Get the 'measurement' correct (or make everyone confused again!)
As the leading EPC Accreditation Scheme in the UK, we have constantly talked about ‘energy efficiency’ for 25 years. The simple old adage ‘that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’ is never truer in our world.
In terms of energy efficiency within properties, we could currently measure this in the following ways:
- CO2 emissions
- Money (£) spent
- Comfort levels of occupant
Which is the best one and why? The simple answer is they are all good and appropriate. But what doesn’t helps is when different policies use different ones, or worse keep jumping between them!
Take the car industry for example. On the 5th January 2018, they reported that sales of new car dropped dramatically by 5.7% with diesel car sales falling by 17.1%; this lead to the CO2 emissions from new cars increasing for the first time in 20 years, up 0.8% on 2016.
On the BBC Business website: Mike Hawes chief executive of Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said; “the drop in diesel sales was 'the prime cause" of the rise in CO2 emissions and that the latest low-emission diesels were 'vital' in meeting climate change targets.”
“Mr Hawes said that confusion about the future of diesel had fuelled a backlash against diesel cars.”
The Government in 2017 sent out a clear message to the public about the negative view of diesel cars and announced a planned tax increases for new diesels in 2018:
The measurement issues summarised:
- Diesel cars are generally more fuel efficient than petrol cars and therefore produce less CO2
- Diesel cars generally produce more nitrogen oxides (NOx) which is used to measure ‘clean air’
The analogies to energy efficiency in homes and businesses should not be lost on Government. The ‘A-G’ rating on EPCs is based on £’s, carbon emissions are a different measurement, as are peoples perceived comfort levels. In themselves the measurements are not wrong. But we all need to be clear where we are heading.
Stuart Fairlie – Technical Director. “Elmhurst has a long history in energy assessment of buildings in the UK. The measurement tools evolve over time, as does the physical report that people obtain at the end (the EPC). It essential that the Clean Growth Strategy which recently set out high level goals to ensure that we all end up living in a cleaner and greener future; that Government choose the right measuring tape, and we don’t flip flop around; which doesn’t help consumer confidence.”
Elmhurst has responded to all the many consultations following the Clean Growth Strategy released in Autumn 2017. We have advocated to build upon the current methodologies and professional energy assessors that exist throughout the UK; so that we can build upon a measurement that exists and learn from other Industries experiences.
Full BBC Article: