Energy Performance: the Power of Knowing

AECB Member – Robert Cohen

Robert has recently co-authored this paper and it has been published in Building Research and Information.

Energy Performance: the Power of Knowing

A new analysis of the difficulties experienced in using transparency about the actual energy performance of non-domestic buildings to drive energy efficiency has just been published in Building Research & Information. “Mandating transparency about building energy performance in use” by Robert Cohen and Bill Bordass explores the issues through the lens of Display Energy Certificates, one of the policy measures triggered by the 2002 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.  The paper provides a timely critique following the controversial consultation by DCLG earlier this year which appeared to favour DECs being abolished.

The paper reviews the history of UK Building Regulations and European building energy efficiency policies to identify what helped and hindered progress towards buildings that use less energy in operation.  It looks at the impact of building energy certificates based on asset and operational ratings.  It identifies a split of government ownership of the topic between multiple ministries and agencies, limited policy integration and follow-through and a political rhetoric that favours an abdication of central government responsibilities to market forces. It contrasts the success of operational rating schemes in the US and Australia and identifies lessons for future UK policy making.

Download the paper for free here: