The following article featured in May 2017 edition of Building Service & Environmental Engineer magazine.
With just one year to go until the Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS) comes into force, Malcolm Anson, President of the Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA), explains why training is the key to success in meeting the MEPS challenge.
The Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS) has been introduced as part of the Energy Act 2011, which was implemented to tackle a number of ambitious government targets. One of these is to achieve an 80% reduction of greenhouse gases and another is to achieve 'nearly zero' carbon emissions by 2050 for all new buildings.
From 1st April 2018, it will be unlawful to grant a new lease on any commercial building in the UK that does not achieve an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of E or above.
For existing leases the changes will take effect from 2023. The objective is for the commercial property sector to be achieving a minimum EPC Rating of C by 2030.
According to findings by the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE), over a third of London's commercial buildings have the worst EPC ratings in the UK, with 18,000 of these only obtaining an EPC rating of F or G. In contrast, f the capital's 265,000 commercial buildings, only 34% has a performance rating of C or above.
These statistics for London alone are a cause for concern. They highlight that there is a lot of work to be done over the next year, to ensure all UK commercial buildings are not only achieving, but also working towards exceeding the minimum energy performance standard.
By being proactive and taking action now, building owners and managers can implement cost effective measures to improve their asset's performance and make vital energy and cost savings.. The building controls industry can assist with this and plays a significant role when it comes to improving energy efficiency in the built environment.
However, this is only possible if the industry can provide skilled and knowledgeable individuals, who can offer invaluable expertise to ensure the most suitable solutions are applied.
Training is key in the route to successfully meeting the MEPS challenge, since there is no one simple solution to improving energy efficiency and building efficiency.
We need to ensure the building controls industry is equipped with the right specialist skills to be able to offer the most effective control solutions across any building to achieve optimum performance.
Building controls specialists need a thorough knowledge and understanding of building controls from simple sensors to complex Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS). It is also just as important they have an understanding of different types of buildings, their capabilities and the building services within them, such as heating, ventilation and cooling systems.
In such a fast paced industry where technologies are continuously changing, ongoing training will ensure individuals and businesses keep up with the latest developments in technology and continue to drive the industry forward.
Knowledge is power and without it nothing will change. With only a year until the Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS) comes into force, there is no better time than now to invest in training. Continuous investment and commitment to training will ensure future success in meeting the MEPS challenge and delivering energy efficient, sustainable buildings.
Visit the BCIA website here: www.bcia.co.uk