News & Insights

Our press releases, general news and blogs - keeping you up-to-date with our news and developments.

We also provide a free monthly e-newsletter. eNews includes our latest news as well as updates on policy issues, consultations and forthcoming events.

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NEF’s net zero homes Energiesprong project wins prestigious Ashden Award

NEF’s net zero homes Energiesprong project wins prestigious Ashden Award

p 26/06/2019 Gabby Mallett

The pioneering Energiesprong approach to get UK homes up to the proposed net zero energy standard has won a first prize in the 2019 Ashden Awards. The award recognises the role of the National Energy Foundation in championing the Energiesprong retrofit standard in the UK.

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NEF Deputy Chief Executive asked to co-lead Group Energy Management standard

NEF Deputy Chief Executive asked to co-lead Group Energy Management standard

p 29/06/2018 Ian Byrne

Ian Byrne, the Foundation's Deputy Chief Executive has agreed to co-lead a new International Standard providing Guidance for Multiple Organizations implementing a common Energy Management system.

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Prime Minister reappoints NEF Patron as Chair of the Science Museum Group

n 30/03/2018

The Prime Minister has re-appointed Dame Mary Archer DBE as Chair of the Science Museum Group. Dame Mary is the Patron of the National Energy Foundation and has been appointed to her position for a second term of four years from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2022.

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Buyer Beware!

Buyer Beware!

p 18/03/2018 Cliff Willson

As reported in the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) online publication “TS Today” – February 2017, Trading Standards (TS) started to raise concerns that mis-selling was growing in the low-carbon (renewable) energy sector [in this instance concern centred on potential mis-selling of battery storage systems].

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NEF thanks Dr Kerry Mashford

NEF thanks Dr Kerry Mashford

p 16/03/2018

Dr Kerry Mashford will be leaving NEF on 16 March 2018

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Leaping Forward with Energiesprong

Leaping Forward with Energiesprong

p 10/01/2018

NEF has been busy helping to solve a series of technical issues linked to delivering Energiesprong in the UK.

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Ian Byrne wins BSI International Standards Maker Award

Ian Byrne wins BSI International Standards Maker Award

p 23/11/2017 Ian Byrne

Ian Byrne, Deputy Chief Executive of the Foundation, has been given the BSI International Standards-Maker Award for his outstanding dedication and contribution to energy management standards.

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SMART Connected Buildings - Innovate UK funded feasibility study project

SMART Connected Buildings - Innovate UK funded feasibility study project

p 11/10/2017 Cliff Willson

Together with our project partners BIM Academy (BIMA) and Northumbria University (UNN), NEF is collaborating in an Innovate UK funded feasibility study project that will use sensor data to establish feedback loops to help improve building performance and wellbeing.

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Community solar project to take on local energy poverty this winter

Community solar project to take on local energy poverty this winter

p 28/09/2017

The National Energy Foundation and Citizens Advice Aylesbury Vale are delighted to announce the launch of a joint energy and fuel poverty advice scheme funded by the Gawcott Fields Community Solar Farm.

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We visit the Birmingham Energy Institute for our annual Advisory Council meeting

We visit the Birmingham Energy Institute for our annual Advisory Council meeting

I 18/09/2017 Kerry Mashford

On Thursday, 7 September, we held our Advisory Council meeting at the University of Birmingham’s Energy Institute.

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Tight spot - much more to airtightness testing than compliance and leakage diagnostics

Tight spot - much more to airtightness testing than compliance and leakage diagnostics

I 01/09/2017 Luke Smith

Our Luke Smith (Principal Energy Specialist and Head of Business Development at Build Test Solutions) maintains that there's much more to airtightness testing than compliance and leakage diagnostics.

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NEF scoops national award for improving health and housing for local residents

p 23/08/2017 Alexandra Steeland

Together with our project partners, we are celebrating after our Better Housing, Better Health project, operating in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, was named the national runner-up in the Energy Impact Awards, beating more than 80 competing entries.

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Handling the data flood

Handling the data flood

I 18/08/2017 Thomas Whiffen

Our Dr Thomas Whiffen assesses the challenges and increasing applications of big data in the built environment.

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10 years of SuperHomes — 100 openings for 2017!

10 years of SuperHomes — 100 openings for 2017!

p 10/08/2017

This year marks the 10th year of SuperHomes, the innovative and multi-award-winning national network of over 200 homes that have all reduced their carbon footprint by a minimum of 60%. To celebrate turning 10, SuperHomes is revitalising grassroots renovation with a record number of 100 FREE Open House events next month across all parts of UK. Visit the SuperHomes website to find out more.

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Our 2016-17 Impact Report

Our 2016-17 Impact Report

n 12/07/2017

The work we do on an on-going basis has a practical impact on people's lives and makes a significant contribution towards improving the use of energy in buildings of all kinds - both domestic and commercial. We're proud of what we do and our latest annual Impact Report provides lots of examples of how we:

  • Deliver practical projects – using our experience and technical expertise.
  • Inspire action – providing building owners and occupiers with the encouragement, advice and real-life examples to achieve better performing buildings.
  • Advance knowledge - supporting collaboration to drive forward the frontiers of knowledge, innovation and practice.
  • Identify and address market failures using evidence, analysis and ideas.

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National Energy Foundation Chief Executive awarded OBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours

National Energy Foundation Chief Executive awarded OBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours

p 16/06/2017

Dr Kerry Mashford, Chief Executive of the Milton Keynes-based National Energy Foundation, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, for services to the Energy Industry.

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Better Housing, Better Health improves health and wellbeing for hundreds of residents

Better Housing, Better Health improves health and wellbeing for hundreds of residents

I 08/05/2017 Alison Royle

Better Housing, Better Health, our scheme for providing advice and energy efficiency measures for people whose health might be impacted by living in a cold or damp home, has now come to an end with some very successful results.

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How to tackle condensation, damp and mould

I 26/04/2017

See how you can tackle condensation, damp and mould in the latest blog from Richard Vale, our Households and Communities Project Officer.

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DCLG releases energy performance of buildings data

I 31/03/2017 Luke Smith

The Department for Communities and Local Government has recently launched a new way to access Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and Display Energy Certificate (DEC) data for both domestic and non-domestic buildings in England and Wales. The Open Data service allows unprecedented insight into the nation’s building stock, allowing information on the energy use of buildings to be downloaded and analysed at a range of geographic levels.

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NEF helps East Hants make every effort to ensure energy efficiency in Whitehill & Bordon homes

NEF helps East Hants make every effort to ensure energy efficiency in Whitehill & Bordon homes

p 29/03/2017 Alison Royle

A team of energy efficiency specialists (including staff from the National Energy Foundation) has been recruited to ensure new homes built in Whitehill & Bordon meet the highest standards.

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NEF calls for additional Government support for Show Homes as inspiration for domestic retrofit

p 24/03/2017 Gabby Mallett

In its most recent study, the National Energy Foundation demonstrates the benefits of Show Homes in promoting energy savings through retrofit and renovation, and calls on the Government to provide additional support.

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Evaluating energy performance in buildings: Why? When? How?

I 20/03/2017 Kerry Mashford

Faced with the urgent and important demands that buildings and Energy Managers are presented with every day, it's understandable that the equally important but less immediate challenge of understanding and optimising energy often has to take a back seat. It's often difficult and complex to understand how much energy your building is using, and how it breaks down into uses, time periods, zones and even tenants. Then there's the question of differentiating the building's intrinsic energy use from that needed to run its operations and activities. All told, it isn't surprising that, in spite of the rhetoric surrounding energy performance of buildings, all too often, relatively little is done in practice.

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Energy switching myths debunked

I 07/03/2017

Switching energy provider regularly is a sure-fire way to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your household gas and electricity. However, a lot of us don’t switch as regularly as we should, and some have never switched! This is because people wrongly assume that switching energy provider is a lot harder than it actually is.

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Green open homes are inspiring people to action

p 03/03/2017

The inspirational value of SuperHomes and other green open home initiatives was crystalized this week following a UK Green Building Council report.

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Better Housing, Better Health success VIDEO

Better Housing, Better Health success VIDEO

n 23/02/2017

Better Housing, Better Health, our scheme for providing advice and energy efficiency measures for people whose health conditions had been impacted by a cold or damp home, has come to an end. The focus is now on evaluating the project, with the final report due in the next few weeks. Interim results suggest that the project saved the NHS and wider society significant amounts of money. In addition, grant recipients reported an improvement in their health and a reduction in their use of the health service, after just three months after improvements were made to their homes. This video looks at the success of the project and how it improved the health and wellbeing of those who benefitted from the initiative

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Social housing ‘state of the nation’ retrofit survey highlights data is key to success

p 16/02/2017 Luke Smith

A report analysing the results from a new ‘state of the nation’ survey carried out by the National Energy Foundation, Capita and the University of Salford highlights the UK social housing sector’s views on opportunities, challenges and progress in energy-efficient retrofit.

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Fuel Poverty Awareness Day 2017: 17 February

I 13/02/2017

The National Energy Foundation, along with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Affordable Warmth Networks, is supporting the 2017 Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, which takes place on Friday 17 February. The day is part of a national campaign to highlight the struggle faced by millions of people in the UK, as well as drawing attention to the fantastic work being carried out to address this increasingly common issue.

