£9m energy efficiency gift

Future Net Zero is reporting that industrial innovators are to win £9m in a finance boost to demonstrate new tech.

Eight industrial innovators have secured almost £9 million in public and private funding as part of the second phase of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA).

Business Green said a clutch of innovative energy efficiency projects designed to slash CO2 emissions from industrial processes such as plastics manufacturing, pulp and paper production, wastewater treatment and data centres would benefit from the cash.

“It is great to see this solid investment programme into low carbon futures getting off the ground,” commented Kevin Cox, Managing Director, Energys.

“Reliable and long term funding is going to be essential, if we are to see energy efficiency contributing in the scope that it might to the UK’s Net Zero aspirations.”

Oxford steps up

Oxford City Council has taken on powers to improve the energy efficiency standards of commercial and private rented properties across Oxford.

In April 2019 the Council, alongside five other local authorities, won £150,000 from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to improve energy efficiency in the private rented sector in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council.

BEIS selected Oxford as one of six pilot areas to enforce the minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) that became law in April 2018.

The news comes as part of wider moves towards a zero carbon building system across eight Oxford areas – council buildings, council housing, new homes, community buildings, commercial buildings, private rented sector, planning standards and building standards.

“Buildings make up 81% of Oxford’s total carbon emissions, and it is through ensuring that they are efficient that we can work to reduce our carbon emissions and tackle the climate emergency,” said Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Housing.

“The greenest buildings are the one’s already built,” said Kevin Cox. “Oxford’s moves show how focussing on retrofitting existing stock is a simple pathway to lower carbon.”

Fast track buildings efficiency

In further news on buildings retrofit, a new Green Alliance report says that as business is responsible for a quarter of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, much more energy efficient corporate buildings and industrial processes are needed.

It points to cheap, smart sensors combined with optimising algorithms, which can cut the energy use of buildings by up to 17 per cent, as the type of solutions UK PLC needs to adopt.

Additionally, the UK should avoid repeating poor design in new buildings, by using data from existing commercial building energy performance to deliver more efficient assets from the start.

‘The UK cannot afford to construct new buildings with the same energy performance failings as existing stock,’ says the paper. ‘All new buildings should be built for Net Zero carbon in operation (ie including heating) from 2030.’

And finally…

EDIE is reporting that Peterborough has unveiled plans for the UK’s largest low-carbon ‘smart-city’ regeneration project.

As part of the scheme, brownfield sites could be used to install solar panels in towns and cities across the region, investment could be garnered for low-carbon heat-pumps for off-grid rural homes and schools and public buildings could be retrofitted with energy efficiency measures.

Lobbying is also ongoing for devolved energy efficiency funding for Humber in the upcoming Budget; helping Hull City Council to bid for an energy efficiency programme, collaborating with external stakeholders such as CATCH and the University of Hull.

“The spring is looking bright for energy efficiency building retrofits,” said Cox. “Let’s get to work now on the Net Zero buildings of the future.”

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