December 14, 2023 9:16 am

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

The UK government has initiated a public consultation to explore a comprehensive revision of the current home energy rating system, with the intention of replacing the longstanding Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) rating. SAP serves as the government’s existing framework for evaluating and contrasting the energy performance of residences. It plays a crucial role in building regulations, ensuring that newly constructed homes meet energy efficiency and low carbon standards. Furthermore, SAP is instrumental in generating Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), a practice that has faced mounting scrutiny in recent years due to emerging controversies.

The proposed changes signify a potential shift in how the energy efficiency of homes is assessed and communicated. Seeking input from the public underscores the government’s commitment to a more robust and contemporary approach in the pursuit of sustainable and energy-efficient housing standards.

SAP, originally conceived as a tool for government building regulations, has transcended its initial purpose, finding utility in various domains such as government grant initiatives, policy evaluations, and providing valuable insights for households seeking guidance on energy efficiency improvements. Its multifaceted role underscores the significance of a comprehensive approach to energy performance assessment.

In response to the evolving landscape of energy efficiency and sustainability, a proposed successor, the Home Energy Model, is gaining traction. Positioned as a potential replacement for the long-standing SAP rating, the Home Energy Model is generating interest for its perceived adaptability to the technologies required to drive the decarbonization of the UK’s housing stock—a critical endeavor in the pursuit of achieving net-zero carbon emissions.

The Building Research Establishment (BRE), a key player in the construction and built environment sector, spearheads the development of the Home Energy Model. This initiative is strategically aligned with the impending implementation of the Future Homes Standard, slated to govern the energy performance standards for new homes constructed from 2025 onward. The proactive introduction of the Home Energy Model signals a concerted effort to align housing practices with contemporary sustainability imperatives and contribute to the broader goal of mitigating the environmental impact of the built environment.

The Home Energy Model is slated to establish benchmarks for new homes, emphasizing their readiness for a ‘zero carbon’ future by incorporating low carbon heating and prioritizing high levels of energy efficiency. Beyond shaping the standards for new constructions, the government envisions leveraging the Home Energy Model for the extended purpose of conducting assessments for Energy Performance Certificates, demonstrating a commitment to a sustained and comprehensive approach to energy efficiency evaluations.

According to a statement from the Building Research Establishment (BRE), the Home Energy Model is specifically tailored to align with green technologies, including but not limited to heat pumps, storage technologies, and smart control devices. This pragmatic focus underscores the model’s adaptability to the evolving landscape of sustainable technologies, reinforcing its role in steering the construction sector towards a more environmentally conscious and energy-efficient future.

The Home Energy Model is engineered with a modular approach, offering versatile support for various applications demanding energy performance assessments. With a heightened time resolution, it intricately models energy performance on a half-hourly basis throughout the year, providing a more accurate reflection of smart technologies and storage. The proposal suggests that the Home Energy Model will be made open source, enhancing transparency and facilitating its application and modification by industry professionals and researchers for diverse applications.

Gillian Charlesworth, the Chief Executive of BRE, emphasizes the introduction of the Home Energy Model as a pivotal step towards achieving net zero across the UK’s housing stock. This move underscores a commitment to advancing transparency, adaptability, and collaborative efforts within the industry, ultimately contributing to the broader goal of sustainable and energy-efficient housing solutions.

“As uptake of green technologies increases, an effective assessment methodology which accounts for these changes will be imperative as the Government looks to secure buy-in from homeowners, house builders, and the retrofit industry on the net zero transition and achieve its targets in this area.

“BRE has worked closely with government since SAP was introduced, and we are excited about the potential for ambitious policies and programmes for low carbon homes which the latest version will support. These changes to the SAP methodology will have wide-reaching impacts not only for government, but across industry. I therefore urge all relevant stakeholders to take part in this consultation to ensure that the final design of the Home Energy Model is as well informed as possible.” 


More Property Blog HERE

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}