Dear Lord Callanan

I urge you most urgently to support these two amendments to the energy bill 237 and 238. I have been working in the community energy field for a long time and we need to reduce the market barriers for community groups and give them more certainty. From my experience they are key to achieving zero carbon as they not only keep the financial benefits of energy schemes’ local, they also encourage people to reduce their carbon impact. We have a lot to do to keep global warming below catastrophic levels.

Why have community energy schemes recently ground to a halt?

I believe this is largely due to current energy market and licensing rules. The recent Government interventions have been attempted but have failed to reverse the slump in new projects. The “Smart Export Guarantee”, which places a requirement on larger existing electricity suppliers to purchase power from small schemes, has no guaranteed purchase price or length of contract, making community investment almost impossible.

What should be done?

Support the amendments to the Energy Bill numbers 237 and 238.

  1. A Community Electricity Export Guarantee: a right for sites that generate low carbon electricity with a capacity below 5 megawatts to export their electricity to an existing electricity supplier on fair terms (Amendment Number 237).

  2. A Community Electricity Supplier Services Scheme: a requirement on existing larger suppliers to work with community schemes to sell the power they generate to local customers. Existing suppliers can charge a fee for doing this, but that fee must be reasonable (Amendment Number 238).

Here at Hockerton Housing Project we have helped many community groups in the past and if you would like to see some of these you would be most welcome.

Please see Sustainable Hockerton and its community wind turbine.

Best wishes

Simon

 

Mr S Tilley, CEng MEng MIMechE

Director, Hockerton Housing Project Trading Ltd

In this blog: Learn how to lower energy consumption and drop fossil fuels- what you can do to cut back on energy consumption and find out what it will take to transition from fossil fuels to a greener, more sustainable type of energy –  includes useful advice about energy saving for the home.

Society is in the throes of a climate crisis, which is being exacerbated by our overreliance on fossil fuels to provide us with energy. This has caused a spike in the cost of energy for households across the globe, which threatens to leave a huge portion of the population in poverty. To help combat this, society needs to make a number of changes, both big and small, to address these issues and save our planet from a climate change catastrophe. In this article, we’re going to look at how we can save on energy consumption to save our planet.

Energy saving tips

There are lots of different strategies households can adopt that help them save money on their energy bills by reducing their overall energy consumption. From simple things like switching your older halogen light bulbs to LED bulbs to finding a more affordable energy provider, it’s often small changes that can make the biggest difference when it comes to the price of powering your home.

Ofgem has an excellent resource that households can use to cut costs on energy bills, so it’s well worth looking into their advice and guidance. You might be eligible for government grants and subsidies which can help offset some of the rising energy costs. They also provide clear advice to help you avoid wasting energy in the home, further reducing your energy bills.

Sourcing cleaner energy

The other side of the climate and energy crisis is a much larger challenge to tackle, which is our reliance on fossil fuels instead of investing in renewable energy sources. This type of change requires large-scale, governmental changes to wean entire industries off their reliance on fossil fuels. Without proper investment in things like solar, tidal and wind energy, there simply won’t be sufficient infrastructure to help these industries transition towards renewable sources of energy.

Unfortunately, the push for cleaner, greener energy sources is hampered by lobbyists and those currently in government who are actively looking for ways to keep fossil fuels viable. We already know from IPCC reports that the current fossil fuel reserves cannot all be used if we are to stay safely within a habitable ecosystem. No government should permit any new exploration as it is a waste of time and money. The reality is that these outdated energy sources simply won’t help our fight against climate change or the energy crisis. You can help make sure the government makes the right decisions by taking action.

The best time to invest in renewable energy was a decade ago, but the next best time is right now. It will take some big changes to move away from fossil fuels, but it’s only a matter of time before it’s no longer economically viable for governments to push the fossil fuel agenda. In the meantime, for the average household, the best thing to do to keep the lights on is to cut back on energy consumption and switch to a greener energy source.

 

To learn more about what a sustainable home looks like, head over to the Hockerton Housing Project.

Or read Save Energy and Cut Your Bills – Teach Yourself General by Nick White HHP

Too hot to cool – can nuclear cope?

Will nuclear power save the day? Should we include nuclear energy in our future energy mix? I read today that these power plants do not cope well in hot weather which rather implies with a warming world they are not part of the solution. The Good Energy Market Update reports as follows, in the August heatwave.

France is not fairing much better than neighbouring countries, as their supply of nuclear fleets decreases even further. France relies on nuclear power, but these facilities require water for cooling. The heatwaves have meant that water is too hot to be used for cooling, meaning some plants must limit their running time. This is a further blow to the UK which typically imports excess power from France.

In Hockerton we use wind turbines and photovoltaic power to generate our energy.

