“Quidos are excellent value for money, they have a fast,friendly and helpful technical team and this in itself is a reason for being with them. Why go elsewhere?” P.Reeves
The Scottish Government have issued a consultation on the Scottish EPC Register that includes the following proposed fee increase for lodgements:
- £2.60 for domestic EPCs (an increase of £1.45); and
- £12.10 for non-domestic EPCs (an increase of £6.74)
This raises both fees by approximately 125% and would provide projected annual revenue of just over £650,000.
Consultation is an essential part of the policy-making process. It gives the Scottish Government an opportunity to consider your opinion on any proposed updates.
Please see here for the full consultation (including analysis of costs to support change to lodgement fee):
- Legionella bug lurking in 1.5 Million British homes
- Researchers warn killer disease is on the rise – and showers could be to blame
- Households could be harbouring the potentially fatal legionella organism
- Bug causes legionnaire’s disease, can lead to pneumonia and organ failure
- Sufferers infected when they inhale tiny airborne droplets of ridden water
Showers in homes across Britain are contaminated with a deadly bug that kills dozens of people every year, Government experts warn.
Research reveals up to 1.5 million households in the UK could be harbouring the potentially fatal legionella organism. The bug causes legionnaire’s disease, which can lead to life-threatening pneumonia and organ failure.
Sufferers are infected when they inhale tiny airborne droplets of bacteria-ridden water.
The deadly disease is usually linked with large buildings – such as hotels and office blocks – with complex water systems where the bacteria can spread easily.
But scientists at Public Health England (PHE) have found that the killer organism is on the increase in domestic homes. Experts fear household showers may be to blame for hundreds of cases each year where the source of infection cannot be identified.
The bug thrives in stagnant water above 20C. Showers, taps and wash basins can become contaminated if they are not used for a few days. Even garden hosepipes can harbour the bug if they are left filled with cold water that heats up to the right temperature in the sun.
Legionnaire’s disease strikes about 500 people a year in England, killing around one in ten. A 2012 outbreak in Edinburgh resulted in four deaths and nearly 100 people being treated.
Infection rates are rising across the world as more people take showers rather than baths. The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention says cases have hit record levels on the continent.
Initial symptoms include fever, loss of appetite and headache. But within ten days, sufferers can develop life-threatening pneumonia and kidney failure.
Survivors often have to take antibiotics for months to try to clear the bug from their systems.
PHE infection experts took samples from 99 showers in 82 properties in Bristol, Bath, Oxford, Portsmouth, Southampton and Salisbury. Water was extracted from shower heads left idle for a few hours and swabs were taken from bathroom pipes.
The results, published in the International Journal Of Hygiene And Environmental Health, revealed that nearly a third of samples tested positive for legionella. Researchers said six per cent of properties had dangerously high levels of the bug – the equivalent to 1.5 million households in the UK.
Three samples included a virulent new strain of the bug not seen before in the UK.
The researchers warned: ‘This study is the first to investigate the prevalence of legionella in UK household showers. It shows they may be important reservoirs.’
They warned that electric showers – originally thought to be safer because they heat water directly from the mains rather than from a tank – are just as dangerous, with similar contamination rates.
Scientists urged the public to use showers as often as possible to prevent water stagnating, and to clean shower heads regularly.
Microbiologist Dr Tom Makin urged homeowners returning from holiday to ‘flush out’ showers for several minutes. He added: ‘Hold your breath, turn the shower on and leave the bathroom. And don’t go back in for a while as contaminated droplets can remain airborne for up to 30 minutes.’
Source: Daily Mail
Mining the deep ocean floor for valuable metals is both inevitable and vital, according to the scientists, engineers and industrialists exploring the world’s newest mining frontier.
The special metals found in rich deposits there are critical for smart electronics and crucial green technologies, such as solar power and electric cars. But as the world’s population rises, demand is now outstripping the production from mines on land for some important elements.
Those leading the global rush to place giant mining machines thousands of metres below the sea surface say the extraordinary richness of the underwater ores mean the environmental impacts will be far lower than on land. But critics say exotic and little-known ecosystems in the deep oceans could be destroyed and must be protected.
