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CIBSE: UK needs to reduce energy demand

CIBSE calls for the adoption of a co-ordinated policy approach to energy supply in response to a number of recent Government consultations.

Alistair Buchanan, Ofgem’s Chief Executive has warned about the vulnerabilities of the UK energy supply system.   With consumption levels likely to be dangerously close to maximum capacity, and UK consumers facing steadily rising prices and even interruptions of supply, the time for action to reduce demand is now.

Alistair Buchanan has said about 10 per cent of Britain’s generation stock will disappear as soon as next month as coal and oil-fired power stations close earlier than expected to meet environmental targets.

•             Technical Director of CIBSE, 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 to keep bills down and the lights on.”

Building performance has taken on an increased significance as it focuses on enabling efficient energy consumption within the built environment.

•             CIBSE President, David Fisk, said: “Since our buildings use nearly half our energy, this should be a matter of national priority. The projects and products showcased in our CIBSE Building Performance Awards for example show us what can be achieved and raise the bar of best practice for all of us in the built environment.”

CIBSE has responded to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Electricity Demand Reduction Consultation which recently closed, by offering a number of suggestions about how that 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.

CIBSE strongly supports policies to encourage reduced demand which will save consumers and business users money by reducing unnecessary use of energy, reduce the national bill for new generating capacity and contribute to greater energy security by reducing reliance on energy imports.

In its response, the Institution noted that Government estimates that effective demand reduction could reduce the need for new power stations by as many as 22 new units.  A significant proportion of the anticipated savings will come from the reduced energy use in buildings, and the analysis which supports the Consultation shows that much of the proposed saving is dependent on both current and proposed Building Regulations.

Drawing attention to the need to ensure compliance with the energy saving aspects of the Building Regulations, which are contained in Part L is also noted.  The CIBSE response calls for a greater emphasis on compliance with the existing requirements, alongside the additional proposed electricity reduction measures.

CIBSE has also encouraged DECC to take a broader view and seek to co-ordinate policy responses relating to energy in buildings.

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