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Young people in Glasgow enthusiastic to sign up as Energy Envoys

Young people in Glasgow enthusiastic to sign up as Energy Envoys

I 07/02/2017 Alison Royle

We received funding from Glasgow Airport’s Flightpath Fund to engage young people in Glasgow with our Energy Envoys volunteering opportunity, and to recruit local volunteers.

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NEF strengthens Advisory Council

n 25/01/2017

The National Energy Foundation has strengthened its Advisory Council with 10 new members. All have extensive expertise in their respective fields and bring valuable knowledge and experience to the council, the main purpose of which is to provide insight and perspectives to help develop the Foundation’s work in its mission to improve the use of energy in buildings. The new members are: Ian Goodfellow, Partner at Penoyre & Prasad LLP; Lee Shostak, Treasurer of the Town and Country Planning Association; Neil Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Insulation Association; Professor Phil Taylor, Siemens Professor of Energy Systems and Director of the Institute for Sustainability at Newcastle University; Rob Pannell, Managing Director of Zero Carbon Hub and Founding Partner at the Building Hub; Stephen Huller, Director of Home Improvement Finance, LaSer UK; Steve Pearce, Managing Director of RegenMan; Stuart Fairlie, Head of Technical at Elmhurst Energy; Susan Venner, SuperHome owner, member of the National Energy Foundation’s Advice Service Advisory Board and Director of Venner Lucas Architects; and Will Cousins, Chairman, David Lock Associates.

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NEF thanks retiring members of Advisory Council

n 24/01/2017

The National Energy Foundation says good-bye and thank-you to 11 retiring members of its Advisory Council.  The Foundation was delighted that they were able to accept the invitation to join the council when it was established in 2014, and is grateful that it has benefited from their extensive expertise in their respective fields and in the Foundation’s primary objective of improving the use of energy in buildings. The retiring members are: Aneysha Minocha, Associate Director with Energy Services GSH Group; Christopher Marshall, Network Specialist at IBM; David Strong, David Strong Consulting Ltd; Edgar Goddard, Director of Energy Services, Asset Management at Network Rail; Mervyn Pilley, Operations Manager at S.W. Bruce & Co. Ltd; Mike Gahagan, former Chief Executive of CoRE (Centre of Refurbishment Excellence); Paul Dimoldenburg, Managing Director at Quatro; Pete Thompson, Technical Manager at LHC; Professor Robin Roy, Professor of Design & Environment in the Department of Engineering and Innovation at The Open University; Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders; and Alan Aldridge, Director at Marmot Resources Limited.

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National Energy Foundation launches new home energy assessment service

p 20/01/2017 Alexandra Steeland

It’s often difficult for homeowners to get hold of trusted and tailored advice when improving the energy efficiency of their homes. To test a solution for this problem, the National Energy Foundation is currently working with Carbon Co-op to carry out some market research to see if there is sufficient local demand to run a pilot project offering innovative 'My Home Energy Planner' surveys to householders in Milton Keynes.

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Switching your energy provider - how to ensure a smooth switch

I 18/01/2017

The New Year is the perfect time to reassess your financial situation and make savings, including how to reduce the cost of your energy bills.

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New Year’s resolutions for saving energy at home

I 29/12/2016

It’s that time of the year when, after weeks of excess spending and consumption, some of us turn our attention to self-improvement and self-restraint. The beginning of a new year is the time to put your best foot forward, so improving your household’s energy use should be at the top of your list of resolutions.

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National Energy Foundation welcomes Bonfield Review

National Energy Foundation welcomes Bonfield Review

p 22/12/2016 David Dean

The National Energy Foundation welcomes the Bonfield Review (Each Home Counts) but not without reservations about the practicalities of its recommendations.

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Carbon offsetting - opportunities for local authorities to finance energy efficiency improvements

I 20/12/2016

Carbon offsetting makes a significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions and meeting nationally-determined targets. It also offers opportunities for local authorities to engage with their residents on issues such as climate change and provides a mechanism for financing a range of practical energy efficiency improvements and renewables that help improve the local area and residents’ wellbeing.

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8 small energy-saving measures that can make a big difference

8 small energy-saving measures that can make a big difference

I 12/12/2016

While there are lots of free ways to save energy and lower your bills, sometimes it takes a small investment to keep your house cosy and reduce your overall energy spend. The following eight ideas all usually retail at below £20 and can make a substantial difference to your comfort and bills.

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National Energy Foundation Chief Executive receives prestigious sustainable engineering award

p 06/12/2016 David Dean

The work of Dr Kerry Mashford, the Chief Executive of the National Energy Foundation, has been recognised with a sustainable engineering award from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

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NEF signs coalition letter concerned about 6-8 fold tax hike for solar rooftops

NEF signs coalition letter concerned about 6-8 fold tax hike for solar rooftops

n 05/12/2016

The National Energy Foundation has put its name to a letter coordinated by the Solar Trade Association highlighting the damaging effect the proposed business rate increase for next year will have on schools and businesses with solar panels, as well as any future investment in solar in the UK.

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Reducing the performance risk and protecting the reputation of developers and local authorities

Reducing the performance risk and protecting the reputation of developers and local authorities

I 02/12/2016 Adam Tilford

All too often, the actual energy performance of new homes fails to meet their design standards. Despite the efforts planners, designers and developers put into achieving efficient energy use, occupied homes typically use at least twice as much energy as predicted The question is: how can developers and local authorities ensure that new housing schemes achieve their design standards and provide customers with the performance they expect?

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10 quick wins to save energy

I 28/11/2016

Saving energy and being energy-efficient aren’t just about going ‘green’, they’re also a great way to lower your energy bills, allowing you to have a bit of extra money each month. These quick wins are designed to be just that - quick and easy hints and tips that don’t require any financial investment and take minimal time.

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NEF report finds that solar shading saves energy - but that’s just the start

p 23/11/2016 Federico Seguro

Solar shading using blinds, shutters and awnings has a pivotal role to play in the future of the UK’s building stock but is currently poorly understood, both by construction professionals and building occupants, according to a report by the National Energy Foundation for the British Blind and Shutter Association.

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NEF Green Deal Communities project wins public sector energy champions award

NEF Green Deal Communities project wins public sector energy champions award

p 22/11/2016 Sandra Hayes

The National Energy Foundation has won the Local Authority/Community category in this year’s Public Sector Energy & Sustainability Awards. The winning entry was the £2.5 million Green Deal Communities Project that the Foundation managed on behalf of South Bucks District Council and a partnership of 14 local authorities across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire.

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Delivering practical projects that have a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing

I 14/11/2016 Alexandra Steeland

Here at the National Energy Foundation, we’re proud of the fact that we make a difference. Our Senior Project Officer, Alex Steeland, looks at how our practical projects make a difference by having a positive impact on people's lives and contribute to improving the use of energy in buildings.

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Keeping warm and well this winter

Keeping warm and well this winter

I 09/11/2016 Matt Neal

Winter is a busy time for us, as we promote the help offered by our Affordable Warmth service. We're out and about in the community, attending busy flu clinics at doctors' surgeries, having stands at information fairs with Age UK and carers groups, meeting with local community groups, and providing talks and training on how to alleviate fuel poverty and ensure residents are warm and well through the winter.

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2015 Energy Efficiency Regulations – a real game-changer for the property sector

I 06/10/2016 Kerry Mashford

Our Chief Executive looks at the introduction of the potential game-changing minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) for both domestic and non-domestic privately rented property. Both the UK and the EU face an enormous decarbonisation and energy-saving task ahead of them. It’s estimated that buildings account for around 40% of the EU’s total energy consumption and 43% of the UK’s total carbon dioxide emissions.

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NEF congratulates Elmhurst and National Energy Services on merging their EPC accreditation schemes

p 27/09/2016 Ian Byrne

The National Energy Foundation welcomes the announcement that Elmhurst Energy Systems and National Energy Services (NES) have agreed to merge their EPC accreditation schemes with immediate effect.

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Residents’ energy savings fund local school’s new energy and weather monitoring system

Residents’ energy savings fund local school’s new energy and weather monitoring system

n 26/09/2016

On 23 September, our Chief Executive, Kerry Mashford, and Director of Households & Communities, Gabby Mallett, were on hand with representatives from Loughton & Great Holm Parish Council and Loughton School plus Milton Keynes’ Deputy Mayor and Mayoress to formally open the school's new energy and weather monitoring system. The system was funded through a grant awarded by the parish council following the 'Less is More' project. The National Energy Foundation worked with the local community to reduce people’s peak electricity use, which involved Loughton residents being given electricity monitors, some energy-efficient LED light bulbs to replace halogen bulbs and infra-red imaging of their homes. 

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National Energy Foundation recognised for quality management with ISO 9001

National Energy Foundation recognised for quality management with ISO 9001

p 22/09/2016

BSI has awarded the National Energy Foundation ISO 9001 certification for its Quality Management System.

