Energy Planning Guidance

The Mayor of London has declared a climate emergency and has set an ambition for London to be net zero-carbon, which means that all new major developments must play a part by meeting the net zero carbon requirements in the London Plan.

The London Plan contains a range of energy policies that new major developments are required to comply with. This includes a net zero carbon target for major residential developments, which has applied since October 2016 and will shortly be extended to major non-residential developments. The target requires a minimum on-site carbon reduction to be achieved and allows for any carbon shortfall to be paid as a cash-in-lieu contribution into the relevant local authority's carbon offset fund. The London Plan requires all major development proposals to submit a detailed energy assessment to demonstrate how the zero-carbon target will be met within the framework of the energy hierarchy, and the Mayor monitors progress against this. Guidance is available to support planning applicants and local authorities in complying with the Mayor’s energy policies.

Energy Assessment Guidance

The purpose of an energy assessment is to demonstrate that the proposed climate change mitigation measures comply with London Plan energy policies, including the energy hierarchy. It also ensures that carbon reduction remains an integral part of the development’s design and evolution. The energy assessment must also clearly outline the CO2 savings that will be achieved and the measures that will be put in place to reduce energy demand.

The Energy Assessment Guidance 2018 provides information for planning applicants on how to comply with the London Plan (2016) energy policies. It is for anyone involved in, or with an interest in developing energy assessments including developers, energy consultants and local government officials. Applicants are required to submit, along with their energy assessment, a completed Carbon Emissions Reporting spreadsheet v1.1 2018.

The Energy Assessment Guidance 2020 has been updated to set out what is expected for compliance with the draft London Plan. The draft London Plan sets the targets and policies required to achieve this including a net zero-carbon target for all major development, a requirement for all major development to ‘be seen’ i.e. monitor and report on its energy performance post-construction and a requirement for all referable planning applications to calculate and reduce whole life-cycle carbon emissions. A new draft Carbon Emissions Reporting Spreadsheet has been developed to support the new guidance and the current status of the London Plan can be found here.

Carbon Offset Guidance

The GLA's Carbon Offset Fund Guidance 2018, which is primarily for local authorities, explains how to set up a carbon offset fund and how these funds may be spent. The Carbon Offset Funds Guidance will be updated upon publication of the London Plan to reflect the new updated carbon offset price of £95 per tonne.

Monitoring reports

The Mayor monitors progress with the implementation of the London Plan energy policies and monitors local authority progress with collecting and spending offset funds. The latest monitoring reports may be found here.

New guidance for the draft London Plan

In addition to the above, guidance has been developed to support key new elements of the draft London Plan.

Draft ‘Be Seen’ – Energy Monitoring Guidance explains how to comply with the ‘be seen’ requirement in Policy SI 2 (A) (4), which requires all major developments to monitor and report their energy performance post-construction to ensure that the actual carbon performance of the development is aligned with the Mayor’s net zero-carbon target. This document will be formally consulted on following publication of the new London Plan.

Draft Whole Life-Cycle Carbon Assessments Guidance explains how to comply with the requirement in Policy SI 2 (F) for all referable planning applications to calculate and reduce whole life-cycle carbon (WLC) emissions to fully capture a development’s carbon impact. This document will be formally consulted on following publication of the new London Plan.

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