Industry News

DECC: From 1 April 2010 householders & communities who install low carbon electricity technology (such as solar photovoltaic (pv) panels & wind turbines up to 5Mws) will be paid for the electricity they generate, even if they use it themselves.  The level of payment depends on the technology and is linked to inflation.
 
They will get a further payment for any electricity they feed into the grid in addition to benefiting from reduced bills, as they reduce the need to buy electricity.  The scheme will also apply to installations commissioned since July 2008 when the policy was announced. A typical 2.5kW well sited solar pv installation could offer a homeowner a reward of up to £900 and save them £140 p.a. on their electricity bill.
 
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has also published plans (consultation closes on 26 April 2010) for a scheme to incentivise renewable heat generation at all scales.  This will come into effect in April 2011 and guarantee payments for those who install technologies such as ground source heat pumps, biomass boilers and air source heat pumps.
 
The heat incentive could help thousands of consumers who are off the gas network lower their fuel bills and gain a cash reward for greening their heating supply.  Details of funding for the scheme will be published in the Budget 2010.  Ofgem will administer the feed-in tariff scheme and suppliers will be responsible to paying the reward to their customers.
Press release ~ Government response to the consultation on renewable electricity financial incentives ~ Consultation on the proposed renewable heat incentive financial support scheme ~ eaga’s Clean Energy for Social Housing project
 
Newswire – EEPHEnergy Efficiency Partnership for Homes has appointed Professor David Strong as its new Chair. The Partnership is an independent, collaborative network of more than 575 supply chain organisations involved in the delivery of energy efficiency products & services to consumers.  It acts as a neutral space for members to work together to inform the practicality of government initiatives on domestic energy efficiency, carbon savings, energy security and the eradication of fuel poverty.

The Partnership has been particularly successful in recent months in providing the Government with practical insights into the forthcoming Household Energy Management strategy, as well as the extension of CERT (Carbon Emissions Reduction Target) and the introduction of CSEP (Community Energy Saving Programme).
 
It has some 75 different streams of work covering topics as diverse as consumer electronics & white goods, local authority engagement, fuel poverty, glazing, heating, insulation & lighting, and newbuild & 'hard to treat' homes.
Press release ~ Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes ~ CERT (Carbon Emissions Reduction Target) ~ CESP (Community Energy Saving Programme) ~ EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive ~ Latest Annual Report EEPH
 
WAGWelsh Assembly Government Minister Leighton Andrews has launched the Welsh Social Enterprise Coalition (WSEC) - a new organisation to champion & support the social enterprise sector in Wales - at the UK’s largest social enterprise conference, Voice 10, in Cardiff.
 
The WSEC will be made up of representatives of the social enterprise sector.  Its remit will be to champion the sector’s values, promote social enterprise as an alternative business model and to help the overall number of social enterprises in Wales to grow. The WAG has provided start up funding of £700,000 over 4 years to give the coalition time to focus its energies on creating revenue streams to ensure long-term sustainability.
Press release ~ Voice 10 ~ Social Enterprise Coalition UK ~ Welsh Social Enterprise Coalition (WSEC) ~ Social enterprise
 
Newswire – EA: A cutting-edge simulator that recreates the devastating effects of a flood has been created to test products designed to defend homes, businesses and people from flooding. The new test facility in Oxfordshire has been developed by the Environment Agency and HR Wallingford to test flood defence products against a new industry standard - PAS 1188.  It features a replica living room inside a massive tank, about half the size of a football pitch.
 
During the simulation, the replica building is fitted with the flood products and the tank is then flooded with thousands of gallons of water to simulate a severe flood.  If successful, the products will be awarded the BSI Kitemark, giving householders, organisations & businesses greater confidence in the flood products they use to protect their property.
Press release ~ HR Wallingford ~ EA: How can I be prepared? ~ Defra’s £5m property-level flood protection grant scheme (scroll down) ~ BSI: PAS 1188 ~ National Flood Forum - BSI: PAS 1188 ~ UK Flood Barriers - BSI: PAS 1188 ~ NFF: Blue Pages
 
DECC: 12 communities from across the UK are celebrating after winning up to £500,000 each to help install new green technologies such as solar panels, hydro turbines and energy saving insulation. The grant money, awarded through the Government’s Low Carbon Community Challenge, will be spent on a range of green measures which will cut carbon, save money on energy bills, and could even see some communities make cash from generating their own energy – thanks to the Government’s new clean energy scheme.
 
In total, 22 communities will benefit from the £10m challenge fund, the aim of which is to inform government of what works at a community level to cut emissions.  The first 10 winners were announced in December 2009. For contact details of winners see press release.
Press release ~ Low Carbon Community Challenge
 
DH: A sensor that switches on the lights when you get out of bed, a temperature detector to stop your house getting too hot or too cold and a flood detector are just some of the assistive technologies on display at a state of the art ‘wise home’ that Phil Hope, Care Services Minister, visited in Harrogate recently.
 
Telecare could prevent 160,000 people from entering residential care per year, with potential cost savings of £2.0bn per year, according to Department of Health estimates.  However, 98% of UK adults are unaware that assistive technologies are an important part of social care, new research commissioned by the DH has revealed.
 
The DH has selected North Yorkshire County Council as an exemplar provider of innovative prevention services.  The Council has saved over £1m through telecare over the last year that would otherwise have been spent on domiciliary or residential care.  This cut the average person’s care costs by 38%, which is an average saving of £3,600 per person.
Press release ~ Images of care & support ~ Green Paper: Shaping the Future of Care Together ~ North Yorkshire County Council - Telecare
 
HO: Two revolutionary prototype pint glasses designed to reduce the terrible injuries caused by nearly 87,000 glass attacks each year (costing the NHS an estimated £2.7bn p.a.) were unveiled at the Design Council last week by the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson.
 
The safer pint glasses, designed not to shatter into & and dangerous shards, have been produced under the Design Out Crime programme, an initiative from the Home Office’s Design & Technology Alliance Against Crime and the Design Council. Designed to be safer, but also a more popular alternative to plastic, the 2 new designs are the first major advance in glassware for pubs since the 1960s:
 
* Glass Plus - looks just like a regular pint glass but has a thin transparent coating of bio-resin on the inside.  This makes it stronger and if the glass is broken it binds together dangerous shards - drastically reducing the likelihood of injury to customers and staff
 
* Twin Wall - a revolutionary design, made by bonding two ultra-thin layers of glass together in a concept similar to laminated car windscreens.  It makes the pint glass extremely difficult to break, but in the event that it does smash, any dangerous shards would be safely held together by a layer of resin
 
Specialist design consultancy DesignBridge used early research results from InnovationRCA, the business network of the Royal College of Art, to help create dozens of initial concepts.  These were assessed by leading glass manufacturers, materials experts, drinks producers and pub owners before the 2 final solutions were chosen.
 
Talks with major pub chains about trialling the Glass Plus glasses are proceeding, which it is hoped will go ahead within 12 months.  The Twin Wall designs will be further refined in consultation with manufacturers to investigate possible large scale production processes.
Press release ~ Design out Crime ~ Design and Technology Alliance ~ Design Council ~ Design Bridge ~ InnovationRCA
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