Dozens of exploration licences have already been granted for huge tracts of ocean floor and world leaders, including the G7 nations (pdf), have their eyes on the opportunities. But the rules to ensure the responsible exploitation of this global resource are still being written.
The acid test is set to be the start of commercial sea bed mining, due to begin within two years, 1,600m below waters off Papua New Guinea. There, Nautilus Minerals plans to release three giant crawling machines to grind up rocks rich in copper, zinc and gold and pump the slurry up to a custom-built surface ship at a rate of over 3,000 tonnes a day.
Oceans cover 70% of the planet and are relatively unexplored, says Mike Johnston, Nautilus’s chief executive: “It makes sense to explore this untapped potential in an environmentally sustainable way, instead of continually looking at the fast depleting land resources of the planet to meet society’s rising needs.”
“The seafloor contains some of the largest known accumulations of metals essential for the green economy, in concentrations generally much higher than on land, so it is inevitable that we will eventually recover essential resources from the seafloor,” he said.
Prof David Cronan, a geochemist at Imperial College London, agrees it will happen but is less certain when. “It is an inevitability – it’s just the timing that is in question. For the past 50 years it has been just over the horizon. But in the last five to 10 years there has been a step change – the realisation that marine metals are likely to be useful.”
The drive is not just about ensuring a growing supply of the latest new smartphones, says Bramley Murton, from the UK’s National Oceanography Centre. “It goes much further than that. To make a low-carbon future, we need these [metals] to make the technologies for green energy production. We need these raw materials to enable civilisation to become more sustainable.” He says recycling is worthwhile, but insufficient.
There is also a geopolitical dimension, with some important resources currently monopolised by single nations, such as the rare earth elements (REEs), which have widespread uses in communications, computing and weaponry. “When you get most of the world’s REEs from one country [China], you start asking questions about security of supply,” says Christer Fjellroth, at the National Subsea Research Initiative in the UK.
The focus of Nautilus, and many other players, are seafloor massive sulphide deposits, stadium-size mounds of metal-rich rock deposited by intense hot springs at mid-ocean ridges, which are where volcanic activity forms new ocean crust. These also host unique ecosystems of giant worms, eyeless shrimps, crabs, corals and sponges and newly found vents usually reveal brand new species.
But Murton says: “I don’t think anyone would think of mining active hydrothermal systems. Mining in 400C water is not going to last long, especially when the water has a [highly acidic] pH of one.” Instead, extinct systems are easier targets, though these still host some life.
The other main target of deep sea miners are tennis-ball sized nodules, formed over millions of years and present on much of the world’s seabeds. These can be harvested rather than mined, though a much larger area has to be exploited. “It’s like picking berries,” says Fjellroth. Another possible source is hard cobalt-rich crusts that form slowly in some regions.
China is pursuing all three. Nodules are being targeted in the eastern Pacific, with China’s largest mining company granted an exploration licence for 72,000 sq km earlier in May, crusts in the western Pacific and sulphide deposits in the south-west Indian Ocean.
Hao Zheng, from the Changsha Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and part of the Chinese Ocean Mineral Resources R&D Association, which brings together hundreds of researchers, says a trial mining system is due to deploy in 2020, to crush and recover ore nodules from the South China Sea.
“We have found some major nodules on the seabed there,” he says. The seabed crawler being built is a few metres in size, far smaller than the commercial-scale machines Nautilus commissioned from UK company SMD. “They are like Transformers!” he said.
The deep sea gold rush is also attracting the attention of other companies with long experience of offshore operations. BP did its first trial of an autonomous underwater vessel dubbed Squirrel in December, which can be dropped from a drone and is intended to be a “rapid strike vessel” for inspecting operations, says Joe Little, who works in the company’s chief technology office.
BP has also recently combined a small remotely operated vessel with a magnetic crawling device – called robodiver – to inspect pipes in Angola, Little told a deep sea mining summit in London. The fast rise of artificial intelligence could also be used, according to Simon Wenkel, at Clausthal University of Technology in Germany: “ It could be something like swarm robotics.”
New technologies could help monitor the environmental impact of mining and with the international regulations still being drafted, all observers agree there is the opportunity to get strong protections in place before exploitation begins, unlike in many cases on land. “Most mining operations on land did a very bad job in the past,” says Wenkel. But he warns: “Zero impact mining is not possible unfortunately.”
