BEIS Consultation (2021) on a new Performance Based Rating Scheme for Commercial Buildings – Waterwise Response
BEIS were consulting on introducing a rating system for energy use in large commercial buildings. One of the consultation questions was whether such a scheme should include water use, as it does in a similar scheme in Australia. Waterwise responded to say that whilst we support the proposed scheme we strongly believe that water use should be included at the outset. This is because:
- We face an increasing challenge to the resilience of our water supplies. This has been set out by the NIC (Preparing for a Drier Future), Water UK (see link), Ofwat (see link), the Environment Agency (see link) and the UK government (December 2018 Water Conservation Report to Parliament). Water used by businesses makes up nearly 30% of consumption of public water supplies with 1% of businesses using more than 50% of this. The inclusion of water in this scheme would support delivery of the statutory target for reducing water demand expected to be included in the Environment Bill.
- Water supply and use contributes around 6% of UK greenhouse gas emissions. More efficient water use in commercial buildings will reduce both the emissions arising from water supply, treatment and wastewater removal but also the emissions arising from water use in the building. The inclusion of water in this scheme would support delivery of our statutory Net Zero target.
We believe that water use could be quickly incorporated into the scheme given it is already part of the NABERS scheme in Australia on which much of the proposed scheme is based.