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Energy Saving Trust workshop, Cardiff.

Notes from EST's UK and Wales directors from a ahlaf day workshop held at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.

Thoughts and comments from Justine Paine as to why householders need difference incentives to invest in energy saving technologies.

Pay as you save is finance provided to householders to pay for the installaton of energy efficiency and small scale renewables - linked to the property, long term so that savings are greater than the costs.

There's an initial £2m of funding in the 09 /10 financial years, focused on Local Authorities, Energy Suppliers etc.

They're wanting to test the consumer interest in elements of the PAYS model, and understand the impact of the constraints. These include the legal implications of charges on the property, lack of a specific finance vehicle to take this through, and lack of technical monitoring through smart meters etc. The capital will be repaid to Treasury.

Some of last year's research showed that £3k was the appetite, and that 10 years was the limit to borrowing horizons, with 2% being the interest barrier. People are taking the projects up at the pilot level.

How are partners and pilots selected? The selection process was put out in September, 230 organisations responded with 29 good quality bids. EST took a portfolio approach to delivery partners, finance providers and repayment routes. Different approaches to subsidy and interest rates too.

Evaluation - video diaries, qualitative and quantitative evaluation techniques will be used, along with project partner interviews and evaluation of unsuccessful partners.

Five pilot projects were chosen:

B&Q, working with Sutton BC, Bioregional and Parity Projects. 40% subsidy measures driven by householder survey. Loans administered by Sutton DC. Over 50 homes have been surveyed.

Stroud District Council, partnering with Severn Wye Energy Agency; target of 50 households, with no subsidy and no minor measures. 10 and 25 year packages, with 43 projects in the pipeline now.

Gentoo - social landlord, focused on void and occupied buildings; adding legally as charge to rent in tenancy agreement. First tenants have moved in, and working on a street by street approach. Interested in boilers and glazing - measures that provide greater comfort.

Birmingham City Council, partnering with existing Kick Start Programme. 200 households target. BCC is looking to join up various sources of funding across the area.

British Gas - 100 homes target with a one stop shop in Surrey and Sussex, with a proposition focussed on PV and 20+ projects signed up already.

Potential barriers are the potential loss of internal features in un-insulated Victorian properties - need to get smart designers working on making the solutions look good. The lack of trusted installers can be an issue too when the supply chain is immature - it can be hard to get the service even when it's wanted. It took 8-10 years for people to buy houses that had central heating as they weren't trusted - we need to work with valuers and others to get the benefits reflected in valuation.

There's something about the demographic of change - the age profile calling EST are 50s and 60s.

In order to deliver by 2020, we'll need to spend £18.5bn on insulation - this has, of course, to be found at a time of falling council budgets, when even greater figures (maybe as much as £200bn) are needed for investment in energy infrastructure.

Investing in reduction in demand has a direct impact in reduction of supply generation. There's still an over-reliance on building our way out of the problem, which we will not. If we don't start to invest this money early, the lights might go out. The 'lights out' scenario will be a consequence of clapped out infrastructure, not peak oil.

Marian Spain, EST Director of Strategy. Actions are driven by short and medium term government goals on insulation and whole house upgrades, actions on Feed in Tariffs, energy in products and energy used by cars. EST's four main chunks of work are:

1. Direct advice to consumers - driving short term goals that get people to take hard actions in their home, and finding out what people need to take whole house action. Across UK, advice centres talk to 3.5m customers that have influenced 270,000 loft insulation and 125,000 cavity wall insulation upgrades. People like the simple messages such as scrappage - 100,000 vouchers have been given out already. Area based schemes with a geographical roll-out can be very effective. EST's role is to give the initial advice, help people target the right houses and evaluate houses afterwards and back up with technical advice.

2. Advice with others - how do we get other people to get the message out. Most people take advice from others that they already trust, like Tesco, B&Q or M&S. Supporting Local Authorities and housing associations will be a key part of this too.

3. Technical and physical - how do we make sure that consumers can trust products and installers, working with the supply chain. EST are running, for instance, heat pump field trials to get representative samples - the question is not whether or not the technology works, but whether or not the installation is appropriate for the householder's lifestyle. Water and how water in the home is around 5% of UK carbon emissions; EST are starting to advise people (with a pilot in Cardiff) - people are interested in how they use water in their gardens, when to change their boiler, and how to choose the right kind of appliance when they go to the bathroom store.

4. Evidence, knowledge and customer insight - knowing what people really think.

Andy Deacon, Head of Local Delivery for EST. Focus on local authorities’ desire to work with ‘freedoms and flexibilties’ and their low carbon pilot areas. Carbon quantification, trajectories and local carbon planning need to be connected so that LAs don’t get stuck bidding for small pots of money – EST are hoping to help them grasp the opportunities that are already there if they know where to find them. Linking this to CAAs – Comprehensive Area Agreements have the opportunity to accelerate progress and good practice.

In the SW, they’re working on alternative capital approaches to get over the finance hump. We’re seeing low carbon industrial areas springing up. Manchester is the low carbon built environment hub. Whole policy landscape changing too including things like energy performance certificate data for information on what’s working and what’s not.

Helen Northmore, Head of EST Wales. Working on developing deeper local partnerships. Now looking at how we can reach people that we haven't already contacted - still want to reach a lot of those that are not hearing yet. We will be working with organisations such as Care and Repair to train their staff in what questions to ask; with Swansea City Council, they'v trained call centre staff to point people to EST for energy grant advice rather than their own energy manager. They're encouraging people who call about the scrappage scheme (not in place yet) to still take the first step.

Also working with Local Authorities on four new projects to speed up implementation for on the ground support of community groups for those looking at community scale renewable generation.

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