UK carbon emissions drop by 8.4 percent

DECC has published provisional data which shows that UK greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 8.4 percent in 2014.

Emma Pinchbeck, WWF-UK’s head of climate and energy policy, said: “While this nine percent drop is positive, we must remember that more ambitious carbon emissions reductions are required across different sectors to meet our climate change commitments.

“Government must get serious about reducing demand in order to lower bills in the long term and ensure we meet our carbon budgets.”

Dr Doug Parr, chief scientists at Greenpeace UK, added: “These figures give us a taste of what could be achieved if our political leaders got serious about phasing out the dirtiest of all fossil fuels and gave proper backing to clean energy. This could be a key learning for ministers as they prepare to set out their carbon reduction plans ahead of a crucial climate summit later in the year.”

Government extends solar planning permission

The government has confirmed that it will extend permitted development to all rooftop solar up to 1MW.

The current limit for solar installations which do not require planning permission is 50kW.

Both the REA and STA have welcomed the move as a way of increasing deployment in the commercial sector.

Renewable Energy Association’s chief executive, Dr Nina Skorupska, said: “We are delighted with today’s announcement which will make it much easier for factories, farms, hospitals, bus stations and other commercial buildings to generate their own sustainable electricity while also saving themselves money and resources.

“Solar installed on commercial buildings has the potential to generate significant amounts of clean electricity, yet it is a considerably underdeveloped area, and the rigidity of the planning system has long been a major barrier to its progress.”

STA business analyst, David Pickup, added: “Getting planning permission is an extra hoop to jump through, and we are delighted that this is one more barrier to getting solar on roofs that has been removed.

“Extending the threshold from 50kW to 1MW is a boost for commercial solar. So many warehouses, factories and offices could save money on their energy bills by having solar PV on their roofs. However, there isn’t enough room for this market to grow before the Feed-in Tariff drops to zero, killing the market completely.

“Our upcoming Solar Independence Plan will show a way to allow more growth in this crucial sector.”

DECC announces fuel poverty funding

Local authorities can now apply for a share of a £25m Central Heating Fund, plus details have been announced of a new £1m warmth-on-prescription scheme to tackle fuel poverty.

The money is expected to help up to 8,000 fuel poor homes living off the gas-grid install first time central heating systems.

Warmth-on-prescription will be piloted by nine local authorities to help people in fuel poor households whose health is affected by cold homes. Health and social care professionals will be trained to identify eligible households and provide support via the installation of energy efficiency measures.

Energy secretary, Ed Davey, said: “The heat is on for warmer, healthy homes. Today’s £25m competition will go further to help thousands more.

“Fuel poverty has fallen every year since 2010, however there are still too many people affected by it. That is why we have introduced an ambitious Fuel Poverty Strategy and are mobilising frontline services to innovate how we identify and target those living in cold homes.”

Rachel Fisher, head of policy at the National Housing Federation, said: “DECC’s new £25m Central Heating Fund provides a unique opportunity to improve the quality of life of thousands of tenants by lifting them out of fuel poverty with the installation of new heating technologies, including renewable heat.

“We would encourage housing associations to take an in depth look at this funding to see how they can use to make the most lasting impact.”

10 Benefits of having EWI from Clique Energy

  • Save money on heating bills
  • Reduce heat loss through your walls
  • Improve energy-efficiency in your home or business
  • Reduce condensation and improve comfort levels
  • Prevent damp and mould from taking hold
  • Improve the acoustics of your building – keep noise out
  • Improve the appearance and increase the value of your home or business
  • Gain a sense of pride in your home
  • Help the Environment by burning less fossil fuel

Call Clique Energy today on 01204 391865 for you FREE technical survey.

19 free energy saving tips

Be efficient with heating

  1. Stay warm, cut costs. Turning your thermostat down by 1°C can save you as much as £60 per year.Also, keeping your heating on constantly on a low heat could potentially save you more money than switching it on and off for big blasts of heat. This is where getting to know and understand the timer settings on your thermostat will really pay off.
  2. Get cosy. Wearing more jumpers, socks and slippers around the house, and putting an extra blanket on the bed means you won’t be tempted to turn the heating up.
  3. Turn the pressure down on the power shower. A high-pressure power shower is a great luxury to have but you’d be surprised how much water they use – sometimes even more than a bath.

Be efficient with cooking

  1. Save time and stock up. If you’re going to use the oven, bake a few meals at a time to get the most out of having your oven on. After all, oven’s don’t allow us to heat one shelf at a time so why waste your heat?
  2. Heat your home with cooking. Leave the oven door open after cooking to let the heat warm your kitchen. The oven might give off enough heat for you to adjust your thermostat, a far more efficient use of that stored heat than throwing it out of your home with an extractor fan.
  3. Let the dishwasher do the dirty work . Avoid pre-rinsing the dishes in hot water. Save water and energy by just scraping the dishes before they go in.
  4. Make things easy for your fridge and freezer. Keeping them full means they don’t have to work as hard and therefore they use less energy. Empty space in your fridge or freezer wastes not only space but energy too.
  5. Use the right ring for the right thing. If your cooker has a small ring, use a small pan. You might only be heating up a small meal, and doing so in a big pan wastes a lot of energy. Conversely if you try and heat a large pan on the small ring you’re more likely to end up heating for longer than saving any money or energy.

