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Posts Tagged ‘Energy Saving’

Energy Saving,Incentives

Build energy saving success on three crucial pillars

It sounds a bit pejorative. But constructing an effective policy programme for energy saving is very like persuading donkeys to do what you want.

Donkeys are stubborn creatures, not that malleable. Obtaining co-operation requires three things, mostly operating together. These are carrots (to motivate) and sticks (to enforce). And most important of all, tambourines (to retain attention). Every single effective energy conservation programme incorporates one or more, preferably all three, aspects.

First, consider sticks. In other words, regulations and standards and, importantly, their effective policing. That means tougher building regulations, for existing as well as newly constructed buildings. It means outlawing the worst energy performing products, and ensuring any energy labelling is accurate.

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Domestic Energy Consumption,Energy Saving,Heating

“Dragon-breath and snow-melt”: New article on know-how for keeping warm

What skills and know-how do people use to keep warm at home?  Where does this knowledge come from?  These questions are addressed in a new article by ACE researcher Sarah Royston, published in the journal Energy Research and Social Science.

Keeping warm at home means managing heat flows – making sure that heat is where it is needed, when it is needed.  In doing this, we interact with a wide range of objects, appliances and building features, from long-johns to loft insulation, and from hair-dryers to heat pumps.

Managing heat flows is something we do almost all the time, often without thinking much about it (by opening a window, or putting on a jumper, for example).  But many of the things we do to keep warm involve some kind of practical knowledge or know-how.  For example, we might know how to adjust the settings on a storage heater, programme the central heating,  or light a fire.  Equally we might know how to find and block draughts, or fashion an improvised bed-warmer from an old sock filled with rice.

This article explores the many kinds of know-how involved in keeping homes warm, and how these are learned through experience.  The senses are important here – for example, we might use visible “dragon breath” as an indicator of cold.  The article also looks at how changes such as moving house or having children can affect know-how, and reflects on what these ideas might mean for research, policy and practice on sustainable energy use.

You can read the full article (currently free) here.

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Energy Efficiency,Energy Saving

Sailing the 5 Cs to reach the 2 Es. Your shorter guide to energy efficiency

ImageConviction, consistency, compulsory target, compliance and cash. The five essential ingredients for a successful energy-saving campaign

Energy efficiency delivers great mnemonics. Before you reach for your dictionary (whether print or virtual), that word means providing an easy aide memoire!

Because it is made up of two vowels, over the years energy efficiency has leant itself to innumerable cheerful acronyms. Like EEP. Or EEC. Or CEERT. Or EESOP. Or BEEF. Or NEEAP. Or EEAS. Or ACEEE. Or ECEEE. Or HEED. Or NEEA. Or NEEP. Or BREEAM. Or HEES. Or OEE. Or CEE.

Each of these acronyms simply encapsulates some energy-saving initiative.

But what makes for effective EE? Whether for a company or a public policy programme, I am proposing that effective EE can only be delivered by insisting always upon adopting the five Cs, without exception. My five Cs are:

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Energy Saving,Non-Residential Buildings

The civil servants with ears only for the major energy suppliers

ImageNon-residential buildings are frequently overlooked when it comes to making energy policies. Perhaps we should look at them in a slightly more positive way

“The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform acts like a wholly owned subsidiary of the major energy companies”. That is the view one of the leading campaigners for a windfall tax, upon the enormous increase in such companies’ profits as a result of soaring fuel prices.

Certainly, BERR has fought a strong rearguard fight against such a measure, duly reaping this kind of opprobrium for doing so. Doubtless there will be some officials who think it a monstrous caricature. But there are other worrying signs of what the Americans call “agency capture”. This column is devoted to what can only be portrayed as another example of this phenomenon.

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Energy Efficiency,Energy Saving

Do more with less. That’s the message from three cities around the world

ImageThree cities. Kyoto, Lisbon and Moscow. Each with connections to current but differing global energy concerns. But what links all three is the same message—the need to put a halt to the amount of energy we are wasting.

This is a tale of three cities. These three cities act as emblematic shorthand, to express the goals of European energy policy. Their names are Kyoto, Lisbon and Moscow. The first refers to a Treaty; the second a Strategy; the third, a visceral fear. Each deserves quite separate consideration, has separate adherents, mostly evokes separate policy responses. Except that the objectives of each would be realised more cheaply and effectively, if only we all just stopped wasting so much fuel.

Let us take these cities in turn. Probably the most familiar is Kyoto. The first-ever international treaty named after a Japa-nese city—and certainly the first to be named after its historic capital. The Kyoto treaty was negotiated in December 1997. And was subsequently ratified by sufficient of its signatories to come into force in 2002. It is the only international treaty designed to reduce emissions of the gases that are causing our climate to change.

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Energy Saving

Why aspirational targets are helping no-one

ImageWithout a legal obligation energy-saving targets can always be amended to suit the Government in charge. But it sends all the wrong messages to companies wishing to invest in developing new technology

If you don¹t know where you are trying to go. And if you can¹t work out if you are on the right path. Then clearly you are not into M&T.

M&T? Monitoring and Targeting. The mantra for every energy manager for the past thirty years. And probably the best mantra for any halfway decent energy policy.

Or, for that matter, climate change abatement policy. Which if truth be told, still revolves around a Kyoto target set back in 1997. There is no question that the existence of a binding legal requirement, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5% between 1990 and 2010, is what has driven forward policy programmes on climate change.

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Energy Saving,Housing

Routes to Sustainability

Routes to Sustainability – a helping hand in making your organisation more sustainable

(funded by the Housing Corporation and Practical Environment)

The Research Team developed a ‘toolbox’ guide that will help Housing Associations develop their own ‘Route to Sustainability’ using existing Innovation and Good Practice guides, tools and references

This work was designed to bring together the existing projects funded by Innovation and Good Practice (IGP) Grants into a comprehensive ‘map’. There is a plethora of guides, toolkits, reference documents and programmes for housing associations to use – all helping different audiences to direct their work towards sustainability. Knowing where to start and what to move on to when there is such a wide range of choices can be almost impossible.

The Routes to Sustainability project assessed all the relevant projects (guides and references etc.) currently available to Housing Associations. Each was grouped according to their audience and policy-driver focus to create an easy to use guide that can recommend projects and ways forward for a range of housing professionals.

Project outputs

Website (now only available via the web archive):


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Energy Saving,Energy Saving Trust,Energy Services

Energy Services

Developing Energy Services

(Funded by the Energy Saving Trust.)

Up to April 2001 ACE was participating in a review of the Energy Saving Trust’s programme to develop energy services. This review work was being carried out with Impetus Consulting.

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