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Archive for the ‘Green Deal’ Category

pllWith the election looming, it’s time to nail your colours to the mast. Ain’t no purdah round here, so here’s my contribution…

If I were Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, my mission would be to put us firmly on the path to zero carbon heat and electricity. Only by doing this will we meet our legally binding promise to decarbonise the UK economy and mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

As you’ll see, I also wouldn’t get too hung up on where my remit officially stopped.

To get back on the path, we’ll need to radically improve energy efficiency, develop our ability to shift electricity demand, enable renewables to meet the bulk of our electricity requirements, and rapidly develop our district heating market.

First: ramp up energy efficiency

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It’s been a long and protracted death, but the Queen’s Speech finally spelled the end for plans to drastically reduce emissions from new build.

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I tweeted Tuesday that 1/2 of us don’t take basic actions to save electricity in our homes (citing Greenwise) and wondered whether all that wasted electricity might be equivalent to a nuclear power station. When I got home I took a stab at the numbers.

The verdict? There’s more than just one nuclear power station lurking in that wastage.

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To have any hope of hitting our legally binding carbon targets and to keep people out of fuel poverty, we have to radically transform the energy performance of housing stock.

But the bill for refurbishing our stock to the required standard is very high: something like £7bn to £15bn per year until 2050. A hell of a pill for treasury to swallow as part of general spending.

Enter Green Deal. Under this arrangement, Government don’t have to fork out the money. Instead, Green Deal captures the estimated value of future energy savings that result from a low-energy refurb, converts these annual savings into one lump sum and then uses this lump to carry out the refurb in the first place. Get it all just right, and the capitalised savings are worth more than it costs  to carry out the refurb. Brilliant! Refurb bill sorted. (more…)

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Yesterday’s budget was strangely quiet on some points. For example, Green Deal only gets one mention (and only in passing). But Mr Osborne was comparatively vocal about other green issues, such as CRC.

Basically, he sees it as an unfair burden on business. And to sort this out…

…the Government will consult on simplifying the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme to reduce administrative burdens on business. Should very significant administrative savings not be deliverable, the Government will bring forward proposals in autumn 2012 to replace CRC revenues with an alternative environmental tax…

So CRC is good as gone.

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I recently subscribed to Building Magazine in an effort to rationalise my media consumption. It’s been a while since I subscribed to a paid source of info and I’m a little wary. In catching up on Feb headlines I came across this one: Cities plan to invest billions in Green Deal retrofit work (£).

Really? Are they? Because we’ve looked pretty closely at Green Deal economics for people like EST and some London RPs and, for anything other than loft and cavity, it’s ropey at best. Even if you do manage to get it to meet the golden rule of payback within the asset life, it’s a massive task getting people to sign up. The hurdles are significant to say the least. A fact that’s not lost on Marks and Spencers, an early entrant who’s now distancing itself from Green Deal delivery.

So the Building headline made me do a double take and have a closer read. (more…)

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