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Advisory Council meeting 2016

Advisory Council meeting 2016

n 21/09/2016

Our annual Advisory Council meeting (20 Sept) was hosted by Wolseley UK at its Sustainable Building Center in Leamington Spa. Attendees were given an update on various recent, current and future NEF activities, further details of which are in our latest annual Impact Report, which was launched at the meeting. There were also contributions from Liz Male, David Adams and Peter Caplehorn on the future of domestic refurbishment in the UK; breakout sessions to discuss a number of important issues; and a very useful update from Dr Peter Bonfield on his forthcoming Each Home Counts review of consumer advice, protection, standards and enforcement for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Many thanks to everyone who attended what was a very interesting and useful day discussing the work of the Foundation and important issues relating to the use of energy in buildings.

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NEF Impact Report 2015-16

NEF Impact Report 2015-16

n 13/09/2016

We're proud of the work we do, the practical impact it has on people's lives and the contribution it makes towards improving the use of energy in buildings. Our latest annual Impact Report provides lots of examples of how, on an on-going basis, we:

  • Deliver practical projects – using our experience and technical expertise.
  • Inspire action – providing building owners and occupiers with the encouragement, advice and real-life examples to achieve better performing buildings.
  • Advance knowledge - supporting collaboration to drive forward the frontiers of knowledge, innovation and practice.
  • Identify and address market failures using evidence, analysis and ideas.

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Helping residents to keep warm and well through community group volunteers

I 07/09/2016

Here at the National Energy Foundation, we are extremely grateful for the significant number of volunteered hours given by local community groups to boost our services to elderly and vulnerable people.

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PULSE – our improved system for measuring building air permeability

PULSE – our improved system for measuring building air permeability

I 05/09/2016 Luke Smith

Uncontrolled air leakage in buildings can account for as much as 30% of the total heat loss; an energy penalty that increases even further in premises that are cooled or continuously conditioned.

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Keeping Kids Cosy calls for businesses to donate energy efficiency products for fuel poor families

Keeping Kids Cosy calls for businesses to donate energy efficiency products for fuel poor families

p 01/09/2016

Keeping Kids Cosy is a new project designed to help families with young children who are struggling with fuel poverty. Recently launched by the National Energy Foundation, the project will work across the whole of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. It is funded by Scottish Power Energy People’s Trust and supported by the local authorities in the area.

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Our response to the Government’s ECO: Help to Heat consultation

n 19/08/2016

Our response was formulated as a result of internal discussion and the incorporation of comments from the steering groups for the Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Affordable Warmth Networks that the Foundation coordinates, and which include local authorities, Citizens Advice Bureaux, AgeUK, and Public Health, etc.

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Energy use in buildings – contributions and considerations in urban systems

Energy use in buildings – contributions and considerations in urban systems

I 09/08/2016

With more than half the global population now living in urban areas, one of the key issues confronting us today is how we make our growing cities sustainable. A new hardback book 'Sustainable Cities' offers valuable insights for addressing this vital challenge. It evaluates our urban environments and assesses the progress that is being made towards achieving cities that are sustainable. Reproduced here is the chapter on energy use in buildings, written by our Chief Executive, Kerry Mashford.

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NEF responds to Hinkley Point C review

p 08/08/2016 Ian Byrne

The National Energy Foundation welcomes the new Government's decision to review the decision to support the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station development.

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NEF one of 30 bodies to call on PM to stick to EU 2020 climate change targets

n 03/08/2016

Dear Mr Clark, We would like to warmly congratulate you on your appointment as the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and wish you well in this important new post. We welcome the 29 June statement of Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, that the UK government would not step back from international leadership in acting on climate change. We agree that both the UK and the EU have been world leaders in addressing the enormous challenge posed by climate change. UK leadership has stemmed from the combination of EU and UK laws, regulations and policies. Together these have given businesses, investors and consumers the confidence to begin putting the UK economy and infrastructure on the path towards a low carbon future. Following the referendum, it is now critical that Government restores this already-eroded confidence by giving an assurance that, until the terms of leaving the EU are in place, all relevant EU directives and targets are still in place and the UK Government is legally obliged to continue to meet them. In particular, we call upon the Government to commit to hitting 2020 targets under the Renewable Energy Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive:

  • 15% of all energy used for electricity, transport and heating should come from renewable energy sources.
  • UK final energy consumption should fall to 129.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent or less.
  • All new buildings must be nearly zero energy buildings by the end of 2020 (by the end of 2018 for public buildings).

These targets make a key contribution towards implementing the UK’s world-leading Climate Change Act 2008 - pioneering legislation which requires ever-lower UK emissions in successive five-year carbon budgets. The policies and regulations required to meet these budgets have all been set in the context of EU law and policies on energy and climate.

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Former Chair of National Energy Foundation, Brian White, passes away

n 06/07/2016

We were greatly saddened to hear of the death yesterday morning of Brian White, a former Trustee and Chair of the National Energy Foundation from 2004 to 2013. Brian passed away after a fairly short illness from cancer. He was proud to become our Chair and to facilitate the bringing together of the Foundation with United Sustainable Energy Agency. He saw this as a practical way of carrying forward the work that he had done as Milton Keynes’s MP when he piloted what became the Sustainable Energy Act 2003 onto the statute book as a successful Private Member’s Bill. Brian also served Milton Keynes as a local councillor and its Mayor. He’ll be remembered for his sly sense of humour and yet unfailing courtesy, even to those he regarded as political foes. We send our condolences to his wife, Leena and her family and friends.

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€5.4m (£4.23m) to stimulate innovation in net-zero energy housing refurbishments

p 09/06/2016 David Dean

The Energiesprong net-zero housing refurbishment initiative has secured €5.4m (£4.23m) of European funding through the Interreg NWE programme, with a view to scale its existing innovative housing programme in the UK, France and the Netherlands, and to stimulate mass uptake of net-zero energy refurbishments.

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Has the EU helped or hindered sustainable energy use in buildings?

I 07/06/2016 Ian Byrne

The European Union is often accused by its detractors of forcing legislation upon the UK that is either unnecessary or that could have been introduced independently by the UK Government, and that much of the legislation has been watered down by other member states to a level where it lacks real teeth, but is more about form filling. The Union's proponents would counter that it has acted a spur to the UK, especially on environmental issues, forcing a foot-dragging Government to implement much needed environmental protection legislation.

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Energising asset management in the social housing sector

I 25/05/2016 Luke Smith

The social housing sector is diverse in both the number of providers that operate within it and the range of activities each one undertakes. In total, there are around 1,500 Registered Providers managing approximately 2.7 million units, worth in excess of £375 billion. It is a highly influential sector that drives innovation and quality standards across the housing market.

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National Energy Foundation Chief Executive shortlisted for national CBI award

National Energy Foundation Chief Executive shortlisted for national CBI award

p 10/05/2016 David Dean

The Chief Executive of the National Energy Foundation, Dr Kerry Mashford, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the national 2016 First Women Awards, which recognise outstanding senior level business women and professionals in their fields.

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Better the dEUvil you know in Europe?

I 09/05/2016

So, David Cameron has negotiated a package of changes for a ‘reformed’ EU (based on immigration, British sovereignty and the Eurozone), the in/out referendum has been set for 23 June and the campaigns are underway. But what are the things to consider from an energy perspective?

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Ousedale Energy Envoys help Milton Keynes Mayor save energy

Ousedale Energy Envoys help Milton Keynes Mayor save energy

p 21/04/2016 Alison Royle

Local students from Ousedale School recently helped the Mayor of Milton Keynes make his home more energy-efficient and reduce his fuel bills as part of the National Energy Foundation’s Energy Envoys scheme.

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Sir David MacKay passes away

n 15/04/2016

We are saddened to learn of the death of our Advisory Council member, Sir David MacKay, who has died after a year-long battle against cancer. David was an accomplished scientist, renowned author and expert on sustainable energy. He was the University of Cambridge's Regius Professor of Engineering and had previously been the first Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

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Energiesprong – making net-zero energy housing a reality

I 11/04/2016 Arno Schmickler

The European Commission recently announced €3.6 million grant funding to roll out Energiesprong - the innovative Dutch refurbishment process - in a number of European countries, including the UK. The aim of the multi-national ‘Transition Zero’ bid, which was led by Energiesprong UK and made to Horizon 2020 (the largest research and innovation programme of the European Commission) is to kick-start mass uptake of net-zero energy refurbishments of domestic properties, starting with the social housing sector.

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Energy efficiency in non-domestic buildings - our insights and experiences

I 05/04/2016 Kerry Mashford

UK non-domestic buildings account for approximately 13% of final energy consumption. Disappointingly, the Committee on Climate Change’s 2015 report illustrated the need for better energy performance and energy savings: “Non-residential buildings emissions have stayed flat, with little evidence of any energy efficiency improvement.”

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Little excuse and every opportunity for reducing non-domestic energy use and costs

I 24/03/2016 Malcolm Hanna

Comment from our Chief Executive, Kerry Mashford. Prior to last May’s General Election, the Conservative manifesto was noticeably thin on firm energy efficiency commitments but the new Government’s subsequent approach has resulted in a dismantling of ‘green’ policies in favour of nuclear, fracking and a new ‘dash for gas’.

