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Posts Tagged ‘Carbon Emissions Reduction Target’

Carbon Emissions Reduction Target,CESP,Energy Company Obligation,Energy Efficiency Commitment,Fuel Poverty,Green Deal,Warm Front Scheme

ECO and the Green Deal – not enough is not enough

Today ACE and the Energy Bill Revolution publish a set of slides and a briefing which assess the impact of the Government’s current energy efficiency policies and compare them against past performance and what needs to happen to effectively tackle fuel poverty and meet the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change.

We find that the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal represent a significant loss of momentum in the deployment of energy efficiency measures compared to previous energy efficiency programmes, especially when considering the large energy efficiency potential still available in the housing stock.

The recent cuts proposed to the ECO are exacerbating this loss of momentum, and the introduction of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is not enough to turn it around. This means that carbon targets recommended by the Committee on Climate Change will be missed and that fuel poverty will worsen.

We are calling for:


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Carbon Emissions Reduction Target,Energy Company Obligation,Green Deal



Framing a sustainable transition to the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation

The ACE Research Team is today publishing its report on the implications of the transition from CERT to Green Deal and the new Energy Company Obligation after 2012 – to coincide with the deadline to the Government’s Green Deal consultation.

The ‘Dead CERT’ project’s focus is on the main contributors to the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target: cavity wall and loft insulation. Its aim is to understand the implications of the move from CERT to Green Deal and ECO for the markets for these measures, and to make recommendations to support a well-managed transition which ensures carbon budgets, fuel poverty targets, and the wider ambitions for the Green Deal can be met.

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Big Six,Carbon Emissions Reduction Target,Green Deal

Joined-up thinking needed to heat homes

ImageThere are still millions of homes in the UK suitable for loft and cavity wall insulation. Shouldn’t tackling these be the foundation of the Green Deal?

This summer, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne issued a stark warning to the Big Six energy companies. Double the number of homes you help insulate between now and December 2012 or face fines that by law can amount to 10 per cent of your global turnover.

These investments by the energy companies are mandated under the Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT). The fourth in a contiguous series of such programmes terminates in a year’s time. For the past 17 years, energy companies have been helping their – and other companies’ – customers to install energy-saving devices.

The devices installed have ranged from better boilers and appliances, through heating controls and consumption monitoring devices, and latterly to low-flow showerheads and compact fluorescent lightbulbs.

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Carbon Emissions Reduction Target

DECC Consultation: Extending the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target

ACE have submitted a written response to the Department of Energy and Climate Change consultation: “Consultation on Extending the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target”

In summary the extension of CERT presents an opportunity to sustainably increase the delivery of cavity wall and loft insulation, whilst developing the solid wall industry to a point where it is in a position to meet Government’s ambitions as set out in the Household Energy Management Strategy for the period post-2012. Meeting these twin objectives requires the introduction of a professionally installed insulation minimum at 65-70% of the overall CERT obligation, and a solid wall insulation minimum at 5% of the CERT obligation. The long term vision of Government is to increasingly focus on those homes in need of solid wall insulation. The solid wall industry therefore needs to be developed so that as lofts and cavities are filled, there is a smooth transition from cavity wall and loft insulation to the delivery of solid wall insulation.

The sustainable increase in cavity wall and loft insulation could be threatened however by the nature of the measures delivered during the extension period. ACE has concerns that if the space left by the removal of CFLs is filled by other dubious measures [and we have serious concerns about delivery of low flow shower heads under CERT] instead of through increasing the delivery of proven energy saving measures, then there is a real danger that insulation will not increase at the required rates.

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Carbon Emissions Reduction Target,Domestic Energy Consumption,Energy Efficiency,Fuel Poverty,Warm Front Scheme

Back to wartime measures in the battle against the scourge of fuel poverty

ImageWith increasing pressure on public sector finances venture capital could be one way to kick start a drive to bring the UK’s homes up to high standards of energy efficiency

In 2000 there were some 3.7m households in Britain living in fuel poverty. Of which 2.8m were in England. Today, the best estimate is that there are over 5m households who need to spend over 10 per cent of their disposable income buying fuel to keep warm in winter.

This is an unacceptable social problem, especially in one of the richest countries in the world. And a real barrier to achieving climate change goals.

Radical steps need to be taken to reverse, then eliminate, this shameful trend. In this column, I will propose what needs to be done to eliminate the problem altogether—so that it becomes as irrelevant as in every other western European country outside the British Isles.

