Policy documents and consultations that CEE is considering making a response to are included below (listed in date order of responses required). Draft responses will be added to this page for member comments along with our final submissions. If you would like to input into any of our responses, please email us.

Contracts for Difference (CfD): proposed amendments to the scheme 2020 consultation

CEE, CES and CEW joint response is here for members to use in crafting their own.

On Monday 2 March the government announced that after 4 years they would again offer Contracts for Difference subsidy for onshore wind and solar in the next 'Established Technologies' auction round that will happen in 2021. The scheme will also be altered to facilitate energy storage.

They have set out 'Tough new guidance for renewable energy developers to ensure local communities [are] given more effective voice and make sure they have a definitive say on developments that affect them'. This may be intended to reassure the anti-wind campaigners in the party that they will still have a say. The consultation document includes a lot of emphasis on developers engaging with, supporting and offering benefits to communities that will 'host' their developments.

This highlights that the reforms offer nothing to the very sector that does these things best - community energy - which is also essential to getting the consent and active participation of the wider community in the transition to net-zero.

It is therefore vital the community energy groups demand that the reforms support and enable community-led and owned onshore energy developments. They say "In particular, we would be keen to hear from individuals and community groups."

It is only necessary to answer the first 4 questions about community support. We also need to make the proposals for commercial development better. A minimum percentage of co-ownership with the local community must be mandatory as in Wales. A minimum level of community benefit per MW capacity should be required. In Wales and Scotland this happens routinely at around £5000 p MW per year. Community engagement must be genuine and good quality, seeking to initiate or build on real local engagement and action on energy.

CEE will post a link here, soon, to a short draft response to assist members in crafting their own.  

Key quotations from the consultation document

Delivering net zero will require a fundamental change in how we produce and consume energy. Achieving this ambitious goal will require proactive and increased engagement with local communities across the UK to ensure that the local impacts and benefits of energy developments are proportionate, measured and reflective of the local environmental and economic context. [p16]

Delivering net zero will require change across the whole of society, and we therefore think it is more important than ever to engage with and support local communities in this transition. We want to see this work for the whole of the UK and will therefore work with the Scottish and Welsh Governments to share best practice and understanding of how best to ensure local communities are involved in nearby renewable energy developments.

The government is therefore considering the following:

  • Updating the existing community benefits and engagement guidance for onshore wind, jointly with developers and local communities. We want to ensure local communities are appropriately involved in decision-making on such projects; and
  • creating a register of renewable energy developments in England that lists available projects and community benefits. [p17]

Deadline for responses: 22 May 2020 now extended to 29 May.

CEE, CES and CEW joint response is here for members to use in crafting their own.

Heat Networks - building a market framework consultation

The government is seeking views on policy options for the development of a regulatory framework for heat networks to protect consumers, support market growth and develop low carbon networks.

The government has also published:

  • an impact assessment – providing indicative costs of each regulatory option considered
  • the International review of heat networks market frameworks – commissioned by BEIS from CAG consultants - an important resource to understand how other countries have approached heat network regulation.

Deadline for responses: 11.45pm 1 June 2020

Inquiry into Energy Efficiency of Existing Homes - Environmental Audit Committee call for evidence

There are 29m homes in the UK that could be significantly improved with multiple benefits and cost and carbon savings. Space heating is the largest contributor to emissions and the biggest challenge in retrofit and low-carbon supply. The government has pledged £9.2bn to energy efficiency in homes, including via its Home Uprgrade Grants (HUGs) but no plan has been forthcoming. Retrofitting homes could and should be a big part of the post-covid recovery plan. Community energy is well placed to lead the way in this retrofit revolution and as shown by projects like People Powered Retrofit.

The enquiry will follow up findings of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee during their 2019 inquiry Energy Efficiency. The BEIS Committee warned that the UK stands no chance of meeting net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 unless action is taken to address energy efficiency policy.

Please read the call for evidence questions, and the submitting evidence guidance, and submit via the website, suggested max 3000 words.

Deadline for submissions 22 June 2020.

CEE intends to make a submission

Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive: ensuring a sustainable scheme consultation

The government is seeking views on the closure of the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (NDRHI) scheme to new applicants, and how to future-proof the scheme for the remainder of the payment period.

The proposed reforms aim to ensure the scheme continues to:

  • offer ongoing value for money to the taxpayer
  • improve the experience of participants
  • maximise the contribution the NDRHI makes to the decarbonisation of heating in the UK

The government also wants to ensure that the scheme continues to be managed robustly.

Alongside this consultation the government has published:

Please do not send responses by post to the department during the coronavirus lockdown period as we will not be able to access them.

This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 7 July 2020

CEE is considering making a submission

Future support for low carbon heat consultation

The government is seeking views on options for the future support for low carbon heat, beyond the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Heating of homes, businesses and industry is responsible for a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, and decarbonisation of heat is one of the biggest challenges we face in meeting our climate targets.

This consultation sets out proposals for:

  • a Green Gas Support Scheme: increasing the proportion of green gas in the grid through support for biomethane injection
  • a Clean Heat Grant: support for heat pumps and in certain circumstances biomass, through an upfront capital grant to help address the barrier of upfront cost
  • budget control and financial management of the spending proposals for green gas and buildings technologies
  • participant compliance

There is an Impact Assessment to accompany these proposals.

Interaction with the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) schemes

In the March 2020 budget, the government announced:

  • an extension to the domestic RHI for a further year to 31 March 2022
  • the introduction of a flexible, third allocation of tariff guarantees on the non-domestic RHI. The non-domestic RHI will close to new applications on 31 March 2021

Alongside this consultation the government has also published:

Please do not send responses by post to the department during the coronavirus lockdown period as we will not be able to access them.

This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 7 July 2020

CEE is considering making a submission.