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Posts Tagged ‘European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive’

Brexit,European Energy Efficiency Directive,European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive,European Union

New PM must stick to key EU climate change targets for 2020

Irrespective of Brexit, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and her cabinet must commit to critical EU targets for the year 2020 on cutting carbon emissions and transforming the UK’s energy infrastructure.

This is the call made today (Friday) by 30 environmental and energy-related organisations¹ in a letter² to Greg Clark,  the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Signatories include leading business associations covering the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors, two of the UK’s biggest green NGOs and Energy UK, the body representing the  major energy suppliers.

Their letter argues that EU laws and regulations on energy and buildings have played a leading role in enabling the UK to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases and to provide global leadership on climate change.³

Three EU targets for the year 2020 have paved the way for future emission reductions. The signatories say the UK Government should now declare that it is sticking to these, as it prepares to commence exit negotiations from the union, to give badly-needed confidence to businesses and investors.

The three targets are:

  • 15% of all energy used for electricity, transport and heating should come from renewable energy sources (under the Renewables Energy Directive)
  • UK final energy consumption should fall to 129.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent or less (the Energy Efficiency Directive)
  • All new buildings must be nearly zero energy buildings by the end of 2020 (by the end of 2018 for public buildings) (The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive)

The letter says that a combination of EU and UK laws, regulations and policies have given businesses, investors and consumers the confidence to begin putting the UK on the path towards a low carbon future.

“Following the referendum, it is now critical that Government restores this already-eroded confidence by giving an assurance that, until the terms of leaving the EU are in place, all relevant EU directives and targets are still in place and the UK Government is legally obliged to continue to meet them.”

Dr Joanne Wade, CEO of the Association for the Conservation of Energy, says: “The Brexit vote has caused industry uncertainty. Government must move quickly to confirm it will continue on a clear path to meeting key energy targets.”

Sue Riddlestone, Chief Executive of sustainability charity Bioregional, says: “Cutting emissions is the pathway to secure, affordable energy for the UK in the long term as well as tackling climate change. We need a firm commitment to these long-agreed targets for 2020.”

Dr Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association, said: “For the sake of jobs and investor confidence the Government cannot afford to row back on the EU 2020 renewables targets.”

Contacts:

  • Nicholas Schoon, Policy and Communications Manager, Bioregional, 07732 381728
  • Jenny Holland, Campaigns Director, Association for the Conservation of Energy, 0207 359 8000, 07875 629781, jenny@ukace.org

[1] SIGNATORIES

  • Ashden
  • Association for the Conservation of Energy
  • Bioregional
  • British Blind and Shutter Association
  • British Pump Manufacturers Association
  • British Rigid Urethane Foam Manufacturers Association
  • Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency
  • Centre for Sustainable Energy
  • Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
  • E3G
  • Energy Saving Trust
  • Energy Systems Trade Association
  • Energy UK
  • Existing Homes Alliance Scotland
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Glass and Glazing Federation
  • Greenpeace
  • Insulated Render and Cladding Association
  • Lighting Industry Association
  • Mineral Wool Manufacturers Association
  • National Energy Foundation
  • National Insulation Association
  • Oil Firing Technical Association
  • Property and Energy Professionals Association
  • Regen SW
  • Renewable Energy Association
  • Solar Trade Association
  • Sustainable Energy Association
  • Thermal Insulation Consortium
  • Town & Country Planning Association

[2]  TEXT OF LETTER

Dear Mr Clark,

We would like to warmly congratulate you on your appointment as the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and wish you well in this important new post.

We welcome the 29 June statement of Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, that the UK government would not step back from international leadership in acting on climate change.

We agree that both the UK and the EU have been world leaders in addressing the enormous challenge posed by climate change. UK leadership has stemmed from the combination of EU and UK laws,  regulations and policies. Together these have given businesses, investors and consumers the confidence to begin putting the UK economy and infrastructure on the path towards a low carbon future.

Following the referendum, it is now critical that Government restores this already-eroded confidence by giving an assurance that, until the terms of leaving the EU are in place, all relevant EU directives and targets are still in place and the UK Government is legally obliged to continue to meet them.

In particular, we call upon the Government to commit to hitting 2020 targets under the Renewable Energy Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive:

  • 15% of all energy used for electricity, transport and heating should come from renewable energy sources
  • UK final energy consumption should fall to 129.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent or less
  • All new buildings must be nearly zero energy buildings by the end of 2020 (by the end of 2018 for public buildings)

These targets make a key contribution towards implementing the UK’s world-leading Climate Change Act 2008 – pioneering legislation which requires ever-lower UK emissions in successive five-year carbon budgets. The policies and regulations required to meet these budgets have all been set in the context of EU law and policies on energy and climate.

Yours sincerely,

[3]  Between 1990 and 2014, the latest year for which final figures are available, UK territorial emissions of greenhouse gases fell by 35%. Between 2000 and 2014 they fell by 28%.

