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News Article | December 5, 2016
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

A new approach is needed to retrofit the UK’s housing stock to allow it to contribute to a cost-effective decarbonisation strategy, according to a report published by the Energy Technologies Institute. But the report does not make it really clear what this approach might be. Although deep retrofits of houses for energy efficiency are technically feasible, as detailed in my book the Earthscan Expert Guide to Sustainable Home Refurbishment, at present doing it to the proper standard might cost around the same as rebuilding the entire UK housing stock. New homes built to modern UK Building Regulations standards will cost approximately half as much to heat as a Victorian home, according to the British NHBC Foundation. These new or refurbished homes mean reduced bills for heating, hot water and electricity bills, due to better standards of insulation, draught-proofing and improved airtightness, double glazing and efficient controls (programmer, room thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves). Housing Retrofits – A New Start, written by the ETI’s chief engineer Andrew Haslett, looks at the role of housing retrofitting when seeking to tackle the 20 per cent of emissions that comes from heating the UK’s 28 million homes. Its conclusions come from a two-stage process. The ETI first identified two particular retrofitting approaches that were the most cost-effective in terms of getting the most from time and materials by industrialising the planning and execution of projects. They followed this up by testing them out on five typical UK dwellings (terrace, semi-detached, detached) built from pre-1919 to post-1980, to work out what might be deliverable in the real world. Here are the results: Retrofits were successfully completed on four of the houses, with gas usage reduced by 30-50 per cent. But the costs ranged from £32,000 to £77,000. The experience led the team to conclude that proper investment in supply chain and training might reduce this by about half to £17,000 to £31,000. That’s still a lot. So how do we persuade someone to spend the money? The report highlights that most consumers are not motivated to spend money on efficiency measures because efficiency savings are a very weak driver. That is the “incentive gap”. Instead, the report recommends that improved comfort, health and amenity should be the main incentive to fill this gap, with saving money on bills as a secondary benefit. Meanwhile, at the back end, finding savings in the supply chain by scaling up manufacture and supply, and rewards to investors or installers, and/or legally binding targets for carbon savings (carrots and sticks), would seriously help, both in the social and private sectors. The ETI has made a video about the project: But the route to market is still fuzzy. UK Government spending on grants for home energy efficiency is currently languishing at a 20-year low. This year has seen a massive fall in the number of households helped by government to become more efficient, with the annual number of major energy efficiency measures installed in homes declining by 80 per cent from 1.74 million to 340,000 between the height of delivery in 2012 and 2015, according to the Association for the Conservation of Energy. The government seems to lack any sense of the value of energy efficiency compared to investing in large scale energy projects. The ETI reckons that with carbon prices at such a modest level one way to improve housing efficiency lies in more effort to tackle the approximately four million hard to treat cavity walls across the UK. But governments have been trying for years to incentivise this and not even all the “easy wins” have been fixed. Although the ETI wants to make eco-retrofits “an integral part of improving the amenity and value of the dwellings”, rather than seeing them as a series of independent measures, it does not present a financial model for doing this. The only hope it offers is a vague one for “a new kind of service provider (integrator)” to replace existing energy providers, on a franchised basis (local teams), “that aims for a much higher level of service provision, starting with existing energy supplies”. Such companies would have “a plan for the decarbonisation of supply of each dwelling” but “only if a market environment can be created over the next five years”. Given the current preoccupations of the UK Government – Brexit – and the lack of any mention of climate change or social care in the government’s budgetary spending plans announced last week, that’s a big ask. It’s not as if the ETI is asking for a lot of cash compared to the scale of the task. It says: “£10 billion of private and public funds over the next 10 years would provide a platform that would enable investment of roughly £100bn out to 2050″. The incentive gap is to be addressed by yet another report, soon to be released, this time from the UK Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. It will contain their first set of recommendations about how to help close the gap between the climate/sustainability world and traditional finance thinking. It will say that all infrastructure projects – not just housing retrofits – have a climate-related element to them, be that energy efficiency (mitigation), resilience against adverse weather events (adaptation) or others. Therefore policy to encourage the reporting of more information on these topics will help to bring more visibility to the benefits. And standardising how this information is reported would ensure that it can be used for investor analysis, enabling investors to set targets, and the creation of more products that are attractive to investors. Well that’s what the Investor Confidence Project is doing. I wonder if the FSB knows about it. The ETI is conducting important research. What they have done is expose the difficulty of the task but they have only begun to chart a path to accomplishing it. NOTE: A version of this article appeared on The Fifth Estate on 29 November. David Thorpe is the author of:


