UKGBC Releases new energy guidelines to aid in the race to net-zero

Energy guidance

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has unveiled new energy guidance aimed at empowering stakeholders with the knowledge needed to make informed choices regarding energy procurement. A top objective for the UK is to achieve a carbon-neutral electricity system by 2035, aligning with net-zero emissions targets. This transition to a decarbonised grid hinges on a shift in energy sources for the built environment in the UK.

In an effort to encourage building owners to adapt to the availability of renewable electricity on the grid, the UKGBC is advocating for increased flexibility in operations. Buildings account for over 60% of the UK’s electricity demand, the built environment sector therefore plays a pivotal role in the pursuit of net-zero emissions.


What does the Guidance encompass?


The guidance establishes three core principles underpinning high-quality renewable electricity procurement: ‘Renewable,’ ‘additionality,’ and ‘Time-matched.’ It also offers practical steps to implement these principles effectively.


Included within the guidance is a toolkit designed to enhance communication with energy suppliers. This resource assists businesses in gathering essential information, facilitating comparisons of available procurement options in the market.

Rating System:

The energy guidance introduces a rating system that enables businesses to assess the overall performance of a building or organization’s electricity strategy. This evaluation encompasses electricity procured from external sources, on-site generation, demand management, and energy storage.

Procurement Routes:

Detailed insights into various procurement routes available in the market are provided. The guidance offers comprehensive information on diverse Power Purchase Agreements and highlights strategies to enhance an organisation’s engagement with specific procurement options.

Snapshot from the UKGBC guidelines overview

The Drastic need for greater collaboration

The energy guidance underscores the urgency of collaboration between customers and energy suppliers. It emphasises the necessity for suppliers to furnish clearer, higher-quality information about their products, empowering customers to make well-informed choices regarding their electricity sources.

Additionally, the UKGBC stresses the significance of market evolution in incentivising building owners to operate their assets flexibly, reducing emissions while bolstering a grid reliant on wind and solar power.

This guidance equips stakeholders with the necessary tools for navigating electricity procurement effectively, ensuring that their practices actively contribute to decarbonisation efforts in the energy supply sector.

Yetunde Abdul, Head of Climate Action at UKGBC, emphasised, “Decarbonizing the electricity system is a top priority for achieving Net Zero. Critical to enabling this is understanding the active role our buildings and the way we procure energy must play. However, distinguishing the high-quality products that are supporting the energy system’s transition from the other ‘green’ offerings in the market is currently challenging.”

While tailored for individuals involved in corporate energy procurement for businesses or commercial buildings, the guidance is also valuable to those involved in the planning, construction, or operation of buildings. This includes energy systems designers, renewable energy providers, and energy brokers or suppliers.

Despite major advancements in efforts toward reducing consumption and emissions in the construction sector, the industry-standard still lags behind what is needed to achieve reductions in line with Paris Agreement targets. Many organisations suffer from a lack of access to expert information and sustainable adjustments and a lack of industry guidance to follow.

Guidelines such as these from industry leading organisations are essential to generating the impetus to make greater contributions to sustainability and in an effective manner. The future should see more specific and standardised guidance coming from industry leaders across all sectors as we approach 2030 and its environmental objectives.

Learn More on Firstplanit

To learn more about new developments in the world of sustainable construction, have a look at the Firstplanit blog page.

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