London stands out for its iconic style, its history and its heritage. Many of its landmark buildings are recognisable across the Globe, whilst humbler buildings surround the locals with trademark London style. Whilst London’s got the look, there’s a problem underneath.
Back in 2016, 37% of non-domestic buildings in London were given the worst EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) ratings possible- a grade ‘E’ or lower. This means that many of London’s buildings and non-domestic properties were highlighted as problematic in their energy saving ratings.
Not only does this mean that these buildings aren’t ‘kind’ to the environment, it also causes high energy costs for each property. Low EPC ratings equate to much higher energy bills and, in addition to this, raises the likelihood of maintenance costs or unexpected building work.
By way of solution, the city’s governing board plans to make the switch to 100% renewable energy by October 2018. According to governors, there will be investment into bigger solar and wind projects and solar panels will be installed across local buildings. In addition to this, the intention is to purchase clean energy from the grid. Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched a clear desire to make the city more sustainable and eco-friendly, with aims for a zero-carbon capital by 2050.
An investment of around £34 million has been suggested to make buildings and workplaces more energy efficient in London– and this marks a significant, large-scale proposal to improve its poor EPC ratings.
Why is this so important?
It goes without saying that making the planet more sustainable is vital. However, there is the expectation that London should lead the way in its approach to sustainability. As a financial hub worldwide, its green energy revolution will send a clear message across the Globe that London is serious about climate change.
Being a city famed for its history and style, it is important for London to make headway when it comes to saving energy, environment and the planet. In doing this, other places around the world are likely to follow suit. London has the potential to be an important indicator, worldwide, for living-out environmental change in the city.
What will this look like?
Funding for this investment has already stated to take place, with the Mayor of London front-running the ambition. One strand of this sees money to help small businesses, as well as organisations in the public-sector, purchase measures such as small renewable energy sources, electric vehicle infrastructure and battery storage. The hope is to roll this out across the city. Homes, businesses and buildings across the Capital will all be targeted to dramatically improve energy performance.
Titled London’s Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF,) financial backers include NatWest, Lloyds Bank, Santander UK, Tridos Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. These funders will inject the means to make the measures happen.
LEEF director, Joanne Patrick, already sees some change: “We have a proven track record of helping London get greener, having already mobilised over £350m in low-carbon projects to reduce CO2 emissions by over 35,000 tonnes – equivalent to taking 32,000 cars off the road.”
This suggests there is a sense of promise that changes are happening, and that London is making footsteps to transform into a much ‘greener’ city.
It is important for business and building owners to acknowledge their role in energy saving, and one of the first things that must be done is to get in touch with a provider and get an up-to-date EPC for the property.
In addition to this, LEEF already have an open application system, whereby information can be downloaded from their website and you can seek assistance with the application process. All applications are provided with feedback, which will help if there are areas of improvement or you need further information.
Overall, the process is intended to be uncomplicated and welcoming for those that apply.
Whilst it may seem that there is currently a ‘breathing time’ before we see any major changes fully take place, signs of this energy saving movement is clear. The plans and intentions put forward by the Mayor and the city’s governing board certainly appear to be putting ideas and investment into motion.
With October 2018 approaching, it is likely we’ll see an acceleration when it comes to a Greener London- and no doubt, it’s a city that’ll do it in style!