‘Merton rule’ pioneer wins HVCA Gold Award
Adrian Hewitt (left), principal environmental officer with the London Borough of Merton and originator of the ‘Merton rule’ is this year’s winner of the HVCA-sponsored Gold Award for outstanding industry service. In October 2003, Merton became the first UK local authority to require non-residential building developments to generate at least 10% of their energy needs from renewable sources. He is pictured receiving his award from HVCA chief executive Robert Higgs, who described Adrian Hewitt as ‘an environmental pioneer and a committed and inspirational individual, who continues to use his profound understanding of climate change — coupled with his imagination, determination and dedication to the cause — to spread the renewable-energy gospel’. His bold initiative was soon taken up by other local authorities, most notably London, where, in 2010, the renewable-energy requirement is to be raised to 20%. The ‘Merton rule’ has also had a major influence on national energy policy, its principles having been embodied last year in planning statements from the Government.