5 December 2012 – UPDATED: The UK government’s decision to scrap planned mandatory energy disclosure for commercial buildings has been slammed by green building groups, and the UK Green Building Council says the decision has more to do with political persuasion than sound policy.
UK GBC policy manager John Alker told The Fifth Estate in an email response on Wednesdaythat the decision to abandon planned display energy certificates, or DECs, for commercial buildings ran counter to what the “vast majority” of the property sector wanted.
Compulsory assessment of a building’s energy will now only apply to a building’s design, or projected energy use, despite a new report that says this will bear little to no relation to the building’s actual energy consumption.
Mr Alker said, “It’s nothing to do with evidence based policy making, it’s purely because of the philosophical dislike of regulation from the current government. So despite the vast majority of the property sector supporting this regulation, government is refusing to do so.
“There is a ludicrous policy of ‘One In Two Out’ which they introduced meaning if one new piece of regulation is introduced, two of equivalent ‘burden’ need to be scrapped, regardless of the quality and impact of that regulation.”
Not all government members supported the move, Mr Alker said.
A recent article in bdonline said Jones Lang LaSalle and the Better Buildings Partnership have found there was “little or no” correlation between design and performance of a building and that measured carbon emissions was the only way to cut emissions from commercial buildings.
Director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy Andrew Warren said in the news report that the decision was “perverse”. He said: “I doubt the government can find anybody who supports this.”
Mr Alker said the decision to scrap the policy was a “short-sighted decision, which flies in the face of good sense and a pretty broad industry consensus – and breaks a clear promise made last year.”
Building magazine said the construction industry has continued to campaign for display energy certificates “as a way of stimulating work, pushing up standards and meeting the UK’s carbon emissions targets.”