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Ecobuild 2016

Ecobuild 2016

n 11/03/2016

Our staff took an active part in Ecobuild again this year. Adam Tilford (Senior Energy Specialist) was one of the speakers: Developing a robust process to close the performance gap at Whitehill & Bordon in a session chaired by Rob Pannell, Managing Director of the Zero Carbon Hub, on closing the loop on building performance in new homes. Also, Arno Schmickler presented at a seminar on Energiesprong in the UK: Desirable, warm, affordable homes for life: The business case and potential for an Energiesprong approach in the UK. The session also included a number of other speakers on Energiesprong and was chaired by our Chief Executive, Kerry Mashford.

To keep up-to-date with the development of Energiesprong in the UK, please join our mailing list. Please also follow Energiesprong UK on Linkedin and visit the Energiesprong UK website for further information.

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SuperHomes are both low-carbon and low-energy, research finds

SuperHomes are both low-carbon and low-energy, research finds

p 02/03/2016 Gabby Mallett

According to new research undertaken by the National Energy Foundation, low-carbon SuperHomes are also low-energy homes, with the most efficient in the survey using 86% less energy than the average UK home.

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Industry leaders explore supply chain opportunities provided by Energiesprong housing refurbishment

Industry leaders explore supply chain opportunities provided by Energiesprong housing refurbishment

p 24/02/2016 Sandra Hayes

Delegates at a workshop in Coventry yesterday (Tuesday 23 February) met to look at the nature and scale of the supply chain opportunities offered by Energiesprong, a transformative approach to whole-house refurbishment developed in the Netherlands at an industrial scale.

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Dutch Energiesprong housing innovation to come to the UK

Dutch Energiesprong housing innovation to come to the UK

p 10/02/2016 David Dean

The European Commission recently announced €3.6 million of Horizon 2020 grant funding to roll out the innovative Dutch Energiesprong housing refurbishment approach, the aim being to stimulate mass uptake of net-zero energy refurbishments of domestic properties in a number of other European countries, including the UK.

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ESOS – the proof of the audit is in the saving

I 08/02/2016 Thomas Whiffen

If anyone needs convincing of the value of ESOS, we have the evidence. Over the course of the first tranche of ESOS compliance, we worked with a number of organisations and identified hundreds of energy-saving opportunities, the potential value of which was millions of pounds of savings.

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Grants available to improve health for residents living in cold or damp homes

Grants available to improve health for residents living in cold or damp homes

p 28/01/2016 Alexandra Steeland

Better Housing, Better Health is a new service to help those whose health is affected by living in cold or damp homes. It has been launched by the National Energy Foundation, working in partnership with eleven local authorities across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire and with funding from the British Gas Energy Trust.

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Find the gap – insights into the ‘performance gap’ from social housing sector BPE projects

Find the gap – insights into the ‘performance gap’ from social housing sector BPE projects

p 27/01/2016 Federico Seguro

There’s a growing appreciation of the gap that exists between the design of a building and its ‘as-built’ performance. This ‘performance gap’ occurs in buildings across all sectors, whether it’s social housing, commercial office space, public buildings or private residential dwellings.

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2015 – the energy efficiency year that was… and then wasn’t

2015 – the energy efficiency year that was… and then wasn’t

I 05/01/2016 Kerry Mashford

After the dust settled on this year’s unexpected General Election result, I wrote about what kind of energy-efficiency landscape we might see under a majority Government unfettered and unrestrained by a coalition. Although the Conservative manifesto was noticeably thin on firm energy efficiency commitments, industry leaders took comfort from the fact that Amber Rudd wasn’t a climate sceptic.

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Knighthood for NEF Advisory Council Member

n 31/12/2015

Many congratulations to our Advisory Council member, Professor David MacKay, who was awarded a Knighthood in the New Year's Honours. He received the honour for services to scientific advice in government and science outreach. David is the Regius Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. From 2009 to 2014, he served the UK Government as the first Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and he joined our Advisory Council in 2015. 

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Energy Efficiency Symposium. Thursday 19 November 2015

n 29/12/2015

Our Chief Executive, Kerry Mashford, was the keynote speaker at this BECCI (University of Wolverhampton) symposium and gave a presentation entitled Energy efficient refurbishment - markets, motives and mechanisms, in which she reviewed the motivations and barriers for homeowners to improve the energy performance of their homes. She also shared experiences and examples of how homeowners can be inspired, informed and stimulated to take action to implement improvements and how they can be sure of realising the benefits. In addition, the Foundation contributed an advertisement and an article entitled 'Homeowners’ support and advice facility - how best to help homeowners interested in  refurbishing their homes, through a single point of contact' to the symposium brochure.

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VACANCY - Volunteer Project Officer

VACANCY - Volunteer Project Officer

n 08/12/2015

The role involves supporting the promotion and roll-out of our Energy Envoys volunteering opportunity, which is offered to The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants to complete the Bronze, Silver or Gold volunteering section of their Award. The Volunteer Project Officer will build relationships with schools and centres, raising awareness of the scheme using social media and blogs, and develop opportunities for professionals in the energy efficiency and built environment sectors to mentor Energy Envoys during their volunteering.

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Using well-honed data to target domestic energy efficiency programmes and campaigns in Suffolk

Using well-honed data to target domestic energy efficiency programmes and campaigns in Suffolk

I 04/12/2015 Luke Smith

Suffolk County Council has an ambition to reduce its carbon emissions by 60% by 2025, and recognises that investment in the region’s housing stock will be vital to hitting this target. As an essential first step, the National Energy Foundation was appointed to develop a housing stock database. This provides the basis of a detailed understanding of both the physical characteristics of the region’s housing as well as the socio-economic circumstances of its residents - information that is crucial in helping to design and appropriately target domestic energy efficiency programmes and campaigns.

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Andrew Warren stands down as an NEF Trustee

Andrew Warren stands down as an NEF Trustee

p 02/12/2015 David Dean

Our Trustees say good-bye to Andrew Warren who, after nearly 12 years as an NEF Trustee, is standing down. Over the years, Andrew has been a passionate supporter of energy efficiency and an influential figure on the energy stage. In particular, he was the Director of the UK Association for the Conservation of Energy between its foundation in 1981 and 2014, and is now its Honorary President.

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National Energy Foundation Chief Executive wins in Women Leaders MK Awards

National Energy Foundation Chief Executive wins in Women Leaders MK Awards

p 23/11/2015 David Dean

Kerry Mashford, the Chief Executive of the Milton Keynes-based National Energy Foundation has won an award at the inaugural Women Leaders MK Awards – in recognition of her leadership of the Foundation’s work improving the use of energy in buildings.

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Affordable Warmth Network rescues octogenarian mobile home resident

Affordable Warmth Network rescues octogenarian mobile home resident

I 13/11/2015 Matt Neal

In 2014, Ron and Celia contacted our Affordable Warmth team concerning Celia’s mother and father-in law (Richard and Audrey) after their 35-year-old LPG boiler had broken down and was no longer functioning. Ron and Celia were very worried as Richard was terminally ill with both idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and a number of other conditions. To make matters worse, both Richard and Audrey suffered with osteoarthritis so found life particularly difficult when the weather was cold.

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How to stay warm when it’s cold outside

I 06/11/2015 Matt Neal

There are lots of things you can do to keep your home warm whilst keeping bills down. Many are long-term solutions; such as insulating your loft and walls and making improvements to your heating system. However, these can take quite a long time to install so you don't feel the benefits for quite a while. Here are some tips which can help in the shorter term, and which you will feel the benefit of immediately.

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NEF responds to the Government’s feed-in tariff consultation

NEF responds to the Government’s feed-in tariff consultation

n 26/10/2015

The National Energy Foundation submitted a response to the Government's consultation on the small-scale renewable energy generation incentive scheme, which included substantial cuts to the tariffs. As PV has proved to be the most practical and attractive small-scale renewable energy generation solution, the Foundation's response focussed on this method of generation. 

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Response to the Commons Energy & Climate Change Committee’s inquiry into home energy efficiency

n 13/10/2015

The deadline for responses to the Commons Energy & Climate Change Committee's inquiry into home energy efficiency was Monday 12 October. See our full response to the committee's investigation into what lessons can be learnt from previous energy efficiency schemes.

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Energiesprong – making net zero energy housing a reality

Energiesprong – making net zero energy housing a reality

I 09/10/2015 Kerry Mashford

Although still in its early stages, Energiesprong UK is a membership organisation that has been formed by a number of leading social housing providers, construction companies, trade bodies and expert organisations. It aims to stimulate a ‘game-changing’ housing refurbishment sector in the UK and make net zero energy housing a reality – at an industrial scale.

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What’s in it for young people who volunteer as Energy Envoys?

What’s in it for young people who volunteer as Energy Envoys?

I 01/10/2015 Alison Royle

Our Energy Envoys scheme is a major new environmental volunteering scheme for young people to help schools and communities use energy more wisely, save money and reduce carbon emissions. Up to 300,000 young people across the UK who are working towards their Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award now have the opportunity to volunteer as an Energy Envoy. At the recent launch of Energy Envoys, Alex Steeland outlined the scheme and described what's in it for participants.

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Energy Envoys volunteering scheme sheds light on how ‘bright sparks’ could help us save the planet

Energy Envoys volunteering scheme sheds light on how ‘bright sparks’ could help us save the planet

p 30/09/2015 Alison Royle

The National Energy Foundation launches its Energy Envoys volunteering opportunity to 300,000 young people as part of the world-famous Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE).

