January 17, 2013 | Comments Off
EXPO Solar, Asia’s largest solar energy exhibition, presents a glimpse of the changing dynamics in the global solar market and showcases latest technology and products including high-efficiency solar cells and cost-cutting manufacturing solutions.
EXPO Solar is quickly becoming the Qualified Business Trade Show attended by diverse solar buyers worldwide from fast-growing Asia to Europe, North America and Middle East.
The gateway to the global solar market, EXPO Solar 2013 presents you the efficient and effective path to accelerate your business growth.
September 4 (Wed.) ~ 6 (Fri.), 2013
January 10, 2013 | Comments Off
As announced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on 10 March 2011, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will offer different support mechanisms for domestic and non-domestic installations.
Support for domestic biomass heating installations
Until 2013, support for the capital cost of installing domestic biomass central heating systems will be with a Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) of £950. Only houses without mains gas will be eligible – for example those looking to replace oil, liquid gas, solid fuel or direct electric heating.
From Summer 2013, domestic wood biomass heating systems will be supported through tariff payments as part of the second domestic phase of the RHI. Details for this are still unknown, but DECC have announced that this phase will be open for all eligible (see below) installations installed since 15 July 2009, including (but not limited to) those who received Premium Payments.
For more information on RHI support for domestic installations, please see our page How will the Renewable Heat Incentive and the RHI Premium Payment support domestic installations?
Support for non-domestic biomass installations
Non-domestic biomass heating systems, anything from a small pellet boiler for a B&B or shop over a wood chip heating system for a school to a massive industrial biomass heat & power station, receive an RHI tariff payment for every unit of heat generated.
For small (<200kWth) and medium (<1000kWth), the RHI biomass tariff is tiered, as explained further below.
RHI tariffs for biomass are:
Less than 200 kWth Tier 1: 7.6p/kWh
Tier 2: 1.9p/kWh
200 kWth or more, but
less than 1,000 kWth Tier 1: 4.7p/kWh
Tier 2: 1.9p/kWh
1,000 kWth or more
To illustrate the tier system: A 30kW biomass boiler (e.g. a pellet boiler in a small school) generates 45MWh (or 45,000kWh) of heat in a particular year. Its “Tier Break” can be determined by multiplying 30kW x 1,314h = 39,420 kWh. It will receive
the Tier 1 tariff for first 39,420kWh, i.e.
39,420kWh x 7.6p/kWh = £2,995.92
the Tier 2 tariff for the remaining 5,580kWh, i.e.
5,580kWh x 1.9p/kWh = £106.02
Therefore, the 30kW biomass boiler will receive a total of £3,102 in RHI tariff payments. If the same 45MWh of heat is produced by a 25kW boiler then the tariff income will be lower as less heat (25kW x 1,314h = 32,850kWh) is paid the Tier 1 tariff, and more heat (12,150kWh) is paid the lower Tier 2 tariff.
Tariffs are guaranteed over a 20 year lifetime and will be adjusted with inflation.
All heat generated will have to be metered using heat meters for hot water or steam.
For information on RHI support for non-domestic installations, please see our page How will the Renewable Heat Incentive support non-domestic installations?
Eligibility for support
To be eligible, both the equipment and the installer for domestic and small (<45kW) non-domestic biomass systems will have to be accredited under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). You can use the MCS website www.microgenerationcertification.org to find accredited installers and products.
November 21, 2012 | Comments Off
Landlords need to ensure that all commercial properties on the market have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in order to avoid fines of up to £5,000.
EPCs give information on how energy efficient a building is and also contain recommendations on how to reduce the building’s energy use and carbon dioxide emissions.
The new regulations which came into force on 6th April 2012 mean that:
- an EPC must be commissioned for all buildings before they are marketed as being for sale or rent
- where an EPC is not available, those selling or renting buildings must use “reasonable efforts” to ensure that one is obtained within seven days of marketing the property (previously 28 days)
- the first page of the EPC must be attached to the written particulars for the property
Commercial property owners and landlords need to be up to speed on these changes in order to market their properties effectively and compliantly.
