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Welcome to the latest edition of Sustain’s Newsletter for Social Housing Landlords (SHL’s), designed to provide you with information on environmental and sustainable best practice and legislation.


welcome to the latest edition of Sustain’s Social Housing Team newsletter June 2011

Your organisation is currently working with Sustain to access Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT) funding. At Sustain we have highly skilled, experienced and dedicated teams specialising in delivering services tailored to meet the requirements of SHL’s and to help them reduce their carbon through energy efficiency, process improvement and low carbon energy generation. If you would like a review of your CERT requirements or would like to discuss any of the services in the newsletter further, please ring the Social Housing Team on 01934 863650


Welcome to the latest edition of Sustain’s Social Housing Team newsletter June 2011 Contents 4 SPG is here 5 ECO and the green deal 6 Replacing ‘G’ rated boilers  7 Rooftop monitoring 8 CESP 9 Renewable Heat Incentive 10 Your roofs. your assets: get FiT for PV 11 Dates for your diary Sustain supports launch of UK Voluntary Carbon Registry 12 Zero carbon homes 13 Project management for insulation programmes SmartHeat flange and valve insulation 14 Mapping your energy efficiency 15 Behavioural change 16 What Sustain can do for you

SPG is here....start claiming your enhanced CERT funding rates now

CERT Legislation has changed recently to include a new subset of the Priority Group - the Super Priority Group (SPG).

The SPG was created to target the most vulnerable to fuel poverty. This will affect ALL SHLs and the way you claim CERT funding from April 2011. Sustain has produced a helpful guide detailing the frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help you understand how you can benefit from the increased CERT funding enhancements available for this group. The guide covers questions such as: —— What is the Super Priority Group (SPG)? —— How is the SPG determined? —— Why do I need to collect SPG information? —— How much more CERT funding does the SPG attract? —— How can I determine which tenants are in the SPG to claim the higher funding levels? —— Which specified documents can I check to determine PG and SPG status?


Sustain has also produced a range of handy documents for data collection and verification which you or your installation contractors can use to collect this data. Please contact Lynda Bullen on 01934 864 233 or email for further details.

Energy Company Obligations (ECO) and the Green Deal

As many of you will know, the CERT and CESP obligations on energy suppliers and generators will come to a finish at the end of 2012

DECC are currently working on the successor legislation which will be called the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and will run alongside the Green Deal, both of which will be subject to consultation and then secondary legislation once the Energy Bill passes through parliament. Sustain are pushing the government to ensure that there is a smooth transition to the ECO towards the end of 2012 and have asked for the legislation to be as simple as possible to facilitate the greatest flexibility and ease of understanding.

whereas the Green Deal will be a finance mechanism to help householders with the upfront cost of certain measures. The good news for social housing providers is that the ECO will focused around fuel poor households and also harder to treat properties which means that, just like CESP, there is likely to be a strong focus around solid wall insulation. As well as the traditional carbon

element of the previous obligations, there will also be a target focusing on the provision of affordable warmth which should provide social housing providers with additional funding opportunities. We will be building on our experience under CERT and CESP to offer social housing providers with a range of services to fit with ECO and the Green Deal.

Although the details will be subject to consultation, what we do know is that the ECO is likely to provide a similar mechanism of funding to CERT and CESP


Are you replacing working ‘G’ rated boilers with ‘A’ rated boilers?

We have access to CERT grants for replacing working ‘G’ rated boilers with ‘A’ rated boilers.

In the past, it was a requirement of the grants to have an EPC for every property involved, which proved to be too expensive to the amount of grant available. Ofgem have now launched a declaration for you to sign to confirm the status of your boilers and made the funding viable. ‘G’ rated boilers attract more funding than ‘D’ rated back boilers as the government is trying to encourage these inefficient work-horses to be taken out of the housing market before the end of their working life, estimated to be 6 years. If you would like to claim this funding from us, please let us know and we will send you a spreadsheet to help you identify which makes and models qualify for the grants. Alternatively you can look on the Sedbuk website for boiler classifications. All claims received and processed from 01 June will have to include information on the tenant status to enable us to allocate the funding between the non-priority, priority and super priority group rates.