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Float your boat with operational energy use data

Float your boat with operational energy use data

I 30/09/2015 Kerry Mashford

At the Buildings & Energy Efficiency Event in November, I’ll be presenting on using operational energy use data to improve non-domestic energy efficiency. A timely subject since one of the conclusions in the Committee on Climate Change’s 2015 Report to Parliament was that: “Non-residential buildings emissions have stayed flat, with little evidence of any energy efficiency improvement.”

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25th group joins Federation of Open Home Networks

25th group joins Federation of Open Home Networks

n 23/09/2015

Bristol Green Doors has recently joined the Federation of Open Home Networks thereby bringing the membership to 25 groups representing a total of over 1,300 households that are actively sharing the benefits of energy-saving home improvements through open days, tours, videos, articles, seminars, conversations and more.

This weekend (26/27 Sep) Bristol Green Doors is running its annual Open Homes event with 32 homes opening their doors to demonstrate how people across the city are making their homes more comfortable, cheaper to heat and kinder to the environment.

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Affordable Warmth flu clinic visits

Affordable Warmth flu clinic visits

I 10/09/2015 Matt Neal

We coordinate Affordable Warmth networks across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, a part of which includes attending GP flu clinics to talk to people about how to keep warm and well over winter.

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SuperHome 200 has arrived!

SuperHome 200 has arrived!

n 11/08/2015

By reducing their home’s carbon emissions by 62% Sue Roberts and Richard Harding of Wallingford have qualified Glebe House for SuperHome status. SuperHomes are older homes refurbished by their owners for greater comfort, lower bills and far lower carbon emissions - at least 60% lower! Sue and Richard’s beautifully refurbished 1960s property joins the ever-growing network of green homes, 60 of which will open to the public this September as part of SuperHome Open Days. Their mission? To inspire visitors to green their own homes. Book a SuperHome visit now.

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Localism – what does it mean for energy efficiency?

Localism – what does it mean for energy efficiency?

I 04/08/2015 Kerry Mashford

The Localism Act 2011 introduced a new right whereby charitable trusts, voluntary bodies and community organisations can apply to carry out services provided by local authorities. At the same time, the economic crisis and the year-on-year tightening of their finances have forced councils to slim down on all fronts, including staffing. The result is a perfect storm in which they offload as many assets as possible in an effort to remain within their budgets and reduce their financial, legal and operational responsibilities.

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VolDEC website launched

VolDEC website launched

p 28/07/2015 Malcolm Hanna

The National Energy Foundation and Phil Jones of Building Energy Solutions announce the launch of a new website to support the full commercial release of VolDECs (Voluntary Display Energy Certificates) which – following piloting and testing with office buildings - are now available to clients across the non-domestic property sector.

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Game-changing Energiesprong refurbishment model comes to the UK

Game-changing Energiesprong refurbishment model comes to the UK

p 16/07/2015 David Dean

Leading social housing providers, construction companies, trade bodies and expert organisations have come together to form Energiesprong UK - with the intention of creating a ‘game-changing’ refurbishment sector in the UK, inspired by the Dutch Energiesprong approach.

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The dust has settled - where will the new Government take us over the next five years?

I 22/06/2015

The dust having settled after the unexpected General Election result, our Kerry Mashford considers what the landscape for energy and energy efficiency will look like over the next five years.

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Could an Energiesprong approach to off-site manufacturing transform the domestic retrofit market?

Could an Energiesprong approach to off-site manufacturing transform the domestic retrofit market?

I 15/06/2015 Saad Hasan

At a time when it’s estimated that a national, domestic low-carbon refurbishment programme would need an investment of £14.3 billion per year between now and 2025, our Intern, Dr Saad Hasan, looks at whether the Dutch Energiesprong model could be used to transform the construction industry and help the UK hit its emissions targets over the next 10 years?

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Developing a Vision for Energy in Buildings

n 11/06/2015

Our CEO, Kerry Mashford, attended the Developing a Vision for Energy in Buildings evening reception earlier this week. This CIBSE event was organised for MPs in order to highlight issues of energy in buildings and the need for a new Energy White Paper to promote and accelerate cost-effective energy measures including energy efficiency, the more efficient use and production of energy in and from buildings, community energy and other measures. The evening culminated in a call for a Cost Effective Energy Measures Bill and the implementation of a strategy that would save the UK economy £12 billion per annum. The event was also supported by the Sustainable Energy Association, the Association for Decentralised Energy, the Association for the Conservation of Energy, Community Energy England, National Energy Action, the Association for Environment Conscious Building, The John Muir Trust, Co-operatives UK, Sustainability Hub, the Passivhaus Trust, Regen South West and Co-operative Energy.

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Social housing retrofit survey 2015

n 03/06/2015

In a follow-up to studies undertaken in 2010 and 2013, the views of the social housing sector are being sought on the opportunities, challenges and progress with energy efficiency and retrofit across the UK. The survey is being undertaken in partnership with the University of Salford and the Mayor of London’s home retrofit support programme, RE:NEW, and the results will be used to help inform Government policy and retrofit support services. If the survey applies to you, please take part. It should only take about 10 minutes to complete.

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My personal experiences of solar panels – my first year of living with PV

My personal experiences of solar panels – my first year of living with PV

I 28/05/2015 David Dean

Our Communications Manager, David Dean, reports on his first year living with solar panels, and how being an independent electricity generator has changed the way he and his family view and use energy.

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Registered provider housing stock energy modelling – a crucial part of an asset management strategy

I 14/05/2015 Luke Smith

Embarking on stock modelling is a major commitment, and a registered provider should choose a supplier who’s both up to the job and one the client is confident that he can get on with for the foreseeable future. Ideally, the supplier should provide a complete end-to-end package of professional services, be a ‘critical friend’ and guide the client through the associated technical, financial, social and logistical challenges.

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LogPile – a revamp for the one-stop shop for wood fuel and wood fuel-related suppliers

LogPile – a revamp for the one-stop shop for wood fuel and wood fuel-related suppliers

I 07/05/2015 Gabby Mallett

The Foundation’s overarching objective is improving the use of energy in buildings and part of our role is to provide impartial, reliable and comprehensive information to help people make the right choices about energy improvements in their homes, and improve their comfort and well-being. One of the services we provide is LogPile - a supplier database to help people who are either interested in, or have already started to use, biomass to heat their homes and provide hot water.

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National Energy Foundation launches revamped LogPile

National Energy Foundation launches revamped LogPile

p 23/04/2015 David Dean

The National Energy Foundation has launched an improved and revamped version of LogPile, its online database designed to help the general public find suppliers of wood fuel (logs, pellets, etc) and wood fuel equipment (stoves, boilers, etc).

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MEES – how the requirement might affect the registered provider sector

I 13/04/2015 Kerry Mashford

The Government recently announced its latest domestic energy efficiency proposals in England and Wales. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) take effect in the private rented sector as of 1 April 2018, and include a requirement for eligible properties to have a minimum E EPC rating before they can be rented out. How might MEES affect registered providers?

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The forgotten faces of fuel poverty

The forgotten faces of fuel poverty

I 08/04/2015 Matt Neal

Those living in rural parts of the country, particularly the elderly, are claimed by Age UK to be the ‘forgotten faces of fuel poverty’. Statistics collected by the Office for National Statistics show that residents living in rural communities are predominately aged over 60 with a disproportionately low number of people in the 19 to 35 age bracket.

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Our Ian Byrne celebrates 25 years at NEF and looks back over his quarter century

Our Ian Byrne celebrates 25 years at NEF and looks back over his quarter century

I 02/04/2015 Ian Byrne

It's exactly 25 years since I started work at the National Energy Foundation, and I thought it might be worthwhile looking at some of the changes over that period.

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Our new online tool for communities

Our new online tool for communities

I 10/03/2015 Alexandra Steeland

Understanding the importance of community engagement in principle can be easier than knowing what to do in practice. Our new online tool and series of action packs aim to help communities engage more people as they initiate, plan and deliver sustainable energy projects.

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Do energy efficiency measures add value to property?

I 19/02/2015

We know that the value of property is a major preoccupation for many in the UK – particularly the majority who own their own home. We also like to invest in, and improve, our homes, and have a perceived and general notion that the money we spend is money well-spent and is ‘a good investment’. Somewhere along the line, we trust that it will manifest as an increase in value.

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Funding announced to help NEF pioneer new whole-house energy assessment tool

I 18/02/2015 Alexandra Steeland

Accessing trusted and tailored advice on the full range of energy improving refurbishment options available can be difficult for householders. In partnership with Carbon Co-op, URBED and OpenEnergyMonitor we are developing ‘My Home Energy Planner’, a tool to provide householders with accurate, comprehensive and usable information on the current and potential energy performance of their homes.

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YouGen welcomed into the National Energy Foundation

YouGen welcomed into the National Energy Foundation

p 06/02/2015 David Dean

The National Energy Foundation announces today that it has agreed with YouGen to take on its activities, thereby providing a secure, long-term future for YouGen members and website visitors. YouGen will be a fitting addition to the Foundation’s growing family of services that help householders and home owners to improve the energy performance of their homes through better energy efficiency and generation.

