Outrage from energy efficiency industry at proposals to remove local planning powers
Industry is dissatisfied by plans unveiled last week which effectively remove the ability for Local Authorities to apply higher energy efficiency standards to local developments.
In a consultation, published in August 2013, proposals were made to amend or repeal the Planning and Energy Act 2008, a move which would remove the only remaining power that enables councils to require new developments to be more energy efficient and to include cost-effective on-site generation. The proposals were made based on the assumption that the Building Regulations 2013 were now sufficiently strengthened to mean the Act is no longer required.
Whilst the summary of responses from the consultation mean the Planning and Energy Act will be retained, amendments to the Deregulation Bill, currently making its way through Parliament, will remove the part of the act which applies to higher energy efficiency standards.
Dave Sowden, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy Association said:
“We think this is completely the wrong decision. The ability to specify the use of energy from renewables onsite has been retained and we are supportive of this but it is perverse to drop the energy efficiency provisions – the most cost-effective component of the Act. The Building Regulations are not yet sufficiently strengthened to secure a high enough level of energy efficiency to warrant the removal of this important part of the Act. It should not be removed until such time as this is the case.
“Once again, we see the Department for Communities and Local Government making a complete mockery of efforts elsewhere in Government to promote energy saving – the most cost effective way of meeting all of our energy needs.”
Notes to editors
- Housing Standards Review Consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/housing-standards-review-consultation
- Deregulation Bill: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2013-2014/0162/amend/deregulationaddednames.pdf
- The creation of the Sustainable Energy Association was announced in December 2013to promote intelligent policy solutions which deliver value for UK Plc. and UK consumers and offer opportunities for business in the sustainable energy sector to grow. Please keep an eye out for our new website which is due to be launched soon:www.sustainableenergyassociation.com
- The official launch of the Sustainable Energy Association will take place on 24 March 2014 at the House of Commons Terrace Pavillion, from 19:00 – 22:00. Please email@example.com know if you would like to receive an invitation to this (registration only) event.