Category Archives: Policy

Government response to the CCC’s report on carbon budgets and preparing for climate change (Published 15 October 2015)

ASCresponseDECC and Defra published the government’s official response to the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) most recent progress report to Parliament on climate change mitigation and adaption on 15 October 2015.

The response includes the Government’s position on the CCC’s recommendations relating to the mitigation of carbon emissions in the built environment and on the adaption of our stock.

The report states that “Reducing emissions from buildings will require improved energy efficiency measures and changes to heating systems in properties. The Government is committed to considering both together through a stable long-term framework which explores the potential role of regulation, and to thinking about them from the perspective of consumers, home-owners, landlords, tenants and industry.”

“We are currently considering the right long-term framework for the home energy efficiency market…The longer-term future of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is part of these considerations. The design of any future schemes beyond ECO, which runs until March 2017, will ensure that we meet our targets for homes insulated while also supporting our commitment to tackle fuel poverty and ensuring good value for money.”

On the decision not to implement the planned zero carbon standard for new homes, the Government states “…the Allowable Solutions carbon off-setting element, would have placed a significant regulatory burden on the house building industry. In the last Parliament, the Government strengthened the energy efficiency requirements for new homes twice. The latest change to the energy efficiency requirements only came into force in April 2014 and new homes will continue to be built to these high standards.”

Upcoming EU obligations are also referenced: “In regard to energy efficiency standards for new buildings, the Government must also meet its obligations set out in the European Commission’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. As part of this the Government must report to the Commission in 2017 to ensure that UK building standards remain ‘cost optimal’ and that all new buildings are ‘nearly zero energy buildings’ from 2021.”

On adaptation, the response acknowledges that “Climate change also presents a greater risk of overheating in buildings. We agree with the importance of this issue, as identified by the Committee and supported by the evidence of the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment. We will consider and support research to understand better what an overheating standard might look like and the options to help industry and others address the risks. However, we need to explore further the associated costs and benefits of different options before making a commitment as to how we will reduce the risk.”

“The Government will consider the findings of the recent Zero Carbon Hub work and of potential research to explore strategies to help industry and others address overheating risks more successfully.”

Source: Defra and DECC, Government response to the CCC’s progress report on carbon budgets and preparing for climate change

Orbit Group and CIH – Warm Homes, Better Lives report (Published 30 September 2015)

OrbitOrbit Group and the Chartered Institute of Housing published a report on 30 September 2015 focusing on the role of social landlords in tackling fuel poverty and delivering energy efficiency programmes.

The report reminds readers that “across England, there are 2.3 million households living in fuel poverty, 10.4% of all households.” and that “energy efficiency measures have the potential to put money back into the pockets of those with the lowest incomes.”

The report strongly argues that government investment is needed, and that “social landlords have demonstrated that they are adept at using their own investment, alongside government and other funding, to improve the energy efficiency of their housing stock.” They also highlight that ”capability to deliver city or district-wide retrofit programmes across rented and private households already exists within many social landlords…”

Interestingly Orbit’s own ambition is to “raise all [its] stock to [EPC] band C much sooner than the government Fuel Poverty Strategy target of 2030, in recognition that its customer base is more vulnerable and susceptible to falling into fuel poverty than other tenures. Currently 93% of Orbit’s stock is band D or above.”

Source: Orbit Group and the Chartered Institute of Housing, Warm Homes, Better Lives

ResPublica Report Recommendations – After the Green Deal (Published 23 September 2015)

Respublica5ResPublica published a report on 23 September 2015 outlining “bold” recommendations for a new energy efficiency policy.

The report starts with the statement that Britain’s energy efficiency policies have failed, noting that energy efficiency improvements “have drastically stalled since the introduction of the Green Deal and the ECO”. Compared to 2012, the average delivery rate for loft insulation has dropped by 90%, cavity wall insulation is down by 62%, and solid wall insulation has declined by 57%.

The authors argue that a new policy needs to “put consumers and comfort first”. The report makes 8 recommendations for driving demand for energy efficiency and enabling delivery. These include classifying energy efficiency as an infrastructure priority, reductions in stamp duty for homes with a high SAP rating, and a strong focus on devolving finance and delivery to the local level.

Source – ResPublica, After the Green Deal – Empowering people and places to improve their homes

Green Deal code of practice (June 2014)

PolicyDECC published Version 4 of the Green Deal Code of Practice on 23 June 2014 (originally published in draft on 1 April 2014).

DECC states ‘This code of practice is issued by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change under regulation 10 of the Framework Regulations and sets out requirements for those persons acting as Green Deal Providers, Green Deal Assessors, or Green Deal Installers, or Certification Bodies. It substitutes and revokes the Green Deal code of practice issued on 31st July 2013.’

Click here to see the Code of Practice

Source: DECC, The Green Deal code of practice, 23 June 2014

Ofgem’s guide to applying for ROO-FIT accreditation (June 2014)

PolicyOfgem published guidance on applying for ROO-FIT accreditation on 9 June 2014.

The guide will ‘help you apply for support under the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme using the ROO-FIT accreditation process…It is a simple overview of the ‘full accreditation’ application process and what it requires…You’ll find out how to complete the questions in the application form that are often answered incorrectly, and find handy tips and specific examples to illustrate points to help you get your application right first time.’

Click here to read the guidance

Source: Ofgem, Essential Guide to applying for ROO-FIT accreditation, 9 June 2014