What's the plan?

So, what is an Energy Statement?

If you are an architect, a planner or a developer working on a new development with a minimum of 10 dwellings or 1,000m2 of non-residential floor space then it’s highly likely that you have been asked to provide an Energy Statement to accompany the planning application.

Planning requirements for Energy Statements, (also referred to as Energy Efficiency Statements, Renewable Energy Strategy or Energy Assessments) are now commonly requested by Local Planning Authorities as part of their Local Plan requirements.
The Energy Statement will demonstrate how the proposed development will demonstrate compliance with the Local Authorities planning objectives relating to energy. The target to be achieved can significantly vary depending on the Local Authority; the following policies illustrate the variance in the requirements. The London Plan is leading the way requiring new major developments to be ‘Zero Carbon’ from October 2016.

- 10% of the schemes expected energy requirements to be supplied from sources of decentralised and renewable or low carbon energy (Policy 3 Energy and Water, Greater Norwich Development Partnership, Joint Core Strategy, adopted March 2011, amendments adopted January 2014).

- 10% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions (over the requirements set by the Building Regulations) through the use of on-site renewable energy technologies (Policy CC/3, South Cambridgeshire District Council, emerging Local Plan).

- Zero Carbon standard, whereby the application achieves a 35% reduction in regulated carbon dioxide emissions (beyond Building Regulations Part L 2013) on-site. The remaining regulated carbon dioxide, to 100%, are to be off-set through cash in lieu contributions to the local borough to secure delivery of carbon dioxide savings elsewhere – From 1 October 2016. (Policy 5.2, London Plan). Energy Statement for London schemes must also follow the London Plan Energy Hierarchy and Cooling Hierarchy to avoid the risk of overheating.

The Energy Statement will need to outline in detail the proposed energy strategy to achieve the target. The following information would need to be conveyed:

• Baseline annual predicted energy demand of the development (regulated and unregulated energy);
• Baseline annual predicted carbon emissions of the development (regulated and unregulated energy);
• Improvements to fabric efficiency beyond the Building Regulations Part L 2013;
• Assessment of overheating;
• A feasibility study of each applicable low and zero carbon technology and their contribution towards the policy targets;
• Feasibility of district or community heating (London based projects);
• The total estimated reduction in the development's baseline carbon and/or energy emissions;
• An Energy Statement report, appropriate for planning.

What information is required?

We will require accurate geometric information on the proposed development, to inform the SAP and/or SBEM calculations, including:

• Site location plan;
• Accommodation schedule;
• House/building type drawings;
• Proposed building specification (if available).

Once we have undertaken the initial energy modelling we will hold an energy workshop with the design team to discuss potential constraints and opportunities with regards to passive building design, energy efficiency and energy supply strategy.

Don’t leave it to the last minute!

So often, we are drafted in at the very last minute to produce an energy statement or worst still at the post-planning stage to discharge a planning condition. We would not advise this as an approach, but would always encourage Client’s to engage an energy consultant at the concept stage to work alongside the design team to develop the masterplan and ensure that the energy strategy is integral to the building design.

The consultant will also seek advice from the council early on in the design stage – most planning officers will happily advise on the policy requirements and produce a letter detailing what should be delivered within your planning application as part of a formal pre-application response.

How can we help?

Whole House Energy is experienced at meeting Local Authority requirements and understands how to represent the project information to help secure planning permission. We take the time to look at the project requirements, speak to the planning officer, and understand the local policy.

The final report will not only be fully compliant with the planning policy requirements, it will also communicate to the design team the building specification and sizing of the low and zero carbon technologies proposed.

Some Local Authorities will set other objectives in addition to an Energy Statement, for example South Cambridgeshire District Council requires all major planning applications to include a Sustainability Statement, a Waste Design Guide Toolkit and Water Conservation Audit and Strategy. We can provide the complete package of reports to support your planning application.

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