metro commercial blog

News and opinion on commercial property, energy efficiency in buildings and the environment, legislation and other loosely related topics we find of interest.

Non-domestic rented buildings in England and Wales will need to meet strict energy efficiency standards of an EPC Band B by 2030

England-EPC-Grade-B-by-2030web

In line with its plans to reduce all UK greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, the UK government is getting tougher on landlords of non-domestic rented buildings in England & Wales over EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) regulations. Landlords must ensure that all buildings in that category meet EPC Band B by 2030 regardless of when they were rented. Exactly how the new regulations will be implemented is still under consultation, and the government is accepting responses from all stakeholders, including landlords, tenants, local authorities and suppliers. This is likely to have big implications for commercial landlords and tenants.

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Scottish New Build Heat Standard

New-Build-Heat-Standard

Scotland is making substantial inroads in decarbonisation and tackling climate change. The country aims to reduce greenhouse gasses emissions to net-zero by 2045 and reduce them by 15% by 2030. Already 90% of Scotland's electricity supply is from renewables, and, encouraged by current progress, the Scottish Government is now focusing on reducing emissions from heating buildings and is heavily targeting new buildings.

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E.ON converts natural gas pipeline in Germany to pure hydrogen

Hydrogen for heating E.ON converts natural gas pipeline to hydrogen for heating

Replacing natural gas by hydrogen for heating domestic residential and commercial buildings would have a massive impact on greenhouse gas emissions and reducing global warming. There is, of course, the important caveat that the hydrogen manufacture must be powered by renewable resources. There is no fundamental reason why this cannot be achieved, but there are significant challenges in doing so. 

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Fife homes to be heated by world-first green hydrogen heating network

Metro-Blog-hydrogen-gas-networks-text Hydrogen network for Fife homes

If we could replace our standard central heating systems with a carbon-free solution, we would have the potential to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by as much as a third. Source: OFGEM. This would go a long way towards meeting the UK and Scottish governments net-zero targets. 

One solution is to replace natural gas-fired boilers with hydrogen fired boilers and produce the hydrogen using renewable resources. 

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Decarbonising gas - a solution to meeting zero-emission targets

Decarbonising Gas A solution to meeting zero-emission targets
​The UK Government has committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with the Scottish Government having committed to become net zero by 2045. This includes decarbonising heating and hot water generation, which currently account for around a third of UK's total greenhouse gas emissions. There are two feasible options: full electrification of all h...
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Improving air quality in urban areas

Air-Quality-Urban-Areas
Air quality in cities: Vehicle emissions and Low Emission Zones  It is not only buildings that are being required to improve their environmental credentials with many councils across the UK having introduced low emission zones (LEZ) for all but the latest combustion engine vehicles. In London an Ultra zone Emission Zone has been intr...
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Copyright

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Residential buildings in Scotland: Minimum energy efficiency standards update

As previously reported, a consultation was carried out by the Scottish Government to investigate improving the energy efficiency of the private sector residential stock. Some of the key questions and statements made are as follows. Responses to this consultation have been collected and are being reviewed by the Scottish Government. Some o...
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Scottish consultation on minimum energy efficiency for residential property

Scottish-Consultation-on-Energy-Efficiency-and-minimum-regulations-in-private-rented-residential-property
Minimum energy efficiency for residential property  The Scottish Government intend to introduce minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented residential property to Scotland, similar to that due to be introduced in England and Wales through Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) in England and Wales. The Scott...
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Section 63 Action Plans - Scotland

Section 63 Action Plans - Scotland
Improving energy efficiency in large buildings in Scotland Buildings exempt from Section 63 regulations. ​Buildings with a floor area less than 1,000 sq mBuildings that have met or exceed the 2002 Scottish Building Regulations energy standards.Temporary buildings with an intended life span of less than two years.Workshops and agricultural...
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The UKs largest shopping centre Photovoltaic (PV) system

The UKs largest shopping centre Photovoltaic (PV) system
​The owners of the The Galleries Shopping Centre in Tyne & Weir have announced they will install the UK's largest shopping centre photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof. They say the system will comprise 1,317 individual photovoltaic panels, covering an area of 41,000 sq ft – equivalent to a professional football pitch - on an othe...
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Minimum Energy Efficiency Requirements in England & Wales

Minimum Energy Efficiency Requirements in England & Wales

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015

These Regulations introduce measures to improve the energy efficiency of certain private rented property in England and Wales.

