News

Carbon Plan sets timetable for green economy

11 March 2011

The government’s Carbon Plan, published this week, has been welcomed across  the  construction industry.

The Carbon Plan, published two weeks before this year’s March 23rd budget, sets out a timetable for low carbon milestones. These include legislation next month that will allow the setting of a carbon floor price, and plans for a national roll-out of smart energy meters this summer, Construction News reported.

The plan also confirmed that the contract for the first UK carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project will be awarded before December 2011. Building reported that £1bn of public funding would be available for “the largest publicly funded CCS project in the world.”

And an initial design for the Green Investment Bank will be published in May, with operation of the bank set to start in September 2012.

UK Green Building Council chief executive Paul King said: “The government’s Carbon Plan is a big step towards providing a coherent narrative on carbon right across disparate policy areas, which will help provide some clarity for industry wanting to invest in low carbon products and services.”

Head of Willmott Dixon’s sustainability division Re-Thinking, Robert Lambe, told Construction News that the plan was encouraging as an extensive piece of work that showed the government was committed to making the Green Deal a success.

Electrical Contractors’ Association head of safety and environment Paul Reeve said: “We particularly welcome the plan to put a price on carbon emissions, which is almost certain to stimulate energy-saving retrofit work in the commercial sector.”

Building highlighted that under the Plan, display energy certificates will be compulsory for commercial buildings within 18 months

The ratings, which run from A to G, will have to be displayed for viewing in a building’s entrance or lobby. DECs are currently only mandatory on public buildings.

The British Property Federation and green lobby groups have been calling for the wider adoption of DECs as central to improving the performance of existing commercial buildings.

Patrick Brown, assistant director at the BPF, said: “This is what we had hoped for, it really encourages the better management of buildings. We have a lot of tools to measure planned sustainability, but very few measure actual performance.”

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