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The Climate Change White paper.

publication date: Aug 21, 2007
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The government has moved up a few gears with policies to tackle climate change and the commercial market will very soon be required to take action to become more eco friendly.

Cavendish Engineers have been appointed by Ofgem (Official Regulatory for Gas and Electricity Markets) to develop strategies to implement the policies of the white paper into Government buildings. This appointment comes after years of working with Ofgem and DEFRA in alternative technologies and low carbon solutions for government and industry.

So what does the Climate Change White Paper mean? The 341 page document sets a framework for the two long term energy challenges:
  • ‘Tackling climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions both within the UK and abroad; and
  • Ensuring secure, clean and affordable energy as we become increasingly dependent on imported fuel.’
The white paper also looks at how the UK will not only need to work with other countries to meet these challenges, but setting measures for both the home and commercially.

The White Paper first brought controversial media interest regarding Nuclear power and the Governments targets to ensure secure and affordable energy supplies. However the report highlights positive findings ‘Nuclear power currently accounts for approximately 18% of our electricity generation and 7.5% of total UK energy suppliers. It is a low carbon source of energy and without our existing nuclear power stations, our carbon emissions would have been 5 to 12% higher in 2004 that otherwise.’

What impact will the new Climate Change White Paper have on the property market?

Climate change is becoming a huge issue to the property market and new legislation will mean that both the commercial and consumer market will have to be more eco friendly. The Government has set out to cut emissions by more than a quarter (in comparison to levels in 1990) by year 2020 by ensuring that companies have a wide range of low carbon options available. They will achieve this by:-

All business premises requiring a Energy Performance Certificate. Each certificate will describe a building energy ratings and will be needed when a building is rented, sold or built. In practice all buildings will need this evaluation.

Legislation – a new legal framework to place limits on carbon emissions.

Large non-energy intensive public and private sectors such as; hotel chains, supermarkets, banks and central Government account for 10% of the UK’s emissions. The new bill will mean that businesses who produce energy greater than 6,000MWh per year could be fined or have their energy levels capped. Removing barriers and providing incentives for carbon reducing technology / energy efficiency.

New legislation already in place

The F Gas Regulations which were introduced just last month, entails kept refrigerant over 3Kg must be registered and checked every 12 months with a competent company. This is to ensure that friendlier gases, are used and to encourage both the commercial and consumer market to consider low carbon energy solutions.

Cavendish Engineers have recognised that carbon emissions are at the top of the agenda with both local Government and the EU and have formed DX Cooling to meet the customer demand. The company offers both an installation and maintenance service to the London area. DX Cooling is just one of the very few companies to only offer low carbon air conditioning in the UK.

Steve Allen, explains: “More and more of our clients are seeing the benefits of low carbon air conditioning. It can reduce your utility bill by as much as 40%. With new government regulations and initiatives surrounding energy consumption, property owners are starting to realise the importance of looking at other energy solutions.”

The Government initiatives means that they have been able to give lots of financial and tax relief to those who purchase low carbon products. You can receive up to 100% on enhanced capital allowances. Full details as to the benefits and tax savings on low carbon products can be viewed on the website

Whilst this subject can be quite daunting for both Facility Managers, Property Managers and property owners alike, it is important that people are aware of not only the new legislation, but of the cost savings they could make. DX Cooling have tried to make people aware of the new F Gas Regulations and the tax relief available in a fun and approachable way. The Keep Cool, Save The Planet campaign builds the awareness of how low carbon energy solutions is not only helping to save the planet but can reduce your yearly energy bills considerably.

The campaign involves low carbon information leaflets and a free ice-lolly for commuters near London Liverpool Street Station. Lizzie and Karen who have been involved with the campaign have said, “Commuters have been surprised by the savings that they could make on low carbon products.”

For more information regarding Climate Change and the white paper please visit or


Through the wettest summer in memory we have seen that flooding - and more importantly flash floods - can occur with virtually no warning and leave homes and businesses devastated by a wash of unclean and murky water, writes Alan Johnson, Technical & Broking Director at independent insurance brokers, The Wilson Organisation.

Businesses – large and small - that are flooded face the demoralising task of not only cleaning up but claiming from the insurer for the damage and potentially the loss of business. While we can all visualise the immediate disaster of a flooded pub flooding can affect big business too.

Current thinking is that more frequent flooding is not the only risk facing domestic and commercial property owners. Climate change is heralding a whole new set of extreme conditions for the UK including susceptibility to minor earthquakes, tornadoes, coastal erosion and long periods of drought.

The Government is also concerned about the potentially devastating adverse effects of pandemics (e.g. Avian Flu), terrorist activities and large scale food or water contamination. We understand that Local Authorities are being asked to ensure they can continue to operate in all circumstances. These requirements are being cascaded down the supplier chain and it is likely that all businesses will be required to have published a robust disaster recovery plan.

A new British Standard – BS 25999 (Business Continuity Management [BCM]) is being worked upon by the British Standards Institute and will soon be available to provide more detailed guidance.

This standard will specify the requirements for setting up and managing an effective Business Continuity Management System (BCMS). The draft of this standard is available for review and/or comment from the British Standards website, some of the points it covers are:

  • Anyone who complies with the standard will assure that its key suppliers and partners have an effective BCMS in place.
  • Training and assessment for all those with responsibilities under an organisation’s BCMS, including assessing competencies, conducting training needs analysis and the provision and evaluation of training provided.
  • Making sure BCM is at the core of business values.
  • Communicating the importance of BCM to all staff with ongoing programs for awareness and information.
  • A minimum set of documentation for a BCMS and record keeping procedures.
  • Impact and risk assessment for the business and the process by which it may be carried out.
  • The incident response structure for an organisation as well as the plans that are to document how a business will deal with an incident.
  • Maintenance, monitoring, reviewing and improving the BCMS.

Although this may seem irrelevant to a business owner it may very quickly become relevant if clients or suppliers demand that businesses that they work with have sufficient business continuity management in place in order for them to comply with this new standard. Although it is only at a draft and consultation stage, the standards proposed will significantly raise the bar when it come to business continuity planning.

Some organisations may already have a comprehensive system in place and will find it easier to comply. Others however, may not have even considered it, or have put it back in the desk drawer as something to consider later. The importance that is being placed on BCMS is very high and should be something that every business has an awareness of, plus its potential requirements and impacts.

From a commercial perspective even minor interruptions or incidents beyond a business’ control can result in material loss of income. It is important that a business has adequate business interruptions (loss of profit) cover and that the sums insured are realistic. Professional advice should be sought from a broker or insurer for advice on such areas, many people do not fully understand their policies and exactly what risks they are covered for. This is an oversight that can be costly and devastating to a business but any insurer or broker should be more than happy to explain the options.

The recent deluges have led to massive numbers of claims on affected residential and commercial properties, it could take some time for insurance companies to count the cost. But more importantly it could be some time for those affected before they get their claim settled.

Agents should be sure to advise their clients of the dangers and how new premises can be protected by BCMS. A new British Standard – BS 25999 (Business Continuity Management [BCM]) is being worked upon by the British Standards Institute and will soon be available to provide more detailed guidance. This standard will specify the requirements for setting up and managing an effective Business Continuity Management System (BCMS).