Patent
ETI Inc | Date: 2015-12-28

An integral LED light fixture for installation in an incandescent light bulb socket includes a housing with a forwardly-extending portion and peripheral outer walls defining a recess, a rearwardly-extending socket base to be screwed into an incandescent light bulb socket, electrical components including a printed circuit board having a set of LEDs, and a lens for covering the printed circuit board and being attached to the housing. The integral LED flight fixture cover can also be installed in a junction box. An AC version is also provided which lacks the driver component and the driver cover.


Patent
ETI Inc | Date: 2012-04-30

A first process for making labels comprises the steps of feeding a laminated combination of a face stock and a process liner to a cutting station such as a microperforator or die-cutter and thereafter stripping the process liner from the face stock and further processing the face stock. The process liner may be recycled and reused. A second method includes all of the steps described above along with the further step of laminating the cut or perforated face stock, immediately after stripping off the process liner, to a second lighter liner which carries the face stock, minus the web or matrix of waste material, to a roller. A complete description of the machinery is given herein.


Patent
ETI Inc | Date: 2014-07-18

An integral LED light fixture for installation in an incandescent light bulb socket includes a housing with a forwardly-extending portion and peripheral outer walls defining a recess, a rearwardly-extending socket base to be screwed into an incandescent light bulb socket, electrical components having an LED driver component, a driver cover and a printed circuit board having a set of LED bulbs and an orifice for receiving the central portion of the housing, which are nested into a compact set of electrical components, and a lens for covering the printed circuit board and being attached to the housing. The integral LED flight fixture cover can also be installed in a junction box. An AC version is also provided which lacks the driver component and the driver cover.


Trademark
ETI Inc | Date: 2016-11-25

Crackers.


Trademark
ETI Inc | Date: 2016-02-08

LED (light emitting diode) lighting fixtures; flush mount LED ceiling light fixtures; flush mount LED lighting fixtures mountable into an incandescent socket.


Trademark
ETI Inc | Date: 2016-02-08

LED (light emitting diode) lighting fixtures; flush mount LED ceiling light fixtures; flush mount LED lighting fixtures mountable into an incandescent socket.


Trademark
ETI Inc | Date: 2016-02-25

LED (light emitting diode) lighting fixtures; flush mount LED ceiling light fixtures; flush mount LED lighting fixtures mountable into an incandescent socket; LED lighting tubes for lighting fixtures, and accessories therefor; LED work lights for workshops, garages and utility settings; LED lighting fixtures for mounting underneath cabinets; LED troffers; LED lamps and bulbs; LED socket kits for retrofitting LED lighting fixtures into incandescent sockets.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 491.52K | Year: 2010

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will use a Homolog of Expansin Domain-2 protein to enhance cellulose performance in large-scale biomass digestion into sugars for biofuel projection. Due to the economics, politics and environmental impacts of reliance on petroleum-based fuel, there is growing interest in using biofuel. Cellulosic biomass provides a readily-available, high-volume feedstock for biofuel production. Successful completion of the objectives will optimize unpurified ZM3 for use as a cellulose synergist in scaled-up conditions for commercialization purposes. Broader impacts associated with developing strategies to decrease the costs and improve the efficiency of the production of ethanol from cellulosic biomass include numerous societal benefits resulting from reduction of petroleum use. Conversion of cell wall biomass from renewable forestry and agricultural feedstocks into biofuels enables the efficient use of waste materials. From an environmental standpoint, the widespread use of cellulose-based biofuel as an alternative renewable energy source could substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to the ability of plants to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.


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