At our meeting on 2 November we heard the outcome and conclusions of the Smart Homes project and other updates on home energy efficiency and the new Zero Carbon Offset levy.

  • Smart Homes – Presentation by Sadhbh Ni Hogain

The project broadly met its targets and exceeded some – especially for blocks of flats (one of them was a housing co-op in Wood St E17). Homes treated: Haringey 255, Camden 52, Enfield 297, Hackney 180, Islington 80, Waltham Forest 286. Harder in inner London due to nature of housing, parking etc. There were benefits for the supply chain in terms of job creation and good reputation leading to further contracts. Ecologic got onto GLA REFIT programme. Only 8 people pursued Green Deal – showing how unattractive it was. Got some feedback from people who didn’t proceed – high cost, even with grant, was a frequent barrier.

Estimated carbon benefits – 42,000 tonnes CO2 avoided over estd lifetimes (35 years for solid wall, 12-20 for windows, 5-8 for boilers) – about 1 tonne per household per year – and savings of £9.2m (about £220 per home pa). This worked out at £128 per tonne against costs.

The project won a Green Apple Award and nominated for other awards.

Key lessons:

  • Need longer time period (2.5 years not 1 year)
  • Local authority involvement is critical for marketing and trust
  • Customer offer was v complex, having a smart advisor helped, as people need technical support, and helped to benchmark costs
  • Having a big supply chain helped, increased resilience against eg firms going out of business
  • You can engage with private rented sector (530 PRS homes were treated)

Next steps

  • Will continue working with the 5 boroughs to develop a 5-year N London Retrofit Programme
  • Possible funding – GLA revolving loans, carbon-offset levy, SALIX? Revolving loan systems work in Belgium, Bristol, Kirklees.
  • PV currently unattractive for most homes – but combined with battery it could work?
  • GLA Energy for Londoners project is mainly a headline without content – we need to tell them that this is potential model for roll-out.
  • Zero Carbon Homes discussion & GLA Funding

The London Plan Policy 5.2 states that development proposals should make the fullest contribution to minimising carbon dioxide emissions in accordance with an energy hierarchy that gives the highest priority to using less energy, over supplying energy efficiently and then using renewable energy. It sets targets for emission reductions which are seen in table 1 below.

Table 1.  Summary of the energy targets required in Policy 5.2 and 5.4 of the London Plan

  Onsite carbon reduction target (over Building Regulations part L 2013 Target Emissions Rate) Policy Source
New build residential of  10 or more units Zero Carbon (100% improvement) London Plan 5.2
Change of use to Residential or refurbishment >1000m2 Zero Carbon (100% improvement) London Plan 5.2/5.4
New Build non-residential  >1000m2 35% improvement over building regulations London Plan 5.2
Extensions >1000m2

(excl. Listed building)

35% improvement over building regulations London Plan 5.2/5.4
Change of use to non

Residential / refurbishment >1000m2

35% improvement over building regulations London Plan 5.2/5.4

The policy states that major development proposals should include a detailed energy assessment to demonstrate how the targets for carbon dioxide emissions reduction outlined above are to be met.  These will follow the energy hierarchy – be Lean, be Clean and include Green Actions).   The requirement is that carbon dioxide reduction targets should be met on‐site. Where it is demonstrated that the specific targets cannot be fully achieved on‐site, any shortfall may be provided off‐site or through a cash in lieu contribution to be ring fenced to secure delivery of carbon dioxide savings elsewhere.

In Haringey the cost of offsetting is agreed at £2,700 per tonne of carbon ( ie £90 per tonne pa multiplied by 30 years to cover the expected life of the building before a major refurbishment).

Carbon offsetting guidelines by DCLG set out how development would deliver their remaining emissions and support a low carbon economy and compensate for their environmental impact.  The guidelines set out how this finance should be used.  This includes renewable energy, retrofitting energy efficiency measures, low carbon transportation projects, and local greening projects which generate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.  In order to ensure this finance delivers genuine results, all projects which are supported must be ‘additional’, proving that they would not happen without the carbon offsetting.   Haringey Council will work within these guidelines and will develp a note setting out spending plans. Money should be spent “in the locality” but this could be flexible.

The scheme does not include embodied carbon emissions.

The levy is one of several planning requirements and is not automatic – it could be traded away for other benefits. We agreed to encourage the Council to give it due priority given the Council’s commitment to carbon reduction.

  • Muswell Hill Sustainability Group
  • Thermal imaging project to take photos of outside of housing along on street
  • Pilot in Fortis Green, road yet to be determined
  • Highgate Sustainable Homes
  • A series of events in spring
  • One will be an event including architects and builders to give advice home owners. These will be based around:
    • Renewable technologies
    • Minor alterations (doors, windows) that deliver energy improvements
    • Whole House alterations to deliver energy improvements
  • Domestic Solar PV and Solar Heating
  • Is this worth installing PV?
    • Domestic PV FIT now just 4.3p/kWh. Case by case but pay backs are based on orientation and roof design
    • Installation costs are high
    • Might be worth doing for ideological reasons
    • Good to combine with battery technology
  • Is this worth installing solar thermal?
    • Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) are just about viable
    • Might be worth doing for ideological reasons
    • Need to have high hot water demand
  • Update on the Grant Programme

Three grants have been awarded and these are:

  • Selby Project – Workshop with young people in the manufacture of solar panels and educating them on good energy behaviour.
  • Global Group – Working with the community installing LED lighting into households in Northumberland Park.
  • Estates Elite Recycling – To introduce ventilated caddies and composting bags to encourage residents to create compost. Aiming to work with businesses and community.   Linking into the Noel Park neighbourhoods.
  • Electric vehicles points at the Spurs Stadium

These are being used for petrol cars.  Are they in breach of their planning permission?  JB to check.

  • Next Meeting: Due to have the next meeting in Jan 2017.

Suggested topic:   Zero Carbon (and carry-over of item on energy aspects of Haringey’s Housing Strategy).