It provides that, the landlord of a non-domestic private rented property must not grant a new tenancy of the property after 1st April 2018, and must not continue to let the property after 1st April 2023, where the energy performance of the property is below the minimum level.).

It prescribes a minimum level of energy efficiency for private rented properties: that is, is an energy performance indicator (evidenced on the energy performance certificate for the property) of band E.

The exceptions are:

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CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme

CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme

CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme to be abolished

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (formerly known as the "Carbon Reduction Commitment") will be closed following the 2018-19 compliance year. The scheme applies to large energy users in the public and private sectors across the UK, including supermarkets, water companies, banks, local authorities and all central government departments. Organisations that meet the qualification criteria are required to participate, and must buy allowances for every tonne of carbon they emit.

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Non-domestic property Energy Performance Certificate (EPCs) central register.

Scotland: Non-domestic property Energy Performance Certificate (EPCs) central register.

In November 2011, the Scottish Government issued a consultation seeking views on the introduction of a fee for each EPC registered on the electronic database as described in the Energy Performance of Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2008. This proposal coincides with the expansion of the database to include EPCs for both dwellings and non-domestic buildings.

January 2013 - The Scottish Government has concluded that a central lodgement system will be created and it will be mandatory for non-domestic EPCs to be lodged. It is anticipated that from 1st october 2012 the Scottish Government introduce a lodgement fee for dwellings (£1.15 + VAT) and non-domestic buildings (£5.36 + VAT).

Costs

The level for non-domestic buildings has been set at £5.36 + VAT per property plus accreditation costs will bring the true cost of non-domestic lodgement to around £30. EPC software costs are not included in this with private specialist software being in addition to this where the assessor opts not to use iSBEM but a typical software cost may be an additional £10 per EPC.

Why a central registration system has been introduced for non-domestic EPCs in Scotland?

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EPC database to go public in England & Wales

The Energy Act 2011 has extended the freedom of information for EPCs & DECs in England & Wales. The measure will enable buildings located in England and Wales to be openly benchmarked based on the EPC rating.

Currently the situation in England and Wales is that EPCs, Display Energy Certificates and Air Conditioning Reports are only made available to the Energy Savings Trust, Trading Standards and those with a unique document reference number for the EPC.

The decision to remove restrictions on accessing the data and make English and Welsh data on EPCs more accessible. By publicly listing ratings, similar to the CRC Energy Efficiency league table, the intention is that owners will be encouraged to improve the energy efficiency of their building stock and support the forthcoming Green Deal.

Approximately 7 million domestic & non-domestic EPCs have been lodged on the central database in England and Wales.

No central database currently exists in Scotland however at time of writing a Scottish Government consultation is open proposing to start a Scottish EPC register.

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Data centre energy efficiency

Data centre energy efficiency

Energy efficiency in datacentres

Servers and associated equipment required to run websites and general internet communication is housed in data centers. Electricity consumed in data centres, including enterprise servers, ICT equipment, cooling, power equipment is expected to contribute substantially to the electricity consumed in Western Europe commercial sector in the near future.

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Scottish EPC data for marketing purposes

Scottish-EPC-public Search for a Scottish Energy Performance Certificate

With the introduction of the Scottish Government non-domestic EPC register comes the ability to access EPCs online. EPCs can be accessed and viewed online by any party with access to the Report Reference Number (RRN) and to organisations (‘authorised recipients’) delivering energy efficiency and carbon reduction initiatives on behalf of the Scottish and UK Governments.

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