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I’ve been told we need to use PV (Photovoltaics) to pass the SAP, is this true?

I’ve been told we need to use PV (Photovoltaics) to pass the SAP, is this true?

The short answer is "No, there are other techniques".

The long answer is "No, but it might be the simplest, cheapest and most sensible option to take." It depends where you are building, what you are building and what your local planning conditions stipulate.

In England and Wales

If you have no additional planning conditions concerning the emission rates, you can usually show full compliance providing you install plenty of insulation into the building fabric, minimise heat loss through thermal bridging (low air leakage levels), install high quality glazing, and also use high efficiency heating, hot water, ventilation and lighting systems.

However, if the above specification would cost you ten thousand pounds more than usual, and you could offset the same level of energy use by installing five thousand pounds worth of PV panels to the roof, which would you choose?

Our Technical Team will never second guess you, and will work with you to strike the perfect balance between complying with the regulations and meeting your own needs.

In Scotland

The current Target Emission Rate is more stringent in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK. This means it is more likely that you will need to install PV panels to meet compliance.

When the TER is calculated, it is based on one kilowatt peak of PV for every 100sqm of floor area. This means that, if you don’t install PV panels, you need to offset this by improving the specification elsewhere in the build.

Again the use of renewable technology isn’t mandatory, but will probably be an easier and cheaper option than the alternatives. Our Technical Team will be happy to look through the available options and advice accordingly.

Planning Conditions

You may have planning conditions which clearly stipulate that your site needs to offset a certain percentage through the use of low carbon or renewable technologies.

Local authorities cannot insist you use PV panels specifically, but you will need to consider their feasibility at the very least.

In these cases, you’ll be expected to consider the use of all kinds of low carbon technologies, including biomass, turbines and heat pumps. It’s usual for PV or solar thermal to be one of the most feasible technologies.

The council will expect you to install the most feasible low carbon technology as part of this planning condition.

For more information on this, see our Energy Statement service.

Jon Ponting

Author: Jon Ponting

This article was published by Jon Ponting on 14.09.2018.