Friday, September 29, 2006

Manchester Is My Planet !

Hello There,

If you live in the Greater Manchester area why not sign up to the pledge - Manchester Is My Planet?

Presently Manchester CC residents are in the lead, closely followed by Salfordians. My Council area (Tameside) is sadly lagging behind in last position in the current running total of pledges. Shameful - come on neighbours please visit the site and sign up !! As a resident and council tax payer, I have had a major issue with Tameside Council who have had plenty of opportunity to get energy efficiency higher up the priority list with offers of support from agencies and local contractors to promote utility funded and Government grants to home owners and private tenants - but to date the offers have been declined - unbelieveable. Instead they opt to allocate a pitiful amount to a scheme that would only offer help to about 200 homes and do very little to raise awareness of energy efficiency and fuel poverty.

At the same time the largest social housing provider in the area has enabled their tenants to benefit from insulation and heating improvements part funded by British Gas and using high quality approved contractors who are local and whose fitters live in the area and are therefore part of the community. We need to address this imbalance so that all homes in the area that are at risk of fuel poverty can be helped.

I understand that the local EEAC are assisting but its Tameside MB Council endorsement and money that is also needed in a joined up approach to tackle this issue, particularly considering the large number of private sector residents who are aged 60+.

So please sign up to the pledge today and do your bit for Manchester and our ten Boroughs.

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

External Wall Insulation System

Hello My Friends,

Hope youre well. I found an interesting forum today - Green Building Forum - worth a look.

I responded to a question about external wall insulation. Hence I thought I would post a note about Wall-Reform and Wall Transform.

There are a lot of ways to install insulation to properties that are either solid wall or narrow cavity construction that cannot benefit from cavity wall insulation. I recognise that there may be some issues with external insulation render in certain private dwellings like terraced houses, or homes with reveals and external period features. There is also the cost of on site scaffolding.

However one solution is Wall-Reform. Wall-Reform is an external wall insulation system that is applied to the external walls of a property helping to create a warmer, more comfortable home. It is suitable for use on almost all property types.

The Wall-Reform system contains thermal properties which when applied to the wall area of a property helps to improve household energy efficiency levels. Wall-Reform prevents valuable heat from escaping from the home and can help to reduce heating bills by upto 25%. Wall-Reform is the most thermally efficient render material available in the UK - it uniquely insulates and transforms a wall !

The Installation Process:

In common with tradition renders, it is essential that the surface to be rendered provides a sound base for the Wall-Reform render to bond to. The installation therefore involves a certain amount of preliminary work to ensure the substrate is suitably prepared to accept the Wall-Reform application. Wall-Reform render is then applied by hand in the same way that a traditional render is applied (some contractors may use a specially designed machine to spray apply). Wall-Reform is usually installed to a depth of 40mm. After drying out, a BBA approved acrylic top coat is applied on top of the Wall-Reform render for decorative and weather proofing purposes.

Assess method and health and safety requirements
Erect scaffolding as required
Remove rain water pipes etc
Prepare surface of existing masonry/render to receive new insulated render which may include galvanized lath or bonding agent
Fix flashings and beads
Apply base coat
Apply insulated render to the property incorporating reinforcement at corners of openings
Allow at least 24 hours for drying
Apply agreement approved decorative finish/top coat to the insulated render
Re-fix pipes, television aerials, fencing, gates etc
Clean and clear the site A typical installation will take between 3 to 7 days

There are details of approved contractors on the Wall-Reform site and contractors can also apply to be considered as approved installers.

There may also be Council grant assistance to help towards the cost of installations - hopefully your local Energy Efficiency Officer or EEAC could help with advice on what may be available.

I recently saw a good example of a Wall-Reform installation to the rear of two converted mid terraced houses in Manchester which is currently used as the Manchester Energy Group Eco Home. The property was transformed and is a good demonstration of what can be achieved to improve thermal comfort and reduce heat loss where a dwelling isnt suitable for cavity wall insulation. The contractor - Millfold - provided the installation free of charge to help the Eco Home Project and a solar thermal hot water system was installed by Zen Eaga.

More information to follow soon on bio mass heating. Thanks for reading !

