Elmhurst releases new 'Almanac'

When approaching this year’s manifesto, we felt a different approach was needed. 

Against the backdrop of increasing fuel prices and achieving Net Zero, the topic of energy efficiency has never been so important. 2021 greeted us with plenty of policy development, which introduced some significant changes within the energy efficiency industry as well as a glimpse of what the future could hold when it comes to the energy performance of buildings.

Elmhurst’s new Almanac, not only provides a thorough round up of the significant industry developments in 2021 (and some of 2022), but also outlines some of our own call to actions which are echoed by others within the industry.

Moving Forward

Following last year’s Manifesto for Change, Elmhurst is renewing its call for action on several major fronts. Within our Almanac we have provided 10 big asks to improve the use and relevance of energy certificates, to boost the uptake of low carbon technologies, and to support the retrofit of existing properties as we strive for Net Zero.

Our 10 big asks in 2022 

  1. Redesign energy certificates - We want to see EPCs giving equal focus to energy consumption, cost and carbon emissions.
  1. Use the Golden triangle to inform decision-making – We need to bring a building’s Asset Rating, Occupancy Rating, and Energy Consumption together in a coordinated way in order to inform decisions at a local and national scale. 
  1. Ensure all energy certificates reflect the current state of the property – The 10 year validity period is too long. We say that Energy Certificates should never be older than 3 years and should be re-issued whenever there is a change to the building which impacts its energy performance. 
  1. Improve Display Energy Certificates (DECs) and implement them in the private sector – Lack of investment, and a dependence on ‘free’ government software, has meant that the methodology behind DECs has not been updated in over 10 years. This needs to change. 
  1. Don’t ignore energy used to cool buildings - It is time to expand and update the methodologies to have a year-round approach to energy performance, especially as the climate around us changes. 
  1. Change the funding mechanism in ECO so that it supports the whole house retrofit approach- The funding has to move to upfront assessments and planning to ensure the right measures go in the right order for the good of the occupiers. 
  1. Use energy assessors to support the introduction of renewable technology- Government and industry should utilise the skills and knowledge of accredited energy assessors to communicate the benefits of renewable technology to homeowners and then support installers with a cost effective and time efficient process for assessing a property’s suitability. 
  1. Rebalance the tax applied to low emission fuels and fossil fuels to make heat pumps the right option for both the environment and financially- now is the time to rebalance the tax applied to low emission fuels and fossil fuels, to make heat pumps more attractive. 
  1. Measure energy performance to validate retrofit strategies- Using existing measurement technology, such as Elmhurst’s Measured Energy Performance, government can create a feedback loop to test the assumptions that the methodologies use and, where there are significant quantifiable differences, to employ other building evaluation measurements techniques to establish why. 
  1. Implement a single national framework for lifecycle analysis and Net Zero- We should be using accredited carbon assessors to confirm that emissions at each stage of a building’s lifecycle (from design, construction, use, through to end of life) are measured correctly and that any mitigating actions, such as carbon offsetting, are delivered.

Stuart Fairlie, Elmhurst’s Managing Director comments:

 “A lot happened within the energy efficiency industry last year, with UK government’s outlining their proposals for the future, and clarifying parts of the road map that will get us there. Our  will certainly prove useful for anyone who wants to reflect on what happened, and perhaps remind them of anything we are still awaiting action on.”

“We have also shared our own views and vision for the future within our 10 priority actions. We will continue to champion these actions whenever we engage with government and key industry stakeholders moving forward”.

DOWNLOAD ALMANAC > VIEW ONLINE >

Article Published: 05/05/2022

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