Over Christmas the Guardian did a piece on the CO2 emissions from the UK’s public buildings – I commented upon it here. Although a fair point was being made about the need to save energy, they had missed the point about the use of the buildings affecting the energy used.
Today in the Guardian there is a reply to the article by Philip Steadman, he confirms my comments but goes further due to the data that his team at UCL have collected about energy use in all buildings across the UK. They have established that industrial buildings use around 60,000 gigawatt-hours annually (for the buildings only and excluding industrial processes) against some 55,000 gigawatt-hours annually for schools, hospitals and offices put together.
What does this tell us? Not much in my opinion. Until we have a national database of all property and its energy efficiency it is almost impossible to gauge the real cost of the building stock of this country in energy terms. That will take a several years to carry out even with the help of the business community.
However, the Department of Energy and Climate Change is apparently producing a national database that will link floor areas to property use on domestic and non domestic property. The non domestic one is well-developed (no doubt due to the domestic EPC requirement being in place longer). Non domestic data collection has further to go, but this has to be a good idea that will hopefully prove useful in the future to allow a more accurate comparison between individual buildings.