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Energy Bill to protect steel and cement industries

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altThe bill also said energy intensive industries, such as steel and cement producers, would be exempt from additional costs from moves to encourage investment in new low-carbon production. The Energy Intensive Industries (EIIs) exemption will be subject to State Aid clearance from the European Commission.

A new government company will act as a counter-party for Contracts for Difference, which are aimed at giving investors stable revenues on low carbon energy projects at a fixed level, or strike price, helping developers to secure upfront costs on projects while also protecting consumers from rising energy bills.


Retrofitting can cut carbon emissions in homes by at least half

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altThe Institute for Sustainability and UCL Energy Institute (UCL-Energy) has produced ‘ Retrofit Insights: perspectives for an emerging industry’, an independent analysis of  the Technology Strategy Board’s £17 million ‘Retrofit for the Future’ (R4tF) programme.

The findings help address key issues such as fuel poverty, rising energy bills, carbon emissions reduction targets, jobs and growth and innovation in the UK’s housing stock. Crucially, they address how the sector can tap into a potential £500 billion retrofit market while ensuring the best outcomes for householders.


Government to spend £2.9m on marketing Green Deal

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altThe Government has confirmed it will spend £2.9 million on marketing the Green Deal when it launches in earnest on January 28.

Full details of the communications campaign have yet to be unveiled, but it will focus primarily on householders and will include digital and traditional channels, according to a spokesperson at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Officials at DECC had to get a special exemption from the Government’s freeze on marketing spend to secure the £2.9 million pot of money and the department said it would be used to "build understanding and trust" in the Green Deal.


European tax dispute threatens Green Deal

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altThe future of the Government's flagship Green Deal programme hangs in the balance after an intensifying tax dispute with the European Commission.

Brussels bureaucrats have warned Whitehall to overhaul the tax rules regarding energy-saving materials or face the prospect of massive fines at the European Court of Justice.

Currently, the UK Treasury levies a reduced rate of five per cent VAT for insulation materials for walls, ceilings, floors and water tanks. However, the full 20 per cent rate of VAT still applies to energy efficient windows and doors.


USGBC Launches Green Building Information Gateway

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altThe U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the launch of the Green Building Information Gateway. Coined GBIG, the web-based tool is designed to help accelerate market transformation by providing greater transparency and understanding of the green dimensions of the built environment.

GBIG provides a transparent view of places, projects, collections and credits, detailing the actions and activities of LEED building owners and project teams over time. The tool provides maps, analytics and insights that reveal trends, patterns and processes in green building practice.