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Monday, August 25, 2008

Red faces over green aspirations

The Labour Government's green aspirations have developed a hole beneath the water line this morning with a Guardian report that the UK department responsible for slashing buildings' carbon emissions has emerged as amongst the least energy-efficient:

The 10-year-old glass and steel offices of the communities and local government department in central London have been granted an F rating for energy efficiency - the second worst possible under a new labelling initiative. The revelation is likely to be embarrassing to ministers because they drew up the rules requiring the energy use of all public buildings above 1,000 square metres to be prominently shown from October in what will be known as Display Energy Certificates.

The labelling system runs from A to G, in the same way as the energy ratings stickers that now appear on cars and fridges. Cars with an F rating include the Lexus RX 4x4 SUV and the BMW 7 series saloon.

Department officials said inefficient heating and ventilation systems and an unexpectedly high occupancy at the headquarters, Eland House, are behind the poor result. They are aiming to improve its efficiency to a D rating, more akin to a two-litre Volvo S80 diesel.

An earlier assessment of the building's design, but not its fuel consumption, suggested it should achieve a C rating.

It is not easy getting the best energy performance out of a public building. The Senedd in Cardiff Bay was designed to be as green as possible and is out-performing most other Government buildings. But even that building can do better than it currently is and the Assembly Commission is committed to delivering on that.

What we all expect however is that the Government sets an example of how things should be done before preaching to everybody else. That is an expectation that the Department of English Communities and Local Government is falling down on.
Again this comes back to my points over grants for home insulation; poorly administered and not generally known about.

Are the manderins in WAG any closer to providing fuel poverty figures by ward?

G. Lewis
On the subject of green credentials; I noticed that the six or seven halogen lamps around the New School in Maesteg are on 24/7 - how about that for a carbon jackboot!
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