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Hello There,

Although we may not know it, heat pumps are very familiar to us - fridges and air conditioners are two examples. Ground source heat pumps (GSHP) transfer heat from the ground into a building to provide space heating and, in some cases, to pre-heat domestic hot water. For every unit of electricity used to pump the heat, 3-4 units of heat are produced. As well as ground source heat pumps, air source and water source heat pumps are also available.

How does it work?
There are three important elements to a GSHP:

1) The ground loop. This is comprised of lengths of pipe buried in the ground, either in a borehole or a horizontal trench. The pipe is usually a closed circuit and is filled with a mixture of water and antifreeze, which is pumped round the pipe absorbing heat from the ground.

2) A heat pump. This has three main parts:
the evaporator - (e.g. the squiggly thing in the cold part of your fridge) takes the heat from the water in the ground loop;
the compressor - (this is what makes the noise in a fridge) moves the refrigerant round the heat pump and compresses the gaseous refrigerant to the temperature needed for the heat distribution circuit;
the condenser - (the hot part at the back of your fridge) gives up heat to a hot water tank which feeds the distribution system.

3) Heat distribution system. Consisting of under floor heating or radiators for space heating and in some cases water storage for hot water supply.

What options are available?

The ground loop can be:
1) borehole;
2) straight horizontal - trench costs less than a borehole, but needs more land area;
3) spiral horizontal (or 'slinky coil') - needs a trench of about 10m length to provide about 1kW of heating load.

How much does it cost?

A typical 8kW system costs £6,400-£9,600 plus the price of connection to the distribution system. This can vary with property and location. You may also need to take into account the cost of excavation for the ground loop.

Running costs
The efficiency of a GSHP system is measured by the coefficient of performance (CoP). This is the ratio of units of heat output for each unit of electricity used to drive the compressor and pump for the ground loop. Typical CoPs range from 2.5 to 4. The higher end of this range is for under-floor heating, because it works at a lower temperature (30-35ºC) than radiators.
Based on current fuel prices, assuming a CoP of 3-4, a GSHP can be a cheaper form of space heating than oil, LPG and electric storage heaters. It is however more expensive than mains gas. If grid electricity is used for the compressor and pump, then an economy 7 tariff usually gives the lowest running costs.

Ground source heat pumps and your home
What to keep in mind when considering a ground source heat pump.
The type of heat distribution system. GSHPs can be combined with radiators but under-floor heating is better as it works at a lower temperature.

Is there space available for a trench or borehole to accommodate a ground loop?

Is the ground suitable for digging a trench or borehole?

What fuel is being replaced? If it's electricity, oil, LPG or any other conventional fossil fuel the payback will be more favourable. Heat pumps are a good option where gas is unavailable.

Want to be 100% renewable? Buy green electricity, or install solar PV or some other form of renewable electricity generating system to power the compressor and pump.

Need a back-up heating system?

Is there also a cooling requirement?

Is the system for a new building development? Combining the installation with other building works can reduce costs.

Can you incorporate insulation measures? Wall, floor and loft insulation will lower your heat demand.

As well as grant funding from the Low Carbon Buildings programme, up to December 2006 Npower are offering grant funding of £1500 towards the cost of installation - Npower are working with a company called ICE Energy and their GSHP technology.

However there are a number of Clear Skies approved installers and other utilities may also offer EEC funding towards the cost of GSHP projects.

I am working with a number of social housing providers who have expressed keen interest in implementing this technology in their new build projects and also for renovation schemes. I will hopefully be posting about one of the projects soon.

Thanks for visiting - I hope you have found the information useful and please come back again soon.

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

Get Some Sun

Hello My Friends,

I wanted to talk today about solar thermal hot water systems.

Solar water heating systems use heat from the sun to work alongside your conventional water heater. The technology is well developed with a large choice of equipment to suit many applications.


Can provide almost all of your hot water during the summer months and about 50% year round
reduces your impact on the environment - the average domestic system reduces carbon dioxide emissions by around 400kg per year, depending on the fuel replaced.

Different types of system:

What best suits your needs depends on a range of factors, including the area of south facing roof, the existing water heating system (e.g. some combination boilers aren't suitable) and your budget.
A competent professional installer should assess your situation and discuss with you the best configuration to meet your needs. A solar thermal hot water system will reduce water heating costs more dramatically in a home that has an electrically heated water system like an immersion heater.