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Building energy management for non-domestic retrofit - the ASSEMBLE project

I 30/01/2015 Luke Smith

Building on our extensive involvement in the Innovate UK Building Performance Evaluation programme, our Technical team is currently playing an important role in the ASSEMBLE project, a two-year collaborative research and development venture funded by industry and an Innovate UK ‘Future Energy Management’ grant.

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PRASEG discusses the potential for HMOs to have improved energy performance

I 30/01/2015

This week, the All-Party Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG) hosted an event on Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) titled ‘A million energy saving opportunities.’ A central concern was that HMOs have typically been left out of energy efficiency policymaking. A core part of the Government’s long-term domestic energy performance improvement – the EPC – is not required in HMOs, meaning relatively little data is collected on energy in these homes.

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Prepayment meters: good or bad?

I 29/01/2015

Prepayment meters (PPMs) are a bit of a controversial topic. There are pros and cons to using them, although many of their typical consumers feel that they don’t have a choice in the matter. The common consensus among experts and analysts regarding PPMs is that they only offer the most expensive tariffs and those who are using them are the people that can least afford it. Energy suppliers say there is competition with prices, but Moneysupermarket says the cheapest tariff is from EDF Energy at £1,332 a year and the most expensive, from Scottish Power, is £1,368. Not much leeway there.

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Our Affordable Warmth service re-unites one individual with £3,000

I 28/01/2015 Matt Neal

Through our recent work, we've discovered that - unsurprisingly - there's a lot of misunderstanding, mistrust and misspending by residents with regard to energy suppliers.

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Exciting project to combat poor health as a result of indecent housing launches in Oxfordshire

I 28/01/2015 Alexandra Steeland

At a launch event on Friday 30th January, campaigners and supporters from across the world of housing and health will meet to recognise the launch of a new project for the county of Oxfordshire – Better Housing, Better Health.

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NEF fuel poverty fighters scoop national award

p 28/01/2015 Alexandra Steeland

The National Energy Foundation is celebrating after its project 'Prescribing Efficiency: Supporting Residents towards Healthy Housing' has received a national Community Action Award.

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NEF’s young ‘Energy Envoys’ to educate the nation through DofE volunteering

NEF’s young ‘Energy Envoys’ to educate the nation through DofE volunteering

p 26/01/2015 Alison Royle

The National Energy Foundation has marked its new partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) as an Approved Activity Provider (AAP) by launching a volunteering scheme for young DofE participants across the UK. For the Volunteering section of their DofE programmes, participants can become ‘Energy Envoys’, gaining a better understanding of energy use in the UK and sharing this knowledge with their peers in school and members of their local communities.

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SuperHomes research highlights comfort gains from eco refurbishment of homes

SuperHomes research highlights comfort gains from eco refurbishment of homes

n 14/01/2015

One of the more striking findings from the SuperHomes Research Report 2014 is that 95% of SuperHome owners rate the comfort of their homes as Good or Excellent after retrofit, compared with just 8% before retrofit. This suggests that the SuperHomes type of whole-house refurbishment that produces a 60% plus carbon saving also usually delivers massively improved comfort levels for their occupants.

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New Year’s MBE honour

New Year’s MBE honour

n 05/01/2015

Congratulations to our Trustee, Liz Male, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List, for her work at TrustMark (the Government-licensed find a local tradesperson service) and services to the construction industry.

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NEF success in re-certification for Carbon Trust Standard

NEF success in re-certification for Carbon Trust Standard

n 18/12/2014

We're delighted that once again we've achieved the Carbon Trust Standard. The Foundation was recertified on a 4.8% absolute reduction in its carbon footprint across the period April 2011 – March 2014. The Carbon Trust Standard requires organisations to demonstrate year-on-year measurement of their carbon emissions, with recertification requiring us to go one stage further and report on our business travel emissions too.

We also achieved a great 86% carbon management score (the pass threshold being 60%) demonstrating our ongoing commitment to good all-round carbon management performance in our day-to-day operations.

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Kirklees Council – ahead of the energy-saving curve

I 15/12/2014

Councillor Andrew Cooper of Kirklees Council discusses how the local authority has been so successful in achieving ground-breaking energy-saving activities over a number of years.

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Milton Keynes’ pioneering Carbon Offset Fund – six years on

I 12/12/2014

The Milton Keynes Carbon Offset Fund (which is administered by the National Energy Foundation as one of our services to local authorities) pioneered the way when it was launched by Milton Keynes Council in 2008. The city has always been famous – infamous, really – as an innovator in the design and construction of new buildings and the methods and approaches supporting them. Therefore, it seemed natural that it should be the location for a model of carbon financing not yet seen elsewhere in the UK.

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Allowable Solutions – a local perspective on zero-carbon growth and carbon offset

I 11/12/2014

Since the Planning and Energy Act in 2008, local authorities have been exploring their legal opportunity to define challenging standards for improving the energy performance of new development over and above Building Regulation requirements.

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‘Better Housing, Better Health’ for Oxfordshire

I 11/12/2014 Alison Royle

We don’t need all the government, academic, policy institution and other reports to tell us what we already know, but they certainly confirm our existing understanding: the quality of housing is one of the most significant determinants of health.

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Thermal imaging in the community

Thermal imaging in the community

I 10/12/2014

The Foundation is, once again, supporting community groups on thermography projects. Using special thermal imaging cameras, which detect and convert infrared radiation into a visible colour palette, it's easy to be able to show residents where heat is being lost from their property.

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NEF helping to make better use of £543 million not spent educating UK pupils

NEF helping to make better use of £543 million not spent educating UK pupils

I 03/12/2014

There are 24,372 schools in the UK which, together, have a total annual energy bill of £543 million – approximately £22,800 per school – roughly equal to the salary of a newly qualified teacher. Part of our challenge is how to use this £543 million most effectively and to maximise the benefits for our nation’s children.

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VolDECs – the solution to the landlord and tenant energy split

VolDECs – the solution to the landlord and tenant energy split

I 02/12/2014 Malcolm Hanna

There’s a growing need for those responsible for buildings to monitor and manage their energy use better - whether it’s because of the commercial bottom line, the ‘push’ of government legislation and initiatives, the desire to combat climate change, or the comfort and productivity of occupants.

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National Energy Foundation finalists beat the competition in Europe’s top energy awards

National Energy Foundation finalists beat the competition in Europe’s top energy awards

p 01/12/2014 Gabby Mallett

Hook Norton Low Carbon, a carbon-cutting community in rural Oxfordshire, and Eco Bicester, an energy-saving project run by Cherwell District Council, have won prestigious European energy awards after being nominated by the National Energy Foundation earlier this year.

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15,000 active and energy-literate young people: our vision for working with the DofE

15,000 active and energy-literate young people: our vision for working with the DofE

I 26/11/2014 Alexandra Steeland

As an educational charity, the National Energy Foundation is always looking for ways to further knowledge and understanding of energy in buildings. This is true across all groups of people – even among those who, at the moment, are highly unlikely to be paying bills and taking responsibility for organising their own energy needs.

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The Higher Energy-Performing New Homes (HEP Homes) project

I 19/11/2014

We are currently working with the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) to deliver an innovative report on the challenges and opportunities of delivering higher energy-performing new homes (HEP Homes) in the region.

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HECA - a legislative framework for the promotion and implementation of energy efficiency

I 19/11/2014

The Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) is one of the few local authority legislative reporting frameworks in relation to the promotion and implementation of energy efficiency. HECA can be used as a lever to make the case for getting some projects off the ground to incentivise energy efficiency.

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Where next for Green Deal?

I 19/11/2014

In 2012, Green Deal heralded a brand new policy to improve the energy efficiency of the nation’s housing stock through a model of financing the installation costs of measures via the savings in energy bills realised by the householder. We are now two years into the programme and, suffice to say, there has been a slow uptake so far.

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NEF pilot project to deliver home energy assessments to most vulnerable

p 06/11/2014 Sandra Hayes

The National Energy Foundation is undertaking a pilot project to deliver home energy assessments to the most vulnerable people in Oxfordshire. The aim is to identify and provide assistance to ensure their homes are warm, healthy, and sustainable places to live. The project has been made possible by a grant from Oxfordshire County Council, which has responsibility for public health in the county.

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ESOS – are you on the case?

I 21/10/2014 Malcolm Hanna

The Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) reached its latest milestone recently with the publication of the first professional bodies approved to provide Lead Assessors. Organisations can now move forward and take the next steps towards compliance.

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How many miles per gallon does your building do?

How many miles per gallon does your building do?

I 06/10/2014 David Dean

One of the Foundation's Trustees, Liz Reason, looks at why the UK seems incapable of producing energy-efficient buildings, the need for a common language within the industry and the similarities between how much energy a building uses and how many miles per gallon a car achieves.

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NEF on Guardian ‘Big Energy Debate’ panel

NEF on Guardian ‘Big Energy Debate’ panel

n 30/09/2014

Our Deputy Chief Executive, Ian Byrne, was one of the panelists on today's Guardian 'Big Energy Debate'. The debate asked the question: How can you save energy at home and at work? Ian participated in the hour-long session by being one of a panel of eight experts providing live chat and answers to questions posted online. A full transcript of the questions and answers is available here.