“Mining will be the greatest assault on deep-sea ecosystems ever inflicted by humans,” according to hydrothermal vent expert Verena Tunnicliffe, at the University of Victoria in Canada. She argues that active vents must be off-limits for mining to protect the new knowledge and biotechnology spin-offs they can deliver and strict controls must be in place elsewhere: “This gold rush needs some strong traffic control in regulation.”
Others, such as Rakhyun Kim at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, go further: “The global community should question and scrutinise the underlying assumption that deep seabed mining is going to benefit humankind as a whole before commercialising the common heritage of humankind.”
In 2016, a region in the Pacific being explored for polymetallic nodules by a UK subsidiary of Lockheed Martin was revealed as having “one of the most diverse communities” recorded in the deep ocean.
“The questions are big and the answers are unknown,” says Murton, on the impact mining could have on deep sea ecosystems. But he says the ecosystems must be fairly robust. “Every now and again they are obliterated by a lava flow and the vents also explode from time to time.”
Johnston, from Nautilus, says: “Reclamation by nature is expected to occur relatively quickly following the cessation of mining. This is as observed for naturally disturbed sites on the East Pacific Rise where researchers have documented the re-establishment of a site within five to 10 years, after being completely obliterated by a single volcanic event.”
“Everyone is watching anxiously for Nautilus,” says Henk van Muijen, at Royal IHC, a Dutch marine engineering firm. “If that goes wrong it will give a setback to deep sea mining.”
Conversely, if Nautilus successfully bring up valuable metals, “that is when you will see things taking off”, says Tracy Shimmield, at the British Geological Survey. She argues that the UK should seek a national licence from the International Seabed Authority in order to set up an ocean floor observatory, which could both test new mining technologies and monitor their the environmental impacts.
Companies backed by Russia, Germany, France, Portugal, South Korea, Brazil and more are all pushing ahead on deep sea mining and almost all of the Atlantic ridge from the equator to the Arctic circle has been claimed in recent years. Now Norwegian researchers are exploring the seafloor deep into the Arctic circle and have found several new vent systems near Jan Meyen island.
“I think there is huge potential,” says Filipa Marques, at Bergen University, adding that Norway’s 40-year history of offshore oil and gas puts it in a strong position to exploit the resources.
Most of the people involved in deep sea mining expect large-scale commercial production in about a decade, with companies seeking to benefit from the experiences of Nautilus. “Everyone is racing to be second,” says Fjellroth.
Whether the scientific knowledge and regulations are in place by then to ensure deep sea mining does not repeat the devastation of many mines on land remains to be seen, although the G7 leaders say: “We are committed to taking a precautionary approach.”
For Murton, tellurium is a good example. It is a key metal for high performance solar panels and is 50,000 times more concentrated in deep sea deposits than in land ores. “Because the grades are so much higher, there is much less impact. Deep sea mining is the lesser of two evils.”
Source: The Guardian
Leaked documents suggest the UK is lobbying to weaken one of the EU’s main energy efficiency laws.
A series of files, obtained by Greenpeace, are alleged to show the British Government is trying to lower the EU 2030 target of improving energy efficiency from 30 per cent to 27 per cent and make it non-binding.
Green campaigners have warned the Conservative’s efforts could undermine energy targets and lead to weaker climate policies after Brexit – some have suggested it’s a sign the party would dilute or abolish existing energy and climate policies after Brexit.
The UK previously welcomed the targets, which end in 2020, as an important driver for reducing consumer bills and reliance on energy imports.
Hannah Martin, Head of Energy at Greenpeace UK, believes the government is trying to “lock the rest of the EU into weaker energy policies, just as we are leaving.”
“The message ministers seem to be sending is that Brexit could trigger a race to the bottom and be used as cover for getting rid of key environmental safeguards,” she said.
The government is also allegedly pushing to drop an obligation on suppliers, including the Big Six, to cut the amount of energy they sell during the next decade.
Under the EU’s plan, energy firms would have to achieve energy savings of 1.5 per cent a year until 2030.
Renewable sources of energy have generated more electricity than coal and gas in the UK for the first time.
