BRE to develop a new methodology to better measure the energy performance of UK homes

Residential homeThe Building Research Establishment (BRE) has announced a new project alongside BEIS to “modernise home energy rating scheme in time for Future Homes Standard”.

As part of a 3-year project, BRE will develop a new version of the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP), the Government’s system for assessing and comparing the energy rating of residential dwellings. Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are created using this methodology, while also being used to show compliance with the energy conservation requirements of Building Regulations in the UK.

The new methodology known as SAP 11, BRE says, will be “more suited to technologies designed to decarbonise homes, such as heat pumps, renewables and smart technologies”.

SAP 11 is scheduled to be ready in time for the Future Homes Standard.

The Future Homes Standard is 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.

Project Director at BRE, John Henderson, 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.”

The project, BRE says, will be used by governments and industry to better measure and understand the energy performance of homes. BRE adds that as part of SAP 11, they 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”.

BRE says that its 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”.

Included in the steering group are 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”.

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