APSE Energy - Members briefing 16/15 (September 2015)

This is the APSE Energy Briefing of 18 September 2015.

APSE Energy

Dear Colleague,

APSE Energy - Members briefing 16/15 (September 2015)

1. APSE Energy welcomes Monmouthshire Council and the London Borough of Havering into membership

APSE Energy is pleased to announce that Monmouthshire Council and the London Borough of Havering have joined APSE Energy bringing the number of councils in membership to 54. APSE Energy continues to grow across local government and we are delighted to welcome both Monmouthshire and Havering into membership. An updated membership list is available here.

2. APSE Energy briefing 10-15 Solar PV Medium Term Strategy

In the last APSE Energy members briefing (15/15) I circulated APSE Energy’s response to the DECC consultation of 22 July on the proposed changes to the Renewable Obligation for solar farms of 5MW and under, together with other changes to pre-accreditation for FITs which impact on many council projects. I also set out the further announcement by the Government on 27 August following the review of the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) to reduce the FIT for solar PV by a massive 87% from January 2016. APSE Energy will be responding on behalf of the membership to the consultation in due course, but I have enclosed for you information a briefing note (10-15) prepared by Stephen Cirell, APSE Energy Consultant, which sets out both a fast-track and medium term strategy for Solar PV.

Those local authorities that are in a position to take advanatge of the current financial incentive regime for so;lar PV and who can complete their projects before the end of March 2016 are effectively part of a ‘fast-track’ approach and this will still apply to a number of APSE Energy members. But there are a number of changes in the Solar PV market which will in the medium-term still mean that local authorities who are unable to take advantage of the ‘fast-track’ can still complete their projects with all of the associated financial, economic and social benefits. But to take advantage of these opportunities local authorities have to position themselves now and undertake the necessary work. It is essential therefore, that they do not become disillusioned by the proposed changes and effectively give up on their proposed projects, or they will miss out on the benefits that are just a couple of years down the road and which can be lined up now.

APSE Energy launched the medium-term strategy at a recent solar PV workshop organised jointly with APSE Scotland and Edison Energy Ltd. at the Hotel Colessio in Stirling on 16 September. You can download presentations from the workshop - APSE Energy Event - FIT for purpose

APSE Energy will be developing the ideas set out in the medium-term strategy further and we will update the strategy in the near future. If you have any thoughts or comments on the medium-term strategy we would be pleased to receive them and you should email any comments to Alistair Holcroft at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3. Nottingham City Council launches Robin Hood Energy Ltd. the first municipally owned power company since 1948

In an exciting development for the municipal energy sector, Nottingham City Council has launched Robin Hood Energy Ltd. the first wholly owned not for profit local authority power company that has operated in the energy market since nationalisation of the industry in 1948. Read about the launch of Robin Hood Energy.

APSE Energy offers its congratulations and support to Nottingham City Council on the setting up of Robin Hood Energy Ltd. which is a major step forward for municipal energy and is a shining example for all those councils striving to achieve their ambitions for distributed energy. Robin Hood Energy is attracting a great deal of interest across the local government sector and APSE Energy hopes to work alongside Nottingham City Council to both learn from their experience and to promote the opportunities that this potentially creates for other councils.

4. Southampton City Council £27m Energy Efficiency Project gets underway

One of the founding members of APSE Energy, Southampton City Council, has announced a multi-million pound project to tackle fuel poverty and improve the energy efficiency of more than 1,500 Southampton homes. The energy efficiency improvements which is funded through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is part of a major £27m scheme to slash energy use. Southampton City Council launched the new energy efficiency project this week which will affect four city housing estates. Tenants to benefit from improvements will be in Thornhill, Shirley, St Mary’s and Maybush. The measures will help reduce residents’ energy bills and also provide jobs as the intention is to use local contractors and businesses. The City Council has invested a great deal of time and resource to deliver this important project following the Government’s announcement in December 2013 to scale back on ECO funding and great credit must go to both elected members and officers of the City Council for their success in finally delivering on a project which will help thousands of Southampton tenants and help alleviate fuel poverty across the city. You can read more about this project - Southampton City Council Energy Efficiency Project

5. DECC announces further degression for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

In a further development following hard on the heels of the DECC announcement on cuts to Feed-inTariffs for solar PV, the Department of Energy and Climate Change announced further reductions in subsidy for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) on 28 August. The details are as follows:

Three tariff reductions will come into effect on 1 October 2015.
· The small non-domestic biomass tariff will be reduced by 5%.
· Biomethane tariffs in the non-domestic scheme will be reduced by 10%.
· The domestic biomass tariff will be reduced by 10%.

