In this instance, the most likely thing that the council will ask you to provide is something called an energy statement. In layman’s terms, an energy statement is a statement that outlines the ways in which you plan to reduce emissions within your development by using one of the many available options of sustainable technology. Usually the council will be looking for proof that emissions can be lowered by 10% or 20%. Two of the most common types of technology that are used to satisfy the council’s criteria are PV panels and ground source heat pumps, although there are many more options than just these two available.
It is important to remember that, should the council request that you provide them with an energy statement, they will be expecting you to show how to lower emissions with these sustainable technologies – there is no option whether you do or don’t. For this reason, make sure you budget for including these in your development, as if you don’t you might be in for a sharp financial shock!
When an energy statement is requested from you, there is, of course, the option of completing it yourself, but this can be a bad idea as they are not the most simple of exercises to complete and often require specialist knowledge. For this reason, the majority of people asked to provide an energy statement will engage the services of a company specialising in this field. They would investigate all of the possible sustainable technologies you could use and then complete an energy statement, which will include all of the facts and figures the council needs to make their decision with.
Where a specialist company really comes into its own though is by understanding exactly what the councils want when they ask for an energy statement. We all know that local councils can sometimes be rather vague with their requirements, but a specialist speaks their language and knows exactly what they mean. The whole process can be even more confusing when you consider that most councils have their own specific requirements – there is no national level consensus on the matter and everything is completely locally controlled.
As you can see, an energy statement is not something to be scared of, although it will almost certainly necessitate the employment of a specialist in the area. As with most things though, as long as you follow the guidelines laid down by the local authority, it should not pose a problem for you now or in the future.