National Grid reported that, on Wednesday lunchtime, power from wind, solar, hydro and wood pellet burning supplied 50.7% of UK energy.
Add in nuclear, and by 2pm low carbon sources were producing 72.1% of electricity in the UK.
Wednesday lunchtime was perfect for renewables – sunny and windy at the same time.
Records for wind power are being set across Northern Europe.
The National Grid, the body that owns and manages the power supply around the UK, said in a tweet: “For the first time ever this lunchtime wind, nuclear and solar were all generating more than both gas and coal combined.”
On Tuesday, a tenth of the UK’s power was coming from offshore wind farms – a newcomer on the energy scene whose costs have plummeted far faster than expected.
So much power was being generated by wind turbines, in fact, that prices fell to a tenth of their normal level.
Environmentalists will salute this new record as a milestone towards the low carbon economy.
Critics of renewable energy sources will point to the disruption renewables cause to the established energy system.
At the time of Wednesday’s record, 1% of demand was met by storage; this will have to increase hugely as the UK moves towards a low-carbon electricity system.
Energy engineering service provider Norvento has launched a brand new, turnkey energy services offering to the UK market.
The Advanced Energy Engineering Services approach is designed to help businesses reduce their energy consumption and bills by gaining control of their supply and optimising its use, occasionally completely wipe out their reliance on traditional energy sourcing methods and helping them become ‘zero energy’.
Aimed at medium and large businesses, Norvento’s new service will aim to provide fully managed, start-to-finish energy projects to help firms break their dependency on fossil fuels, while also being tailored to meet their unique requirements.
Headquartered in Spain, global brand Norvento has more than 35 years’ experience in delivering high-performance, bespoke renewable energy engineering solutions to businesses all over the world. The launch of its new Advanced Energy Engineering Services offering marks a move to broaden its remit in the UK.
Ivo Arnús, Business Development Director at Norvento, explains that with so much uncertainty around long-term energy security, more and more UK businesses are looking for ways to futureproof their supply.
“Businesses are also seeking to reduce overheads and avoid carbon emissions penalties in the process. Our new Advanced Energy Engineering Services offering is in place to help them do just that – providing fully integrated and renewable energy solutions that work for them,” he said.
“The service represents a truly holistic, yet versatile, approach to energy services, since we can deliver value to projects at various different stages of development. Our services can include initial analysis of a site’s natural resources, project design, support with securing permission and funding, equipment recommendation and sourcing, construction and aftercare.
“We cater for both new-build and retrofit projects, and can help with everything from integrating one renewable energy source into an existing set-up, to designing and building an entire micro-grid for a completely self-sufficient, ‘zero-energy’ premises.”
Norvento’s own 4,000m2 headquarters in Lugo, Spain, has been awarded the BREEAM Outstanding Design Certificate and is completely ‘zero energy’, meaning it costs nothing to run and emits no carbon at all.are a working example of the company’s Advanced Energy Engineering Services approach in action.
The site comprises of a bespoke solution of renewable electricity, heating and cooling, as well as high-tech energy storage methods, which meets 100 percent of the building’s peak energy demand – including a fleet of electrical vehicles that charge in the car park.
All technologies feed into a purpose-built micro-grid, which is managed by Norvento’s own advanced control system to balance onsite energy generation and storage with real-time consumption and future forecasts.
Shetland’s new five-year smart grid integration project has been dubbed a success by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN).
The £18m Northern Isles New Energy Solutions (NINES) project, which incorporated a local energy system using large scale storage and new forms of network management, combined domestic demand side management (DSM) with a 1MW battery at Shetland’s main power supply, Lerwick Power Station, and new monitoring and control systems to form an advanced Active Network Management (ANM) system.
The ANM was then used to manage five renewable energy schemes connected to the distribution electricity network. According to SSEN, by using this smart technology to manage how and when the energy is used, while maintaining system reliability and safety, more than 8.545MW of new renewable energy has been connected on Shetland.
This represents a trebling of renewable energy capacity, which is being stored in the Lerwick battery at times of low demand, along with capacity from new storage heaters and hot water tanks installed by Shetland based Hjaltland Housing Association. This was managed by the ANM to be used at a time when it was needed to supply people with electricity or heat.