—— Non-priority group – for tenants not on benefits and/or under 70 years old —— Priority Group – for tenants on certain income related benefits or aged over 70 years —— Super Priority Group – for tenants on specified benefits with a qualifying component Please ask if you need a copy of our guide or forms to give to your front line staff to obtain this information. If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact the Social Housing Team at Sustain.

Rooftop monitoring

Sustain has just completed a 12 month evaluation on the real-world performance of a typical domestic Air Source Heat Pump and Solar PV system for Rooftop Housing Association. Sustain were commissioned to design and procure the comprehensive monitoring solution, manage its installation, evaluate the seasonal performance and present the findings back to the client.

taken into account energy used by the auxiliary heat pump heater and hot water immersion the heat pump performance was still around 2.7kWh of heat produced for every 1kWh of electricity used. Therefore the heating system compares favourably with conventional gas or electric heating systems, in terms of both

running costs and CO2 emissions. Sustain has also evaluated the theoretical performance of the NIBE Exhaust Air Source Heat Pump range for another RSL client and is able to carry out monitoring of any low carbon technology if required and provide independent assessment of actual performance.

The property involved was a 2 bed bungalow built to 2006 Building Regulations and heated by a Daikin Altherma ASHP with immersion heater back up. A low temperature distribution system consisting of low temp radiators and TRVs provides space heating for the tenant. The solar PV array offsets the electricity consumed by the ASHP during daylight hours when solar energy is available. Overall the project found that the heating system was able to maintain satisfactory internal temperatures despite exceptionally cold weather during the monitoring period. Having



Sustain have immediate access to funding under the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) for social housing providers with eligible projects. After successfully completing the first CESP project to start on site in the UK we have gone on to complete several more projects and have many more we are actively dealing with. Sustain’s market leading expertise in this field has been recognised, and as a result we have attended a Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) consultation on CESP and future obligations ECO and the Green Deal to provide feedback and make constructive suggestions. Sustain have also been working with Ipsos MORI, CAG consultants and BRE to assess the overall success, and tenants opinions on CESP projects, the results of which are being fed back to DECC. We can offer you a free mapping service to identify which of your properties fall into eligible CESP areas and provide advice on the types and combination of works which will receive the greatest funding. We can quickly make indicative funding offers for potential schemes. Funding rates have been on the rise in recent


months, typically the funding for external wall insulation and one other measure will now cover approximately 60% of the cost of the works. However, there is limited time left for your project to be allocated CESP funding because energy suppliers are keen to allocate their obligated funding in the coming months. Our CESP team offers a hassle free service to get your scheme registered with Ofgem in good time. And will ensure that all paperwork and processes are completed to make sure that you get maximum funding available for your project. We are happy to consider funding CESP projects of all different sizes and combinations of works. For more information please contact Pete Best on 01934 864843 or

Renewable Heat Incentive

It was with great relief that on 10 March 2011, the Government announced the details of the long awaited and much heralded Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme.

This is the first financial support scheme for renewable heat of its kind in the world. The RHI is set to be introduced and operational by October 2012 and expected to run alongside the governments’ “Green Deal” to allow a whole-house approach to heat production, energy saving and carbon reduction. This is eighteen months later than was first agreed by the previous government, however, the RHI quarterly tariff will include all relevant qualifying technologies that were installed on or after 15th July 2009.

Likely one off premium payments Solar Thermal = £300. Air Source Heat Pump = £850. Biomass Boiler = £950. Ground Source Heat Pump = £1,250.