In 2000 the government passed the Warm Homes & Energy Conservation Act. Its objective was clear. In the words of the 2001 Labour election manifesto, “by 2010 no vulnerable household in the UK need risk ill-health due to a cold home”.

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Carbon Emissions Reduction Target,CERT,CFLs

CFLs won’t save much energy if they stay in the kitchen drawer

The Big Six Energy companies have given away 262m CFLs. But how many of them have been condemned to landfill or still remain in their original packaging? And how many of us have actually received one?

I cannot think of any everyday technology which would be just as familiar to our great-great-grandparents as it is to us, apart from the incandescent light-bulb. All other 1890s technologies have long since been confined to history. But the tungsten light bulb rides on, producing just about as much heat as light.

Not for much longer. Already the largest bulbs (150W) have disappeared from our stores. Within three years, both government and the lighting industry are determined that these familiar artefacts will be consigned to the dustbins of history.

In their place will be the compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL). Although they have been around for 30 years, they have been a relative scarcity until this decade. Originally, such bulbs were marketed in a simple way.

Initial capital costs were substantially higher: we used to see £12 an item, as opposed to the 40p of the incandescent bulb it replaced. The benefit was that the bulbs provided the same illumination, but using one-quarter of the electricity. And they lasted many years, rather than many weeks.

Regularly popping incandescents

This last benefit was frequently why they were first adopted in many non-residential buildings. There were reasons why that old joke: “How many people does it take to change a light bulb?” became common currency. Finding somebody to go around and replace those regularly popping incandescents — particularly if they were a bit inaccessible—was always a pain. How much easier it became when the bulbs could be guaranteed to last for years.

And then of course there was the ecological driver. Providing the same level of service but using far less fuel, so with far lower revenue costs: the quintessential energy efficiency message.

Whatever the ostensible logic, most households were deterred from installing CFLs because they were frequently large and ugly. And didn’t fit into conventional light sockets without sticking out a mile. But mostly because of the initial higher capital costs.

The mass breakthrough came only when the Big Six energy companies were given tri-annual targets to deliver kilowatt hour savings, now metamorphosed into carbon savings, in British homes. Each energy-saving option was deemed to provide a certain level of such savings. Whichever option provided the cheapest return under the government scoring system, that was the one that was preferred.

During the first phase of the Energy Efficiency Commitment (2002/5), a total of 40m CFLs were distributed. Between 2005/8, the figure increased to 102m more. All this was surpassed under the scheme started a year ago. During just the first nine months of the Carbon Emission Reduction Target, no less than 120m CFLs were distributed. Almost without exception free of charge. And often, unsolicited.

The regulators at OFGEM stepped in to ensure that a maximum of four such bulbs could be sent out at any time. Their reason for introducing such a restriction must have been simple. It would not have been that they did not want to see too many such lightbulbs installed. Rather, it will have been from underlying fears that some, possibly all, were not being put into actual light sockets: the sole objective.

Instead they might be sitting in their boxes in the kitchen drawer, saving no electricity at all. Or worst of all, just thrown away into the dustbin, not even recycled properly (which, given the — albeit tiny — quantities of mercury each bulb contains, is advisable).

Eleven CFLs for every household

Since 2002, the energy companies have distributed 262m light bulbs. That amounts to an average of over eleven CFLs for every single household in Britain. Nonetheless I keep meeting people who have never received any such largess. Bearing in mind the large number of studio and single-bedroom flats around, with far fewer than eleven light sources, that ought to mean that some households must have got at least a couple of dozen.

Are they all installed? Amazingly, nobody seems to know. There is no requirement for anybody to keep tally on which addresses these 262m bulbs have gone to, let alone to establish whether they are being put to use. If ever there was a need for a sample survey of existing homes, this must surely be it.

Anecdotally, it seems most of the bulbs distributed are still the original long, ugly 60W-equivalent variety, which newspaper columns suggest are deeply unloved. Sadly, no differentiation in reward is available to an energy company which might offer one of the genuinely attractive, well-designed, 100W equivalents which could, for instance, operate on a dimmer system.

They do exist. It is just they seem crowded out of this market by the clunky old beasts. If these are perceived as the only future for lighting, no wonder there is such a media backlash against the removal of all incandescents.

According to the 2003 Energy White Paper, adding 200m CFLs to the then existing 60m would deliver an additional 1m tonnes of carbon savings {then, the regular measure} by 2010. Even after 262m CFLs have been distributed by the energy companies, I don’t think we can have any confidence that this is what is happening. A light bulb still in its original packaging saves no electricity at all.

