The built environment accounts for nearly half of total energy used in the UK, with the domestic sector accounting for 30% of the total electricity demand. Also, around 21% of national greenhouse gas emissions are produced by buildings with the majority of emissions coming from space heating. In 2019, fossil fuel-based heating systems accounted for about 1.7 million or 57% of newly installed heating systems. Further, over the last decade, energy consumed by space cooling has increased sharply by approximately 40% and created significant impacts on peak power demands in some areas, and especially during heatwaves.
The aforementioned trends point to the urgent need to enhance the energy performance of residential buildings as a means to curb carbon emissions. As with other cities in the UK, the biggest obstacle to achieving carbon neutrality in Nottingham is the impact of its built environment. In keeping with the UK’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, Nottingham City Council (NCC) has responded to the climate crisis by making one of its key policies in its Council Plan 2019-2023 to become the first carbon neutral city in the UK by 2028. In support of this, NCC has actioned the retrofit of a significant number of local domestic properties. In addition to tackling energy efficiency measures in existing properties, NCC recognises the need for improve energy efficiency measures in new-build homes.
Due to the complexity of the issue, Nottingham Climate Emergency Design Initiative (CEDI) is hoping to help accelerate this by producing guidance that can be used in planning immediately, and that can be used to inform Local Plans through Supplementary Planning Documents.
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