Although the RHI tariff payments for households will not start until October 2012, the government has allocated £15 million towards approx 25,000 new, qualifying domestic installations to receive a one off “RHI Premium Payment”. This will help stimulate the renewable heat market in the interim and provide valuable feedback to the government. Specific qualifying details and likely level of RHI premium payment will be released in May 2011:

Although RHI tariffs for industry, business and large organisations has been released, government are still to consult on the RHI tariffs for the domestic sector that will apply from October 2012 later in the year.


Your roofs. your assets: get FiT for PV

Tuesday 5 April saw 25 social housing providers and local authorities attend Sustain’s “Get FiT for PV” seminar in Cavendish Conference Centre, London, with expert speakers from Sustain, Osborne Clarke and Grant Thornton. The event was designed to provide the latest knowledge, experience and thinking on structuring PV programmes. Take away points: —— FiT is the first of several mechanisms, including RHI, ECO and Green Deal, that will help you improve the value and performance of your housing stock; —— Creating a ‘road map’ can help you structure your programme around PV and other opportunities to minimise the costs and maximise the returns; —— Initial investment in upfront planning can increase the likelihood of developing a successful programme over the 25-year FiT period which will generate optimal returns while reducing your risks; —— Current dynamics around interest rates, inflation, cost of equipment reductions are providing favourable conditions for developing PV projects in-house;


‘I really enjoyed the discussion around the legal aspects of PV projects, hearing from the solicitors and speaking to others at the event about their different scenarios and experiences’ Kirstie Johnson, Head of Energy Management, Anchor ‘A very useful forum for discussion, which teased out the important issues you need to consider for installing PV. The time for networking allowed time to learn from others and questions to be raised and answered.’ Dave Cowley, Policy and Project Officer, Bristol City Council —— Because of these dynamics, degressions and government reviews do not necessarily jeopardise project viability within the social housing sector; —— ‘PV for free’ options are still likely to require OJEU tendering, and therefore do not avoid this time and monetary cost; —— Managing the different needs of your financiers, insurers, tenants, suppliers, energy suppliers and distributed network operators is complex, but armed with the right questions and answers, this can be overcome; With different organisations at different stages, there is no “one size fits all” model; rather any programme starts with the needs and capabilities of the organisation and works outwards from there. Many

are learning by doing and there was good knowledge sharing between delegates. Sustain is ideally placed to offer independent professional advice on programme appraisal, planning and management and have the technical expertise to see your project through to delivery. We can help you develop the project that best meets your objectives and enables you to successfully work through preparing the business case, taking the projects to contract signature with finance and delivery partners, managing contractors and registering and monitoring the installed system. Local Authority Estate Transformation 2011 Date:8 June 2011 Location: Manchester Town Hall, Manchester Matt Fulford, Head of Buildings at Sustain will be discussing Sustainable Estate Management: Economic and Environmental Efficiency at the Local Authority Estate Transformation conference solutions to reduce carbon. The conference will discuss and expand upon the findings and recommendations made by The Westminster Sustainale Business Forum report ‘Leaner and Greener: Delivering Effective Estate Management’

Sustain supports launch of UK Future dates for your diaries Voluntary Carbon Registry

Sustain is working with BRE to help launch a UK Voluntary Carbon Registry which we think will be of interest to RSLs. The Registry will enable clients to post relevant projects onto an internet accessible database. Individuals or companies who wish to support carbon reduction in social housing will be able to choose a project from this database. This funding will be in addition to CERT, Warm Front or other funding streams and we hope it will trigger the implementation of projects that require top-up funding to get going. The Registry will launch with a specific ‘domestic refurbishment’ category, supported by a carbon calculation methodology currently being developed by Sustain. The Registry is scheduled to go live in June 2011. We will let you know further details as soon as we can.

