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Devil's in the detail but HVCA welcomes energy consultations

Three new energy consultations published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have been welcomed by the Heating and Ventilating Contractors' Association.
Consultations on the Heat and Energy Saving Strategy (HES), the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), and the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) were published on February 12.

The HES consultation sets out the government's aim for emissions from existing buildings to be approaching zero by 2050 with an 80% greenhouse gas reduction target.

The HES consultation proposals include:

-The recommendation that all homes receive by 2030 a whole house package including all cost-effective energy saving plus renewable heat and electricity measures, where appropriate.

- A new focus on district heating in suitable communities and removing barriers to their development.

- Consideration of a new voluntary code of practice with the building trade on energy efficiency and low carbon energy.

The HESconsultation period ends on May 8.

The Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), consultation places an obligation on energy suppliers and electricity generators to meet a CO2 reduction target by providing energy efficiency measures to domestic consumers and offering these measures to low income households. The CESPconsultation period ends on May 8.

A consultation on proposed amendments to the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target 2008-11 (CERT) proposes to raise the carbon saving target on household energy suppliers by 20%, driving major investment to household energy and carbon saving by March 2011. Responses to the CERTconsultation must be submitted by April 14.

Keen to draw up a response to the consultation documents, Rod Pettigrew, the HVCA's deputy chief executive said: 'It's very good that the government has recognised and taken into account the need for longer term planning. It's true to say the devil's in the detail but it is clear that what is coming across is a longer term strategic plan for district heating systems'.

Pettigrew said: 'We've had a lot of high level targets set in the last two years and we're starting to get some detail with the government bringing forward measures to help deliver them. The new obligation on energy suppliers to meet the CO2 target, really is good news. As is the more targeted focus on existing housing stock'.

The government says the HES consultation's proposals are aimed at reducing annual CO2 emissions from households in 2020 by 30%, (when compared to 2006).

The HES consultation document states: 'We want to help district heating networks to develop in those communities where it makes sense. The government wants to ensure that local government plays a full role in the development of renewable and low carbon heat and electricity. We will be convening a summit on community energy and heating with local government leaders to facilitate the development and expansion of district heating and convening a Heat Markets Forum to ensure an appropriate market framework is in place'.

Pettigrew added: 'We welcome these consultations and we will now focus on putting together a response'.
17 February 2009


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