Editor of Premises and Facilities Management magazine, Dennis Flower looks at the impact of Brexit on energy efficiency standards.
A careful reading of the Government's Great Repeal Bill confirms that the UK will continue to adhere to EU energy efficiency standards and this will include both the use of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and rulings over the use of energy.
Following the repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act, legislation will be transferred into UK law following its separation from the EU.
Details of these and other proposals were included in the Legislation for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union white paper.
The statements have found favour with Elmhurst Energy managing director Martyn Reed, who refers to the paragraph within the document that commits the Government "to ensuring that we become the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it".
Referring to the publication's statement that the UK's legislation has "delivered tangible environmental benefits", Mr Reed said the Bill will see that "the whole body of existing EU environmental law continues to have effect in UK law".
This will provide the energy efficiency sector "maximum certainty" and allows it plan ahead as the UK leaves the EU in the future.
A number of schemes designed to improve energy efficiency and encourage greater use of renewables have faced uncertainty
The issue of certainty has resulted in high levels of criticism for government schemes, particularly those relating to energy, over the course of the last two decades.
There have been a number of schemes designed to improve energy efficiency and encourage greater use of renewables which have been the subject of a considerable reduction in levels of support or, in the worst examples, complete cancellation.
Instances of both of the above can be seen in the considerable reductions implemented within the Feed-in Tariff and the cancellation of the previous administration’s Green Deal, launched as a government flagship scheme and subsequently condemned for its unrealistic approach.
No doubt many in the industry will keenly await the outcome of the forthcoming General Election and further statements to reassure the sector that legislation relating to energy usage will be transferred from EU to UK law after the Brexit process concludes.
It seems unlikely that much further financial support will be forthcoming however, as initiatives such as efforts to change the bidding process within the Contracts for Difference low carbon energy auctions or reduction of business rates for companies with solar PV systems – which were set to rise between six and eight times their previous levels from 1 April 2017 – appear to have made little headway with the current administration.
Dennis Flower is Editor of Premise and Facilities Management Magazine.
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