The Race for Carbon Reduction

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Carbon ReductionThe UK government’s challenging net zero targets will affect many industries, not least those involved in real estate. Developers, lenders, landlords and occupiers will have to comply with the environmental agenda, as pressure is increased. The UK has committed to achieving net zero carbon by 2050. Going forward, several sectors will have to reconsider how they do things and make appropriate changes.

As almost 25% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions are produced by its buildings, decarbonising within the built environment is a major focus. This is historically an area that has been extremely slow to respond and adapt to environmental demands. Some of the key measures that will impact the real estate sector in places like Chelmsford include:

Heat and Buildings Strategy
If carbon reduction goals are to be met, heating of commercial and residential buildings will have to be radically adjusted. Gas boilers will be banned from new builds from 2025, in order to deliver a decarbonised power system by 2035. Gas boilers are due to be banned from sale in 2035, and electric heat pumps may be the system of choice. Hydrogen gas is another possible source of power but no definite decision has been made about this yet.

From June 2022, new regulations will come into force, stating that new builds must produce 30% less emissions than existing new builds. For offices and shops it is 27%, and new developments in London must include smart meters, modern heating systems and energy storage.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) for leases
There are stiff fines in place for landlords and building owners of domestic and commercial buildings who let buildings without a valid EPC rating of ‘E’ or above. These rating requirements with gradually be raised over a number of years, possibly to a ‘B’ rating by 2030.

Electric vehicle charge points
There will be a £1.5bn investment to fund the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charge points on streets, motorways, and at homes and workplaces. This has become more of a priority as the government plans to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030.

 

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