The Local Plan for the Broads: Issues and Options Consultation

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16. Energy efficiency of the existing housing stock

16.1 Introduction | 16.2 Issues16.3 Permitted development | 16.4 Energy Performance Certificates | 16.5 Buildings that may be difficult to make more energy efficient/use less energy | 16.6 Benefits to occupier | 16.7 Options

16.1 Introduction

When new buildings are built, they will need to meet the Building Regulations in place at the time of the build. In terms of replacement dwellings, this will likely result in an improvement in the energy performance of the building compared to what was there before. Sections 27.3 and 27.4 explore energy performance of new build.

16.2 Issues

Local Plans and policies can influence buildings that are yet to be built, but many more have already been built. We would like to explore how we can influence existing buildings to use less energy and use energy wiser.

In the past, there have been grants from the Government or local authorities that aid with aspects of building energy performance like insulation and boilers. Recently, there was the Green Homes Grant scheme[16].

Question 15: Do we need to do more about the existing housing stock to encourage energy efficiency?

On occasion, applicants propose extending their existing buildings. The extensions will be built to the Building Regulations in place at the time of construction[17] and so the extension may well use much less energy than the existing main dwelling.

Question 16: Is there scope to require an existing building that is to be extended to use less energy?

16.3 Permitted development

There are some types of extension that do not need planning permission and so any policy approach would not apply to those schemes.

16.4 Energy Performance Certificates

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) tell you how energy efficient a building is and give it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). They tell you how costly it will be to heat and light your property, and what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be. An EPC also includes information on what the energy efficiency rating could be if you made the recommended improvements and highlights cost effective ways to achieve a better rating[18]. Of course, if the EPC already rates the building as efficient, there may not be a requirement to move up the EPC ratings[19].

Question 17: Is there potential to require a building that is to be extended to improve its EPC level – perhaps it is required to move up one level on the EPC ratings?

16.5 Buildings that may be difficult to make more energy efficient/use less energy

The age and style of buildings in the Broads is varied. As such, it may be that some buildings are harder to make more energy efficient than others; perhaps they are designed to have the very ventilation that some energy efficiency measures may seek to address, for example. This would be an area to explore if a policy approach is taken forward.

16.6 Benefits to occupier

Improving energy efficiency and reducing operational carbon emissions has the benefit of lowering utility bills for occupants.

16.7 Options

  1. Do not seek to address the energy efficiency of the existing housing stock through the Local Plan – instead, rely on any Local or National Government approaches.
  2. Require the building to move up the EPC rating.
  3. Require that a certain percentage of the budget spent on the extension is spent on improving the energy performance of the existing building.

Question 18: Do you have any thoughts on the issue of energy efficiency? Do you have any preference on the options listed above, and are there any other options to consider?

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16 - Green Homes Grant: make energy improvements to your home - GOV.UK (
17 - Broadly, the Part L requirements apply to buildings, or extensions of such buildings (except those of Class 7 type (see below)), or the carrying out of any work to or in connection of any such building or extension where the building:

  • is a roofed construction having walls; and
  • uses energy to condition the indoor climate

Source: Exemptions from building regulations | Building Regulations | Planning Portal

Class 7: The extension of a building by the addition at ground level of—

(a) a conservatory, porch, covered yard or covered way; or

(b) a carport open on at least two sides;

where the floor area of that extension does not exceed 30m2, provided that in the case of a conservatory or porch which is wholly or partly glazed, the glazing satisfies the requirements of Part N of Schedule 1. Source: The Building Regulations 2010 (
18 - Guide to Energy Performance Certificates - Energy Saving Trust
19 - Access to Energy Performance Certificates and Display Energy Certificates data for buildings in England and Wales: Energy Performance of Buildings Data England and Wales (