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BEEF,Carbon Emissions Reduction Target

Amendments to the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target – BEEF response

BEEF (the British Energy Efficiency Federation of which ACE is a member, and Director Andrew Warren is Chairman) have submitted a written response to the DECC consultation on the Amendments to the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target.

In summary, the Federation is extremely concerned by the proposals recommended in the consultation and stresses in the strongest terms that these changes will seriously undermine both the carbon savings achieved through the programme, and the energy efficiency industry at a time when it requires support, not additional barriers. We urge the retention of the rewards system for measures, as introduced as recently as April 2008. It would be completely detrimental to any claim to be seeking to provide consistent signals to the marketplace to alter this scheme so radically, so very recently after its launch.

CERT is an imaginative and progressive programme which has the potential to deliver substantial energy savings in the residential sector. It is less than one year old. It was developed only after the most careful consultation with all the relevant stakeholders, particularly regarding the anticipated real savings that can accrue from the installation of the hard energy efficiency measures it was always designed exclusively to deliver. The disruption caused to the marketplace by introducing new unverified measures into the permitted ‘mix’, will devalue both its reputation and its effectiveness. This is particularly as the savings ascribed to the new measures are completely unjustified and unjustifiable.

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Carbon Emissions Reduction Target

Amendments to the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target – ACE response

ACE have submitted a written response to the DECC consultation on the Amendments to the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target.

In summary, ACE are extremely concerned that the carbon scores attributed to the new ‘behavioural’ measures do not represent a realistic assessment of their actual carbon savings since they are not backed up by supporting evidence, and therefore threaten to undermine the CERT programme and reduce the carbon savings delivered by it. Exaggerating the carbon scores of individual measures increases their cost effectiveness and could result in them becoming the dominant measure under CERT. Generating carbon scores in this way is inconsistent with the ‘evidence based policy’ approach preferred by Government.

ACE does not consider that there is sufficient evidence for Real-time display devices (RTDs) being attributed an annual carbon saving equivalent to saving 3.5% of electricity demand. The trials mentioned in the consultation document are ‘opt-in’ trials where the householder has to regularly report on their savings. There are insufficient requirements to ensure that the householder both wants and uses an RTD to prescribe a 3.5% saving. It is likely that many will end up in drawers not being used.

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Carbon Emissions Reduction Target,Domestic Emissions,Domestic Energy Consumption

If it works, don’t fix it. Unless it’s a successful energy-saving programme

ImageEverybody would agree that the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target has been a great success reducing household emissions by at least 8m tonnes. But proposed changes could destroy its entire credibility

For the past decade, the big energy companies have had ever increasing obligations to help householders save energy. These requirements have been met by the provision of financial assistance towards the installation of agreed energy saving measures.

By any standards, the policy has been a great success. Now after two name changes CERT (the Carbon Emission Reduction Target), has succeeded in reducing household emissions by at least 8 million tons of carbon dioxide (MtCO2). The National Audit Office has confirmed it is one of the very best value climate change programmes.

By bringing to reality the rhetoric about the need to invest in more energy efficient measures, it has genuinely transformed markets: for appliances like integrated digital tuners; for professional loft insulation; for window ratings.

It has created many new jobs. It has greatly increased comfort and well-being. It has even improved the security of energy supply. All in all, a veritable success story.

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Carbon Emissions Reduction Target,Germany

Bold German energy-saving plans set to shame UK’s lack of ambition

ImageContrast the UK with its timid flagship schemes to improve existing UK homes with the ambitious plans in Germany where a bold loans and subsidy scheme aims for a massive 3 per cent a year improvement

Next month the new flagship scheme to improve the energy performance of existing UK homes, the Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT), is launched. The scheme places the entire onus for delivering-improvements on the six big energy companies.

For the average householder, there will be no government grants available. No low interest loans. No options to increase or decrease local council tax, depending upon the relative efficiency of the building. No stamp duty incentives for those who implement the efficiency recommendations received when changing home.

Beyond generalised exhortations to us all to be good citizens, the UK government offers effectively no support to the private sector to achieve its obligations.

The UK is not the only country seeking to improve its existing building stock. The German government is set to make a “quantum leap in energy efficiency”, improving it by 3 per cent a year – rather than the 1 per cent required under European law. Environment minister, Sigmar Gabriel, emphasises that cutting out waste is far more cost-efficient than building new power stations, whether coal-fired or nuclear. No new nuclear plants have been built in Germany for 25 years. Nobody plans to build any.

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