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Posts Tagged ‘Non-Residential Buildings’

#LocalStories,Fuel Poverty,Housing,Non-Residential Buildings

Local Story – Energy Efficiency in Penistone and Stocksbridge

As temperatures plummet in Yorkshire once more, our new local story report has shone a spotlight on the energy performance of homes and businesses in Penistone and Stocksbridge.

This is the sixth in our series of constituency-focused local energy efficiency stories. The report – which has been welcomed by local MP Angela Smith and by local businesses and charities – shows how tens of thousands of local residents have benefited in recent years from proper insulation and efficient boilers, making their homes more affordable to heat and safer to live in.  But the report goes on to identify the huge untapped potential for delivering to the remaining Penistone and Stocksbridge residents the benefits their neighbours have already seen.

The release of this report has been timed to coincide with the launch of environmental charity Hubbub’s fuel poverty project “Fuelling Connections” and has been sponsored by Calor. Hubbub’s kick-off roundtable event took place on Friday 13th January in Stocksbridge and brought together key stakeholders in fuel poverty and Angela Smith MP to discuss what has worked to date and what remains to be done.

Angela Smith MP added: “I know that fuel poverty is a significant issue in Yorkshire and that many of my constituents will be concerned about the cost of heating their homes this winter. I welcome the report by the Association for the Conservation of Energy, which sheds light on the energy efficiency of the housing stock and businesses across the Penistone and Stocksbridge constituency and commend the work that local installers and programme managers have done in recent years to implement energy saving features in homes, such as better insulation and more efficient boilers. This report does however demonstrate the need for a long term energy efficiency policy to tackle these issues.”

 

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Energy Efficiency,Energy Efficient Buildings,Heating,Non-Residential Buildings

We are all donkeys

On average, we are all 18 per cent wealthier in real terms than we were at the start of the century. On average, we are achieving this increase in affluence while using 14 per cent less energy than in 2000.

One way this turnaround has been achieved is by treating us all like donkeys.

There are three ways to get donkeys to do things. You wave a carrot in front of their noses. You bash them on the rump with a stick. And most importantly, around their ears, you rattle away on a tambourine. All to get the donkey’s attention.

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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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Buildings,Non-Residential Buildings

ACE Reponse to Department of Communities and Local Government Consultation on Non-Domestic Buildings

ACE have submitted a written response to the Department of Communities and Local Government consultation: “Zero carbon for new non-domestic buildings”

ACE’s response to the consultation calls for the very highest possible energy efficiency standards and on-site solutions to be required before off-site, allowable solutions are permitted. The standards of energy efficiency and carbon emissions reduction on-site set in this policy will serve our new buildings well into the future so need to accelerate and allow for, rather than limit, future innovations and best practice advancements.

Click here for the written response

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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 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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Climate Change Agreements,Non-Residential Buildings

The forgotten sector at the heart of UK’s efforts to cut carbon emissions

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

We work in them. We learn in them. We eat in them. When we are ill, we use them. We entertain, and are entertained, in them. And the people who govern our lives, they are based in them too.

Their formal definition is “non residential buildings”. And as any first year marketing student will tell you, if you begin by describing anything entirely as what it is not, it starts you off at quite a disadvantage.

All of which is probably why, when it comes to making policies that encourage energy efficiency, they always come at the end of the list. Homes are more important because voters live in them. Cars are more important because voters drive them. Heavy industry is more important because it produces the goods we use. Even aviation is more important, because (perversely) it still retains glamorous connotations.  But non-residential buildings? Who can really get enthused?

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