03/11/2014 | Gary Hartley | Green strategy and politics | 2030 climate targets, building energy efficiency, climate targets, confidence, energy data, EPC, EPCs, EU, green building, green economy, non-domestic energy efficiency, Rockwool
Confidence in the UK’s non-domestic energy efficiency has risen to its highest levels yet, according to a survey from three influential players in the industry. The EEVS Insight, Bloomberg and Green Investment Bank report shows confidence in such areas a policy and industry risk and effectiveness at record highs since measuring began in 2012, and numbers of people employed in the UK rising in almost half of companies polled.
Confidence is an important factor in any market where there is a pronounced push for progress, so this is surely good news. But there are still plenty suggesting that more should be done on energy efficiency in the UK and in Europe as a whole. Outgoing CEO of Rockwool, Eelco van Heel, recently came out in favour of an ambitious 2030 EU climate deal - offering some strong words about European efforts:
"Energy efficiency is also known to be a highly effective way to stimulate economic growth and create new jobs. However, it seems there is a lack of real understanding and commitment to move from empty words on the subject to real action.”
Perhaps an insulation company supporting tough energy efficiency targets is not so surprising, and since then, real action on 2030 European targets has happened. A 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases has been agreed after some tense talks, as well as 27 per cent targets to boost renewable energy and energy efficiency. The latter of the three targets, however, is optional at this stage.
Certainly there is lots of detail to be ironed out here, and outside the policy arena there are fundamental technical questions to be addressed, too. The Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) has found that there needs to be a dramatic improvement in the availability of Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data for energy efficiency to continue to make great strides. BPIE say that better enforcement of EPCs, mandatory training for certifiers and plausibility checks on data gathered, need to be instigated in order to make sure this potentially vastly useful tool is maximised. Reliable, widely-available and user-friendly data in absolutely pivotal for the green economy to build on this wave of confidence.