Further detail on why these reductions have occurred:

Non-domestic scheme

· The total forecast expenditure as at 31 July 2015 was £388.2m. This represents the amount of tariff payments DECC anticipate they are committed to based on application data up to 31 July 2015.
· The “100% trigger" for the scheme as a whole for the 31 July 2015 degression assessment date is £306.2m – total forecast expenditure of £388.2m is £82m above the trigger
· Forecast expenditure over the next 12 months for the small biomass tariff category was £146.1m. This is £49.7m above its individual technology trigger of £96.4m
· Despite being over its trigger, small biomass did not meet the growth requirements over the quarter for a subsequent reduction after being reduced by 25% last quarter. However, with the 100% total scheme trigger exceeded, all technologies deploying above expectations receive an additional 5% reduction, therefore small biomass tariffs will be reduced by 5% from 1 October 2015.
· Forecast expenditure for the biomethane tariff category was £167m. This is £82.8m above its individual technology trigger of £84.2m. As biomethane has exceeded its trigger it will be subject to a 5% tariff reduction. With the additional 5% reduction from the 100% trigger being applied, biomethane tariffs will be reduced by 10% from 1 October 2015.
· The figure for forecast expenditure for biomethane has grown due to known biomethane plants in the pipeline coming forward into the scheme and regulations which have been introduced improving how we forecast biomethane expenditure to better reflect operational realities and reduce fluctuations in future forecasts.
· All other technologies remain well below their triggers.


· Forecast expenditure for domestic biomass is £32.43m. This is in excess of the expenditure threshold for biomass for the quarter ending 31 July 2015 (£11.9m).
· As the tariff was reduced last quarter, according to the scheme rules expenditure needs to grow by a specific amount (set out in the regulations) to be reduced again, not just exceed the trigger. This quarter biomass expenditure grew enough to meet the requirements for a 10% reduction but not for the maximum 20% reduction. Therefore the biomass tariff will be reduced by 10% from 1 October 2015.
· All other technologies remain well below their triggers.

6. APSE Energy autumn programme of events

APSE Energy’s programme of autumn events which coincides with some of the key trade EXPO events has now been finalised. Details have previously been sent out to members of APSE Energy, but you can still register to attend any of the events free of charge. APSE Energy has negotiated an exclusive arrangement with Nextgen, Solar Media U.K., Greenbuild Expo and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) for both APSE and APSE Energy members and you can register for any of these events below:

NextgenExpo, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire
7-8 October 2015

For details on all the seminar sessions please click here.
To register as a Nextgen VIP click here.
N.B As a VIP you will have access to the VIP lounge, complimentary refreshments, free WiFi, VIP parking, priority theatre seating and more. Further information on the programme and exhibition will follow.

Solar Energy UK – Local Authority Summit, the NEC, Birmingham
13-15 October 2015

This is a FREE event for APSE and APSE Energy member authorities and you can register to attend the summit and the solar energy trade exhibition at: Solar Energy UK

GreenbuildExpo Sustainable Refurbishment and Building event, Manchester Central 
10/11 November 2015

To register free click on the links below:
GreenbuildExpo: REGISTER HERE

Buildings Energy Efficiency: REGISTER HERE

You can book a meeting with APSE Energy at the event to discuss your needs or any aspect on municipal energy by clicking on the following link: BOOK A MEETING

APSE Energy/Town and Country Planning Association workshops on decentralised energy
Neighbourhood Planning and Sustainable Energy

Planning for Decentralised Energy – District Heating
Planning for Community Energy
Planning for Energy in Regeneration and Retrofitting
September to November
These workshops are FREE to attend for APSE Energy members. You can book on-line to attend any of these events at http://www.tcpa.org.uk/events.php

Kind Regards

Mark Bramah
Director of APSE Energy
Tel: 0161 772 1810 Mobile 07796301502
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.