Solar water heating and your home:

Solar water heating can be used in the home or for larger applications, such as swimming pools. For domestic hot water there are three main components: solar panels, a heat transfer system, and a hot water cylinder. Solar panels - or collectors - are fitted to your roof. They collect heat from the sun's radiation. The heat transfer system uses the collected heat to heat water. A hot water cylinder stores the hot water that is heated during the day and supplies it for use later.

Is my property suitable?

Preferably you will need 2-4m2 of southeast to southwest facing roof receiving direct sunlight for the main part of the day. You'll also need space to locate an additional water cylinder if required. Most systems use a dual coil cylinder and some systems may also have an overflow cylinder unit too.

Cost and maintenance

The typical installation cost for a domestic flat plate collector system is £2,000 - £3,000. Evacuated tube systems will cost £3,500 - £4,500.

Some systems use a drain back process utilising gravity to run the water circulating in the collector to drain back into the cylinder when the external temperature falls below a set level or when the daylight reduces (ie night time). The only element of this kind of system that may need maintenance is a simple pump - no other working parts should need attention.

Other systems include an anti freeze agent like glycol that surrounds the tubes in the collector and this may need checking on a regular basis as part of a maintenance regime.

You can also fit or build the system yourself. It may be cheaper but will take longer and you'll need a certain level of skill. However, DIY jobs are not eligible for grant funding.

Solar hot water systems generally come with a 5 to 10-year warranty and require very little maintenance. A yearly check by the householder and a more detailed check by a professional installer every 3-5 years should be sufficient (consult your system supplier for exact maintenance requirements).

Interested in introducing a renewable energy technology into your home? The low carbon buildings programme will provide grants towards installing this technology.

I will be posting more information shortly about ground source heat pumps and biomass heating systems. As always I hope you find the information useful and if you have any questions or comments please dont hesitate to give me your feedback on the comments section of the blog.

Take care - come back soon

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Vote Solar And Lots Of Wind !

Hello Readers,

I have been rummaging about on the internet today and stumbled on a gem.

Vote Solar - this is aimed at the American consumer but what a brilliant idea!

Its about bringing solar technology into the mainstream. Im going to get in touch with them and find out more so watch this space...

There are case studies showing how solar and energy efficiency measures have reduced costs and carbon emissions. I wonder if we could create a similar network for the UK ?

I particularly like the fact that the organisation is run on a not-for-profit basis and appears to be very community centric. People helping people.

On a more local note, its been announced today that planning permission has been granted to install a large scale wind turbine at the site of the Eastlands Manchester City FC stadium. The turbine will be one of the tallest installed in Europe and as well as generating power for the stadium, up to 1000 surrounding houses will also benefit from the energy this will provide.

Just up the road from the Eastlands stadium is an area called Harpurhey - the most deprived ward in England. Lots of householders in the area are at risk of fuel poverty and so this initiative will hopefully pave the way to help more and more homes benefit from renewable energy sources. I know Manchester City Council are very keen to use new technology in this way and so are some of the local social housing providers I work with like Eastlands Homes and Northwards Housing. Solar PV, solar thermal, ground source heat pumps, micro CHP units in the new build developments are all on the agenda alongside more "traditional" measures like improving insulation and upgrading heating systems.

Fabulous architects and developers like Urban Splash are also keen to look at how renewables can be used in some of their plans. Recently I helped them to look at specifying mini wind turbines in a new development in Salford but unfortunately the supplier couldnt get the product ready in time for the first phase and so the entire opportunity fell through. Talk about frustrating - one fantastic opportunity hits the skids - but I hope there will be more chances in the future.... perhaps with an alternative product and supplier !

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

Mini Wind Turbines - B&Q

Hello My Friends,

Trust you are all well. I have been reading the latest North Manchester EEAC (Energy Efficiency Advice Centre) newsletter and note that B&Q stores in the UK are stocking Windsave mini wind turbines and RM Solar Limited solar panels shortly.

