STSD - Somerset Trust for Sustainable Development STSD - Somerset Trust for Sustainable Development d

Integrated Energy Strategy

This is required on the basis that we cannot have genuinely sustainable buildings without sustainable energy supply systems. This would pull together and extend currently somewhat disjointed work on energy issues, that in particular is missing out proactive work to encourage local sustainable supply. It would have two main focuses:

  • Reducing energy demand in domestic, institutional and private sectors, and would be closely related to HECA work on the existing housing stock, as well as involving work with major energy users locally;
  • A strategy to shift local supply to renewable source: for example via local Energy Service Companies (ESCo’s), small and medium Combined Heat and Power schemes (CHP), etc.
Such a strategy would present a strong case for the essential role of a local plan policy or statement of intent relating to or, if possible, requiring consideration of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) for certain scales of development project (e.g. via a feasibility study funded by Energy Savings Trust), in particular in relation to all Key Sites. The apparent direction of Regional Planning Guidance and government guidance contained within PPGs 1, 3 (para.56), and PPG12 (para. 4.4), all suggest a strong role for planning in encouraging local CHP schemes and community energy schemes. Two other strong indications of support from the government for more innovative policies are:
  • The DETR’s Planning for Sustainable Development: Towards Better Practice which states very unequivocally that there is an important role for planners in encouraging CHP in Chapter 5:

    "The areas in which planners can be particularly influential are combined heat and power schemes (CHP), site layout and, to a limited degree, building design. With CHP, by using waste heat to heat buildings, fuel efficiency can be increased to 70-90% compared to 30-50% with conventional generation. It therefore has the potential to deliver significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and in energy costs where suitable heat loads exist."

  • Significant Government support via the Energy Savings Trust for feasibility studies into the viability of local CHP schemes and other local renewable energy projects, particularly where major housing developments are taking place. This scheme, which has some parallels to the DETR’s free Design Advice scheme managed by the BRE, uses approved and appropriately experienced consultants such as ESD (Energy for Sustainable Development - Error! Bookmark not defined. ) to undertake such assessments, in order that the quality of the conclusion and recommendations is guaranteed.
A strategy such as this would involve a major focus on shifting to local ESCo’s – Energy Service Companies. These are locally based and are often joint venture companies that sell energy services, including energy generation and supply. Woking Borough Council has been particularly innovative in this field through its establishment of Thameswey – a private wire energy supplier.



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