The combination of these technologies has resulted in the daily average of renewable generation on Shetland reaching 30 per cent of energy requirements, while a 10 per cent reduction the the diesel used at the power station has also been recorded.
Stewart Reid, head of asset management and innovation at SSEN, believes that by creating flexible demand on the islands, through the use of smart technology and energy storage, the company have made progress in exploiting and maximising Shetland’s renewable generation potential and reducing the generated output from thermal power stations.
“This was an important achievement as it will inform the transition to a low carbon economy. It also offered us the opportunity to trial the technology in an environment which could then be applied to the wider-GB electricity network,” he said.
“NINES demonstrated that it was possible to fully integrate domestic properties with an ANM system and allow appliances and heating systems in the home to play their part in meeting the challenges of de-carbonising the UK’s energy systems.
“In Shetland this participation has not only served to reduce peak demand on Shetland, it has also allowed a higher utilisation of renewable energy. There is significant roll out potential in the UK with over 2.2 million homes currently using electrical heating systems, which could adopt similar technology.”
The NINES project proved more successful in gaining benefit from domestic assets than other recent projects, such as WPD’s Sunshine Tariff trial which tested the ability of time of use (ToU) tariffs to promote domestic demand side response. It concluded that the practicalities of using such a tariff meant it wasn’t “feasible under market conditions”.
Thanks to the learnings gained from NINES, new ANMs are being rolled out elsewhere to help the transition towards low carbon networks and realise smart grids.
An EU-funded energy project claims that retrofitting shopping centres could have a crucial role in Europe achieving its green goals.
The CommONEnergy project believes “temples of consumerism” need to be turned into “lighthouses of sustainable consumer behavior”, by being properly accounted for in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).
The research adds wholesale & retail sites represent 28 per cent of non-residential buildings, typically demand a lot of energy and produce high levels of carbon dioxide emissions and waste.
Shopping centres have a very high renovation rate of around 4.4 per cent per year, meaning more than 60 per cent of the shopping centre building stock is expected to be upgraded by 2030, representing a unique opportunity for rapid and sustainable overhaul.
CommONEnergy says that by embedding the deep retrofitting of these facilities in the EPBD, the EU could develop a systemic approach made up of innovative technologies, methods and tools to support the implementation of green measures and assess their impacts.
Researchers believe shopping centres’ large spaces, peculiar features and complex logistics offer a high potential for standardisation and replication in different contexts all around Europe.
They suggest there are few cases with well thought-out measurement systems to see how energy is distributed between different functions in the building and say this needs to be changed – waste energy from one activity could often be recovered and used by another.
British industry overwhelmingly wants to see the retention of European energy standards, after the UK leaves the European Union in 2019, the House of Commons Business Select Committee has concluded.
In its final report issued during the General Election campaign, the all-party committee considered the likely impact of Brexit upon energy and climate change policy.
It began by acknowledging that, prior to the referendum, EU policies were expected to achieve 50 per cent of the UK’s emissions reductions needed from buildings between 2015 and 2030, to remain on track to meet the 2050 targets specified in the Climate Change Act 2008 – the retention of which was now common ground between all political parties apart from UKIP.
Similarly EU energy product standards were expected to be the largest contributor to energy bill reductions over the next decade.
The Committee acknowledged that there is “widespread support” for the retention of EU –derived policies, which “have contributed to significant improvements in the energy efficiency of buildings and products, with benefits in terms of emission reductions, reduced household bills and consumer protection.”
The MPs concluded: “Industry would in particular prefer European energy product standards to be retained. These are likely to be applied in practice, due to the continuing need to trade with EU countries. If our formal standards diverge from those applying in European countries, there is a risk that the UK could become a dumping ground for energy inefficient products.”
The Committee posited that the policy option most amenable to change could be revisions to VAT. During the Vote Leave campaign the present foreign secretary Boris Johnson had argued that, once outside the EU, the UK would be able to scrap VAT on household bills. This had been attacked as distorting the marketplace even further, with consumption charged at 0 per cent VAT, while energy-conserving measures like condensing boilers and low emissivity glass currently incurred 20 per cent VAT.
The Business Secretary, Greg Clark, told the Committee that cutting VAT on household bills “is not something we have been actively looking at.”