Be efficient with washing

  1. Shrink your bills, not your clothes. 90% of a washing machine’s energy expenditure is spent on heating the water, so if you wash your clothes at 30-40 °C you’re saving significant amounts of money.
  2. Hang up your laundry. Air-dry your laundry rather than tumble drying it, particularly if there’s warm or windy weather. What’s more nothing smells better than air-dried clothes.
  3. Save yourself ironing time. Take your clothes out of the dryer before they’re completely dry – they’ll iron much quicker and you’ll use less energy on your drier.

    Be efficient with appliances

      1. Switch it off and save. Unplug all the appliances that you aren’t using regularly – even chargers continue to use electricity when they aren’t charging. Also, make sure you’re not leaving appliances on standby: it may be easier but it’s also a guaranteed way to waster energy compared to turning things off at the socket.
      2. Get the kids involved. Play energy-saving games with your kids. Get them to spot the areas in the home where energy is being wasted and where lights, switches or appliances have been left on.

    Free energy saving tips

    1. Let the sunshine in. On a sunny day, opening your curtains will let warmth into your house, but when it’s colder or the sun goes down don’t forget to close them to keep that heat in.

Be efficient with your whole home

  1. Get free cavity wall insulation. There are now government-backed full and partial grants available to help you pay for insulation if your home has cavity walls.Getting this done could save you around 15% on your fuel bills, so you could be saving on average £98 a year. Even if you don’t receive money from the government insulation is still worth it in the long run.
  2. Get free loft insulation. Because heat rises, as much as 25% of the heat in your house could be disappearing into your loft space. What’s more, even older properties that already have insulation in place may not have the recommended levels, particularly if it was installed in the 1970s or 1980s.If you apply for a loft insulation grant, you could save about 19% on your fuel bills – which works out at an average of £128 per year.
  3. Get FREE SOLAR FROM CLIQUE ENERGY. Having solar panels installed on your house could save you as much as a third on your electricity bills. What’s more, thanks to the government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme solar panel installers get paid for the energy generated, so they may install them for free.
  1. Apply for an energy-saving grant. There are plenty of energy saving grants available to help with the cost of home improvements. Clique Energy can advice you through that process, contact us on 01204 391865 for advice on the different measures and grants that available.

Don’t overpay for the energy you’re using

  1. Compare gas and electricity prices with uSwitch to make sure you’re on the cheapest tariff for you. It only takes a few minutes, we do all the paperwork for you and you could save up to £458.

If you’ve got the upfront cash, you can still get the Green Deal without the loan, including ‘cashback’. This can be bonza

The loan is designed to help people who don’t have the upfront cash to pay for improvements. Green Deal loans run for decades, and the interest costs can soon mount up. If you can pay upfront, you can avoid interest costs and bag the savings yourself.

Overall, it’s almost certainly likely to work out better for you if you pay upfront (especially considering poor savings rate right now). But make sure you’ve done the maths – are you better off going through the Green Deal (with funding contribution, if applicable, minus cost of assessment) than you would be doing the measure outside of the Green Deal?

If you do decide to do the work through a Green Deal provider, make sure you’re not overpaying. You’ve still a got right to haggle with your Green Deal provider, as you would with any other tradespeople.

We’ve worked up an example of how you could benefit from Green Deal Home Improvement funding while paying upfront for cavity wall insulation and a boiler upgrade, and compared it to getting Green Deal finance.

Paying upfront vs getting Green Deal finance (over 20 years)
Paying upfront Borrowing the cash
Cost of boiler, insulation and labour £2,500 £2,500 (plus £63 admin fee)
APR 8.6%
Length of time to pay off 20 years
Repayment*/month £22
Interest cost £2,780
Total (re)paid £2,500 £5,280
GDHIF funding £1,000 £1,000
Predicted saving from lower bills* £5,280 £5,280
Total saved over 20 years £2,780 £0
*Assumes savings and repayments are both £22/mth

Don’t let the huge numbers put you off unnecessarily

Talk of “borrowing £2,500 and repaying £5,300” may seem very scary. Yet again, it’s important to remember, even with this, the whole point is you should not end up paying more than you do now, because the reduction in your energy bill will cover the repayments.

You’re also lessening the impact of future energy price rises. Suppose you use 3,300kWh of electricity. You then make Green Deal energy efficiency improvements, meaning you use 15% less electricity – 2,805kWh. If prices rise, you’re less affected as you use less energy.

It’s also worth noting that, assuming we have overall inflation over the next 20 years, the actual cost to you of repayments is less. As inflation rises, the value of money diminishes, so £1,000 in 20 years’ time will buy less than £1,000 now. This diminishes the cost of borrowing – to an extent.