It would appear that they have set a fixed cost for the products, and the EEACs will be helping to conduct in store demonstrations during Energy Saving Week which is from 23rd to 29th October 2006. The Windsave small scale wind turbine has been a long time coming - I made my first referral to them over 3 years ago ! Glad to see things are progressing in the right direction. However the B&Q retail price for the Windsave turbine is £1498.00 and is not available for self install - they say that the customer will be contacted about install after purchasing the turbine but its not clear if the purchase price includes installation? Thats compared to the price of £1595.00 plus VAT on the Windsave website which includes a standard installation fee by an accreditted Windsave installer.

Mmmmmmmm.....................? Perhaps check this out before you buy!!

This year's Energy Saving Week will focus on how individual consumers can make a difference by adopting small measures to reduce the amount of energy they consume on a daily basis.

You may have already seen the latest TV and billboard ads from Gritish Bas (sorry couldnt resist!) which focus on the issue of switching off unused lights and using energy saving light bulbs. Also the "save your 20%" EST campaign - although some of the TV ads are a little obscure ?

B&Q will also be stocking energy monitors for specific appliances to show consumers how much energy is being used - I understand that these monitors will be included in sales of B&Q's new electric room heaters.

I know I have talked about renewable technology before in earlier postings but I truly believe that there will be a huge increase in uptake of such measures in the next few years. If Tony Blair's farewell speech at the Labour Party Conference this week is anything to go by, it would appear that his focus is very much on reducing emissions and energy consumption and favouring renewable and new sources of power and fuel as well as nuclear (the jury is still out on nuclear).

It may well result in the next phase of the Energy Efficiency Commitment being double that of EEC2 - and renewable energy measures may well be a very important factor in this scheme.

I truly hope so and I will be working hard to encourage housing developers and property services contacts in social housing and private sector to implement more renewable technology in their investment programmes and new property developments.

Another excellent source of renewable technology is solar thermal for producing a supply of hot water in homes. Generally the system works in conjunction with a boiler as back up but the common view that you need lots of sunshine to make the water hot enough is a misconception - you simply need sunlight and a good quality collectors. But I will save the details for another posting to follow soon !

Hope you have found this useful and if you have any questions by all means get in touch with me.

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sustainable Energy Network Pilot

Hello Friends,

Sustainable energy network pilot: the first year results have now been published.

To achieve the government’s carbon reduction targets, a step change in behaviour is required by individuals in their homes and transport choices. The Energy Saving Trust is currently piloting a sustainable energy network approach to see how this step change might be achieved. To find out more about the pilot and its progress to date, click here to view the end of year progress report.

The Energy Saving Trust are sponsors of the 2006 Autumn Ideal Home Show, Earls Court London 6-15th October

Energy Saving Week - 23-27th October 2006 - Commit to a measure a day - save your 20%

Thanks for visiting and come back again soon!

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Home Heat Helpline

Hello There,

I hope youre well. Ive posted quite a number of blogs that mention the EST and NEA, and I also want to add the Energy Retail Association to the list.

In October 2005 the Energy Retail Association set up the Home Heat Helpline to provide one central point of contact for help and advice on paying fuel bills. Research has found that 75% of vulnerable customers did not know where to turn if they were struggling with their energy bills [Ofgem 2005]. It also showed that only 33% of people would consider approaching their energy supplier [Ofgem 2005] even though 75% of people are worried about their bills [EST 2006].

The Home Heat Helpline is part funded by all six energy suppliers and is a valueable resource set up to help signpost and support customers who may have difficulty paying their fuel bills.

The Home Heat Helpline is a free, central phone number offering practical energy advice for people concerned about paying their energy bills. To get your advice call 0800 33 66 99 and speak to one of the specially trained advisors. You can call yourself or on behalf of a relative, friend or patient or some you may be concerned about. The Home Heat Helpline is open 9am–8pm Monday to Friday and 10am–2pm on Saturdays. The minicom number is 0800 027 2122.

There are some useful tips about ways to save energy on the website - however there is no actual mention on the site of any grants towards installing energy saving measures in the home?

However there are links to all the utilities, the NEA and some charities who can give advice and assistance.

