Energy statements are requested as supporting documents for a planning application, they may be set as a condition on the planning application or may be completed at a pre-application stage to support a planning permission request.
So what are energy statements?
Energy statements are utilised to show how your proposed development is to achieve the required reductions to carbon emissions. The local authority may set policies on how much they are looking for your development to reduce its overall carbon emissions, or the planning officer may set the reduction on a project by project basis. An Energy statement should outline how these reductions are to be achieved through the use of the energy hierarchy, This covers the use of energy efficiency measures, on-site generation, and/or renewable technologies. we have set out each stage of the energy hierarchy below to assist you in designing your project in line with the local authorities’ guidance.
Energy Efficiency Measures – BE LEAN
Use Less Energy, policies dictate that a ‘fabric first’ approach must be taken, this is to ensure that the development is minimising the amount of energy used through high levels of insulation, glazing, and airtightness of the development.
Supply energy efficiently – BE CLEAN
This step is used to explore the option for the development to be supplied by either decentralised energy systems or Combined Heat & Power (CHP), this is an optional step depending on the availability of connection to a decentralised system or the overall energy demand for the project.
Renewable Technologies – BE GREEN
The final step in the production of an energy statement is to review the use of renewable technology within the development to achieve the required carbon reductions dictated by the local & national policies. Technologies that are normally reviewed for feasibility include Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Air Source Heat Pump, Ground Source Heat Pump, Biomass & Wind turbines.
The London Plan & Zero-carbon Homes
The London plan dictates that new developments must demonstrate a C02 emissions reduction of 35% below the minimum Building Regulations (Part L 2013), it also states that the above be lean, be clean & be green methodology should be followed.
Within the London plan, the zero-carbon homes policy is outlined. All major developments that are submitted to planning after the 1st of October 2016 will be required to be zero-carbon, This means that any regulated carbon emissions that are not reduced through the design of the development (Be lean, Be clean, Be green) must be off-set through a cash in lieu contribution to the relevant borough. Currently, the Carbon Off-set price is set at £60 per tonne of carbon dioxide for 30 years. As an example, if a development meets the 35% reduction criteria through the use of the above method, they would then have to calculate the number of tonnes to make up the remaining 65% for the development to be zero-carbon.
How can I ensure I meet the required emissions reductions?
firstly, engaging a consultant early on in the design process will allow you to look into the different options on how to ensure compliance and satisfy the local authorities requirements. It is always best to follow the steps outlined above when you are looking to meet the reductions in the most cost-effective manner, therefore designing the thermal elements of your project is a great starting point. Once the design has been completed we would recommend utilising the services of both an energy consultant and an MEP Consultant if possible to ensure that you can review options for the heating and cooling of the project in the most effective manner. Finally considering renewable technology from the initial stages will ensure that the technology can be designed into the project efficiently and can satisfy the council’s requirements.