The main requirements relating to energy efficiency are now contained within the building regulations regime for new developments or alterations to buildings. The relevant local authorities would seek to ensure some energy efficiency measures through the approval process for building works. The legislative detail is set out below:
ENGLAND & WALES
Governing Regulations for energy efficiency are the Building Regulations (as amended) 2000, Part L.
Advice is also issued by central government (Department of Communities and Local Government) in four Approved Documents under Part L, split into four categories of building: new dwellings; existing dwellings; new non-domestic buildings; existing non-domestic buildings. The current versions of “Approved Document L” are:
- Approved Document L1A: Conservation of fuel and power (New Dwellings) (2010 edition).
- Approved Document L1B: Conservation of fuel and power (Existing Dwellings) (2010 edition).
- Approved Document L2A: Conservation of fuel and power (New buildings other than dwellings) (2010 edition).
- Approved Document L2B: Conservation of fuel and power (Existing buildings other than dwellings) (2010 edition).
In some areas, there may also be policies which require improvements that cut energy and emissions beyond the statutory minimum standard. Examples of these are the Code for Sustainable Homes, Ecohomes and local policies.
Governing Regulations are the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
A set of Technical Handbooks is published by the Scottish Building Standards Agency. These provide guidance on how to comply with the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
Energy Efficiency is covered in Technical Handbook 6 (2009).
Governing Regulations are the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000.
In Northern Ireland, the Department of Finance and Personnel publishes technical guidance for complying with the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000. Guidance on energy matters is in Technical Booklet F.
Further Government incentives are through the energy performance certificates regime under which on any sale or letting of any building (residential or commercial) an energy performance certificate together with a recommendation report is required to be provided by the seller/landlord. This sets out an energy rating for the building as well as some recommendations on how the energy rating can be improved (in other words how the building can be made more energy efficient). Implementation of the recommendations is, however, voluntary. In relation to public buildings, there is also a requirement to display an energy performance certificate at the building showing its energy rating. This is intended to encourage public buildings and public authorities to take a lead in improving energy efficiency within the buildings that they occupy.
The governing regulations are The Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 (as amended).
Similar provisions apply in Scotland and the relevant governing regulations are The Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations (Certificates and Inspections) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (as amended).
Finally there is (although currently under review) a CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme levy that has been introduced for all large energy users (those that use more than 6,000 megawatt hours of electricity a year). This requires scheme participants to purchase allowances from the Government by reference to the amount of energy consumed by them. Currently, the cost of the allowances will increase if participants use more energy than they forecast.
The governing legislation is The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme Order 2010.