Annually the ACEEE (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy) publishes a league table of results which charts countries efforts in terms of reducing their emissions. It was founded in 1980 and since then it aims to highlight the importance of such activities to the wider world.
Climate change in itself is a controversial topic. We saw at the COP 21 in Paris in 2015 that nations came together to sign the agreement to work on specific areas to reduce emissions which were seen to be contributing to climate change. Of course since then, the agreement has been dealt a severe blow with the withdrawal of the USA under President Trump. Whether that will eventually be turned around is anyone’s guess but in the meantime, efforts to be more environmentally aware can stretch to individual home owners because even small changes can make a difference to wider and more long term behaviours.
With the ACEEE’s chart of countries, it is interesting to see what countries “performed” best and what countries need further work. This infographic below from the people at Senator highlights that main points of the ACEEE report and examines the variables involved in the “scoring”. Check it out below.
This very interesting infographic from Half Price Shutters takes a graphic look at which countries are the most energy efficient.
Households may be eligible for a free replacement boiler under the government's ECO scheme. With no charge for the boiler, including no installation fees, you could upgrade your home's heating systems. You can also reduce your home heating costs with new energy efficient boilers and increase efficiency for long-term savings. With more economical and efficient use of energy in your home, you are also helping to reduce carbon emissions for a greener, more sustainable environment.
What is ECO?
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) was launched in early 2013. The ECO scheme is part of the UK government's Green Deal, a new and innovative financing mechanism that helps households pay for energy efficient improvements. The Green Deal and ECO initiatives are overseen by the Green Deal Registration and Oversight Body (GD ORB). The role of GD ORB is to register companies that deliver components of the Green Deal, including advisors, providers and installers.
The ECO scheme promotes energy efficiency by helping low income households and households with financial difficulties to make energy improvements to their homes. The programme has three components. The Affordable Warmth Obligation aims at providing heating and insulation improvements for low income and vulnerable households by helping fund these home improvements, while the Carbon Saving Obligation provides funding to insulate properties with internal and external solid walls. The third component of the ECO scheme is the Carbon Saving Communities Obligation, which provides support for insulation measures for those living within the bottom 15 percent of the UK's most deprived areas. This third component is designed particularly for low income housing.
What are the Benefits of ECO?
Through ECO, households could be eligible for a new replacement boiler and a range of energy improvements for your home. These home improvements could include new energy efficient radiators, cavity wall insulation, double glazed windows, loft insulation and central heating upgrades. These improvements are designed to maximise energy efficiency and reduce energy waste in your home. As a result, improvements help reduce carbon emissions and heating bills by minimising energy waste.
As part of the ECO initiative, UK energy suppliers are also contributing to a greener and more sustainable future. Under the Green Deal initiative, energy suppliers are required to improve energy efficiency in households. In order to benefit from the programme, suppliers must also register as Green Deal advisors and assessors, providers and installers. This ensures suppliers meet consistent quality and service standards. Government grants are then provided to energy companies in order to assist with making energy efficient improvements to homes.
Who is Eligible?
You may be eligible for a free boiler replacement if your existing boiler is not working and you are receiving certain government benefits. Benefits include a state pension credit, income related benefits (for example, income support, working tax credit) if you are living with a child under 16 and have an income of less than £15,860, or disability benefits and earning less than £15,860.
This offer is available to all eligible households, so you do not have to be a homeowner to benefit from the ECO scheme. If you are living in privately rented accommodation or with relatives, you may still be eligible for a free boiler replacement. The free replacement boiler component of the ECO scheme is not open to social housing tenants.
To qualify, an assessment of the home is first carried out by an authorised Green Deal advisor or assessor. The assessment will identify options for energy efficiency improvements and outline long-term financial savings of making these changes. An authorised Green Deal installer installs your new boiler and carries out any other eligible improvements.
This guest post was written by Nick Davison, Nick writes about energy saving improvements and reducing carbon emissions.
The UK government's ‘Green Deal', which came into force in October, 2012, tries to persuade homeowners to cut the carbon footprint of their home in return for cash incentives.
This had led to one obvious query: What happens if the property is sold? Normally, the buyer would be expected to settle any loans pertaining to the property before it changes hands. The catch here is that such Green Deal loans do not count as charges, and are therefore not registered at the Land Registry.
