New project announced to modernise the home energy rating scheme

Property Reporter
3rd May 2022
energy efficiency 2

Building Research Establishment has announced that it will develop a new methodology to better measure the energy performance of UK homes and to be more suited to decarbonise technology, such as heat pumps, renewables and smart tech.

As part of a three-year project, BRE will be developing a new version of the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP), the government’s system for assessing and comparing the energy rating of residential dwellings. This methodology is also used to create the information on Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and to show compliance with the energy conservation requirements of Building Regulations in the UK.

The project will see BRE lead a number of organisations and individuals in academia and industry to deliver a new methodology – known as ‘SAP 11’ – which will be used by governments and industry to better measure and understand the energy performance of homes. As part of SAP 11, BRE will drive a ‘root and branch’ review of the existing methodology to create a new version that is better suited to modern and dynamic technologies which will help decarbonise the UK’s housing stock, such as heat pumps, renewables, storage technologies and smart control devices.

SAP 11 is expected to be ready for use as part of the Future Homes Standard – a set of measures to be introduced on new homes built from 2025, to ensure they are fitted with low-carbon forms of heating, in line with the UK’s wider net-zero drive.

BRE’s methodology development will be guided by organisations and individuals within its steering group, who will either support the development of the method directly or be involved in the reviewing and validating process. This includes Sustenic, Loughborough University, Kiwa, University of Strathclyde’s Energy Systems Research Unit, AECOM and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), as well as Chris Martin and John Tebbit, two leading individuals in field trial design and product performance, respectively.

John Henderson, Project Director, BRE, said: “As the UK begins to escalate its net-zero initiatives, SAP 11 will be instrumental in the effort to decarbonise the nation’s existing housing stock and ensure the use of low-carbon heating in new homes. As the new methodology will improve EPC accuracy, energy efficiency measurements will be more reliable than ever. Effective assessment of energy performance is going to be absolutely central to our progress towards net zero.”

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