The penalty for failing to make an EPC available to any prospective buyer or tenant when selling or letting non-dwellings is fixed. In most cases, this is 12.5 percent of the rateable value of the building, subject to a minimum of £500 and a maximum of £5,000, so failure to comply could prove costly.
For clarification and peace of mind on the new EPC arrangements, seeking the advice of a legal professional experienced in this field is a sensible step.
October 27, 2012 | Comments Off
The Green Deal helps you or your tenants make energy-saving home
improvements, like insulation, to make your rental property more
The person responsible for paying the electricity will pay for some or all of the improvements
over time through their electricity bill. Repayments will be no more than what a typical
household should save in energy costs.
Homes leak heat through their
windows. By replacing windows
with double or triple glazed
windows, or installing secondary
glazing to existing windows, the
home can be kept warmer and
outside noise could be reduced.
Improvements made under a Green Deal Plan come from recommendations made by a
Green Deal Assessor. The bill payer won’t be charged more than what a typical household is
expected to save in energy costs. Of course, the actual savings will depend on how much
energy is used at the property and the future prices of energy.
Heat rises and it may be leaking
into the loft. Insulating the loft, or
topping up the existing insulation,
will keep heat inside the living
spaces for longer.
Gaps around doors,
and pipework are
common sources of
up the gaps will
stop heat escaping
the home and your
tenants will be able
to turn down their
tend to lose a lot
of heat so they
use more energy.
and air or ground
source heat pumps
recover a lot of
heat so they use
External and internal solid wall
Homes built before 1930 usually have solid walls.
Installing insulation on the inside or outside of the wall
can dramatically reduce the heat that escapes the home.
Cavity wall insulation
Homes built after 1930 usually have walls with a
hollow space in the middle. Putting insulation in
this space is quick and makes no mess because
the work can be done from outside the home.
Renewabl e energy
Renewable technologies like wind
turbines, solar panels and heat pumps
can capture energy and turn it into
electricity or heat for the home.
The electricity bill payer makes
Green Deal repayments
Green Deal repayments are part of the electricity bill
for the property. So, the person responsible for paying
the electricity bill – usually the tenant – is responsible
for making repayments for the improvements.
If a bill payer defaults on their electricity bill, you
will not be held liable – the electricity company will use
their normal collection processes.
Get a Green Deal
To start, you or your tenant will need a Green Deal
Assessment. Many different organisations – including
energy companies, DIY stores, and local tradespeople
– are authorised to do this.
For help finding a Green Deal Assessor, call
the Energy Saving Advice Service (England, Scotland
and Wales) on 0300 123 1234 or visit
When you book an assessment you may be asked if
there are any accessibility issues, like access to your
loft, and whether you can provide bills showing your
recent energy use.
Keep in mind that some Green Deal Assessors may
charge for their service – it’s best to check when you
make an appointment.
Energy Act 2011
The Energy Act 2011 contains powers so that from
2016 landlords should not be able to refuse reasonable
requests for consent to install Green Deal measures
from their tenants. From 2018 landlords should ensure
their privately rented properties meet a minimum
energy efficiency standard (likely to be set at EPC
rating ‘E’) or that they have installed the maximum
package of measures under the Green Deal.
1 T he current electricity bill payer
always pays the Green Deal
If the property is left vacant, you will need
to make the repayments until a new tenant
moves in and starts paying the electricity
2 Y our tenant needs your permission
before taking out a Green Deal.
Your tenant needs your permission before
taking out a Green Deal. If your tenant
wishes to take out a Green Deal Plan,
they will first need your agreement to
both the improvements and the financial
aspects of the plan, like the amount of
the repayments and how long repayments
need to be paid for.
3 Y ou need tenants’ permission
before you take out a Green Deal
Where the tenant is the electricity bill
payer, they will need to make repayments
for the Green Deal on their electricity
bill. So you will need their express
permission before taking out a Green Deal
at the property.
