On Tuesday 18th October 2011, the Energy Bill received Royal Assent and became the Energy Act 2011. The Energy Act provides a legislative framework and a step change in the provision of energy efficient measures to homes and businesses. The purpose is to secure low-carbon energy supplies and fair competition in energy markets.
A consultation period is now under review until 12th January 2012, the consultation will seek views on the details of the Green Deal and ECO policies that are to be implemented in secondary legislation and under the energy licensing framework.
The Act includes provisions on:
The Act creates a new financing framework to enable the provision of fixed improvements to the energy efficiency of households and non-domestic properties, funded by a charge on energy bills that avoids the need for consumers to pay upfront costs.
At a local level, the Green Deal will enable many households and businesses to improve the energy efficiency of their properties so less energy is consumed and less money is wasted. The key focus of the new energy company obligation – or “ECO” will be on those householders who cannot achieve significant energy savings without an additional or different measure of support. For example, this includes vulnerable and low-income households and those living in harder to treat properties, such as solid walled properties. A quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions comes from the energy used in homes and a similar amount comes from our businesses, industry and workplaces.
At a national level, the UK needs to become more energy efficient to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, which risk dangerous climate change. The Climate Change Act 2008 legislated for a reduction in our carbon emissions and set legally-binding carbon budgets across all sectors of the UK economy — including our homes, communities and the workplace.
Private Rented Sector
The Act includes provisions to ensure that from April 2016, private residential landlords will be unable to refuse a tenant’s reasonable request for consent to energy efficiency improvements where a finance package, such as the Green Deal and/or the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), is available.
Provisions in the Act also provide for powers to ensure that from April 2018, it will be unlawful to rent out a residential or business premise that does not reach a minimum energy efficiency standard (the intention is for this to be set at EPC rating ‘E’).
Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
The Act amends existing powers in the Gas Act 1986, Electricity Act 1989 and the Utilities Act 2000 to enable the Secretary of State to create a new ECO that will:
• Take over from existing obligations to reduce carbon emissions (the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP)), which expire at the end of 2012.
• Work alongside the Green Deal finance offer by targeting appropriate measures at those households likely to need additional support – in particular those containing vulnerable people on low incomes and in hard-to-treat housing.
ECO will be integrated with the Green deal, allowing supplier subsidy and Green Deal Financing to come together into one seamless offer to the consumer.
Green Deal – Consumer Journey
For the industry, the Green Deal will present an opportunity for a large number of contractors to become certified advisors and installers to improve energy efficiency, energy security and enable low carbon technologies for each property. Training for both installers and advisors is available at the Greenworks Training Academy.
Training courses include:
• Assessor courses – Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA), On Construction Energy Assessor (OCEA), Non-Domestic Energy Assessment (NDEA).
• Microgeneration Quality Assurance Training and Manual (MCS).
• Installation courses – Solar Thermal, Solar PV, Heat Pumps, Rainwater Harvesting, Underfloor Heating, External wall insulation.
December 7, 2011 in