AVAILABLE FROM MON 16 MAR

 

  • AVAILABLE FROM MON 16 MAR Offer 2: Install solid wall insulation and get up to £3,750 (previously £4,000) backAround 6.6 million homes in the UK have solid walls (as opposed to cavity walls). Solid wall insulation’s expensive and disruptive to install, but it stops heat escaping and can save up to £455/yr on energy bills (according to the Energy Saving Trust). It usually costs between £4,000-£14,000, and you can claim back 67% of your costs, up to £3,750 max.The offer applies to both internal and external solid wall insulation. MSE Wendy took advantage last time: “I’m getting 50m² of solid wall worth £7,100, but I only need to shell out £1,750.” (She needed to pay £300ish upfront, and a further £1,450 on Green Deal finance; her Green Deal Home Improvement Fund cash was a massive £5,350!).
  • ‘Add-on’ offer 3: Get £100 of your assessment cost refundedPretty straightforward, this one. If you take advantage of offer 1 or offer 2 above, you can get up to £100 of your assessment costs refunded (so usually most if not all of your costs).
  • ‘Add-on’ offer 4: £500 bonus if improving a home bought in the past yearIf you’ve bought your home in the past 12 months, you can get an extra £500. You’ll need to have taken advantage of offer 1 or offer 2 (see above) to qualify.

 

How to apply

How to apply

It’s first-come, first-served until the cash runs out, so apply asap. Here’s how:

  • Step 1. Get an assessment. You’ll need a Green Deal assessment, which typically costs £120, or an Energy Performance Certificate, typically £60-£100 (you may have one if you’ve recently moved home). If you’ve an existing assessment or EPC done in the last two years it still stands, assuming your home hasn’t changed.
  • Step 2. Get a quote. Once you’ve agreed on the measures you’re going to have installed, you need to get a quote from a Green Deal-registered installer.
  • Step 3. Apply. Once you’re ready, go to the Home Improvement Fund website.

The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund offers £1,000s to households – and another £70m of funding will be up for grabs shortly

The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund offers £1,000s to households – and another £70m of funding will

be up for grabs shortly

The ‘Home Improvement Fund’ was a new element added to the Green Deal last June to try and kickstart the scheme. It offers cash handouts worth £1,000s to help those in England and Wales improve their home, and as you’d expect, it’s proved massively popular.

Last July the initial £120m funding ran out in just six weeks. If you managed to get a voucher from this initial pot and you’ve not yet used it, it’s likely to be close to expiry. However, DECC has announced all vouchers can be redeemed until 31 Mar, even if they’ve expired – see the Green Deal voucher redemption deadline extended MSE news story for more.

Since July, the Government’s added a further £100m to the fund. The first £30m of that was released in December – funding for solid wall insulation unfortunately ran out very fast, though around £5m reserved for other measures such as floor insulation and double-glazing remains and can be applied for right now. The remaining £70m will be released from 12noon on Mon 16 Mar.

GDHIF phase 3 will be released on 16th March 2015

GDHIF phase 3 will be released on 16th March 2015
From mid-day on Monday 16th March, householders in England and Wales will be able to enjoy a warmer home thanks to the third release of the governments Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF).
The popular scheme, which offers up to £5600 to householders in England and Wales, will help with the cost of installing a selection of energy saving measures including cavity wall insulation, floor insulation and external wall insulation.
For the third release of funding, domestic energy customers will be able to receive the following:
• up to £3750 for installing solid wall insulation;
• and/or up to £1250 for installing two measures from an approved list;
• up to £100 refunded for their Green Deal Assessment;
• up to £500 more if applying within 12 months of buying a new home
Householders can apply for the third release of GDHIF vouchers until all of the £70 million available has been allocated. At this point the scheme will automatically close.
Eligibility
To qualify all of the following must apply:
• you’re improving a domestic property in England or Wales that you own or live in
• you have either a Green Deal advice report or an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) that’s less than 2 years old
• the improvements you’re applying for are covered by the scheme and recommended in your EPC or Green Deal advice report
• you use a Green Deal provider or installer registered with the GDHIF
You must also meet the scheme’s terms and conditions
You can’t apply if you’re already receiving money back for the same improvements through other schemes. For example, the Energy Company Obligation, Green Deal Communities, Green Deal Cashback or the first release of GDHIF.
In addition, you can’t apply for the GDHIF on behalf of your clients if you’re a managing agent.
Rented accommodation
You can apply for the GDHIF if you’re a landlord, unless you’ve received more than €200,000 (£160,000) of de minimis funding in the last 3 financial years.
You can also apply if you’re a tenant in social or private rented housing. The person paying for the majority of the improvements gets the money back.
How to claim
1. Ensure that you have an up-to-date Green Deal Assessment or an EPC for your property.
2. Agree a quote from an approved Green Deal installation company, that’s registered with the Home Improvement Fund.
3. Apply for a Home Improvement Fund voucher before you start the work.
4. Complete the work.
5. Ask your Green Deal provider to complete the final sections of the voucher.
6. Follow the instructions on the voucher to make your claim – you must do this before the expiration date on the voucher.
Funds are limited and DECC may vary the terms of the scheme (including the incentive rates) or suspend or close the scheme, with immediate effect, without notice and at any time.  For more advice about the scheme please call our Green Deal team on 01204 391 865.