The Greenbuild Expo Date:30 June 2011 Location: Manchester Central, Manchester The seminar will explore the pros and cons of the plethora of free pv offers available. It will also look at whether they offer the best solution to an organisation’s carbon and sustainability needs. It will be of interest to organisations that are currently considering a solar pv approach as a result of the Feed in Tariff or are confused by the array of different solutions to reduce carbon. 11

Zero carbon homes

The next 10 years will fundamentally change the way in which buildings are designed, constructed and managed. This will be driven by the drive toward zero carbon and spearheaded by those in the social housing sector enforced by legislation. The policy agenda does not only target zero carbon for new build by 2016 but also close to zero carbon within existing stock toward 2050. Many of the issues discussed in more detail in this newsletter focus on the variety of current and future strategies that will help move toward a close to zero carbon existing stock but one thing is clear, a clear and informed knowledge of the sustainability and in particular, the carbon performance and improvement of the existing stock is going to be a critical pre-requisite for gaining from these strategies. It is within new build that we will see the fastest and most dramatic changes although there is evidence that the zero carbon by 2016 and other requirements may 12

not be as fundamental as first thought. The regulators previous suggestions that a code for sustainable homes requirements at level 4 and then level 6 have been reigned in (for now?) and the current proposals on the definition of zero carbon for 2016 are less than first proposed. The current zero carbon definitions raise the question about whether even terming the buildings as ‘zero carbon’ will result in unrealistically high expectations to occupiers, low carbon may be a better description to avoid a possible trade misdescriptions claim! The final part of the zero carbon new build definition that is required is the setting of the costs associated with the ‘allowable solutions’ element which is essentially the off site carbon off set that the developers will be required to pay, think of it as a community carbon levy. This will determine the final cost of the zero carbon requirement but the good news is that currently it is looking to be half of that of the earlier code level 6 estimates.

So within the next 10 years the focus on the operational carbon emissions from social housing will be a major issue for all in the sector but looking forward we can start to suggest where the issues may be beyond there, issues such as embodied carbon in the construction and refurbishment of dwellings and the factors around incentivising positive behaviour change in occupants will become of increasingly importance. Those who are well prepared for the next 10 years of carbon reduction will stand to gain from proactively embracing the range of initiatives and partnerships that exist, beware for those that don’t, the sticks will come!

Project Management for Insulation Programmes

SmartHeat Flange and Valve Insulation

In these challenging economic times sometimes the easy wins to improve the life of tenants get over looked. Are your resources stretched? Are you spread too thinly with no time to organise and manage an insulation programme for your properties? At Sustain we have been offering and running a successful project management programme for loft and cavity wall insulation for many years. We work with a variety of clients across the width and breadth of the country to deliver these programmes.

Sustain has a unique free of charge service to improve the energy efficiency of social housing communal boilers. The SmartHeat scheme works by insulating uncovered elements in the boiler room and the energy savings are so significant that the insulation products used can be completely funded by CERT grants. This means the social housing provider does not pay a penny for the service which has now been installed in over 6,500 communal boiler rooms. More than that, there is no financial outlay up front with the costs being re-claimed, it is a totally free service from start to finish.

Over this period of time we have worked with a range of large and small sized clients to implement improvements to housing stock, removing for them the strain of organising works and access to grant funding.

In a typical block of 30 flats, there can be over 50 un-insulated valves in the boiler room wasting heat. Insulating them can save around 70,000 kWh each year, the equivalent of over £1,500 in energy costs and 13 tonnes of CO2.

Sustain are currently working with a Social Housing client (based in Bristol) on a loft and cavity wall insulation programme, where works have been completed on over 2000 properties. Sustain have accessed and provided more than £140,000 worth of funding for this project.

Flange and valve insulation is a measure recommended by the Carbon Trust and has also been taken up by many of Sustain’s clients who are not eligible for funding, with considerable savings in energy and carbon emissions. Any Local Authority or Housing Association with corporate or municipal buildings with centralised heating can make energy savings under this service, with rapid implementation and impressive payback periods.

We continuing to develop and refine our processes so that our clients get “value for money” and are currently working on databases that will improve our ability to report information back to our clients. If you find that you have properties left to insulate and you would like details of our project management scheme then please get in touch with us.


