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Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) Consultation.

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 18-Feb-09 05:13:47 PM

Continuing from my last post - Heat and Energy Saving Strategy - Explored - I now want to direct your attention to the concurrently-running Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) consultation.

If you believe the energy utils will muscle into the market, this document may strengthen your inkling, although there are still questions surrounding as to who and how energy audits will operate, IMO.

First, the bare bones of CESP.

What is CESP?

The CESP measures will be funded by a new and additional obligation on energy suppliers and electricity generators. We expect around 100 schemes will be funded benefiting some 90,000 households, and delivering a saving of nearly 4m tonnes of CO2 emissions.

It will promote a whole-house approach and will be delivered through the development of community-based partnerships (involving local authorities) along with suppliers and generators. Partnership working will allow CESP to be implemented in a way that is best suited to individual areas and coordinated with existing initiatives.

Although local authorities play a role, the energy utils would seem to be very much in the driving seat - well it's their money isn't it.

Energy suppliers and electricity generators will be required to achieve an overall carbon emissions reduction target.

It's a 66-page document but (thankfully) there are few portions applicable here so I will just paste those that are (or maybe - remember, it's only a consultation; nothing set in stone, nudge nudge).

Home Energy Audits

(P. 30)

'Home energy audits provide householders with advice on reducing energy usage in homes. The advice could include making alterations to the home as well as changing behaviour [...] These audits can include measures for individual households but can also be particularly helpful in the delivery of intensive action. CESP’s community approach could mean that almost every home in a targeted area would receive one. These measures could be scored individually or collectively (delivering audits to 90% of the households in an area would constitute one score, for example).'

A quick note on the 'score'

Energy suppliers and generating companies will have targets apportioned commensurate with their market share. Each will 'discharge their obligation by delivering carbon abatement measures in homes' with each measure worth a particular 'score', set out in legislation.

The 'score' is assessed on a baseline level of carbon emissions likely to be saved over a measure's lifetime. Points are added or subtracted to reflect how well a measure fits with the overall policy intentions of the CESP.

'Companies may then score bonuses, on top of the individual measure scores, where they deliver several measures in one home, and/or treat many homes in one area.'

'However, the scoring system is designed to make the delivery of certain types of measure more attractive than others (for example, it is proposed that solid wall insulation should attract a significant points score uplift on top of its baseline carbon savings assessment, making it a high-scoring measure which companies are likely to be keen to install).'

'If advice offered under CESP is to be trusted and credible, advisers must have had suitable training and be appropriately qualified.'

I've split the paragraph here because the next sentence is worthy of interesting note:

In addition, Ofgem must be able to have clear criteria to accredit home energy audit proposals put forward by the energy companies, including the training and qualifications of personnel involved.

This is worth a brief aside: Is this intimating that Ofgem may play a role in the accreditation process? Perhaps approving schemes to operate in a separate adviser market?

I've run this past a couple of accreditation schemes but, understandably, they are still digesting the 144-page Heat and Energy Saving Strategy consultation. But one did remark, albeit based on hearsay, how certain sectors of industry were questioning whether access to the role of Community Energy Adviser should be monopolised by pre-qualified and accredited DEAs at all - the inference being there is no need for an accreditation regime to audit the provision of advice.

Brian Scannell, NHER, told me that without a clear and measurable standardisation process (to the provision of advice), the argument for an accreditation regime, for either Home Energy Advisers (HEA) and/or Community Energy Advisers (CEA), is somewhat weakened - understandable when you consider there is no calculation methodology to apply.

However, the paragraph continues by highlighting the 8,000 qualified and accredited DEAs available for work (in fact, it was copy and pasted from the Heat and Energy Saving Strategy - see last post).

Taken together with the next paragraph - which refers to the HEA and CEA NOS currently in draft - one might conclude which way the Government is leaning.

With additional training, these advisers will also be able to provide advice to the wider community on energy reduction and sustainability, and renewable energy technologies.' Which may be a hint to the current preference of Government.

But there is clearly a lack of clarity in the proposal - if it could, indeed, be called that - the section is left hanging in the wind with the closing statement: 'We will explore this wider role of community level energy saving advice and how this could assist in the delivery of CESP.'

Without saying when or where this could be found.

Additionally, the question for this topic is equally fuzzy, it asks: 'Do you agree with the proposed list of measures available under CESP?'

Apart from the 'scores', what proposed list of measures?

A CESP project from start to finish

(p. 36)

Taken directly from the consultation document - notice step 3 in particular, which only posits the possibility of home energy audits:

CESP project steps

Download: full CESP consultation (pdf)

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