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NEF launches 10 ‘Big Ideas’ to help towards an energy-literate UK

p 22/09/2014 David Dean

The National Energy Foundation launches a programme of 10 ‘Big Ideas’ - projects to help improve the nation’s energy literacy. The launch follows a nationally representative survey which throws light on how much the British public really knows about energy.

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Working towards an energy-literate UK

I 18/09/2014 Kerry Mashford

At our President's Reception on 17 September, we launched our 'Working towards an energy-literate UK' programme. We announced a number of impactful 'big idea' projects to improve energy literacy and combat the issues raised in our recently-commissioned national energy survey.

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Energy survey raises concerns: people think they know more about energy issues than they really do

p 18/09/2014 David Dean

A nationally representative survey of 2,058 British adults conducted by ComRes on behalf of the National Energy Foundation throws light on how much the British public really knows about energy. Most significantly, only a quarter (23%) of British adults were able to identify the policy that scientists say is the fastest and most effective way of meeting our energy needs (using less energy) by reducing energy demand and improving energy efficiency.

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Can the Electricity Demand Reduction pilot help you unlock energy savings?

I 01/08/2014 Ian Byrne

The Government has recently launched an Electricity Demand Reduction (EDR) Pilot Scheme. This is a new approach to saving energy in the UK, and is designed to combine more traditional energy efficiency measures with reductions in demand at peak periods – typically 4.00pm to 8.00pm in winter months.

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My personal experiences of solar panels – getting them installed

My personal experiences of solar panels – getting them installed

I 25/07/2014 David Dean

In my first blog, I talked about my experiences in the stages between first looking into having solar panels and eventually deciding to go ahead. I opted for a system supplied through one of the country’s best-known furniture and homewear stores and, in this blog, I talk about the next steps and preparing for installation day.

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Another award for SuperHomes

Another award for SuperHomes

n 27/06/2014

SuperHomes has won another award, this time from the EU Commission - in the 8th Sustainable Energy Europe and ManagEnergy Awards. The project was one of the five entries considered by the judges in the Communicating category. In total, the awards attracted 342 entries from 31 countries. Gordon Glass was presented with the award at a ceremony in Brussels on 26 June, and commented: “SuperHomes is a UK project with a positive message – that 5-star comfort and low-carbon living are possible when we renovate old family homes with energy in mind. I collect this award on behalf of the 180 volunteer homeowners in the UK who are helping us spread this message so effectively. Each of them has renovated their home to produce a carbon saving of at least 60%. Their open days provide the proof it can be done.”

Well done SuperHomes!

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National award for project managed by National Energy Foundation for Bucks County Council

National award for project managed by National Energy Foundation for Bucks County Council

p 26/06/2014

A project in Buckinghamshire, managed by Dale Hoyland, an employee at the National Energy Foundation in Milton Keynes, has won a national award from the charity, National Energy Action.

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My personal experiences of solar panels – from thinking they’re a good idea to deciding to go ahead

I 26/06/2014 David Dean

I’ve had an interest in solar panels for a number of years and earlier this year I decided that the time was right to have them fitted at home. This is my first blog about my experiences of becoming an independent electricity generator.

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Carbon Offset Fund managed by NEF praised by Greater London Authority

n 25/06/2014

Work by Milton Keynes Council to reduce the borough’s ‘carbon footprint’ through its Carbon Off-set Fund, which is managed by the National Energy Foundation, has been praised by London Mayor, Boris Johnson, and held up as an example of best practice in the latest set of planning guidance from the Greater London Authority.

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NEF supports call to make home energy efficiency a “national infrastructure priority”

p 24/06/2014 David Dean

Energy efficiency in UK homes must become a “national infrastructure priority” – with Government committing to a target of retrofitting 1 million homes a year by 2020 – says a major new coalition of 20 organisations (including the National Energy Foundation) from the construction, housing and environment sectors.

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L&G launches voluntary operational ratings certificate developed by NEF

p 20/06/2014 Malcolm Hanna

Legal & General Property (LGP) announces that it is piloting a new voluntary operational rating scheme called VolDECs. Based on Display Energy Certificates (DECs), this represents an innovative approach for private sector ownership of commercial property and responds to the absence of a government rating scheme.

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NEF launches expert guide to help close the performance gap

NEF launches expert guide to help close the performance gap

p 04/06/2014 David Dean

The National Energy Foundation has launched an expert guide to help combat the UK’s persistent failure to produce non-domestic buildings that combine both comfort and excellent energy performance; a situation that some regard as a ‘national scandal’.

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National Energy Foundation forms Advisory Council

n 04/06/2014

The National Energy Foundation has set up an Advisory Council, the main purpose of which is to provide additional insight and perspectives to inform the Foundation’s work. Members of our Advisory Council are of significant standing in society and have a commitment to supporting the Foundation and its primary objective of improving the use of energy in buildings.

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Dame Mary Archer announces National Energy Foundation awards winners

p 03/06/2014 David Dean

As part of its 25-year anniversary celebrations, the National Energy Foundation has run a number of awards this year. The results were announced at a recent ceremony hosted by Dame Mary Archer.

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‘Less is More’ for Milton Keynes MP

p 20/05/2014 Malcolm Hanna

Iain Stewart MP received first-hand insight into electricity reduction – and the engineering behind it. Loughton resident Paul Bartlett recently welcomed the Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes South into his home to give him a first-hand insight into the electricity demand reduction project ‘Less is More’.

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National Energy Efficiency Database consultation

n 06/05/2014

The Government has published its summary of the fifteen responses it received, and NEF is one of the named responding organisations. It's also satifying to see that the Government has taken note of some of the comments we made and has acted on them. In particular, we raised concerns that the small dataset (20,000 records) could lead to potential bias and incorrect inferences because of small numbers of some combinations of attributes. As a result of our comments, the Government will now publish a 50,000-record dataset as open data - more than twice the size of the dataset proposed in the consultation.

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Collective switching – a look behind the hype

I 30/04/2014 Ian Byrne

Collective switching schemes have been getting a lot of press coverage recently, partly on the back of Government support. The ‘Big Power Switch’ in Doncaster reckons to have saved 285 local residents a total of £80,500 with one saving a ‘massive £525’ after taking advantage of the scheme. All excellent news, you might think, especially for those in fuel poverty where saving money on energy bills undoubtedly relieves some of the financial pressure they’re under. However, saving £525 makes me wonder what the total bill was to start with, and whether there might have been other ways of reducing it that would last for a lot more than a single year.

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NEF supports open letter to PM expressing concern about ECO changes and reduced targets for SWI

p 28/04/2014 David Dean

The National Energy Foundation is one of a number of organisations that has signed a letter to the Prime Minister expressing concern about the proposed changes to ECO and the effect they will have on solid wall insulation.

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Anatomy of low carbon retrofits: evidence from owner-occupied SuperHomes

Anatomy of low carbon retrofits: evidence from owner-occupied SuperHomes

n 25/04/2014

A report following research involving a small number of ‘SuperHome’ owners in the UK, all of whom have renovated their homes to reduce CO2emissions by 60% or more. SuperHome owner-occupiers, their homes and various aspects of their retrofits are analysed including the timing, planning, motivation, costs and interactions with professionals, and lessons are drawn from this specialized group for the wider population. The research is by Tina Fawcett and Gavin Killip and is based on a survey of 57 SuperHome owners and 14 more detailed interviews.

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NEF responds to the Government’s proposed changes to ECO

n 23/04/2014

The Foundation's overall comment is that Government should not reduce targets just because they are difficult to achieve; they should instead identify where some energy companies have successfully met their obligation and encourage all companies to replicate this best practice. However, where there are realisable energy savings that can be achieved at a lower cost than under the current arrangements, the Government should be open to permitting them within the ECO framework, especially where there is evidence that homeowners are not taking action without the incentive of ECO. Equally, if it is clear that there are fundamental problems with certain aspects of ECO, these should be modified.

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Ace partner meeting: energy neutrality, maintaining momentum and award preparations

I 15/04/2014 Alexandra Steeland

The National Energy Foundation is one of nine energy organisations working in partnership across England, Ireland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands to develop Ace, a transnational Academy of Champions for Energy. Ace is funded by the INTERREG IVB NWE programme and brings together public and private agencies to promote renewable energy and energy transition. By sharing and disseminating information through the academy, it is hoped that an increased uptake of renewable energy will be encouraged.

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National Energy Foundation strengthens its expertise with four new Trustees

p 11/04/2014 David Dean

The National Energy Foundation has strengthened its expertise with four new members to its Board of Trustees. The new Trustees - Steven Fawkes, Liz Male, Matthew Rhodes and Peter Rickaby - all have extensive experience in their respective fields and bring valuable skills to the Foundation that will support the charity in its next exciting stage of development and its mission to promote the improved use of energy in buildings.

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Ground Source Heat Pump Association comes of age

Ground Source Heat Pump Association comes of age

p 31/03/2014 David Dean

After 10 years growing and developing under the wing of the National Energy Foundation, the Ground Source Heat Pump Association becomes a stand-alone trade association.

