Guest blog: Gordon Glass from superhomes.org.uk talks about superhomes week and their work with Aylesbury Vale District Council inspiring green retrofits.
posted by Gordon Glass on 19 March 2013
Guest blog: Jo Mortensen from Ealing Council, part of the UK Delivery Team for RE:FIT, explains how you can take advantage of free support to get involved with the RE:FIT framework.
posted by Jo Mortensen on 21 February 2013
The new guidance on the Home Energy Conservation Act is stimulating Councils to think about how they move into the new landscape of the Energy Company Obligation and Green Deal.
Following on from last years consultation on proposed changes to the Building Regulations, it now looks like the 'consequential improvements' aspect will be done away with.
If you didn't hear me, Dale Hoyland, on the radio this Christmas: here's a little snapshot of what you missed.
posted by Dale Hoyland on 07 January 2013
With just a week until the big day, today began with news that 300,000 more people will be in fuel poverty this Christmas, as compared to last.
posted by Dale Hoyland on 17 December 2012
The recent consultation document published by OFGEM for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) clearly sets out how Chartered Surveyors will play a key role in determining which measures will qualify as a recommended measure under the CERO requirement.
While brainy people toil away in laboratories across the world trying to come up with techno fixes to get us out of the climate change hole we are now in, I think there are more important brains which really are going to decide what happens; yours and mine.
posted by Mark Saunders on 20 November 2012
Last year all the "Big Six" energy suppliers increased their prices, in some cases more than once. However, that has not stopped recent further increases.
posted by Kathryn Shepherd on 19 November 2012
Over the past 2 years we've been monitoring our energy use at our offices and working to reduce our carbon footprint. Here is our story:
posted by Viviane Boyd on 19 November 2012
As a new member of staff at USEA I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and say a bit about my contribution to this company.
posted by Kathryn Shepherd on 16 November 2012
In 1995, the year the original Home Energy Conservation Act came into being, Take That had a number 1 for four weeks with ‘Back for Good’ and just like Gary Barlow is back on our TV screens, so too HECA is back on the computer screens of council officers throughout the land.
posted by Mark Saunders on 18 October 2012
If you own an older, less efficient F/G-rated boiler, then your boiler might be costing you a fortune in wasted energy and high maintenance cost.
posted by Omo Ogundele on 14 September 2012
On 14 August a community event was held on the Lakes Estate in Milton Keynes to engage with private homeowners in the CESP area and introduce them to the energy efficiency upgrades they could have on their homes.
posted by Susanna Olai on 17 August 2012
Another milestone was reached with Green Deal and ECO on Monday with the secondary legislation being approved by the House of Lords.
We've been hosting Greg Barker MP in Milton Keynes today marking the launch of new guidance published today on HECA to help local authorities in England improve the energy efficiency of their residential housing.
posted by Jan Deacon on 26 July 2012
This Buckinghamshire-wide initiative, funded by the Big Society Fund, is bringing together individuals with similar interests to share knowledge and ideas with the goal of increasing awareness on energy efficiency and climate change as well as help tackle fuel poverty within Buckinghamshire.
posted by Gio Bagordo on 13 July 2012
The sun may not have shone on Andy Murray's Wimbledon Final last Sunday, but running alongside that epic final was Sustainable Stonesfield's (SUSTO) SwapShop.
posted by Dale Hoyland on 11 July 2012
DECC have produced draft HECA guidance for ECAs (Energy Conservation Local Authorities).
posted by Jan Deacon on 10 July 2012
The carbon tax has been high on the news agenda lately after a heated debate in Australia that resulted in the introduction of a tax on 1 July 2012.
posted by Susanna Olai on 10 July 2012
A group of Serbian university students has created the world's first public solar-powered mobile phone charger. It led to the team winning a prestigious European Union prize for their efforts.
posted by Ruth Wharton on 02 July 2012
Milton Keynes has made another step forward in its quest to reduce carbon emissions through the installation of a 165kWp photovoltaic system at the former bus station.
posted by Ruth Wharton on 15 June 2012
Research conducted by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) found that 51% of landlords have not heard of the government's upcoming Green Deal policy, and a third did not know the energy rating of their rental property.
posted by Carolyn Kempster on 14 June 2012
So, the DECC have now published their response to the consultation and now the race is on for Green Deal Providers to be ready to launch their services by October.
We have been monitoring our carbon footprint closely since 2009. Figures for the year ending March 2012 reveal an impressive 35% improvement from our baseline year with a 21% reduction from 2010/11.
posted by Jan Deacon on 21 May 2012
The UK's largest energy supplier has recently announced that fuel bills are very likely to increase once again this year.
posted by Dale Hoyland on 17 May 2012
There are increasing financial burdens on us all. As global oil reserves become depleted, we have to look further, come up with technological enhancements to drill deeper or explore harsher environments, all of which push up the cost of this irreplaceable energy source.
posted by Dale Hoyland on 17 May 2012
In preparation for the Green Deal in the Autumn the Department of Communities and Local Government has announced that Local Authorities and Green Deal Providers can now access Energy Performance Certificate data in bulk.
Asset Skills and the Department of Energy and Climate Change have put a call out to all existing energy assessors to become one of the first Green Deal Advisors.
A report comissioned by RICS has illustrated the 'Green Premium' on commercial property in London over the last decade.
It is fast approaching the first anniversary of USEA achieving ISO 14001 accreditation, so time to reflect on the progress we have made and to review and update our Environmental Action Plan ready for the year ahead.
posted by Jan Deacon on 17 April 2012
There has been quite a bit of debate in the media recently about the Green Deal since it was announced that the government is consulting on changes to Part L of the Building Regulations.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change has produced a guide on how to become a Green Deal Provider.
