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Westminster launch for SEA

The official launch of the Sustainable Energy Association took place at the House of Commons last night, with Secretary of State Ed Davey in attendance.

The change from its former Micropower Council identity was announced at a reception in late 2013, the result of a year-long process of discussions between council officers and members.

SEA chief executive Dave Sowden explained the association’s change of name as more accurately reflecting its work and its aims for the future.

The organisation has worked closely with government and the Department of Energy and Climate Change in particular.

Mr Sowden told Mr Davey that while the two sides did not always agree, there had been a number of positive developments from their meetings and he complimented DECC on its successes, including gaining Treasury support for the Renewable Heat Incentive.

The Department of Communities and Local Government was criticised by Mr Sowden for a number of decisions it had made, particularly relating to the Building Regulations and lack of commitment to delivering zero carbon homes.

Mr Davey gave the final speech of the launch event, admitting that the government’s approach was sometimes “not joined up enough”.

He also emphasised the important part regulation has to play in driving agendas such as energy efficiency, but further stated that he would “not be afraid of deregulating, if that was needed”.

There had been conjecture before the event that Mr Davey might use the event to make an announcement about the launch of the domestic RHI, following his colleague Greg Barker’s previous statement on Twitter that it would launch before Easter.

Referring to this, Mr Davey apologised for not being able to shed more light as yet, but confirmed that it would at least be “Easter this year”.

He closed by thanking those present for their input and stated the industry’s comments on legislation and important issues was essential for policies to continue to be formed and adjusted in the future.