheme of policy measures should be designed to encourage householders to take action on the EPC recommendations.
  • Thirdly, there is a need for the Government to design, build and introduce a scheme of policy measures that work alongside and in support of EPCs with the objective of improving the overall standard and energy efficiency of the housing stock. As part of this scheme of policy measures, which should include more generous incentives, access to affordable finance, support and advice, ACE and Friends of the Earth call on Government to introduce minimum standards of energy efficiency from 2015 at the latest which incrementally increase over time.

If you would like to read our response to all the questions then please click here

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Domestic Energy Consumption,Energy Performance Certificates

Only reform of the EPC will bring about improvements

ImageAs a key driver in reducing energy use in the home the EPCs must be reformed to be more visible and provide real motivation for us to make changes in our attitude to energy consumption

A property is the single most valuable purchase most of us will ever make. For years, it was argued that is a compelling reason why each building should be given an energy rating. Prospective purchasers can get an idea of its relative efficiency. And advice on what improvements can be done.

Since 2007 by law you can’t move into a new building – even a rented one- without being told what its rating is. Increasingly there is talk about using the Energy Performance Certificate (or EPC for short) as the lynchpin of a variety of “sticks and carrots” intended to drive forward improvements. To do this, requires a step change in our approach to EPCs.

There is no question of the size of the task before us. Professor Michael Kelly is just stepping down as the chief scientist at the Communities and Local Government department. He estimates that, to comply with the reduction levels set out in the 2008 Climate Change Act, we need a six-fold increase in the rate of energy improvements in our homes.

His message is simple. Between 1990 and 2005 we lowered carbon emissions from homes by an overall 4%. On the 2050 trajectory, we  require a 24% reduction over 15 years – six times more than we managed during that earlier period. Throughout which time, you may recall, the UK congratulated itself endlessly on being the world leaders in carbon abatement.

One of the phrases beloved of all energy saving gurus is the phrase: “If you can’t measure it, then you can’t manage it properly”. Perhaps the biggest difference is that, unlike in 1990, we now have an unequivocal means of measuring the energy condition of our buildings. The EPC.

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Energy Performance Certificates,Non-Residential Buildings,Scotland

Proposals on improving the energy performance of existing non-domestic buildings in Scotland

Follow the link for our response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on Improving the Energy Performance of Existing Non-Domestic Buildings.

In summary we welcome the Government’s consultation on this crucial issue, and are broadly supportive of the proposals set out in the consultation document. In particular, we welcome the implicit acknowledgements that neither ‘business as usual’ nor voluntary measures alone will deliver the emissions cuts required.

However, we would like to see where emissions cuts from the non-domestic sector sit within a wider energy saving strategy for Scotland. Setting the outlined measures in a wider context of energy efficiency and microgeneration is, in our view essential. We have already seen dissonance in approaches between the domestic and non-domestic sectors, for example in a consultation on permitted development rights for microgeneration in the domestic sector only. In our view this betrays the lack of a strategic approach to energy saving from the Scottish Government which is disappointing.

Finally, it is in our view essential that clear signals are sent from Government to industry in order to allow them to invest with confidence. Such clear signals can best be sent, in our view, through setting sectoral targets into the face of primary legislation, ideally the forthcoming Climate Change Bill. If Government is serious about delivering the emissions cuts that it says are needed, then these statutory sectoral targets are essential.

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Energy Efficiency,Energy Performance Certificates,Housing

Make a move on energy savings

ImageThe time to upgrade the energy efficiency of our homes is when we move house. Major changes will be needed to bring about this step change but it can be done before the end of this decade.

Location, location, location. The traditional estate agents’ argument is that nothing else matters to a prospective home purchaser. Perhaps the kitchen too. But not the energy bills. Oh no, never the fuel bills. They are just not important enough.

It has long been official policy to change this prejudice. But can it really be altered sufficiently, in order to begin to cut back on the £20bn we spend each year heating and lighting our homes? I believe it is entirely practical to deliver such a step change before this decade is out.

I accept it will require a combined effort, of a kind never attempted before. It will mean the abandonment of a number of entrenched attitudes. But I am convinced it to be possible, and the end definitely worth it.

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