The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has recently estimated how much the rising number of climate policies are increasing UK energy costs. With the evaluations showing that organisations are paying a staggering 21% more for energy this year, the business case for energy efficiency continues to strengthen.
In November 2011, DECC made its first calculations on the impact that climate policies, such as the Carbon Price Floor and the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, will have on energy costs in the UK. This initial estimation showed that firms classed as ‘medium-sized energy users’ would see a 19% increase by 2020. However, in the new report released on 27 March 2013, this calculated increasehas become far more drastic. Medium-sized energy users are now expected to pay 15%-21% more for their energy this year, a value which will continue to increase to 22%-26% by 2020.
So what does this mean for organisations in the UK? The enlightening calculations in DECC’s new report add significant weight to the business case for increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. Organisations that are leading the way in this field will be far less effected due to savings made, whilst companies that do not engage will see a weighty dent to their outgoings and cash flow. With prices set to continuously rise, now is the time for businesses to take energy efficiency seriously.
For more detail on DECC’s calculations, the full report is available here.
Building magazine has recently launched ‘Green for Growth’, a campaign aiming to persuade the government to stimulate investment in green construction.
The UK has committed to a reduction of at least 34% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and a subsequent reduction of at least 80% by 2050. With the built environment being a considerable contributor to total UK emissions (responsible for 45% of total carbon), the sector represents a massive opportunity to help achieve these goals.
Building’s ‘Green for Growth’ campaign is calling on the government to provide a source of leadership on the sustainability agenda, in order to significantly lift investment in green building. Achieving such an outcome will both safeguard the UK’s environmental future and support growth in the construction industry.
Detailed in the campaign is the need to create a comprehensive strategy to combat carbon in the built environment, with action needed in five key areas:
1. The Green Deal
The Government’s energy efficiency scheme signifies an invaluable prospect for boosting the construction industry whilst dramatically reducing carbon emissions. Building’s campaign is addressing the need for the government to look at further tax incentives to drive take up of the initiative.
2. Ring-fenced spending for public sector retrofit programmes
Government buildings contribute up to 3.4% of the UK’s carbon emissions, and many have the potential to become significantly more efficient by implementing simple measures. Thus, the campaign is calling on the government to consider a ring-fenced retrofit programme for public buildings, providing a boost to the green economy as well as cutting emissions.
3. Zero-carbon homes
With plans for all new build homes to be zero carbon by 2016, and all commercial buildings by 2019, it is vital that a clear and detailed trajectory is created and kept to. This will allow the industry to plan accordingly and will ensure that target dates are not pushed back. The ‘Green for Growth’ campaign is demanding an immediate and realistic plan of action to achieve zero carbon in all new buildings.
4. Display energy certificates (DECs)
DECs make organisations track and display how much energy is being used to power their buildings, an essential early step in cutting carbon emissions. As the publication of DECs to all commercial buildings was thrown out in 2011, Building magazine is calling on the government to restore its commitment.
5. Long-term energy infrastructure investment
Decarbonising energy production is a vital requirement in striving towards a more sustainable future. The ‘Green for Growth’ campaign is stressing the need for the government to bolster investment in green infrastructure, by creating greater clarity and by considering various schemes.
The launch of Building’s campaign has already been well received by the industry, with the UK Green Building Council and the Confederation of British Industry confirming their backing. Here at IMS, we are well aware of the increasing need for a green economy and that adapting will be considerably easier if the government leads the way. This is why we welcomed the news of the ‘Green for Growth’ campaign, and pledge our full support.
To find out more about Building magazine’s ‘Green for Growth’ campaign, and for how to add your support, view the full details here.