Carbon emissions are an issue associated with the use of fossil fuels to generate energy. Carbon emissions may be generated in a number of different ways in the construction and use of buildings.  The goal of this policy area is to minimise the use of fossil fuels used by buildings in heating, lighting and ventilation by either reducing the requirement for energy overall, or using non-fossil fuels such as wind, solar or other renewable sources.

Potention actions to be taken to reduce the level of carbon used by buildings are organised on this site in two main categories 'Energy Efficent Actions' and 'Alternate Energy Systems'.     Energy Efficent Aactions are traditional good building practices whilst the Alternate Energy Systems are new technologies. 

Key Legislation affecting this objective:

  • Part L Building Regulations

The Building Regulations are a wide range of specification issues that must be adhered to for a building to be commissioned. Each Part covers a different issue, such as structure or drainage. Part L looks specifically at the energy performance of the building. Non-domestic buildings are assessed using the SBEM (see main document), while housing is assessed through SAP (Standard Assessment Process) rating. Both of these approaches assess the building materials and construction to assess the energy use of the building. The Building Regulations are enforced by Building Control within local authorities. Buildings must meet Building Regulations or they cannot be built, or if they have been built they must be changed to meet regulations.

  • Energy Performance Certificates

In January 2003, the European Union Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD) came into force, creating a common framework to promote the improvement of the energy performance of buildings across the European Union. One of the requirements of the Directive is the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).

The directive was implemented in England and Wales in 2008. Since October 2008, it has been a legal requirement for all properties including homes, commercial and public buildings to have an EPC whenever they are:  Constructed, Sold or Let