The new Regulation went live this week – a similar requirement has been in place in Scotland since January, and England will be catching up in July.
So what does it mean?
Before you start work on site, you need to produce a report which looks at the feasibility of using things like low or zero carbon technology, decentralised systems, community heating and heat pumps. This report should look at the ‘technical, economical and environmental’ feasibility of using such systems, and list what’s possible and what isn’t for your specific site.
Does this mean renewables are now mandatory?
No. The purpose of this requirement is to show you’ve ‘considered’ using these systems in the same way you might ‘consider’ bungee jumping out of a helicopter or you might ‘consider’ having broccoli for tea. There’s no requirement to implement the systems which the report recommends. (Unless you have a separate planning condition which suggests otherwise!)
So is this the same as an Energy Statement?
In a way, this report could be seen as a stripped back Energy Statement, but there are no minimum requirements or targets to hit... in effect it’s for illustrative purposes only.
So what’s the point?
This is a good question. It could be the first step to making alternative systems a mandatory requirement. It could be a way of educating developers about the new technologies which are at their disposal. It could be a way of encouraging house-builders to earn themselves some extra green credentials... We don’t know the true reason for launching this new regulation. We do know it’s an EU Directive, so is being implemented across the continent.
What if I want to use renewable technology?
If you’re planning to use alternative systems regardless of the recommendations of the report, that’s fine. The report should show be written to show that you’re implementing one / some of the points which have been recommended.
Where can I get one of these reports completed?
You can use companies like us (of course!) or create one for you, but there’s nothing stopping you from completing the assessment yourself. You will however need a reasonable knowledge of the various renewable technologies and systems which are available on the market.