Date posted: August 17, 2022 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Environmental Renewable energy Sustainability

New homes and buildings in England will have to produce significantly less CO2 under new rules announced by the government to help the country move towards net zero. Published 15 December 2021

Who says: Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Eddie Hughes MP

 

  • Changes to building regulations will help UK deliver net zero
  • New homes will have to produce around 30% less CO2
  • Important step for industry ahead of Future Homes and Buildings Standard in 2025

New homes and buildings in England will have to produce significantly less CO2 under new rules announced by the government in December 2021 to help the country move towards net zero.

Under the new regulations, CO2 emissions from new build homes must be around 30% lower than current standards and emissions from other new buildings, including offices and shops, must be reduced by 27%.

Heating and powering buildings currently makes up 40% of the UK’s total energy use.

Installing low carbon technology, such as solar panels and heat pumps, and using materials in a more energy efficient way to keep in heat will help cut emissions – lowering the cost of energy bills for families and helping deliver the UK’s climate change ambitions.

All new residential buildings, including homes, care homes, student accommodation and children’s homes, must also be designed to reduce overheating, making sure they are fit for the future and protect the most vulnerable people. Improvements to ventilation will also be introduced to support the safety of residents in newly-built homes and to prevent the spread of airborne viruses in new non-residential buildings.

The changes announced to the government’s Building Regulations, which set the standards in England for the design, construction and alteration of buildings, follow a public consultation and will come into effect from June 2022.

They will raise standards and are an important step towards a cleaner greener built environment, paving the way for the Future Homes and Buildings Standard in 2025, which will mean all future homes are net zero ready and will not need retrofitting.

Housing Minister Eddie Hughes said:

Climate change is the greatest threat we face and we must act to protect our precious planet for future generations.

The government is doing everything it can to deliver net zero and slashing CO2 emissions from homes and buildings is vital to achieving this commitment.

The changes will significantly improve the energy efficiency of the buildings where we live, work and spend our free time and are an important step on our country’s journey towards a cleaner, greener built environment.

Further information

Alongside amendments to the Building Regulations, there are 5 new Approved Documents:

There will be a 6 month period before the new regulations come into force on 15 June 2022. Transitional arrangements are in place which mean that if a building notice, initial notice, or full plans for building work are submitted to a local authority before 15 June 2022, then provided the building work commences by 15 June 2023, work on that individual building is permitted to continue under the previous standards.

As well as setting out measures for the 2021 uplift to the Building Regulations, the government response to the Future Buildings Standard consultation also sets out plans for the implementation of the Future Buildings Standard from 2025. This includes plans to start a full technical consultation on the FBS in 2025.

How to meet this uplift building standard? Come and see at Hockerton Housing Project.

The new Hockerton type houses are coming on a pace in Eakring with the 4th out of 9 being plastered as I write. These houses will be the most well insulated in the UK SAP rating 142! The complement very well the “Hockerton House Performance Standard” (HHPS) that we have just trademarked. Please don’t be put off by this. They are free to download and use. We want as many more houses built to the highest standards as possible to help tackle the climate crises. We only ask that out name is referenced in any build project. The HHP standard goes well beyond any current option – the bar has been reset to meet the challenges we face. This contrasts with COP26 as we see below. The standard aims to help and guide you to achieve sustainable housing without fossil fuel input but with community at its heart. Available free of charge from our shop.

I am delighted to report that the eco house in Hockerton that we advertised sold and contracts have been exchanged; sorry if this was an opportunity that you wanted but missed. We had a lot of interest and could have sold the house many times over. It shows there is a market for eco houses that is not being met. The Guardian agrees.

We help make climate friendly housing a reality for people that come to us for help. Here is some resent feedback on our consultancy service.

Absolutely spot on info, thanks very much. You understood exactly what I was getting at with my questions. Just the right amount of detail at this stage for us. 

Intrigued to know why you changed your ventilation system fans to computer cooling fans – but that will do for another time. As you say, probably best to stick with a conventional system for now.

All the very best,

Neil

We offer guidance on your current home and new build consultancy service back up with full professional indemnity insurance.

I went to COP26 in Glasgow recently and was very heartened by the enormous numbers of people in the marches supporting action on the climate crises. I think these were under reported.

COP26 Fridays For Future March (Part of the 30 000 attendees)

COP26 crowded March

COP26 crowded March

Does COP26 keep global warming below 2C?

Not all good news ….. According to Carbon Brief:

Not good enough! This all leads to mass extinctions and unparalleled climate shocks.

If we pull together at three levels, we have a chance to avert this catastrophe. Personnel actions, actions in our workplace and persuading the politicians to deliver policies that give us a chance. What can you do? Top tips to save the planet in order of priority:

Write to your MP, the person that represents you, to make the planet safe for you and future generations by removing all fossil fuel subsidies. We must leave fossil fuel in the ground!

Ask your boss what your workplace is doing to tackle the crises. Have they installed renewable energy yet?

Turning the heating down on the thermostat and then add insulation to your house.

There are many more ideas and solutions here and more details on the houses in Eakring here.

Date posted: November 24, 2021 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Co-Housing community Eco homes Environmental New Build Performance Monitoring