5 N ew tenants need to be aware
of the Green Deal and acknowledge
the repayments they need to make
When renting out a property with a Green
Deal you need to provide the tenant with a
copy of the Energy Performance Certificate
(EPC) (or, in Scotland, the EPC and the
Recommendations Report) showing:
• the improvements that have been made
under the Green Deal
• the repayment amounts the electricity
bill payer needs to make
• the length of the Green Deal
• the name of the Green Deal Provider.
You will need to make sure that tenant
acknowledges the Green Deal and
the repayments by including standard
4 A ll improvements are quality
All improvements made under
the Green Deal are completed
by Green Deal Installers. This
means the work is completed by
professionals that meet Green
Deal standards and are authorised to
operate under the Green Deal.
Free and impartial advice about the Green Deal is available. Call the Energy Saving Advice
Service (England, Scotland and Wales) on 0300 123 1234 or visit www.Direct.gov.uk/Greendeal
Five things landlords need to know
October 27, 2012 | Comments Off
The Green Deal is a new initiative that will let homes and businesses pay for energy saving improvements, like insulation, through savings on their fuel bills.
The Green Deal Cashback Scheme is a first-come, first-served offer where householders can claim cash back from Government on energy saving improvements like insulation, front doors, windows and boilers. Packages could be worth over £1000 – the more you do, the more you get. Available from 28 January 2013 for households in England and Wales.
The Government Cashback is a limited offer while funds last. Green Deal Participants can encourage their customers to get Green Deal assessments early so, when the scheme opens, customers are ready to apply, and get approval, for their Cashback voucher before improvement work begins.
Government has guaranteed that £40m will be available at the rates listed in this guide. After this, Cashback amounts may reduce.
Who is eligible?
The Cashback is open to any householder making energy saving improvements under the Green Deal, after 28th January 2013. This includes owner-occupiers, those renting privately or in social housing. Landlords, both private and social, are also eligible where they pay installation costs, up to certain limits. In all cases, Cashback will be capped at 50% of the householder’s contribution to costs.
How does it work?
Householders will need to apply for a voucher which they use to claim the Cashback when work is completed.
To qualify for the Cashback householders must:
• have a Green Deal assessment carried out on the property
• get and agree quotes from a Green Deal Provider (this could be directly with a national brand or through a local tradesperson linked with a Provider)
• apply for Cashback voucher online or by phone. To make things easier some Providers will be able to apply on behalf of their customers
• receive voucher confirming the Cashback
• complete works within specified period
• redeem voucher, along with evidence of works completed, for Cashback.
Householders can fund improvements through a Green Deal Plan, or however they wish, and get the Cashback but they must use a Green Deal Provider to arrange the work. The more improvements a householder makes, the bigger the Cashback.
Householders can only make one claim for the Cashback, but it may cover a package of improvements recommended by the Green Deal assessment. The Government Cashback is separate and additional to any similar offers that may be made by Green Deal Providers.
Householders can also choose to donate some or all of their Cashback to a charity or community interest company of their choice signed up with the scheme administrator.
Interested customers can contact the Energy Savings Advice Service now on 0300 123 1234 to register their interest for further information when it is released.
Green Deal Cashback Scheme: Eligible measures and cash back amounts
These rates are guaranteed for the first £40m after which the rates are likely to reduce. Act early to get the best rates. Up to £125m has been earmarked for the scheme as a whole.
Loft insulation (including top up) and insulating cavity walls (where appropriate) are important, basic energy saving measures. So where a Green Deal assessment recommends these alongside other improvements, householders will only be able to get the Cashback if they do these too.
|QUALIFYING ENERGY EFFICIENCY MEASURE||
|Loft insulation (incl. top up)||
|Cavity wall insulation||
|Solid wall insulation*||
|Flat roof insulation||
|Room in roof insulation||
|Hot water cylinder insulation (incl. top up)**||
|Heating controls (roomstat and/or programmer and time/temperature zone controls)**||
|Condensing oil boiler from non-condensing oil heating or other***||
|Upgrade boiler to condensing gas boiler from non-condensing boiler or other||
|Flue gas heat recovery (condensing combi boiler) only alongside replacement boiler||
|New or replacement storage heaters||
|Replacement warm-air unit||
|Waste water heat recovery systems||
|Double/triple glazing (old single to A)||
£20 per m2 up to a maximum of £320
|High performance replacement doors||
£15 per m2 up to a maximum of £230
What is the average EPC rating for a domestic property, and what proportion of properties fall into each A to G band?
