Current Energy Legislation – Well Intended But Missing The Point

Current Energy Legislation – Well Intended But Missing The Point

  • 09 Jun 0

Saving energy is high on the political agenda. The UK has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to at least 35% below 1990 levels by 2020 and to 80% below by 2050. In order to meet this target the UK will have to make significant changes to the current generation and use of energy.

In response to this target, the Government has enacted a number of legislations aimed at achieving its pledge. Unfortunately the legislation does not go far enough to enforce change. Melanie Kendall-Reid, Compliance Director for Carbon2018 Limited, is adamant that, if the UK is to succeed, bolder steps must be taken.

Carbon2018 manages compliance of energy legislations for its clients across the spectrum of requirements. The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC EES), Mandatory Carbon Reporting, Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) to name but a few.  The CRC EES is a mandatory reporting and pricing scheme that requires large public and private organisations to purchase allowances to offset CO2 emissions. Whilst there is an expense to organisations, there is no cap on the allowances available and no incentive to reduce the energy used.

 

Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme

There is also ESOS, which was born of Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive requiring member states to introduce a programme of regular energy audits for large enterprises. Whilst audits must be undertaken by 5th December 2015 then every four years, and include recommendations on energy efficiency measures, there is no requirement to act on these.

The Government is really missing a trick. If we are to achieve energy reduction, there must be requirements to implement energy saving measures and demonstrate reductions. A significant barrier to this is the requirement of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) for compliance with The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015.

In 2018 it will become unlawful to issue a new lease, even to existing tenants, for buildings with an EPC rating below an E unless exemptions apply. Whilst this appears to be forcing landlords to take responsibility for delivering energy efficient building stock, EPCs only measure the fabric of the building and its capability to perform. Again there is no call to action to demonstrate that efficiencies are delivering energy reduction.

 

Display Energy Certificates

Had the legislation required the assessment to include Display Energy Certificates as the benchmark, actual energy use would have been incorporated thus providing a platform on which to require and reflect reductions in usage.

DECs are currently only required in buildings that are frequently visited by the public.  A DEC provides an energy rating of the building based on the actual amount of metered energy used by the building over the last 12 months and is accompanied by an advisory report. The advisory report contains recommendations for improving the energy performance of the building.

Despite the obvious advantage of DECs, the Government is currently evaluating a consultation exploring the option of scrapping the requirement for DECs altogether. The consultation suggests that the current EPCs meet the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and DECs are ‘gold plating’ the compliance requirement by going beyond the minimum necessary to comply.

 

How is this all relevant to FMs?

The concern of how and crucially when energy is used is very much at the heart of Carbon2018’s operations. It is not enough just to secure your energy at the lowest cost, Carbon2018 takes a cyclical view of energy management using specialist analytical platforms to provide FMs and Building Managers with the information required to make changes to plant and behaviour in their buildings. With comprehensive and bespoke reporting tools, those responsible for the delivery of services in managed buildings can demonstrate best value and improvements in performance to all stakeholders.

To deliver this Carbon2018 incorporates compliance with driving down costs and ensuring energy waste is reduced. We understand that need to be cost conscious and that some clients are more focused on sustainability than others. We help to ensure that a business’s energy policy is implemented, measured, monitored and improved – after all driving energy usage will drive down cost.

The biggest challenge is driving the message to board level that engaging with one consultancy with the expertise and capability to deliver across the spectrum of requirements will deliver infinitely more successful sustainability programmes than employing several organisations to manage each requirement in isolation. Double handling of data and a piecemeal approach reduces the output of efficiencies significantly.

One of our driving aims is to take the pain away from FMs by letting them manage the day-to-day running of the building whilst we manage the energy. From metering strategies, energy management, securing best value energy contracts and occupier engagement – we can deliver all of this and remove the burden which resides traditionally with FMs.   Behavioural change should be driven from the Board Room throughout the business. We provide FMs with the knowledge and evidence to demonstrate, at board level, compliance with all legislative requirements whilst seeking commitment to delivering innovations and technologies to drive down energy use that keep capital investment requirements to a minimum. We understand that energy efficiency measures need to provide a return on investment that is realised in the short term.

 

Energy Legislation Hub

Keeping our clients informed is vital to ensuring the success of their business both in retaining and winning new property management instructions. Legislative developments and Government consultations are ongoing. The need for property professionals to be furnished with the information required to make informed decisions on asset management and investment has never been greater. In response to this we have developed the Energy Legislation Hub.

The Hub is a comprehensive platform providing the UK commercial property sector with access to free, impartial information on current and future energy compliance issues whilst providing a vehicle to respond on consultations and steer future energy legislation.

 


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