If you know someone who could benefit from this service please pass on the details. You can also get free and confidential advice from your local Energy Efficiency Advice Centre (0800 512 012) and a range of local installers who are endorsed and approved contractors with various energy suppliers and local and central Government schemes who can offer free surveys to identify what measures could be added to your home to help you save money on your fuel bills.

If you need further information please drop me a line and thank you again for your visit today.

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

The Heat Is On

Hello There Everyone,

Thank you for visiting my blog - Ive had over 600 visitors so far and some return visits which is great. I will try and continue to keep you entertained and share information.

With funding from Npower, The NEA (National Energy Action) have published one of the best promotional tools to highlight energy efficiency that I think this industry has seen to date. The Heat Is On DVD is simple, informative, concise and its available with a soundtrack that includes 15 different languages. There is also a VCR tape version for customers who use British Sign Language. What a brilliant idea - as I understand it from one of the launch events earlier this year, this DVD and VCR tape are not under copyright restrictions so they can be reproduced ad infinitum and so theres no excuse for anyone involved in this field not to have a copy as part of their staple "toolkit".

I will try and upload the DVD onto my blog in the near future - in the meantime if you would like a free copy please contact the NEA via the details on the web page link.

TTFN - take care

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

The Nottingham Declaration On Climate Change

Hello Friends,

Hope youre well and enjoying the late summer sunshine. I was reading my notes from the NEA Conference in Nottingham and I wanted to share some thoughts with you about The Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change.

I have done some research via the website that promotes this fantastic idealogy and I was quite shocked to notice that there are a lot of Local Authorities who dont appear to have signed up to this voluntarily yet ? Perhaps they havent had chance to update the website - otherwise I would be sorely tempted to name and shame those Councils that havent !!

Its imperative that every person in a position of influence - community groups, faith leaders, Councillors, MP's, Doctors, Teachers - everyone - should be aware of the issues that face our country in relation to excess Winter deaths and fuel poverty.

I had a lovely letter from my energy supplier today to tell me that my gas and electricity will be going up (again) - did you know that £9.50 per household per year from every customer contributes towards the Energy Efficiency Commitment ? It has risen dramatically from just over a £1 two years ago ! You can clearly see why I am regularly mentioning the utility funding that needs to be released and why there are concerns about the insulation industry in particular facing meltdown. The money is there - its ring fenced - "its just a matter of when" apparently ?

Millions of pounds' worth of investment that is desperately needed to maintain the good work that hundreds of people are doing to help stamp out fuel poverty. Based on Government estimates, for every 1% increase in gas or electricity prices, another 40,000 households are put at risk of fuel poverty. In the North West of England we have the awful position of the second highest excess Winter mortality rate in England. Now you can see why Im so passionately involved - we can literally save people and change lives for the better but more funding is needed NOW !

Conversely DTI estimates that for every 1% rise in income levels, 40,000 households are lifted out of fuel poverty. Up to 1.8 million eligible pensioners dont claim council tax benefit. Some 40% of eligible pensioners dont claim Pension Credit. Every year benefits worth more than £3 billion go unclaimed by our pensioners.

Eaga Partnership and the NEA have undertaken research and their studies have both demonstrated that a successful Benefit Entitlement Check can increase household income by an average of £23 - £29 per week.

One of my Local Authority customers is about to launch a very ambitious programme targetting support and measures in the private sector at older people, taking into account factors like income maximisation and health awareness. Its a brave and bold programme and I truly hope it succeeds as it will be momentous and ground breaking and could be the yardstick by which other schemes are measured in future. Its not rocket science I know - but believe me trying to persuade people to take up the offer of free home insulation or heating can be very difficult.

So I hope The Nottingham Declaration is fully supported and endorsed by every single Council in the UK - the inclusion of a review stage is critical to move everyone in the right direction. Creating a positive competitive environment will hopefully have untold benefits for customers and may the best Council win ! (hope its Manchester City Council - Brian get a wriggle on - if you and Alison and the Team can't sort 'em out no one can !!!)

Take care - if youve any questions by all means drop me a line soon

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

Monday, September 18, 2006

NEA Fuel Poverty Forums

Hello There

Ive been asked my some of my friends in the industry about the dates for the NEA Fuel Poverty Forums - you can find details of all the regional events on the NEA website.

