Making Reference where Appropriate to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directives (EPBD)
In the circular published by the Department for Communities and Local Government dated March 29, 2007, entitled The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007, the Department pointed out that the Energy Performance of Buildings regulations which had served its purpose over the period from April 2007 to October 2008, implemented article 7, 9, and 10 of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) in England and Wales. The circular noted that the Objective of the EPBD is to uphold the improvement of the Energy performance of buildings within the European Community. The circular also cited that by implementing the EPBD, it will encourage owners and tenants to choose energy efficient buildings and to improve the buildings they occupy (Community and Local Government Circular 02/2007, p. 1).
The implementation of the directive according to the circular is seen as an important contribution to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as part of the UK climate change programme. Article 7 of the EPBD necessitates the production of energy performance certificates; the recommendation and advisory reports of the building constructed, rented, and sold out and display energy certificates in large buildings occupied by certain public institutions and public authorities. Article 9 on the other hand necessitates regular inspection and reporting on the energy performance of air-conditioning systems, while article 10 necessitates the use of qualified or accredited energy assessor to do the work in an independent way.
The Impact of the New Requirements for Energy Certifications
At the onset, the intention of the Energy Performance Certificate EPC) is to inform possible buyers or tenants regarding the energy performance of a building for them to consider energy efficiency as part of their investment (Communities and Local Government p. 6). Because of this, the rating on the certificate for a building reflects the energy performance standard as well as the recommendations on how the energy performance of the building can be enhanced along with an indication of the payback period. The requirement for the building to obtain energy certificate is very specific as it clearly define that buildings with separate parts and separate heating system as well as buildings with common heating system has to obtain this certificate for each part of the building or the landlord can opt for the EPC for a part designed or altered to be used independently in which the assessment is based on the same representative unit in the same building, as an EPC can be available for the whole building or even if the building is divided into parts intended or altered to be separately used with separate heating (Communities and Local Government Units p.7). The implementation of the EPBD to promote the improvement of the Energy Performance of Buildings within European community is expected to encourage owners and tenants to choose energy efficient buildings for the improvement of the building they occupy. This objective seemed to have been achieved as the directive is seen effective in reducing the carbon dioxide emission. The impact of the implementation therefore of articles 7, 9, and 10 of the Energy Performance Buildings Regulations for energy certifications is a positive development that contributes to the U.K. Climate Change program.
The new requirements for the energy certifications will provide a better building facility as it encompasses all that concerns that are needed such as safety and quality of the workmanship of the building. The approved document of the Building Regulations 2000 entitled L1A Conservation of Fuel and Power in new Dwellings ensures the reasonable standards of health and safety for the persons in or about the buildings (Building Regulations 2000 L1A, p.3). The new regulations on energy efficiency requirements ensure the building compliance with applicable requirements that in turn ensures the buildings safety and quality for its occupants. The exemptions to this energy certification, which are available only to buildings that are solely used for worship or those buildings that are temporary in nature, buildings with a planned for use within less than two years and those structures that have less than fifty square meters floor area are just a good indication of the governments sincere efforts to sustain its objective to contribute to the program on Climate Change. The Role of the Secretary of State for the compliance of the regulations to approve the energy certification for new buildings is crucial partly because it appears that there are many UK product certification scheme, and specifically because the approved document on Building regulations 2000 prescribed that energy performance requirements will be calculated in the form of carbon dioxide emission. However, many these certification bodies are recognized by UKAS (Buildings Regulations L1B p. 3). The Building Regulations state that new buildings shall not exceed the carbon dioxide emission rate target or face the consequence for non-compliance (Building Regulation 2000 L1A).
The new requirements for energy certifications of buildings are no doubt heavy and tedious to process since there are many conditions that have to be satisfied such as The Work Place Regulations, which care for health, safety and welfare, enclose some requirements that may even affect the building’s design (Building Regulations 2000, L1B p. 3). Nevertheless these requirements will provide the owner of adequate information about the building, the permanent building services, and their maintenance requirements for the building to be operated in such manner as to use with out fuel and power than is reasonable in the circumstances. The 2006 edition of the approved documents L2A of the Buildings Regulations that took effect on April 2006 to uphold the Building and Approved Inspectors Regulation 2006 must have been a welcome development for building owners and for those who are planning to construct building as this document contains legal changes for the building’s energy performance requirements which are now easier as some of the requirements has been consolidated into a single requirement wrapping all types of buildings with no limit of applications, while the Buildings and Carbon Emissions Calculation Methods are omitted.
However, this change does not completely freed building owners and those who want to construct new buildings of their obligation to ensure compliance on approved carbon emission rate, buildings owners and those who want to construct buildings must address five criteria in order to comply with energy efficiency requirements. These includes the annual carbon dioxide emission rate of the completed building using approved calculation tools such as, the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) or approved commercial software, Building Fabric services performance specifications, non-air-conditioned buildings will not cause high temperatures during summer due to excessive solar gains, Fabric insulation and air tightness, are as intended, and to provide reasonable information that will enable occupants to achieve energy in use.
These legal changes in the requirements for energy certifications of buildings are justifiable and more convenient for the building owners to process, yet it ensures convenience and comfort for the building occupiers whether air-conditioned or non-air-conditioned building (Building Regulation L2A). Further changes that provides positive impact on the building owners and may be even with building occupiers in view perhaps of fast and easy facilitation of the energy certifications of the building, is the scope of Competent Person’s scheme which is now widened. Although engaging competent person is not obligatory building control agencies are allowed to accept self-certification by this competent persons thereby reducing administrative burden, costs, and delays (Building Regulation L2B). The changes that are taking place in almost every aspect of the energy performance of building’s directives are geared towards a more easy facilitation for the compliance of the requirements for energy certifications. Defined terms are even highlighted for the convenience of applicants of such certifications.
