PV or not PV – the question for New Zealand

It costs households more and it is hard to justify on environmental grounds (in a country that already gets 80% of its electricity from renewable sources).  But New Zealanders are installing solar PV like never before.  How to make sense of this seemingly irrational behaviour?  CIED Visiting Fellow Dr Janet Stephenson sheds some light on …

low energy buildings

Don’t throw out the energy efficiency baby with the Brexit bathwater

Will Brexit put energy efficiency progress in the UK at risk, ask Jan Rosenow, Pedro Guertler and Richard Cowart of RAP (Regulatory Assistance Project)? In electric appliances and heating systems – probably not. The biggest risk is in the building sector.UK policymakers will need to put efficiency first if they want to reach carbon targets …

Transforming the Low Energy Housing sector

“Insulation is not sexy. Energy efficiency is not sexy. Putting more insulation in your walls that you will never see and you will never even know is there, is not sexy.  But your bills are a bit lower,” said Alex Hunt, a sustainable building consultant and partner with Bright Green Homes. Is it time for …

lightswitch on white wall

Efficiency First: a new paradigm for a sustainable energy system

The UK’s energy policy is at crossroads. Ambitious carbon targets, an aging energy infrastructure, rising fuel poverty and a legacy of fossil fuel investment warrant bold political decisions to ensure the UK transitions to a sustainable low-carbon energy system. Because of the long-term nature of investment in energy infrastructure, decisions made over the next five …

Intermediary actors in low energy transitions

Intermediary actors can be crucial for bringing about low energy transitions. This blog explores what they are and provides some key insights about intermediaries in low energy transitions. It has long been recognised that changing the way we produce and use energy is of crucial importance to tackle the challenges related to depleting fuel resources and …

Tackling Fuel Poverty – Whose responsibility is it?

By Mari Martiskainen and Sarah Schepers, Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand, November 2015 Fuel poverty – an issue affecting 2.35 million people in England alone, one that has wide-reaching causes and implications not only for those directly affected, but also for the wider society and economy. Annually, It costs the NHS approximately £1.36m as …

Energy debates must not forget those less able to speak for themselves

Reflections from the 12th eceee summer study As Colin Nolden mentioned in his post yesterday,four members of the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand attended the eceee Summer Study held near Hyeres, south of France, during 1-6th June 2015. The bi-annual eceee’s Summer Study has been held since 1993 and it focuses on energy efficiency …

Why We Need to Shift Focus from Energy Supply to Reducing Demand

Mari Martiskainen asks whether it is time to have a real debate about moving our focus from energy supply to realising the benefits of energy efficiency. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported last week that the energy efficiency market was worth between $310 billion and $360 billion in 2011; thanks to energy efficiency improvements in …

Tackling the existing building stock as a real energy policy priority

By Mari Martiskainen and Florian Kern, Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand, SPRU Those familiar with the UK’s energy efficiency policy for buildings are aware that back in 2006 the then Labour government announced that all new domestic buildings would need to be ‘zero carbon’ from 2016 to help meet the government’s energy and climate …

­Davey: Energy Efficiency Key Agenda in Upcoming Elections

“We need to see energy efficiency as part of the nation’s infrastructure programme”. This was the charge of Ed Davey, Liberal MP and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Davey was speaking at an Association for the Conservation of Energy event to say thanks to outgoing director Andrew Warren, often referred to as the cheerleader …

Utilities transforming into energy service providers?

A recent Financial Times (FT) article ‘Crisis-hit European utilities square up to technological revolution‘, argues that the large utilities have underperformed compared to the broader European equity market and, according to the CEO of RWE, are facing ‘the worst structural crisis in the history of energy supp€ly’. The article reports that some utilities are divesting, …