Section 6: Energy 2022 Standards Technical Bulletin

The Scottish Government have recently released an update to the energy standards of the building regulations, which aims to improve the energy efficiency of both new and existing domestic and non-domestic developments. The update to the regulations comes 6 months after the government released its consultation ‘Energy Standards and associated topics’ numerous stakeholders added their thoughts and recommendations.

The consultation, released in July 2021 proposed two options to further improve the energy performance of new buildings. Option 1, which included a 32% reduction in carbon emissions over the 2015 Standards, and Option 2, which proposed a 53% reduction. The Scottish Government have now confirmed that Option 1 is to be the preferred option. For non-domestic buildings, an aggregate emission reduction of 16% over the current 2015 standards.

In addition to these emission reductions, the government have also provided an uplift to the backstop U-Values alongside additional guidance on airtightness, ventilation, overheating and electric charging points.

In this report, we break down the key updates, what it means for you, and how SK/AD can assist with ensuring your projects are compliant with the new standards.

When are the key dates?

Below is a timeline of the updated building regulations and key dates clients will want to consider for their future developments.

July 2021 – November 2021

Consultation ‘Energy Standards and associated topics’ is released.

June 2022

Release of updated building regulations and Technical Handbooks – Sections 0,2,3,6 & 7.

December 1st 2022

Implementation of updated building regulations and Technical Handbooks

Summer 2022 – December 2022

New Build Heat Standard Consultation released

Spring 2023

New Build Heat Standard enters Parliament

December 31st 2023

Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies deadline

April 1st 2024

Renewable and zero direct emissions heating systems comes into force

What are the mandatory metrics for compliance under the new standard?

As is the case with current building regulatory requirements, there is still a requirement for new build properties to reduce their annual emissions (Dwelling Emission Rate/ Target Emission Rate).

In addition to the emissions reduction requirement, the updated regulations will require compliance with a new metric which looks at the annual energy consumed by a dwelling. This metric will be an assessment of the ‘Delivered Energy’ which is a slightly different take to the ‘Primary Energy Target used in other UK regions. Definitions of the relevant metrics can be found below.

Target Emissions Rate and Dwelling Emission Rates (DER/TER)

As required by the building regulations, when a building is erected, it must not exceed the target CO2 emissions rate for the building.

The target CO2 emissions rate (TER) sets a minimum allowable standard for the energy performance of a new building and is defined by the annual CO2 emissions of a notional building of the same size and shape as the proposed dwelling. TER is expressed as CO2/yr/m2.

The DER or BER for non-domestic buildings must not exceed the TER. Factors that impact the DER includes fabric specifications alongside space heating, domestic hot water, lighting, and ventilation energy use.

Primary Energy

Primary energy is defined as “energy from renewable and non-renewable sources which has not undergone any conversion or transformation process”
Primary energy takes into consideration the impact of the upstream activities involved with the production and processing such as:

  • Planting of biofuel sources
  • Cultivation of biofuel sources
  • Extraction of fuels
  • Processing of fuels (e.g., cleaning, grading)
  • Transformation of fuels
  • Transportation of raw and refined products
  • Transmission and distribution losses

Rather than assessing the energy used within the building itself, primary energy rates consider the amount of energy required to produce the fuel source in the first place. For example, 1.13 kilowatts of energy are required to extract 1.00 kilowatt of gas from the earth, refine it, and then transport or pump it through the UK’s pipe network to reach a dwelling. This additional 13% of consumption used in the production and delivery of gas is then added to every kilowatt of gas used by the dwelling in the SAP or SBEM calculation.

The primary energy demand for a building is already reported on Energy Performance Certificates and is derived by the application of primary energy factors to the calculated total delivered energy (that supplied from external sources) for each fuel used at a building. This primary energy standard is the required energy standard for homes built in England and Wales. The Primary Energy Rate is expressed as kWhPE/m2/year. Examples of emissions associated with common fuels can be found below.

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