Insights

This section gives you the opportunity to discover our consultants’ opinions on a wide range of topical issues in the energy industry.

Blockchain and You

Ricky Moseley, Distributed Energy Projects Consultant, provides an insight into blockchain technology (27/06/17).

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Quarterly Briefing - Smart Grids and Energy Storage

Archie Corliss, Encraft's Lead on Energy Storage, provides our latest quarterly briefing on smart grids and energy storage (14/06/17).

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Big Data: EPC Records Released

A special briefing from Andy Carter, Building Physics Consultant, and James Perry, Senior Digital Technologies Developer (09/06/17).

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Quarterly Briefing - Heat Networks

Jim Lott, CIBSE Certified Heat Networks Consultant and Encraft’s Digital Technologies Team Leader, provides our latest quarterly briefing on heat networks (31/05/17).

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Hygrothermal Behaviour of Internally Insulated Traditional Wall Construction

A technical paper by Steven Coulsting, Senior Consultant, Certified Passivhaus Designer and Architect (19/05/17).

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Why Promoting Human Comfort is the Best Way to Reduce Carbon Emissions

A viewpoint by Alex Baines, Encraft's Regional Director for the South-East and Certified Passivhaus Consultant (05/05/17).

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A Whole-building Approach to Moisture

A viewpoint by Dr Sarah Price, The Design Buro's Head of Building Physics and Certified Passivhaus Consultant (25/04/17).

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Housing Associations and Local Authorities Can Lead the Way in Eliminating Fuel Poverty

A viewpoint by Alex Baines, Encraft's Regional Director for the South-East and Certified Passivhaus Consultant (06/04/17).

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Energy Capital Launch Vision and Work Plan

During the Energy Capital launch event, on 15th February, 2017, Matthew Rhodes, Chair of Energy Capital, revealed Energy Capital's bold, new vision. Here is his speech in full (16/02/17):

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The Issue of Windows in AQMAs is not an Open and Shut Case

A viewpoint by Dr Sarah Price, The Design Buro's Head of Building Physics and Certified Passivhaus Consultant (08/02/17).

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Understanding Procurement Constraints for Large Scale Passivhaus

Encraft is engaged in research to help understand constraints on procurement for large scale Passivhaus projects.

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Do you need airtight buildings to get the best from MVHR?

Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) is commonly specified in low carbon buildings, especially those built to Passivhaus standards, to meet space heating requirements.

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Smart Grids

This brief quarterly update on Smart Grids covers headline developments in this fast-moving sector.

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Quarterly Briefing - Microgeneration and Incentives

This brief quarterly update on Microgeneration and Incentives covers headline developments in this fast-moving sector, the views of one of our experienced team on these developments as well as what to look out for in the next six months.

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Deep retrofit can be better than new build

The Prime Minister’s recent announcement that he intends to put aside £130m to redevelop some of the country’s worst housing estates offers the retrofit industry a real opportunity to show how it can compete with its new-build siblings.

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Viewpoint - Setting and delivering realistic carbon targets in the university sector

Whether you’ve had the same carbon targets in place for several years or are currently in the process of reviewing your targets, a question that is often overlooked is whether or not carbon targets are actually achievable in practice.

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Technical Insight - Mitigating the risk of overheating

The importance of designing domestic buildings to perform well in both winter and summer in terms of energy efficiency and comfort is being recognised as key to good design.

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Quarterly Update - Heat Networks

This brief quarterly update on ‘Heat Networks’ covers headline developments in this busy sector, the views of one of our experienced team on these developments as well as what to look out for in the next six months.

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Technical Insight - Whole-life costs for EnerPHit

The Passivhaus certification criteria for retrofitted buildings is known as the EnerPHit standard.

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Briefing Note - Smart Solutions in Social Housing

Smart sensors and controls could deliver around £760 million per year in savings to the social housing sector across the UK.

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Quarterly Update - Non-Domestic Energy Efficiency

This brief quarterly update on ‘Non-Domestic Energy Efficiency’ covers headline developments in this emerging sector, the views of one of our experienced team on these developments as well as what to look out for in the next six months.

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Briefing Note - Biomass in Social Housing

Like all renewables, biomass heating can be highly effective provided it is correctly installed in the right contexts.

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Smart energy – radical new opportunities for energy efficiency and carbon reduction

We are on the threshold of a revolution in energy efficiency and carbon reduction.

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Quarterly Update - Smart Grids

This brief quarterly update on ‘Smart Grids’ covers headline developments in this emerging sector, the views of one of our experienced team on these developments as well as what to look out for in the next six months.

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Quarterly Update - Domestic Retrofit

This brief quarterly update on ‘Domestic Retrofit’ covers headline developments in the sector, the views of one of our experienced team on these developments as well as what to look out for in the next six months.

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How should social landlords respond to the latest change in government policy towards solar PV?

The recent announcement by DECC that they plan to cut solar feed in tariffs (FITs) by 87% from January will throw many social housing investment plans for 2016 into disarray.

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Encraft Briefing Note: Change to Solar PV Incentives

The government announced a consultation on a review of the feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme on 27 August.

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Quality and Sustainability

Low carbon buildings are high quality buildings.