The Emerging Role of Energy Management for the Asset and Facilities Manager in 2008
Energy management is very important issue in the face of worsening global warming condition that often results to climate change and flashfloods. According to an article entitled A Strategic Approach to Energy and Environmental Management, energy management reduces energy usage and it has positive effect on the environment. It is evident that by managing the energy, the use of fuel is lessening which in turn result to lower carbon dioxide emissions (Action Energy). Currently, the production of energy struggles to meet the increasing demands of the society for energy. Thus, much focus has been on programs and measures to save energy in households (Management of Environmental Quality, p. 56). However, despite of the increased efforts energy use continues to increase particularly among industrialized. The Journal article entitled Identification of Households’ Barriers to Energy Saving Solutions cited that electricity is widely used in households in Norway including heating the room. But Norway can be more fortunate than other countries as ninety-nine percent of their power sources are hydropower, which provides rather cheap price of electricity. However, during winter Norway also experience electricity crises due to low temperatures and the water levels in the reservoirs are low.
Amidst all these problems on energy crises, the emerging role of the asset and facilities manager in 2008 in energy management is crucial determinant for the sufficient supply of energy. Determinant in a sense that by effective management of energy it would mean not only reducing consumption of energy but it will also minimize carbon dioxide emissions, which are the consequence of using energy.
Since 2004 Stephen Todd and Andrew Steele of the School of Environment at the Salford University, UK pointed out that domestic fuel prices increased dramatically which reversed the trend that had prevailed during the previous decades Stephen Todd & Andrew Steele). Both Gas and electricity prices had increased by eighteen and thirteen percent respectively. Todd and Steele contend that for every ten percent increase in fuel costs, two hundred thousand households are pushed into fuel poverty. Fuel poverty according to Todd and Steele fuel poverty is a situation in which one needs to spend more than ten percent of its earnings to warmth its home to a sufficient standard. They noted that based on the 1996 English House Condition Survey, between 4.3 million and 6.9 million households in England live in fuel poverty. Thus, according to Todd in his Journal article, it is important that standards are revised continually in line with modern building materials and practices to conserve energy and limit the inherent green house emission (Todd, Stephen).
Based on energy management matrix provided in the Organizational Aspects of Energy Management: a self-assessment manual for managers, it appears that despite of great efforts in looking for solution on the problem of energy crises, the emerging role of energy management for the asset and facilities manager is tough and challenging in which if the six key management issues would be addressed, it is likely that the emerging role of the energy management for the asset and facilities manager will be a success one.
The Energy management will be the most crucial job for the asset and facilities manager because it is the main feature of every building facility. It must include an audit of the energy used to assess the buildings energy performance and to compare it with the actual energy consumption. This will help obtain information on how energy is used in the building (Detecting Energy Waste b.10). An article entitled The Design Team’s Guide to Environmentally Smart Buildings cited that buildings facility ought not to be energy dependent. Buildings occupants must have access to light and ventilation, and help to reduce electric lighting, cooling and ventilation loads, even if there is a need for the building to have air-conditioning.
The implementation of the new requirements for energy certification is no doubt positive developments that will certainly offers convenience and comfort on the tenants and building occupiers and eases the building owners of the administrative burden of processing these requirements. This initiative of the government therefore deserves to be appreciation. On the other hand, the role of the energy management for the asset and facilities manager needs to be handled well for the sake of the sake of those who belong to the fuel poverty.
List of References
‘A strategic approach to energy and environmental management: good practice guide.’
Action energy from the Carbon Trust. www.actionenergy.org.uk
‘Conservation of fuel and power in new dwellings.’ The Building Regulations 2000 L1A. 6 April 2006
‘Conservation of fuel and power in existing dwellings.’ The Building Regulations 2000
L1B. 6 April 2006.
‘Conservation of fuel and power in new buildings other than dwellings.’ The Building
Regulations 2000 L2A. 6 April 2006.
‘Conservation of fuel and power in existing buildings other than dwellings.’ The Building
Regulations 2000 L2B. 6April 2006.
‘Detecting energy waste: a guide for energy audits and surveys in the government estate.’
BRESCU: Good Practice Guide.
‘Improving the energy efficiency of our buildings: A guide to energy performance
certificates for the construction, sale, and let on non-dwellings.’ Communities and Local Government. January 2008.
‘Organizational Aspects of energy management: a self-assessment manual for managers.’
BRESCU: Good Practice Guide.
‘The design team’s guide to environmentally smart buildings: energy-efficient options for
new and refurbished offices.’ BRESCU: Good Practice Guide
‘The energy performance of buildings (certificates and inspections) (England and Wales)
Regulations 2007.’ Department for Communities and Local Government. 29 March 2007.
Throne-Holts, H., Strandbakken, P. & Sto, E. (2008) ‘Identification of household’
barriers to energy saving solutions.’ Emerald Insight.com Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 54-66. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Todd, S. (2006) ‘A review of the proposals for amending the energy efficiency
provisions in the building regulations for dwellings.’ Emerald vol. 24 No. 3 pp. 181-200. Emerald Group Publishing.
Todd, S. & Steele, A. (2006) ‘Modelling a culturally sensitive approach to fuel poverty.’
Emerald Insight.com Vo. 24 No. 4, pp. 300-310. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.