Mapping your energy efficiency

SAP ratings, fuel costs, and carbon emissions are all increasingly important in managing the long-term energy demand and supply for your housing stock.

Sustain’s Energy Modelling and Mapping service can help you make accurate assessments of these indicators, both as they are now, and projecting forward to how they will change as your programmes of improvement are rolled out. Our buildings consultants use specialist software to calculate energy rating values from your existing stock data, usually without the need for expensive physical surveys. We then analyse the results, and recommend ‘least cost’ options for improving average SAP or reducing heating costs. Finally, we publish this important data on an easy to use and secure energy mapping portal, giving your staff access to all the relevant energy-related data for each of your properties in


a single interface. If you already have Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in place, we’ll supply the data in a format which you can use to publish in your own systems. Once the stock energy map is in place, you may find it useful to add other data layers – for example publicly available data for your area on the likelihood of fuel poverty, or on the availability of gas. We

also use our mapping portal to show the outputs of some of our other services, including solar PV feasibility and insulation programmes, so all your energy-related data for a property is in one place. For more information, or to arrange an online demonstration of the energy mapping portal, contact Antony Scott at antony., or on 01934 836 844.

Changing energy behaviour

With the government unveiling its timetable for the nationwide smart meter roll-out (due to start in 2014) there is a growing focus on the “soft” side of energy use – customers’ energy behaviour.

This is partly because DECC are counting on average energy savings of 2% for gas and 3% for electricity due to smart meters, but there is uncertainty in these savings because they ‘depend on consumers’ behavioural response to information’. How uncertain are they? A literature review done by Sustain revealed that savings from smart meter trials ranged from below 0% up to 20%, with some low-use households even increasing their consumption. The Green Alliance has also been focusing on behaviour. Their recently published study, Bringing it Home, revealed that people are prepared to make changes when prompted and when it is easy, but few will do so when changes

are difficult, expensive or outside the social norm. Within the social housing sector there are many opportunities to help residents develop good energy practice, and in fact this can be crucial for those in danger of falling into fuel poverty. Just one half hour spent with a tenant in his or her property, reviewing heating and hot water controls, ventilation, and the use of appliances, can enable them to effectively manage their energy use and optimise their indoor environment for comfort, economy, or a mixture of both. With social landlords responsible for the largest energy-using equipment in a home – heating and hot water – training front-line staff on how to communicate

on related issues can also reduce unnecessary call outs. Research has shown that combining several approaches at once – such as offering in-situ energy awareness training for tenants, training for staff working with tenants, and providing general information on energy use – is most likely to succeed, and in fact Sustain’s experience in both tenant and staff training have proved this to be true in many cases.


What Sustain can do for you

Sustain reduces carbon to build organisational resilience in clients. Our long term, trust-based relationships with clients are evidence of more than a decade of analysing, advising on and applying carbon reduction solutions. Below is a list of some of the services we offer: – CERT funding for insulation and fuel switching programmes – Project management service for insulation and microgeneration technologies for social housing properties and commercial buildings – CESP – Community Energy Saving Programme – SmartHeat – free insulation services for communal boiler rooms in social and private housing – Plant room insulation for schools and commercial buildings – Quality assurance/Technical monitoring services for insulation programmes – Energy modelling and mapping – Solar initiative – Feed in Tariff service – Technical monitoring services for air conditioning units – Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and Display Energy Certificates (DEC) for social and non-domestic buildings – Staff and tenant training in the areas of energy efficiency – Feasibility studies/options appraisals for low carbon technologies – Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) – NHER and SAP energy rating – Fuel Poverty/Affordable Warmth Strategy – Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) – Carbon Footprinting and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

We offer a one stop shop for Carbon Reduction, drawing on our experience and award winning expertise to offer innovation and proven service delivery. If you need help with any areas of carbon reduction please discuss your requirements with us. We have a large team of consultants who will be able to help you.


SoHoT newsletter June 2011  

Sustain SoHoT newsletter June 2011

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