The next North West Forum is scheduled for 7th November 06 at the Bolton CEC at the Albert Hall, Victoria Square, Bolton. These meetings are a great networking opportunity and a good forum to share ideas, discuss issues and perhaps plan activities. I would encourage anyone involved in the domestic energy efficiency field in private and public sector housing to attend these events and contact the NEA to reserve your place - its free of charge. There are guest speakers and updates on NEA activities and issues facing the industry.

I look forward to attending and to hopefully seeing you there - we are a very friendly bunch!

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

Low Carbon Buildings Initiative - Funding

Hello There,

Just a quick note to give you a bit of information on the funding stream that has replaced the old Clear Skies pot from the Department for Trade & Industry.

The Low Carbon Buildings Programme is a three year programme aimed at providing grants for microgeneration technologies to householders, community organisations, schools, the public and not for profit sector and private businesses.

You can find details of funding for specific renewable energy measures on the DTI website. The funds are managed by the EST.

Stream One is for householders and community groups. There are pre qualiyfing conditions to the grants - primarily that any home applying must have already installed the basic level of energy efficiency measures in the home - ie the house should have 270mm loft insulation, use energy saving lamps in a number of main living areas in the household and have cavity wall insulation if suitable.

Stream Two is for SHP's, SME's, Housing Associations, Businesses, Housing Developers, Public bodies (eg schools, universities, hospitals), Government Offices, voluntary/charitable organisations, and energy service companies.

Its an online application process but with from £400 for a solar thermal install up to £3,000 per kWp on offer towards the cost of installation of a solar PV system and a total pot of £10.5 million for Stream One and £18 million for Stream Two, its certainly worth taking into account if you are considering installing some renewable energy sources to your home or you are an SHP considering this as part of your investment strategy.

Good luck and best wishes - by all means let me know how you get on if you apply

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

Why Integrate?

Hello My Friends

Hope youre well. Im making up for the lack of postings in August now !

You may recall or notice that I mentioned the NEA Conference in a previous posting last week. I thought it pertinant to note that the Energy Savings Trust (EST) have a practical advice helpline and service that is extremely good and very helpful. Energy Saving Trust.

You can find the practical help at via the EST website - sign up and you can receive regular email updates with news and details of forthcoming events - like the Climate Clinics that the EST are holding at the three main political party conferences this month.

I called on the EST Helpline service recently to look at potential EEC funding for A - C rated glazing in existing homes and they researched their database for me and together we found the information which then helped one of my SHP clients to plan their strategy for investment in this area.

The EST also produce PDFs on a regular basis which provide useful advice and tips on various energy efficiency related issues and the also have a newsfeed service on email that you can subscribe to free of charge to keep you up to date with all the latest information.

Whilst there are a lot of people involved in the domestic energy efficiency industry, there are many people who are all trying to do the same thing and it can be difficult and somewhat daunting for consumers and individuals looking at the topic to see how the various partners can integrate to work successfully. Interaction and integration are key - we need to embrace and acknowledge that everyone can have a part to play in ensuring we achieve targets perhaps rather than working in silos ? And also recognise that there are indeed more opportunities for success by combining local experiences with regional or national awareness campaigns.

I would welcome any of your thoughts in response to this posting and I hope that you find the EST service as useful and helpful as I did - thank you EST.

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

Energy Efficiency Commitment 3 - Consultation

Hello There

For those of you who may be interested in participating in the Consultation with Defra on the proposed content of the new EEC 3 programme it is interesting to note that there are rumours that this scheme could be changed to help fund new electricity power stations. And we all thought the EEC was created to primarily reduce consumption ?

The Climate Change & Sustainable Energy Act 2006 permits the inclusion of microgeneration as a legitimate area of expenditure under EEC.

The Government's new consultation paper goes beyond the options offered by the Act and it proposes that large scale measures for increasing the amount of electricity generated using low emission sources or technologies could apply to EEC. Perhaps such large scale measures could include off shore wind farms, or even nuclear stations?

Another important element being considered is how energy suppliers might change the behaviour of consumers in relation to their use of energy. Such measures to alter the behaviour may also count as part of the savings targets. I believe this is a positive step and one that should not present such a huge challenge as we see a news item about climate change or energy efficiency related stories almost on a daily basis.

