The study demonstrates for the first time the link between real energy bills and a property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and the impact on the mortgage market. The study examined the availability of so-called ‘green mortgages in the UK and abroad, which typically offer a financial incentive to encourage homeowners to buy or to work towards greater energy efficiency. But the researchers found no mortgage product that delivers the link between home energy costs and lending amount.
This blog argues that smart buildings and a fresh approach to urban planning could herald a brighter future for the world’s fastest-growing cities. It examines the recently completed H2 low carbon building in Tianjin, China, It is a mixed-use development which includes offices, shops, restaurants and exhibition spaces and is one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the country.
This research seeks to quantify the macro-economic costs and benefits of investing in energy efficiency in UK building stock, and to analyse the impact of making energy efficiency an infrastructure priority. The analysis is carried out based on a programme to upgrade all of UK’s housing stock to an EPC C standard20 by 2035, through a combination of grants and low interest loans, with all low income homes treated by 2025.
Unlike Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), which provide a theoretical rating of the building’s energy consumption, Display Energy Certificates (DECs) provide information on the actual operational energy consumption. It’s claimed that in the public sector, where they are mandatory, DECs have helped achieve substantial year-on-year reductions in energy costs. The UK government ultimately withdrew plans to make DECs compulsory in the private sector, and while this might have caused dismay for many, it hasn’t stopped others from pushing ahead with their own ideas. The Voluntary Display Energy Certificate (VolDECs) is an operational energy rating scheme designed for commercial office buildings that has been developed by a partnership between the National Energy Foundation (NEF) and Phil Jones of Building Energy Solutions. The not-for-profit scheme has been piloted by Legal & General and tested on 16 of its major, multi-tenanted office properties. This blog contains the outcomes of a discussion with Debbie Hobbs, head of sustainability at Legal & General Property, and Malcolm Hanna, technical director of the NEF, to find out more about the initiative.
EuroPHit aims to significantly increase the quality and energy efficiency of perhaps the most common type of refurbishment: retrofits conducted gradually, over a period of years. The EuroPHit project is co-funded within the European Commissions’s Intelligent Energy Europe programme.
The government recognises that achieving the zero carbon standard could be particularly challenging for small builders. Therefore, it announced earlier this year, that there would be an exemption from part of the zero carbon commitment for small sites. The purpose of this consultation paper is to explore how this proposed exemption might work and to inform further development of the policy. Comments are requested by 7 January 2015.
A guide introducing UK offshore wind to investors and suppliers entering the sector and exporting from the UK.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has published research publications into the cost and performance of technologies which are not currently eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive but could be considered for future inclusion.
The new Sizewell C evidence plan shows how future large-scale developments can put environmental protection at the heart of their plans. The first terrestrial evidence plan, drawn up by EDF Energy in consultation with relevant bodies and approved by Natural England, sets out the information that the company will gather to inform a Habitat Regulations Assessment of its proposed new nuclear power station in Suffolk. Unveiled by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in 2012, evidence plans are available for use by applicants of nationally significant infrastructure projects in England, in agreement with the relevant statutory nature conservation bodies. Although evidence plans have been employed for a number of off-shore developments, Sizewell C is the first land-based plan to have been prepared.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has published a paper which provides some great examples of the way in which contributions from windfarm operators can help local communities. It builds on the 2013 industry protocol that suggested a minimum annual payment of £5,000 per MW output.