Government should lead by example
A recent freedom of information request has shown that the government department in charge of energy policy has some of the countries least energy inefficient buildings.
Four of the eleven offices leased by the Department of Business, Energy and Industry (BEIS) had an Display Energy Certificate rating of G - the lowest possible score.
Display Energy Certificates (DECS) are used to measure the energy performance of public buildings on a score of A to G (A being the most efficient and G being the least).
The news has come at a time when the department is promoting the Clean Growth Strategy to increase energy efficiency in homes and businesses, together with the introduction of Minimum Energy Efficiency Scores (MEES) in April this year for privately rented domestic and commercial properties. Legislation which, it decided, shouldn’t apply to public buildings.
Green Party London Assembly member Sian Berry who described them as: "An energy department that can't be bothered to improve the awful energy rating for their London offices shows a complete indifference to what's happening in their own back yard”.
A spokesperson for his department said: "BEIS exceeded its target to reduce emissions by 40% by 2019/20 three years early. We achieved 51% reduction in emissions in 2016/17, and made £104m in savings across government in the last financial year through efficiency measures and streamlining of the estate."
Although it is encouraging to see BEIS start to install energy efficiency measures to its buildings, many people feel the government should be leading the charge with policies it embraces, not playing catch up.
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