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Air Tightness Testing Protocol for Passivhaus and EnerPHit Projects

The air tightness testing protocol is NOT the same for Passivhaus Certification as it is for UK Building Regulations compliance. 

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What can the government do to support sensible energy efficiency projects?

Every few years the government has a habit of commissioning research into why building owners don’t invest more in (economically-rational) energy efficiency projects for their buildings.

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At last, some sensible thinking on energy efficiency?

Listening to politicians talking about energy and construction policy is normally one of the less inspiring aspects of my job.

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Should communities be running their own energy companies?

Local energy companies are suddenly high on the agenda of many local authorities, social landlords and community groups.

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A new model for ECO

In previous blogs I’ve been critical of the way ECO distorts the building refurbishment market.

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Time to move on from ECO

Earlier this month the government published a consultation on proposed changes to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme.

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Technical Insight - Whole-life costs of Passivhaus

A technical insight by Sarah Price and Helen Brown:

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Who’s responsible for making the Green Deal work?

I couldn't resist a wry smile at Greg Barker’s comments in last week’s Building blaming Carillion and the big six energy firms for the failure of the Green Deal and ECO.

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Are smart houses the future?

Compared to other sectors, the UK house building industry is remarkably unsophisticated in its use of information technology.

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We should use the delayed delivery of ECO to reshape the energy efficiency sector fundamentally

This week’s government announcement of a two year extension to the current round of ECO hardly comes as a surprise and is a pretty lousy outcome for all parties.

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Why energy infrastructure is fundamentally local

In my last blog I argued that the government was heading in the wrong direction with its suggestion that ‘allowable solutions’ to deliver low carbon buildings might include investment in centralised generation such as nuclear or offshore wind farms.

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The government has lost the plot with allowable solutions

The government is currently consulting on the best way to deliver allowable solutions.

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Is it time for a radical rethink of Building Regulations?

The government's recent announcements on the tightening of Part L and proposals for Allowable Solutions are a disaster for the UK building sector.

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Is the Green Deal working?

This viewpoint argues that the Green Deal is a radical and necessary policy mechanism which should be supported and will succeed.

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How will the Green Deal impact the UK construction sector?

As the Green Deal has developed from a policy concept through to its launch last month, Encraft has carried out a variety of studies for our clients and followed developments closely.

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Designing and implementing a robust MVHR system

Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) is likely to become increasingly common in UK developments.

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How Local Authorities can use the new National Planning Policy Framework to accelerate creation of a low carbon built environment.

Many people who’ve spent the past few years trying to work with the planning system to tackle the challenge of climate change may have been alarmed by the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) published in its final form last month.

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Tapping into the Renewable Heat Incentive

The RHI legislation, brought in last year for commercial systems, was designed to encourage the uptake of renewable heating technologies such as biomass boilers, heat pumps and grander scale technologies such as anerobic digestion.

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The green deal and energy company obligation (ECO)

The Green Deal is the Government’s flagship policy to encourage a step change in retrofit activity across all types of buildings.

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Mind the gap

I have now been working in energy efficiency and low carbon energy generation and storage in one way or another for almost twenty years.

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Power you don’t know you have

Read about the funding opportunities open to Local Authorities...

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Impact of Green Deal on social housing market

The economics of the Green Deal will only work for really big organisations such as utility companies.

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Localism, the Green Deal and other eco-initiatives

Why the Green Deal should be seen as part of a portfolio of funding initiatives aimed at transforming the energy efficiency of the UK housing stock.

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Green Deal opportunities for local authorities and social housing landlords

The Green Deal offers opportunities for social housing landlords to upgrade their stock, but it's not simple.

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Should you become a Green Deal provider?

Encraft Managing Director Matthew Rhodes looks at the organisations best placed to co-ordinate the roll out of the Green Deal and assesses whether social housing providers should become Green Deal providers.

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What the Green Deal means to the customer

Encraft managing director Matthew Rhodes looks at the complex relationship between the customer and Green Deal stakeholders.

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What is the Green Deal?

Encraft Managing Director Matthew Rhodes looks at the background to the Green Deal, explains the Golden Rule, and highlights some potential issues ahead of its introduction in October 2012.

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Passivhaus Blog

The Passivhaus blog contains information about the Passivhaus projects we are currently working on.

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Ideas for the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Part III

The new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change can carve out a distinctive role for DECC...

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Ideas for the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Part II

Here is my second of three suggestions for things the new Secretary of State could do to increase the effectiveness and impact of DECC:

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Ideas for the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Part I

Last Friday, Ed Davey replaced Chris Huhne as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

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Mission Impossible

Enplanner - A Guide for Local Authorities:

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Future Technology

The UK building stock offers significant opportunities for renewables...

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Why I think the costs of Code compliance are significantly overstated

Several reports on the costs of building to the Code for Sustainable Homes have been published since 2007.

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DECC must learn from their mistakes over FITs

The news channels were buzzing just before Christmas about the dramatic High Court ruling which announced that the Government acted unlawfully in the way it dealt with adjustment of feed-in tariff rates for solar PV.

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A Good Deal Greener?

Sadly the Green Deal currently fails all six, despite some noble efforts by DECC and its advisers. Here's why:

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Fighting FIT

I don't dispute the tariff reduction itself.

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