Department of Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, spoke confidently about the progress to date in moving towards the coalitions flagship green policy, Green Deal. Greg Barker, speaking at the first day of Ecobuild, confirmed that we are now entering the final stretch up to the launch this autumn.
posted by Ruth Wharton on 19 March 2012
An independent report has been published this week advising the government how it could best tackle issues surrounding fuel poverty.
posted by Dale Hoyland on 19 March 2012
Current estimates put the level of fuel poverty in the UK at between a quarter and a fifth of all households. The policies of successive governments have failed to halt the remorseless rise in the number of fuel poor households when pitted against the upward creep in energy prices.
posted by Mark Saunders on 23 January 2012
How many hours a day do you use your car? And how much does it cost you to run each year? The total cost will be in the £1,000s, and most people leave their cars parked for over 23 hours a day.
posted by Susanna Olai on 23 January 2012
The advent of Green Deal will no doubt present market opportunities for installing trades, and many of the larger installers are gearing up by thinking about how they will organise finance, assessments, ECO funding and also tooling up for emerging measures like solid wall insulation. Many larger installers have had Green Deal on the radar for a long time and the road to Green Deal has been a key part of their business plans and long term investment.
For many of us, HECA (Home Energy Conservation Act 1995) was the very trigger for much of the work and projects that have taken place over the last 15 years. It was the instrument that created ‘Energy Conservation Authorities’ and required that annual reports detailing the energy efficiency improvement in residential accommodation were submitted to government. It also spawned various initiatives such as the HECAction funding programme and also led to the development of HECA fora and other partnerships across the nation.
I have recently been working with Sony to host two sustainability fairs for their staff. Since 2004 Sony have implemented a Global Environmental Management System audited according to ISO 14001 standards. Sony clearly have in place a serious environmental management system for all parts of their business, like all systems or processes it relies on rigorous control, management commitment and above all staff who believe in it. USEA has been helping Sony focus on the staff bit. The sustainability fairs involved ourselves and partners Futerra along with local authorities, water companies and committed Sony staff in a mixture of games, interaction and advice.
posted by Mark Saunders on 14 December 2011
The much anticipated 'Low Carbon Hub' for Oxfordshire Community groups was launched last night in the stunning setting of Oxford Town Hall.
posted by Dale Hoyland on 02 December 2011
Well, the month of Movember is over and it's time to reflect on what has been achieved.
Is the definition of a household being in 'fuel poverty' if spending more than 10% of their household income on achieving 'adequate warmth' appropriate? Is the figure of 10% a good enough measure which fits most scenarios?
posted by Dale Hoyland on 25 November 2011
Following yesterday's publication of the 'Annual Report on Fuel Poverty Statistics', it is interesting to note changes between 2008 to 2009 (the most recent data-set). Fuel poverty levels across the UK increased from 3.3 million households to 4.0 million, a change of just over 18%.
posted by Dale Hoyland on 25 November 2011
I have long been interested in the image of environmentalists. It seems like some of us can easily get away with walking barefoot, wearing windproof jackets and backpacks to business meetings and avoiding using the services of qualified hairdressers when few other professionals can. Perhaps not the coolest look.
posted by Susanna Olai on 23 November 2011
The government has announced the publication of the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation Consultation today.
Living in a cold home is not only a question of great discomfort, but more importantly it also has a serious negative impact on mental health and illness.
posted by Susanna Olai on 17 November 2011
Since the Green Deal Conference that took place in September quite a lot has happened so we have a lot to update our partners about.
Most of us like to think we are doing our bit for the environment, be it by recycling, using low energy light bulbs, buying a new low emission car or the other myriad things that count for doing your bit. It might make us feel good, but do we know if our energy use actually falls and if so by how much?
posted by Mark Saunders on 11 November 2011
It’s not news that government policies heavily influence our use of energy. Our reliance on fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas is greatly encouraged by massive subsidies worldwide.
posted by Susanna Olai on 09 November 2011
I recently read Gareth Kane’s excellent blog on why you should green your business in the middle of a recession.
posted by Mark Saunders on 02 November 2011
USEA Staff recently received training in "Smarter Driving". Each participant engaged in a 50 minute driving tutorial on Eco driving with a qualified instructor. The great techniques and tips on fuel efficiency meant that, after under an hour, on average, the drivers reduced fuel consumption by 21%, simply by increasing MPG (Miles Per Gallon). The partcipants really enjoyed the session and they have learned new skills that they will continue to follow in future.
posted by Jan Deacon on 10 August 2011
The first images of the anticipated redesign of the Energy Performance Certificate have emerged.
Scottish and Southern Energy have become the latest supplier to raise the price of energy. In September, electric prices are set to rise by 11% and gas by 18%.
posted by Dale Hoyland on 21 July 2011
Today sees the announcement of the Renewable Heat Premium Payments (RHPP).
posted by Ruth Wharton on 21 July 2011
Figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change suggest 5.5 million residents are spending more than 10% of their income on their energy bills.
posted by Dale Hoyland on 15 July 2011
USEA entered this year's MK cycle challenge - a fun, free competition to encourage people working or living in Milton Keynes to remember the joys and benefits of riding a bike.
posted by Ruth Wharton on 11 July 2011
Having volunteered to take on the remit of environmental manager and lead our business to achieving ISO14001 accreditation – where to start?
posted by Jan Deacon on 27 June 2011
European Energy Policy is based upon the so called ‘3 x 20%’ principle of climate action;
And all by 2020!
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