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Time is right for a national mobilisation on energy efficiency, says green building leader

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The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has expressed its support for the recommendations of the report by Parliament’s cross-party Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), which calls for a national ‘war effort’ on energy efficiency.

The UKGBC’s director of communications, policy and places, Simon McWhirter, said: “As we close the book on the warmest year on record in the UK, with millions of people across the country still struggling to afford to heat their homes, the EAC is right to call for a national mobilisation on energy efficiency. We cannot afford any more winters like this one.

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No upswing for ground source heat pump industry despite boiler upgrade scheme

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The £450m UK Government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which was launched in May, has yet to deliver an upswing in heat pump inquiries from domestic customers let alone installations, according to a survey of its members by the Ground Source Heat Pump Association.  In fact, the industry is seeing less inquiries from domestic customers in the than 12 months ago.

GSHPA, which represents heat pump system designers, contractors and installers across the UK, asked its members about their present levels of business and their outlook for the future, now that the Boiler Upgrade Scheme gives customers a grant of £6,000 for a ground source hear pumps, at zero-rated VAT.

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Scotland’s oldest university launches solar farm in significant step towards net zero targets

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Ambitious plans by the University of St Andrews to meet net zero targets, contribute to a just transition from fossil fuels, and take a leading role in driving a successful local and national economy were given the seal of approval this week when its new solar farm was unveiled by Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, Kate Forbes MSP, on a visit to its Eden Campus.

The one-megawatt ground solar photovoltaic (PV) development – backed by a Scottish Funding Council loan and supported by the Vacant & Derelict Land Fund from the Scottish Government and Fife Council – will provide electricity to the campus. This move further reduces the University’s overall carbon footprint by approximately 5%.

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Sussex village to become zero carbon role model

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A Sussex village could hold one of the keys to helping the UK reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Residents in Barcombe, East Sussex, are helping their local electricity network operator to create a model roadmap for ‘greener’ home heating that will in time show the way for other communities to follow suit.

Fossil-fuel based heating accounts for around a third of UK carbon emissions, making decarbonising heat a vital part of the UK’s legally-binding commitment to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Across the UK, there are four million properties like those in Barcombe which are ‘off-gas grid’, meaning residents burn fossil fuels for cooking and heating. This produces significant carbon emissions and is often expensive.

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New energy clubs to help low-income families benefit from cheaper green power

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Pioneering energy clubs are being created in and around Brixton, south London, to deliver cheap, green electricity to low-income households on pre-payment meters who struggle to afford their power bills. The learning from this project will be used to spread similar energy clubs across the UK, potentially helping hundreds of thousands of people.

A partnership of charities and energy experts will soon start searching for 60 vulnerable households to join the two new Energy Local clubs. Residents will join a club to receive cheaper power from solar panels if they use the power when the panels are operating. The solar panels are already installed on the Roupell Park Estate on Brixton Hill.

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