|Some of the biggest names in the UK property industry have joined together to call on the Government to honour its commitments on energy efficiency ratings, as MPs debate the Energy Bill in the House of Commons.|
Senior industry figures have sent an open letter to the Prime Minister and other senior ministers, calling for the Energy Bill to be used to legislate on Display Energy Certificates (DECs), which provide an A-G energy efficiency rating for buildings.
The certificates are currently mandatory for public sector buildings, but are not compulsory in the private sector. Non domestic buildings currently account for up to 17% of the UK's carbon emissions.
The letter, initiated by the British Property Federation and the UK Green Building Council, argues that without legislation, private property owners could be disadvantaged by opting to display their energy rating. Signatures to the letter include Francis Solway, chief executive, of Land Securities, Dan Labbad, chief executive officer EMEA, Lend Lease and Bill Hughes, managing director of Legal & General Property.
‘It's very simple, if you don't know how much energy you are using, you can't manage it. We've simply no idea how our buildings up and down the country are actually performing, so mandatory A-G ratings are the crucial first step in helping businesses understand and reduce their energy use,’ said Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council.
‘The Prime Minister signed up to this in the Carbon Plan in March, and the Energy Bill is the obvious place to put down the necessary legislation. Government needs to listen to the property industry. This is something that will cut carbon, cut energy bills and create new market opportunities in green technologies,’ he added.
Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said that savings of between 5 and 30% can be made through simple no and low cost changes to the way a building is managed and occupied. A rating based on actual energy use will highlight these opportunities, which would otherwise remain hidden.
‘We see the introduction of certification as being complementary to the Green Deal, also within the Energy Bill, being discussed by MP. DECs would ensure that any improvements to buildings would deliver on their expected energy savings,’ she added.