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Display Energy Certificates,Energy Performance Certificates,European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive,Zero Carbon Homes

Our response to the European Commission’s consultation on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

This consultation forms part of the evaluation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Under the terms of the Directive, the Commission is required to carry out this evaluation by 1 January 2017, with assistance from a Committee of Member States’ representatives. The evaluation should reflect the experience gained and progress made since the adoption of the Directive. If necessary, the Commission should make proposals on the basis of the evaluation.

The evaluation also follows on from the Energy Efficiency Communication of July 2014, which indicated that additional measures to be introduced to improve energy efficiency would need to primarily address the energy efficiency of buildings and products if progress is to be made by 2030. The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is the main legislative instrument in force at EU level covering the energy efficiency of buildings.

With a primary focus the UK energy efficiency market, our response to the consultation highlights: the uncertainty following the abandonment of the zero carbon trajectory; the missed opportunities with respect to driving higher rates of renovation; the low level of compliance with EPBD’s provisions and the virtual absence of enforcement; the question marks hanging over Display Energy Certificates; the need to make EPC data more widely accessible; and the need to plug skills and capacity shortages in the energy services and energy auditing sectors.

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Buildings,European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive,European Union

Sweden leads the EU charge towards a more wide-ranging EPBD

ImageUnder the Swedish presidency there is a new urgency to the European Union’s desire to lead the way when negotiations on a successor to Kyoto begin. But will the UK grasp the opportunity?

Why must every building where occupancy changes have an energy rating? Why are there 26,000 public buildings with energy ratings displayed prominently in its foyer? Why do larger buildings when renovated have to be energy upgraded at the same time?

The answer to all those questions is: European Directive number 2002/91‐ known as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. But even as it was agreed in 2002 by all the European governments, everybody knew it was just a first step.

Last October, the European Commission made the first move towards creating that second step. It published a proposed recasting of the original text. EPBD2 sticks to the original concepts but builds on them, in a number of important ways. Among the key changes are:

  • smaller public buildings to display their energy ratings;
  • in all European countries (not just some, as at present) private buildings with regular public access, to display their energy ratings.

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Buildings,Department for Communities and Local Government,European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

Has the department been taken over by UKIP supporters?

ImageThere is something rather important missing from the consultation documents issued yesterday by the communities department, regarding proposed changes to Part L of the building regulations, covering the conservation of fuel and power.

It concerns the issue of consequential improvements for existing buildings. Whenever a building is extended or has other major works done to it, the argument is that other reasonable, cost-effective energy improvements should be made.

The consultation paper includes quite a number of strategic questions, seeking positive or negative reactions to the principles raised. There was no need for any specific question to be asked on the consequential improvements issue. Back in 2004, just such a question was included in an earlier consultation on Part L – and received endorsement from 80% of respondees.

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Energy Performance Certificates,European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

Leaky promises over EPCs

ImageBack in 2002, the Government promised it would be able to implement every last scrap of European energy performance building legislation on time. What happened next? Not an awful lot, says Andrew Warren of the Association for the Conservation of Energy, apart from a lot of COemitting.

A Meacher promise

So the introduction of the energy performance certificate package has been changed again. Is this really a cause for celebration? No. It is more a cause for depression, at the continuing number of lost opportunities to improve our building stock.

The provision of energy performance certificates is one of the key requirements of the European Energy Performance of Buildings directive. As long ago as 2002, this directive was agreed unanimously by every European government. As well as by all the elected members of the European parliament.

Announcing its adoption, the minister who had headed the negotiations, Michael Meacher, promised that, as there was well over three years before all the initiatives agreed had to be put in place, he could unequivocally commit the UK to implementing the directive, in full, from Day One.

And Day One was the 4 January. In 2006. Over two years later, large parts of the directive still await being implemented in part, let alone in full. Indeed the latest timetable has Article 9, covering inspection of air-conditioning systems, not due to begin even three years late.

Click here to see this article on the Building Sustainability website

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European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

When a company’s reputation can be left hanging on the wall

ImageIf the UK fails to implement the Energy Performance of Buildings directive in full it will have squandered one of the best opportunities to forward corporate social responsibility

I was talking to the energy manager of one of the best-known companies in Britain. Expressing confidence in his own future, he said he was finding approval by his board for investment capital in energy-saving measures far easier than five years ago.

That will be due to the perception of higher fuel prices, I asked? Oh no, he said. Fuel prices are still rather peripheral for us, way below 2 per cent of turnover. Much more important is the drive towards Corporate Social Responsibility. In particular, being seen by our customers to be doing the right thing environmentally.

It is a salutary lesson of the realities of life. One that the UK government has a marvellous opportunity to build on. But which it is in danger of squandering.

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Buildings,Energy Efficient Buildings,European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

Long awaited buildings directive creeps towards finishing line

ImageLess than three months from now and nearly 18 months late the United Kingdom will begin implementing the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive despite the pleas from some organisations for further delays.

In the spring of 2002, every European Union government agreed to the Energy Performance of Buildings directive. In three months time, onJune 1st – some 17 months late – the UK will take the first significant steps towards implementing this directive. Or will we?

The single most innovative commitment in the directive is that, whenever a building changes occupancy, the new arrival will receive an objective assessment of its current energy performance, together with some specific ideas about what can be done to improve it – simple as that.

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