4 November 2021

Heat and Building Strategy

Written by Nina Brown

During our most recent CPD on ‘The Future of Energy’ we reviewed the government’s strategy for achieving net carbon zero, reviewing the various areas out for consultation now, including performance-based ratings and the move to hydrogen systems and heat networks.

As part of the CPD we speculated on what would be included in the long-awaited Heat and Building Strategy, which has now been released.

Aims and Objectives

The focus of the strategy is ‘on reducing emissions from heating which is the predominate source of emissions from buildings.’ The strategy confirms that 30% of the UKs national emissions are attributed to buildings with 79% of that coming from heating. The commercial sector accounts for 4% of the heating emissions in buildings, in actual terms this is a large amount of emissions.

Impact on FM

For those working in the commercial sector there are some key areas to review that form part of the strategy.

  • Setting privately rented commercial buildings to an EPC band B by 2030.
  • (Currently under a separate consultation) Introduce performance-based energy ratings for commercial and industrial buildings over 1,000m² (Similar to the NABERS scheme in Australia. Find out more here: https://www.bregroup.com/nabers-uk/)
  • Introduce heat network zoning to local authorities, driving move to low-carbon heating. These zones to include large public sector buildings, large non-domestic buildings, etc.
  • Goal to phase out natural gas boilers by 2035.
  • Implementation of hydrogen-based systems. (Technology currently being developed for 2026 completion).
  • Replace fossil fuel boilers by introducing heat pumps.

Performance Based Approach

Currently under consultation is the introduction of performance-based ratings in the UK. The consultation is reviewing the best model for implementation whether to focus on a hybrid model with EPC ratings or the ‘do nothing approach.’

If a hybrid model is selected it could deliver up to 1MtCO2 over Carbon Budget 5, which is the Committee of Climate Change period from 2028 – 2032. In monetary terms it could reduce annual business energy bills by £116m by 2030.

This rating is based on measured energy data so building users know their energy use. Building improvements such as optimisation, plant replacements, behavioural changes and investing in more efficient fabric will have a positive impact of the building’s performance rating. Owners and tenants will need to publicise their energy use annually.

Performance Based Approach

edie, empowering sustainable business, have compiled a comprehensive overview of industry leading companies opinions on the strategy. Have a read here:

https://www.edie.net/news/11/Heat-and-Buildings-Strategy–Green-economy-reacts–expressing-hopes-for-more-funding-and-tighter-deadlines/

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