October 5, 2012 | Comments Off
Easy EPC have recently been examining data taken from a cross section of 2000 domestic EPC surveys carried out by the company across the UK between Aug 2010 and Aug 2012. One of the chief reasons for carrying out this research was to establish what is the average EPC rating for a domestic property, and what proportion of properties fall into each A to G band.
Proportion of properties fall into each A to G band:
- A 0.1%
- B 1.2%
- C 22.6%
- D 46.2%
- E 24.6%
- F 4.2%
- G 1.2%
Surprisingly this type of data has never been published by the Government. We feel this information is important to get out into the public domain as it is of interest to both domestic sale and rental clients and renewable companies.
Domestic EPC for Sales and Rental:
We constantly come across clients who are concerned that their D rated EPC is a bad thing, and worry that it may have an adverse affect on their sale or rental. These statistics prove that a grade D is not such a bad rating; in fact D is the median rating for properties in the UK, with approximately 46% of existing dwellings falling into this band.
EPCs for Renewables Installations:
Since the 1st of April 2012 all solar PV installations require the property they are powering to have an EPC certificate in place with a rating of D or better, otherwise they will not be able to get the higher rate Feed in Tariff (FiT). Similar legislation applies to properties wishing to apply for Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments from 1st October 2012.
The good news is that approximately 70% of domestic properties in the UK will make a D grade on their EPC report as is. A further 25 % fall into the band E, and many of these will get a D rating once solar panels have been installed.
We are currently in the process of collating data to examine what the average potential EPC rating is for properties across the UK. This information is going to be of particular interest to home owners and landlords as it will reflect improvements to energy efficiency that can be achieved by following the recommendations on the EPC report, many of which will be eligible for full or partial financing under the government’s innovative ‘Green Deal’ scheme. If you would like more information about the Green Deal, and how it can help you to improve the energy efficiency of your property, then please contact us today.
August 21, 2012 | Comments Off
What benefits will the Green Deal bring to Homeowners/Tenants/Landlords?
One of the prime objectives of the Green Deal is to raise awareness of the financial and environmental benefits of improving energy efficiency of the home. In the UK last year 7 billion pounds of energy was wasted through inefficiently heated and poorly insulated housing. The Green Deal is designed to help combat that loss by making positive changes to home owner’s lifestyles and living environments. The Green Deal also aims to reduce waste, minimising energy consumption whilst avoiding incurring unnecessary costs.
The Green Deal works without having to take out any personal finance on the property and can be applied for if you are an owner, tenant or landlord.
What work can be carried out under the scheme?
Improvements that can be carried out on the home under the Green Deal scheme Include;
- Heating, ventilation & air conditioning (including condensing boilers, under floor heating & heating controls)
- Building fabric (e.g. cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, draft proofing, energy efficient glazing and doors and more wall and floor insulation
- Lighting (fittings and controls)
- Water Heating (innovative hot water systems and energy efficient taps and showers)
- Micro generation (Solar thermal, solar PV, ground and air source pumps).
The view of the Government is that the Green Deal will be very much a positive investment for householders. Energy efficiency improvements implemented reduce energy consumption and will also lower household bills.
To qualify for the Green Deal all measures undertaken to improve the homes energy efficiency must fit in with what is termed the ‘Golden Rule’. This states that the ‘expected’ financial savings to the homeowner, must either be ‘equal to or greater than the costs’ associated with the energy bill, meaning that once the measures have been carried out, the householders energy bills (including the Green Deal repayments) must be the same as or lower than it was previously.