It is the obligation of the seller to inform a potential buyer of any outstanding Green Deal loans, but what happens if the purchase goes through without the buyer being informed?
About the Green Deal
In 2011 the government announced it was allotting £200million to its Green Deal scheme. Its aim is to deliver over £1.3billion in energy savings by 2020.
Many homeowners are savvy enough to understand that improving the energy-efficiency of their homes by, say, insulating their loft or installing solar panels, creates long-term benefits and makes their home more attractive to potential purchasers.
However confusion often arises when the property is sold and the title is transferred to a new owner.
Commenting on the solicitor's approach to Green Deal loans, Fridaysmove Panel Director Tony Lilleystone said “It is the task of a conveyancing solicitor to identify Green Deal loans during preparations for a potential house purchase, but the seller is required to inform the buyer anyway.”
“The property's EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), which is made available to anyone expressing an interest in buying the property, will contain a reference to the Green Deal loan on its first page.”
In spite of this, professionals within the property-purchasing industry have expressed concerns over the ambiguous nature of a Green Deal loan. If the loan qualifies as a charge, then the seller is obliged to settle the loan before the property is sold.
If it is not, then does the buyer inherit the need to repay the loan? The buyer will, after all, be benefiting from the home improvements made by the previous owner.
Whose Loan is it Anyway?
The Government's position seems to be that responsibility for paying the loan lies with whoever is paying the bills at the property in question.
This has led to further confusion – just because you own a property does not means you live in it. If you rent it out, does payment of the Green Deal loan now fall to your tenants? This confusion about the ownership of the loan – seller, buyer or occupants – may add weeks onto the time it takes for a sale to be completed.
The fact that an EPC is generally valid for ten years means there is no guarantee an EPC has been updated to reflect that the property has a Green Deal loan attached to it.
If the information about a Green Deal loan only comes to light several weeks down the line, and the seller is not happy about having to take over the loan, then both parties will have wasted a great deal of time and money for nothing.
In summary, it seems that advice on how conveyancing solicitors advise their clients about a property where a Green Deal loan remains outstanding is sorely required.
Tony Lilleystone is Panel Director at Fridaysmove, 1-6 Speedy Place, London, WC1H 8BU, and has over 30 years experience in the Property Sector.
Thanks to ever-raising energy bills, there has never been a more economical time to start taking steps towards making things a little more energy-efficient in the home. While there are simple ways of reducing your home’s energy output (unplugging appliances, taking baths rather than showers etc.), many people fail to notice the real energy consuming culprit in the home – the heating circulator pump.
Installed into every household, many homeowners don’t even realise that it’s there! Heating circulator pumps are used to move hot water from the boiler to heating devices around the home such as radiators, and are generally used during colder months. Swapping old circulator pumps for a new energy-efficient model this summer will help you to save both money and energy once winter rolls around. We spoke with the experts at Anchor Pumps to find out the benefits of switching pumps this summer.
Benefits of Switching this Summer:
1. Save Energy & Money
The majority of heating circulator pumps installed in British and European households are D-labelled circulator pumps. Replacing an old D-labelled pump with a new energy-efficient A-labelled pump will help to save energy in the home as an A-labelled circulator uses up to 80% less energy – meaning that your energy bills should drop too as a result!
2. Keep in Line with Changing Legislation
Last year, the European Union introduced new legislation for energy using products. The new legislation, which has been enforced as from January this year, means that only the most energy-efficient heating circulator pumps are to be used. Switching to an energy-efficient A-labelled pump will ensure that your home stays in line with the legislation requirements.
3. Only use Energy when you need it
Pump manufacturers Grundfos have taken things one step further with the introduction of an innovative AUTOADAPT feature. Found in Alpha Grundfos Pumps, the AUTOADAPT feature automatically adapts to the individual hot water consumption pattern within your home – meaning that the circulator pump only runs when hot water is needed.
4. Quick Installation
One of the benefits to switching your heating circulator pump in the summer is that, as many people associate heating pumps as a requirement for winter, the majority of installers will have appointments available to install your circulator pump now – and as it is not peak period, the installation cost may even be cheaper than it would be in winter.