While making no commitment regarding the desirability of removing VAT entirely on fuel, there was no equivocation from the MPs regarding the alternative option. “We recommend that the Government reduces VAT on energy efficiency products after the UK leaves the EU”. This was because “a reduction in VAT on energy efficiency products would support consumers in using less energy. This would help to address both fuel poverty and decarbonisation objectives.”
Swiss power electronics firm ABB is set to install its state-of-the-art microgrid solution at the University of Chester’s new Energy Centre, in what will be the first energy management system of its kind in the U.K.
The system will enable researchers and students that the onsite Energy Centre to examine ways to better integrate renewable and conventional energy.
Located at the Thornton Science Park in Cheshire, northwest England, the 90,000m2 Energy Centre in Thornton Science Park is one of the largest and most advanced energy research hubs in Europe, while a key mission statement of the campus is to demonstrate how new and renewable energy technologies can be better understood and integrated.
ABB, which recently unveiled its new MGS100 microgrid suitable for edge-of-grid, grid-connected and fully off-grid connections, will supply the control system, which is a software that manages the microgrid’s integration and optimum deployment of various energy sources.
Storage units will also be connected to the microgrid, which will draw energy from a solar PV array, combined heat and power (CHP) and a diesel generator.
ABB’s MD of its grid automation business Massimo Danieli believes that the project is a demonstration of the company’s commitment to partnering with academia to find ways to promote the adoption of “leading-edge technologies”.
The main aim of the microgrid solution from ABB will be to demonstrate how distributed energy resources can work together to lower costs and emissions on a typical grid. The software enables greater penetration of renewables on to the grid, and the controller will manage the microgrid’s connection with the Energy Centre, as well as connection to the local grid.
Limejump has won a contract to manage UK Power Networks’ Smarter Network Storage facility, the biggest battery in Britain, in the balancing markets.
Through dynamic frequency response, Limejump will ensure that the battery, located in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, continues to support the increase of renewables in the UK’s energy mix when it’s not supporting the local distribution network.
UK Power Networks, which distributes electricity to more than 8m homes and businesses across London, the South East and the East of England, developed the first large standalone battery in the UK to trial the technology and aid the transition to a more flexible electricity system. The company has outsourced the commercial operations of the facility to ensure that engagement with the market is done independently to meet its legal obligations as a DNO.
The battery has an energy storage capacity of 6MW and 10MWh, which is enough to import or export continually 6MW of power for an hour and a half, and its principal function is to support the local network during winter peaks. Limejump will use the battery’s energy the rest of the year to help keep the transmission grid balanced through demand response at sub-second granularity.
When fluctuations from balancing the grid with renewable power generation occur, Limejump will be able to action quick charges and discharges, with the use of batteries.
Limejump claims to operate the largest portfolio of energy storage projects in the UK, combining speed of response with the flexibility of distributed generators and commercial assets to enable the full portfolio to participate in the UK’s only dynamic frequency response contracts.
Global resource management company, Veolia, is helping Quorn Foods advance their sustainability goals by delivering energy using combined heat and power (CHP) technology.
As the first global brand in their sector to achieve Carbon Trust certification of its carbon footprint figures, Quorn Foods will now be able to guarantee the energy needs of the production facilities and reduce carbon emissions by a further 3,100 tonnes per year.
With the focus on further reducing the carbon footprint, Veolia will design and install a 2MWe CHP unit and combination boiler that will provide low carbon electricity, hot water and steam to the production facility at Stokesley, North Yorkshire.
Quorn, part of the Monde Nissin Corporation, is the UK’s number one meat free brand with sales of around £150m, and increasing the energy efficiency is part of a £30m investment to boost production and drive growth.
The CHP will deliver around 13GWh of electricity each year which will take pressure off the local electricity infrastructure and provide stable energy costs that are less susceptible to energy market price changes.
Also included in the contract is a 10 year operation and maintenance service, provided by the nationwide service teams and this will guarantee availability on a 24/7 basis.
Commenting on this latest CHP application, Gavin Graveson, Veolia’s COO Public and Commercial states that by integrating the firm’s CHP technology into their plant Quorn is “demonstrating its commitment to sustainability, and we look forward to helping them achieve even greater carbon savings.”
