CIBSE stresses benefits of reducing energy use

CIBSE, demand reduction
Pressing the case for reducing energy demand — CIBSE President David Fisk (left) and technical director Hywel Davies.

CIBSE has called for the adoption of a co-ordinated approach to energy supply in response to a number of recent Government consultations. The responses preceded warnings last month by Ofgem’s chief executive about the vulnerabilities of the UK energy-supply system. He has said that about 10% of Britain’s generation stock will disappear this year as coal- and oil-fired power stations close earlier than expected to meet environmental targets.

Government policy in the Energy Bill, as summarised by Minister of State for Energy John Hayes is ‘to incentivise a record £110 billion of private-sector investment in new power generation — in renewables, new gas, nuclear and carbon capture and storage. Investing in a diverse energy mix will secure our energy future and ensure we insulate customers from the fluctuating price of fossil fuels’.

CIBSE’s responses are based on reducing energy demand. Technical director Hywel Davies says, ‘It is becoming clearer by the week that the UK needs to focus on reducing its demand for energy. This will help keep bills down and the lights on.’

In terms of reducing UK energy consumption, building performance has taken on an increased significance as it focuses on achieving the efficient use of energy in the built environment.

CIBSE president David Fisk said, ‘Since our buildings use nearly half our energy, this should be a matter of national policy. The projects and products showcased in our CIBSE Building Performance Awards (see link below) show us what can be achieved and raise the bar of best practice for all of us in the built environment.’

CIBSE’s response to the Department of Energy & Climate Change’s consultation on reducing electricity demand offers a number of suggestions about how that reduction might be achieved through a co-ordinated policy approach that raises levels of compliance with existing policy measures, as well as introducing new incentives for energy use.

In its response, CIBSE noted Government estimates that effective demand reduction could reduce the need for new power stations by as many as 22. Much of the savings could come from reducing energy use in buildings, and the analysis which supports the consultation shows that much of the proposed saving depends on current and proposed Building Regulations. CIBSE has also urged a greater emphasis on compliance with existing requirements such as those contained in Part L.

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