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Retrofit industry task group devises action plan to meet energy efficiency targets

p 26/03/2014 Luke Smith

A new report from an industry group, released today, identifies the barriers the UK retrofit industry faces and has created an action plan to remove these barriers to increase growth and achieve the energy efficiency targets set by the Government.

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A more sustainable energy future?

I 05/03/2014 Ian Byrne

Ian Byrne writes in the February issue of the environmental SCIENTIST journal. Energy is fundamental to modern life. We need it to heat our homes, power our iPads, cook our food, drive our cars and manufacture all the goods that we think are needed for life in the 21st century. Yet most people ignore energy until they see the gas or electricity bills or fill up with petrol. Little thought is given to why we use the amount of energy that we do, or where it comes from.

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National Energy Foundation and SuperHomes charity, Sustainable Energy Agency, announce merger

National Energy Foundation and SuperHomes charity, Sustainable Energy Agency, announce merger

p 03/03/2014 David Dean

The National Energy Foundation (NEF) and the Sustainable Energy Agency (SEA) announce their merger, with immediate effect, under the umbrella of NEF.

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National Energy Foundation launches awards to kick start 25-year celebrations

p 25/02/2014 David Dean

The National Energy Foundation begins the celebration of its 25th anniversary with the launch of a number of awards. The aim is to reward and recognise individuals, organisations, initiatives and projects for delivering sustainable energy at a local level and, as a result, bringing both social and environmental benefits.

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National Energy Foundation plans to make its mark with 25-year anniversary activities

p 24/02/2014 David Dean

Since its operational beginnings in early 1990, the National Energy Foundation has been at the forefront of improving the use of energy in buildings. The charity aims to give people, organisations and government the knowledge, support and inspiration they need to understand and improve the energy performance and comfort of the buildings they design, build, manage or occupy.

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NEF/BIFM survey - FM profession cautious over energy reduction targets and hindered by lack of tools

p 18/02/2014 David Dean

A survey by the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) and the National Energy Foundation (NEF) into experiences and expectations of improving the use of energy in buildings has found that FM professionals are highly committed to maximising energy improvements – but still lack metering and monitoring tools to establish accurate baselines and track progress. While 90% of respondents know their annual energy costs, only half of respondents knew how the buildings were performing compared to design, and nearly a third were not comparing the buildings’ performance over time.

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Response to the consultation on Improving Consumer Protection in the Green & Renewable Energy Market

n 14/02/2014

The National Energy Foundation has acted as secretariat to the Green Energy Supply Certification Scheme since its launch four years ago. Over this period there have been numerous changes in the domestic electricity supply market, including a rise in the number of non-certified “renewable-only” tariffs without additional environmental benefits and the limitation of suppliers to four core tariffs, which has led to a drop in the number of certified green tariffs currently available. The Foundation therefore welcomes the review as timely. Its response stresses the importance of applying equal rules to the green and renewable-only tariffs in the areas of transparency (the messages given to consumers) and evidence of supply (the matching of purchases by renewable supply). Furthermore, in order to offer a wider choice to consumers it recommends that suppliers be allowed to “green up” supplies through the purchase of “bundles” on all regular tariffs, and to link the level of additional environmental benefits to the volume of electricity purchased, rather than making it a fixed level per customer as at present.

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ECO reform – its impact on improving the use of energy in buildings and tackling fuel poverty

ECO reform – its impact on improving the use of energy in buildings and tackling fuel poverty

I 13/02/2014 Kerry Mashford

At the end of last year, the Government found itself on the back foot following Ed Miliband’s promise to freeze household energy bills if Labour were to win the next general election. In the face of a parliamentary furore and intense pressure from some of the major media, the Coalition homed in on the ‘green levies’ element of domestic fuel bills and corresponding changes to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

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Retrofit revisited: Social housing survey highlights sector is ready and willing to deliver

p 27/01/2014 Luke Smith

A new survey carried out by Alliance Procurement, the National Energy Foundation and the University of Salford sought to identify changes in sector attitude over the last three years. It repeated many of the questions asked in the original ‘state of the nation’ survey carried out by the same team in 2010.

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Less is More

Less is More

n 24/01/2014

The National Energy Foundation is working with two Milton Keynes communities (Loughton and Tinkers Bridge) to reduce people’s peak electricity use. ‘Less is More’ is a nationwide project with a further eight communities also taking part across the country, all managed by different charity partners. The project is co-ordinated by CSE in Bristol and Western Power Distribution who won funding through the Low Carbon Networks Fund.

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National Energy Foundation responds to consultation on NEED

n 21/01/2014

Our response to DECC’s consultation on National Energy Efficiency Data-Framework (NEED) is broadly in agreement with the proposals but with some reservations. Read the full response.

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Affordable Warmth Network team out and about in Big Energy Saving Week

p 17/01/2014

Big Energy Saving Week, a national campaign from the Citizens Advice Bureau, begins on 27 January. Our Affordable Warmth Network team will be out and about undertaking lots of outreach with CABs, helping people cut hundreds of pounds from their energy bills, have cosier homes and stay healthy.

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National Energy Foundation Trustee receives OBE in New Year’s Honours

p 31/12/2013 David Dean

John Doggart, one of the National Energy Foundation’s long-standing Trustees, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours, for services to Sustainable Energy Technologies and Energy Efficiency.

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NEF supports Plumb Center manifesto

I 30/10/2013

Our Chief Executive, Kerry Mashford, was invited to speak at the launch and in support of the Plumb Center (Wolseley) manifesto for a more energy conscious society at the House of Commons on 28 October. The manifesto urges behavioural change to reduce energy bills, and includes a number of wide-ranging recommendations on energy efficiency, water efficiency and training and accreditation. Here's what she said...

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National Energy Foundation supports letter to PM on ECO

p 28/10/2013

The National Energy Foundation is one of more than 50 of the UK’s leading companies and professional institutes operating in the built environment who are warning the Prime Minister not to scale back the so-called green levies on energy bills, especially the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme.

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National Energy Foundation recognised as top achiever in carbon reduction and management

National Energy Foundation recognised as top achiever in carbon reduction and management

p 23/10/2013 David Dean

The National Energy Foundation has received an award from the Carbon Trust for being Best in Relative Carbon Reduction (2012-13) amongst certified organisations, recognising it as one of the country's top achievers in carbon management and reduction over the past year.

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NEF’s views on the Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS)

p 03/10/2013 Ian Byrne

The National Energy Foundation has provided a detailed response to DECC's consultation into compulsory energy audits for large companies, implementing Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, which DECC has named ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme).

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Our critical response to proposals that will lead to badly insulated homes

p 16/09/2013 David Dean

The National Energy Foundation believes that there should be no change to the current insulation standard in homes receiving grant aid under ECO.

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Maximising energy efficiency improvements across a building stock portfolio

I 11/09/2013 Malcolm Hanna

Our Technical Director, Malcolm Hanna, discusses how and where to maximise energy efficiency improvements across a building stock portfolio - assessing where you are now, what the opportunities are, how big they might be and what to do next.

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What the ‘Pioneer Places’ project tells us about maximising the uptake of energy efficiency measures

What the ‘Pioneer Places’ project tells us about maximising the uptake of energy efficiency measures

I 22/08/2013 Kerry Mashford

In order to fulfil the UK’s obligation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050, it’s estimated that we need to carry out energy efficiency refurbishments on 700,000 properties per year, or at a rate of approximately 13,000 properties per week. Even without beginning to address the technical and logistical challenges this presents, it’s becoming increasingly clear that getting property owners and occupiers interested, let alone getting them to pay for improvements, is an (almost) insurmountable challenge.

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NEF publishes response to DECC’s call for evidence on community energy

p 13/08/2013 Ian Byrne

The National Energy Foundation has been working with communities for twenty years and was delighted to be able to support the development of DECC's Community Energy Strategy by providing a response to its call for evidence from those with an interest in community energy.

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Why the measurable improvement in the use of energy in buildings remains elusive

I 09/08/2013 Kerry Mashford

Why does the UK building industry find it difficult to achieve the improvements in energy use suggested by the energy performance trajectories in successive iterations of Part L of the Building Regulations?

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NEF reviews heat pump standards for International Energy Agency

p 25/07/2013 David Dean

The National Energy Foundation has published a literature review, commissioned by DECC, for IEA Annex 36 on the quality of installation and maintenance of heat pumps.

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Narrowing the performance gap: realising the art of the possible

Narrowing the performance gap: realising the art of the possible

I 22/07/2013 Kerry Mashford

It’s a well-known saying that “in theory, theory and practice are the same - In practice, they aren’t”. The difference between actual and predicted energy use in both new and refurbished buildings is becoming indisputable. The size of this difference? Significant – typically at least 150-200% but often much greater. Yet the reasons for this difference are not widely understood.

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USEA announces merger with ‘energy use in buildings’ charity, the National Energy Foundation

p 15/05/2013

United Sustainability Energy Agency (USEA) announced today its merger with the National Energy Foundation (NEF). The integration of both organisations, under the NEF umbrella, takes place with immediate effect. The organisations have a track record of working successfully together for 15 years and share a reputation for excellence in improving the use of energy in buildings.

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