Its about how people relate energy efficiency to their household income - the hook is the direct link between installing measures, changing behaviour and saving money. In tandem you will also save carbon and help to reduce emissions.

So hopefully EEC3 will encourage the energy suppliers to look at more creative and innovative methods to implement measures into households. However unless their is significant change in the proposed scores for individual measures, there is a danger that an early take up of the programme would be unlikely by the six energy suppliers carrying the EEC obligation.

The more people that contribute to the consultation, the better. For further information please email

The proposed scores for each measure that counts towards an EEC target post 2008 are apparently due to be published later in September 06. Most energy suppliers are waiting for two main factors to be announced - the priority group target split and the scores for measures.

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

£5.3 Million VAT Bill For Energy Savings Trust

Good Day My Friends

Hope youre all well. I thought I would post some news that is very topical and will have an impact upon the way in which Local Authorities and SHP's (Social Housing Providers) get support to deliver schemes and communicate the message about energy efficiency at a local level.

The Energy Savings Trust (EST) is having to drastically cut back on its front line energy efficiency activities following a government decision to charge VAT on the EST's grant funding.

Revenue and Customs has suddenly reversed previous policy and decided that the EST should no longer be able to claim back the VAT that it was able to reclaim on purchases for its external projects. The decision was backdated to this April. Effectively this leaves a £5.3m hole in the EST's 2004/5 budget.

Unfortunately this means that the EST has axed local Council support teams, and I understand will cease working with local authorities from October 06. I have also read that it will also stop consumer marketing later this year and reduce work on providing consumer awareness. This is as reported in the September edition of EIBI (Energy In Buildings & Industry magazine).

EST's Chief Executive, Philip Sellwood has been quoted as saying the decision is "disappointing".

There are far wider implications for private sector energy efficiency projects and Local Authorities and SHP's will have to work much harder and with less support resources to deliver their schemes. Unless, that is, they can outsource experienced and proven energy efficiency scheme management and delivery support from other alternative local agencies .... ?

Anyone who would like further information please by all means get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you for your attention and enjoy your week

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Make Fuel Poverty History

Hello My Friends

Apologies once again for my absence - Ive been rather busy recently !! Hope youre all well.

I had the opportunity to attend the NEA 25th Anniversary Conference in Nottingham last week. The venue was set in beautiful surroundings and the glorious weather we enjoyed also helped to lift spirits. It was great to see all the Local Authority attendees who were present sitting around on the grass on the banks of a lovely lake swapping stories and discussing the topics from the various forums. It was akin to perhaps how some of them may have been in their 'younger days' !

There were several guest speakers including Andy Hunt from Trafford MBC - Sustainability Policy Officer - who gave an excellent talk about the use of renewable energy technologies. Andy certainly does talk the talk and walk the walk - he has a solar panel on his house and a biomass system I believe? And he is passionate about his subject - very refreshing indeed.

During the questions session of the segment that heard Ian Pearson MP express his personal wish for EE3 to be alteast 50 - 100% more than target levels in EE2 - Ian would prefer it to go to 100% - A lovely gentleman from Stewart Energy urged the Minister remember that the insulation industry in particular would be called upon again to resource up to enable the target savings to be achieve within the timeframes, and let us all hope there will still be sufficient numbers of good quality contractors around to help install numbers with better planning (far less feast or famine please !)

Hopefully with all the consultation the is taking place - doesnt this industry appear to talk a lot ? Then we can have some action - positive action and outcomes for EEC going forward. I understand that the energy suppliers are waiting with fingers and toes crossed and baited breath to find out what the PG split will be and what the main measures will be etc. Two simple factors that are meaning that most people are tinkering around whilst we wait for the Tablets Of Stone from the mountain in December 2006, when forecasts for the content of EEC3 will be published (we all hope)!

There also seems to be an industry shift where less of the energy suppliers are prepared to work with Managing Agents/Programme Managers, especially if they have developed their own in house teams. However there is still room for the trusted, experienced local programme manager to act as an independant, impartial part of the customer team and one who will arrange and attend meetings locally and manage installers, get involved in client awareness days, performance monitoring and scheme delivery.

From Your Friend The Energy Angel