Current policies relating to renewable energy project deployment


I T he regulation in Merton that all new buildings must have at least 10% CO2 emission reductions through the uptake of renewable energy has led to a range of technologies being used by building designers and developers on all new buildings. Compliance with the policy is required as a condition of the planning consent before the construction of the building can become legal.

I T he 10% calculation is based upon the energy consumption of the proposed building multiplied by the floor space of the development. Where the end-user of the building is not known at the time of construction, fittings can not be included in the energy assessment. Since this would have resulted in only the lighting being considered, the Energy Use Benchmarking Guides produced by the Building Research Establishment are used to give the energy consumption per square metre, as based on the type of building. For example, an open plan office with natural ventilation will normally use less energy than having separate offices and forced ventilation. Gas and electricity values can then be estimated by calculating them separately and then combining. Total energy consumption is then converted into carbon emissions to give the total carbon footprint for the building, from which the 10% requirement can be determined. This is the figure that the developer has to satisfy using whatever choice of technologies is deemed most appropriate.

I I t is usually cheaper to reduce the energy consumption of a building than to provide renewable energy equipment. If energy efficiency measures are to be incorporated as standard into the building (such as compact fluorescent lighting and increasing the thermal mass) then this will reduce the overall carbon footprint, thereby reducing the 10% requirement. Failure to meet the agreed target results in the developer being fined.


I Many presentations have been made by staff of the council at national and international conferences to inform other council about the policy.

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