“Cogeneration systems make a real difference in delivering the energy needed to maintain modern production facilities, and this will add to over 70MWe of Veolia CHP which annually save over 158,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions for UK industry,” he said.
The Veolia CHP is one of the new lean burn units that deliver the high electrical efficiency required to support this type of production process. By harnessing the heat produced in the generating process and reducing transmission over long distances by being site based, the CHPs save energy and carbon emissions. This makes them typically twice as energy efficient as grid supplied electricity and separate heat plant.
A number of Energy Assessors would have noted the recent changes to the QA File Uploader used for auditing submission. The new system enables Energy Assessors to label their evidence appropriately to provide a clearer view of their evidence package. Whilst many of these tags relate to domestic assessment, there are still appropriate labels for non-domestic work.
The uploader can handle batch selection as well as drag-and-drop functionality. We’ve also added an easier image preview in the Documents page to review all the uploaded files.
We have produced a helpful guide for using this new process; CLICK HERE TO READ.
With the Summer Holidays fast approaching, we wanted to take an opportunity to remind Energy Assessors to keep the QA team aware of any holidays in case an auditing request is sent. The QA department would be able to provide a maximum of five days extension, if necessary, to enable Energy Assessors to upload for auditing upon return. A notification about holiday will never prevent or delay an audit request being sent, however you are at risk of your accreditation being suspended if you fail to notify us of holiday and subsequently fail to upload for audit. Notifications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have been working behind the scenes to produce a list of English Local Authorities and their status as a Smoke Control Area. A SCA will have an impact on the appropriate type of heating fuel to input for solid fuel boilers and open fires, so checking whether a property is within one is an important thing to know.
Energy Assessors should double-check on the both County Council and District Council listings for the SCA. In many cases, the County-level will not include the areas which their District areas hold.
Quidos has worked diligently to produce as accurate a listing as possible, however, there might still be mistakes within the data. We would advise all Energy Assessors to undertake their own checks if in doubt.
The Excel spreadsheet containing this data can be found in the ‘Technical Information’ section under Domestic Energy Assessment in iQ-Energy.
Quidos have updated their advice to Energy Assessors for the provision of EPCs to rental properties to conform under the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Properties) Regulations 2015, more commonly known as MEES.
A general overview of these requirements can be found on the Quidos website:
The guidance reviews listed buildings, exemptions, and the upcoming PRS Exemptions Register.
Due to the complexities of MEES recommendations and paybacks for Non-Domestic assessment, our training team have worked on a 30-minute CPD module to give further details on the Regulations and their impact for NDEAs.
This module can be found by following:
In recent months, we have noted from audit feedback that basic elements of an Energy Assessor’s on-site kit are not being used effectively, or are missing completely.
Element 4.1 of the National Occupational Standards for DEAs (which should be read in line with the Quidos Code of Conduct) states that Assessors must be able to:
…ensure that you have the equipment and resources needed for the inspection
One area of this would be to ensure that you have a meter box key in order to accurately ascertain the type of meter within the dwelling. Meter box keys are very easy to get hold of from hardware stores, or online; having a locked meter box should not be a factor in missing evidence required for auditing.
With the publication of historical EPC data in England & Wales by DCLG, it has become clear that Energy Assessors may not be cancelling defective or incorrect reports and leaving them on the Register.
There is a common misconception that lodging a new report will ‘supersede’ any live reports from the Register.
Whilst it is true that the newer report will be the first one to be downloaded, any reports with errors will still be showing as ‘Entered’ on the Register and therefore, part of property history for that building.
Obviously, there are a number of reasons why multiple EPCs may be lodged against a specific property UPRN, but this is specifically looking at instances where you have lodged a new report to replace one which has an issue with it. The issue could relate to an auditing failure or feedback from a client. We should note that a specific RdSAP Convention relates to this matter:
Convention 9.03 – If you lodge an EPC in error and lodge a corrected EPC, inform your accreditation scheme so that the erroneous one can be marked “not for issue”.
Quidos would request that all Energy Assessors review their lodgements and, where an incorrect report has been replaced, cancel the incorrect RRN as soon as possible.
Energy Assessors ARE NOT CHARGED for cancelling reports.
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