The Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) has launched its White Paper on ‘Achieving Carbon Targets’.
The paper asked: ‘What does our industry need from government to deliver and achieve the carbon targets over the next ten years’?
The paper considered: the long-term strategy – stability; benchmarking; taking a holistic view and legislation and regulation and was written by Jeremy Towler, senior manager, energy & smart technologies, BSRIA Worldwide Market Intelligence. It recommends that government can help and the main tools at its disposal are legislation, regulation, incentives and sponsorship.
Julia Evans, chief executive, BSRIA, said: “Our industry will be aided through the establishment of clear policy, clear and uncomplicated legislation, and more regulation. However, there are currently too many different government departments dictating policy, therefore, industry supports the creation of a single government department with which it can interface. This will help to reduce contradiction and confusion.
“More attention needs to be given to the life-cycle operation of low-carbon assets. Expanding the Display Energy Certificate (DEC) requirements will drive change in terms of building performance. However, it is not just about energy efficiency, health and well-being should also be assessed and the government could promote communities that reduce total travel, as part of a smarter cities approach.”
Julia continued: “Regulation is currently viewed as the minimum standard people need to achieve. The government should tax poor performance and provide subsidies to encourage best performance and the use of best low-carbon technologies. The overall value of improving existing buildings has the potential to far outweigh the contribution from energy efficient new buildings. Therefore, incentives should be given for refurbishment of the existing building stock. At the same time, measures that link non-compliance with regulations to insurance penalties would also help to improve the situation.
“The majority of UK homes still have outdated heating control equipment. There is not only a lack of education among homeowners, there is a lack of encouragement to upgrade their systems. A quick-win would be to incentivise residential thermostat replacement.”