Tag Archives: Energy efficiency

Why old tower blocks should be included in new city visions

Block towers in Kennogton Park, London.UK cities have been growing in influence for some years now. This looks set to continue as the devolution debate rumbles on in the wake of the Scottish referendum.

At Green Alliance we’re interested in the potential of cities to add dynamism to the low carbon economy. They are well placed to realise the tangible benefits: through public transport improvements, growing low carbon industries and green jobs, and developing sustainable, liveable communities. Read more

Big manifesto ideas: responsible pensions, help to heat and a resource target

Big Ben in LondonWith the 2015 general election on the horizon, we’ve asked leading thinkers and experts for their one big manifesto idea. The one they think will make a real difference to a greener Britain. Today we’re posting ideas 13,14 and 15. (Read the other twelve.)

These three proposals, including one of our own, would harness the power of pension funds, boost support for the fuel poor and steer industrial strategy to help businesses and reduce the cost of living. Read more

Why the UK should champion EU action on energy efficiency

negawatts_WEB_AW-1This post is by Katherine Watts, head of energy at Green Alliance.

Today, EU member states are due to submit their National Energy Efficiency Action Plans (NEEAPs) to the European Commission. Over the next two months the numbers will be crunched to see whether the actions proposed add up to being on track to meet the EU’s 2020 20 per cent energy efficiency target. As the target is not legally binding, expectations aren’t high that member states are giving sufficient priority to achieving their energy efficiency potential. Read more

Why politicians are ducking responsibility for bringing down energy bills

House Thermal ImageThis post first appeared on BusinessGreen.

The current ‘green crap’ debate is a dispiriting failure of political leadership on energy. Not because it’s wrong to focus on reducing the burden of high energy bills on consumers, but because the solution being proposed: cutting environmental and social levies, will offer only a small bill reduction, while diverting attention from where it should be focused: on the UK’s shameful failure to implement a national energy efficiency programme. Read more

The triple benefit of an ambitious energy efficiency programme

insulationThis post is by Will Straw, associate director for climate change, energy and transport at IPPR. It is taken from the collection of essays, published today by Green Alliance, Green social democracy: better homes in better places.  This pamphlet, alongside similar collections on ‘Green liberalism’ and ‘Green conservatism’ (to be published next week), are part of our Green Roots programme, aiming to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. A version of this piece has been published on Labour List.

Britain’s communities are facing three big challenges: a living standards crisis, a jobs crisis and a climate crisis. Improving Britain’s homes to make them more energy efficient is a significant part of the answer to all three but the government’s market-driven approach looks inadequate. Instead, greater shared responsibility between government, the market and civil society should be encouraged to address this triple crunch. So what does the British public think about these three problems and is there a solution for all three? Read more

Will the UK’s electricity market reform deliver investment?

davey event 030Around 100 representatives from across the energy policy field joined Ed Davey, at a Green Alliance debate on Monday, to discuss the final stages of the somewhat tortuous process of reforming the UK’s electricity sector. The main question asked was whether the process, now going into its third year, will actually result in much needed investment in both low carbon supply and energy efficiency. Read more

Never turn your back on a crumb

Wind Turbine and sun from belowThis post first appeared on Business Green.

It’s sometimes hard to know if we’re winning or losing.

Last weekend we learned from Greenpeace that “in pushing for a 50 per cent European carbon cut by 2030, Ed Davey and the Prime Minister have secured a rare outbreak of Cabinet common sense on climate policy”. But, meanwhile, the Guardian told us that this was just “a sop to environment campaigners,” while the government risked “tens of billions of pounds of green investment” by opposing a renewables target. Just to make things as clear as mud, the CBI said that the government announcement had given “a clear UK position on a single 2030 emissions reduction target [that] will help reassure investors.” Read more

Design guru says it’s not enough to do less harm, products must do more good

512px-William_McDonough

Bill McDonough

This post is by US journalist Jim Witkin, based on an interview with William McDonough, co-author of a seminal book on the circular economy, Cradle to cradle: remaking the way we make things. Green Alliance hosted its UK launch in 2009. Here, McDonough talks about his new book. This article was originally posted on Guardian Sustainable Business.

Designer, adviser and author William McDonough wants us to think differently about how we design our products, buildings and urban environments.

McDonough, who often sports a bow tie, has the look of a professor. He speaks softly even as he discusses some very weighty topics. “Design is the first signal of human intention,” he told me in a recent interview, “and if our intention is to destroy the planet, we’re doing a great job.” Read more

How to ensure investment in energy efficiency…and how not to

negawatts_WEB_AW-1The government is looking at ways for the forthcoming Energy Bill not only to drive investment in new sources of low carbon power but also to pay for much needed investment in energy efficiency. There are different ways this could be done but the government’s lead option is to enable energy efficiency projects to take part in a new capacity market aimed at making sure we have enough electricity generating capacity to keep the lights on. Read more

Everything you need to know about an electricity efficiency feed-in tariff

close up uk 3 pin plugAfter calling for more government action to help people reduce electricity use for nearly two years, we’re delighted that the government is finally taking it seriously.

Our recent report with WWF  looked at three ways to reduce demand, as part of the government ‘s Electricity Market Reform, concluding that an electricity efficiency FiT is the best way forward. If it is introduced, it could stimulate a new market in negawatts or electricity saving by paying anyone who can to reduce their demand for electricity.

Read more

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