Once Green Deal measures have been implemented to the home, a Green Deal Charge, alongside reductions in energy use, will be clearly outlined on the energy bill associated with the property. This enables consumers to see where the savings are being made, and allows them to monitor the payback period.
Key points that are ensured by the Green Deal
- Homeowners are protected by the terms of the Consumer Credit Act.
- Green Deal providers, advisors and installers must undergo a robust accreditation process.
- Green Deal providers are obliged to give appropriate advice based on the circumstances of each individual who applies for the Green Deal.
- Green Deal providers, advisors and installers will be audited on their work.
An important point to also note is that the Green Deal Charge remains strictly with the property, rather than being transferred with the owner-occupier or tenant. As this is the case there are no costs to the consumer once they are not associated with the property.
February 3, 2012 | Comments Off
Easy EPC have been getting an increased volume of calls asking what will the Commercial EPC involve and what measures can I take before the survey to get a better rating?
The EU Non Domestic EPC Guidelines states that an energy assessor will require the following information to produce a Commercial EPC:
- Details of the individual spaces or zones in use within a building and their dimensions.
- The activities conducted within the zones. For example, retail space, office space, kitchen or storage.
- The heating and ventilation services for each zone, including details of the type of system, metering, controls and fuel used.
- The lighting and controls used for each zone.
- The construction of the fabric of the building and the thermal efficiency of the materials used.
*If plans for the building are not available, the energy assessor will need to survey the building. Even where plans are available, the energy assessor may need to inspect the building to verify information.
With the construction type of the building, heating an ventilation systems being the main contributors to the overall rating. There are not any short terms measures that you can take to improve the rating.
At current there is no pass or fail for a property only a actual rating and a potential rating, however there are plans to start imposing penalty’s on low scoring buildings in the near future.
February 3, 2012 | Comments Off
The government has today suffered another blow to it’s proposed cuts to feed in tariffs.
The popular feed-in tariff programme sees that people with solar panels in the UK are guaranteed a set price for electricity they generate and sell to the National Grid.
The previous tariff was just above 43p per KWh, with new tariff of 21p KWh expected to be brought into force as of 1 April 2012. This was turned on its head in October 2011 when the government announced that the reduced tariff would apply to all panels installed after 12th Dec 2011.
This caused uproar in the solar panel industry, with installers particularly upset about the impact on projects that had been commissioned but not yet installed.
The government carried out a consultation on the proposals that closed on 23 December 2011, 11 days after the decision was scheduled to be implemented. The High Court ruled that it was illegal to change the tariffs in this way, a decision that the Court of Appeal has today upheld.
The Government has announced that the current tariff of 43p KWh will now remain in place untill the start of March this year, however they are also considering whether to refer the case to the Supreme Court, potentially returning the cut off date for the higher tariff back to 12th Dec 2012.
The Renewable Energy Association chief executive Gaynor Hartnell states that ”The government’s action and the subsequent court case had together thrown the solar industry into a state of extreme uncertainty,” These latest developments seem only likely to add to the confusion.
January 1, 2012 | Comments Off
The Department of Energy and Climate Change yesterday launched their consultation on changes to the Building Regulations regime in relation to the much hyped Green Deal. This includes a package of potential changes to support the Green Deal.
In summary, this includes new requirements for additional ‘consequential’ energy efficiency improvements where work (such as an extension or replacement windows or boilers) is already planned to an existing building and Green Deal funding is available as an option to meet the up-front costs.
Given that in the UK the DCLG estimates there are 200,000 extensions built per year, 1.4 million boiler replacements and 1 million window replacements, this has the potential to be a significant demand driver for the Green Deal.
The proposals include;
From October 2012 (to include with the introduction of the Green Deal framework) DCLG are proposing that extensions and increases in habitable space (i.e. loft or integral garage conversions) in existing homes would trigger a requirement to carry out consequential energy efficiency improvements where these were technically, economically and functionally feasible.