Mobilising Communities

The Timing



We have assembled here short descriptions of and links to, government policies and programmes that frame or can be drawn on to support CCRM projects.

European Union

The EU target is to reduce by 20% its primary energy consumption compared to projections. Recent Commission estimates suggest the EU is only on track to meet half of this goal, and so there will be a ramping-up of activities. The bulk of the EU's energy savings plan is to achieve higher energy savings in buildings.

This Directive is the main legislative instrument at the European level for working toward energy efficiency in buildings. By 2021, new buildings will have to be nearly zero-energy. The EPBD requires Member States to begin the certification of new and existing buildings' energy performance, to set minimum requirements for energy performance, and to require regular inspections of boilers and air conditioning systems in buildings.

Energy Labeling of Appliances (Directive 20/10/30)
Electricity use in households has shown a substantial increase in end energy use. The first response is mandating highly visible labeling of household appliances in markets. The second is to begin to introduce compulsory minimum efficiency requirements. The actual implementation of these requirements is largely left to the member states.

You will find here a good summary of this legislation

United Kingdom

The introduction of energy performance certificates is under the remit of the Department of Communities and Local Government. There are two types of certificates. Asset certificates, or energy performance certificates, measure the energy performance of buildings based on their design. They must be updated every ten years, or at the time of sale or lease. Operating certificates, or display energy certificates, measure the actual performance of buildings and must be on display for public sector buildings larger than 1,000 m2. They are renewed annually. Certificates are measured on a scale of A-G, evaluated using the Standard Assessment Procedure.

The Code sets up a rating system complementary to EPCs. It uses a 1 to 6 star system with minimum requirements for water and energy use at each level. At present, the Code is voluntary and covers nine categories of sustainable design. Those categories are Energy/CO2 , Water, Materials, Surface Water Runoff (flooding and flood prevention), Waste, Pollution, Health and Well-being, Management, and Ecology.

CERT requires all domestic energy providers with more than 50,000 customers to reduce the CO2 emitted by households. This target is met by suppliers through promotion of energy efficiency measures to consumers. 80% of the energy suppliers' work must focus on professionally installed or DIY insulation. Further, 40% of the focus must be on low-income groups vulnerable to fuel poverty. CERT is scheduled to remain effective until December 2012.

CRCEE focuses on increasing energy efficiency in large public and private sector organisations. Full participation is mandatory for organisations that have consumed at least 6,000 MWh of half hourly metered electricity in 2008. Participating organisations are encouraged to introduce energy efficiency measures and carbon allowances in accordance to their projected energy needs. Phase 1 is already in effect, while Phase 2 will experience changes and is scheduled to be launched in 2013. 

The CESP targets 4,500 low income areas in the UK to improve energy efficiency standards and reduce fuel bills. It is funded by an obligation on energy suppliers, and is expected to deliver up to £350 million of efficiency measures.

By 2016, all new homes will be zero carbon. By 2019, all new non-domestic buildings will be zero-carbon. Though this initiative is ambitious, the definition of zero carbon is still being negotiated, and will likely include some type of carbon offset system for investing in community-based low carbon funds.

The first phase of the RHI features long-term tariff support for non-domestic sectors through quarterly payments over 20 years to cover a range of technologies and fuels. It also includes £15 million in support for households through the Renewable Heat Premium Payment which will be in place until the Green Deal takes effect in October 2012. The second phase will take place in conjunction with the introduction of the Green Deal. It will feature expanded support for households and will include a range of new technologies. The programme will be administered by Ofgem.

The Green Deal provides free initial installation of energy efficiency retrofits (loft/wall insulation, high-efficiency boilers, etc.). In effect, the bill payer for the building takes out a loan from the private financing mechanism that is paid back through monthly installments on their heating bills in an amount not to exceed the amount of money saved from installing the efficiency measures. This means that monthly energy bill payments stay the same; the amount of money saved from the efficiency measures is replaced by a payment on the loan. Once the loan is paid off, the bill payer starts to receive the benefits of reduced energy bills. The loan stays with the building, so energy efficiency improvements will not cause the initial owner to incur any costs from moving. It will be available for both businesses and households. 

Part of the Climate Change Levy Programme, the ECA Energy Scheme provides tax write-offs for businesses on new energy saving products (boiler equipment, heat pumps, lighting, solar thermal systems, etc.) It ensures 100% first-year capital allowances on investments in eligible new energy-saving equipment against taxable profits of the period of the investment. It is open to all businesses paying UK corporation or income tax.

This program guarantees that if individuals, homeowners, businesses, and organizations invest in small scale energy generation technologies, they will be paid for any electricity they generate, and additionally for energy they export back to the grid. It covers wind, solar photovoltaic, hydro, anaerobic digestion, and domestic scale micro-CHP at capacities under 5 megawatts. The cost of the FIT scheme will be shared by electricity suppliers based on their market share.

Warm Front

This is an initiative aimed exclusively at low-income homeowners or renters who receive some form of pension or income assistance. It offers grants for heating improvement and insulation.  The aim of the program is to reduce the number of families in fuel poverty. Grants are generally up to £3,500, and up to £6,000 for homes where oil central heating or some alternative source are recommended.