UK Energy Regulations

The latest technical amendments to the England AD-L2 and Wales L2 Regulations for the conservation of fuel and power (2013) came into force in 2014. This is the third amendment following the introduction of these mandatory regulations in 2002. The revision to Section 6 Scotland was published in 2015.

From the 2013 revisions onwards, the Energy Conservation Regulations and Technical Handbooks have highlighted steps to take to achieve net zero energy buildings. The emphasis is on setting challenging on-site targets based on what levels of improvement would be most cost-effective over time. AD-L2 [England] and L2 [Wales] follow the principle of the 2010 Regulations but with significant changes in the definition of the types of buildings that make up the aggregate mix. As before, the whole building is assessed using the SBEM ‘whole building methodology’ that expresses the energy performance. In addition, the Welsh regulations introduced an requirements that assess Primary Energy Consumption.

Major Changes since 2010

  • England: 2013 introduces further changes in the way non-domestic buildings are assessed. Notional Building targets have been set for a variety of non-domestic building types and are based on an average further improvement of 9% over 2010 levels
  • Wales: The improvement over 2010 levels is an average of 20% over the designated non-domestic building types
  • Wales: Measures have been included to safeguard the projected energy savings by including additional criteria for compliance covering ‘Primary Energy Consumption’
  • Scotland: Stricter requirements come into force from 2015. These will include an improvement 45% over 2007 levels

Implications of the target improvements

In order to achieve the significant improvement in energy/carbon emissions savings, the set values in the Notional Building have been substantially improved compared to 2010, including:

  • Lower fabric U-values
  • Lower air permeability rate
  • Improvements to lighting and controls
  • Improved efficiency of services and controls
  • Limitations on the effect of solar gain