What do I need to know in 2013?
Legislation and compliance that affects your business
The Green Deal
The Green Deal is the government’s plan for big cuts in energy consumption and carbon emissions over the coming decades. Grants of up to £10,000 for homeowners and businesses can fund a wide range of energy-saving measures. This could create hundreds of millions of pounds of business for contractors. There are more details about the Green Deal here and you can find out how to get accreditation with the interactive Green Deal and You here.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
The Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) and Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT) ended in December 2012. They are replaced by the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). This works alongside the Green Deal to help the poorest and most vulnerable households. The six main energy suppliers in the UK must fund works that reduce both the fuel bills and the carbon produced in such homes. You can find out more about ECO here
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are a result of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (recast in 2010 as Directive 2010/31/EU). The aim is to tackle climate change by improving the energy performance of buildings.
An EPC is needed whenever a property is built, sold or rented. It has information about a property’s energy use and costs. The certificate gives an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least) and is valid for 10 years. EPCs have been revamped because consumers found the originals hard to grasp. The focus is potential costs and savings of different energy efficiency measures, rather than CO2 emissions. The new certificate signposts consumers to the Green Deal and identifies improvements that might be funded that way.
- Learn more about the Energy Performance of Buildings directive
Common Minimum Technical Competencies
Read all about the CMTCs in detail here
Low carbon transport
Greenhouse gas from transport makes up a fifth of UK domestic emissions, so greening transport is a government goal. The EU’s New Car CO2 Regulation (supported by Department for Transport) lays down a clear, long-term plan for industry to develop cleaner vehicles. In the UK the rule is expected to reduce emissions by seven million tonnes of CO2 a year in 2020. Targets of 130gCO2/km from 2012 with full compliance by 2015 and 95gCO2/ km by 2020 are designed to encourage low carbon technologies and vehicles.
50% reduction in waste to landfill
To join the government Halving Waste to Landfill drive you must:
- Set a target for reducing waste to landfill – and appoint someone to ensure that this happens.
- Embed the waste disposal target within your corporate policy and processes.
- Make sure that your supply chain also works towards the same targets if you out-source work.
- Measure waste management performance at a project level to see how you compare to your company target.
- Report annually on your firm’s overall performance against the targets.
Government policy is that landfill should be the last resort for biodegradable waste. The landfill tax will remain the key driver to divert waste from landfill and ensure key EU targets are met by 2020. To this end the government will maintain the landfill tax increases towards a floor of £80 per tonne in 2014/15.
Arbed Phase 2
Arbed Phase 2 is the latest stage of Wales’ retrofit energy programme to install renewable and low carbon technologies in low-income households. Arbed (Welsh for ‘save’) is part of the Welsh Government commitment to tackling climate change and eliminating the fuel poverty that affects more than 100,000 households. Phase 1 began in 2009 and was aimed chiefly at social housing and supplemented by the Community Energy Saving Programme (see below). Phase 2 is targeted mainly at the private housing sector and aims to:
- improve the energy efficiency of at least 4,800 existing homes in Wales by the end of 2015
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 2.54 kilo tons of carbon by the end of 2015
- boost local economies by using local businesses to manufacture, supply and install as many of the measures as possible and provide training and employment opportunities for local workers
Over three years Arbed 2 aims to deliver between 10 and 20 schemes a year – with around 50 in total. This second phase is being delivered by two Official Journal of the European Union procured scheme managers. Willmott Dixon for north and mid Wales and Melin Homes for south Wales. Over the next decade around £1bn is likely to be invested in the energy performance of Welsh homes, creating skilled local jobs for local people.
55% reduction in CO2 from new build in Wales
The Welsh Government proposes a 55% reduction in domestic carbon emissions compared to 2006 through step changes to the devolved building regulations. The figure for non-domestic property remains to be settled. The government has renewable energy in its sights alongside improved site workmanship, training and guidance – especially on thermal bridging. Keep up with the proposals at the Sustainable Building Portal
Scottish new-build domestic energy standards review
Domestic building standards are under review in the light of the Sullivan Report recommendation for a 60% reduction in emissions compared to 2007. Such huge improvements in energy use and low carbon construction could mean big changes to building practices.
Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan
The Scottish Government plan to radically reduce waste sent to landfill has the construction industry working towards recycling 70% of waste by 2020. This tallies with the European Waste Frame Directive to achieve that amount of recycling and recovery by weight of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste excluding naturally occurring material. This includes backfilling operations using waste to substitute other materials.