We have picked up a salutary report from the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) on energy use.
The report reinforces our strategic view on the crucial importance of sustainability in the construction sector.
The CIBSE report says that reductions in energy use must remain the top priority, following the recent move by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) to table amendments to the Energy Bill which may have a significant impact for the non-domestic building sector.
The amendments would mean that building owners who install measures that deliver permanent reductions in electricity used could receive financial incentives. It appears that the Government is taking sustainable buildings even more seriously now and will decide on whether to test this incentive approach through a pilot scheme.
This would gather data to inform final decisions on an incentive the DECC Electricity Demand Reduction (EDR) Team has advised. CIBSE worked with its members across the construction and property sectors at the end of last year to prepare a full response to the DECC Consultation on EDR.
An EDR Task Force gathered expert evidence to provide a range of options that use existing engineering and technology know-how. CIBSE argues in its response that while financial incentives would be likely to encourage measures for energy reduction, targeted support needs to be balanced in favour of encouraging behaviour change rather than one-off actions.
We agree with that. We all need to change the way we use energy and the great thing is that we can save money at the same time.
The thing that strikes us about the CIBSE argument is that around 20% of energy used in buildings is wasted needlessly. The Institution says real action to achieve energy and cost savings now through common-sense measures that are achievable rapidly should be a national priority.
The main point is that we are fast running out of time and energy. Did you know, for example, that three months ago, the UK had six hours’ worth of gas left in storage? This fact comes from Robin Hastings, the director of energy and infrastructure at the Crown Estate.
You can find out more at CIBSE’s website but we think that the Institution’s activity shows just how crucial it is for our future to take every step needed to reduce our energy consumption.
We can show you how to do that in simple, very effective ways that don’t cost the Earth. Not doing it might just be the price we will pay.