A phone application has been launched that allows users to instantly discover the energy rating of any public building.
And the phone-app complements an energy map of the country.
The app-map combination is part of an initiative called LessEn launched by the Urban Land Institute to promote better energy use in buildings.
Alexandra Notay is vice-president of strategic programmes at the ULI and a driving force behind LessEn, which she told ELN was intended to provide quick-wins for energy reduction with an absence of “geek-speak” and green credentials.
“Being ‘green’ is brilliant but it’s about more than that,” she said. Reducing energy in a building is all about changing the behaviour of the people in that building, she explained. “The big thing is that it’s about buying-in people at every level, from the CEOs to the people in the post room.”
She said cutting the energy in buildings was often an “invisible topic” and said the app-map initiatives were designed to make “energy consumption tangible”.
The energy map makes for interesting and entertaining viewing. A trawl over the streets of central London showed that the House of Commons has a G-rating and emits 1,311 tonnes of CO2 a year. Across the road at HM Revenue and Customs, the rating is a D and the emissions 3,490. Take a wander up Whitehall and the Wales Office rates at a respectable C with 48 tonnes of carbon emitted. And numbers 10-12 Downing Street have a D rating and are clocking up 675 tonnes a year.
Getting a better energy rating is one of the key drivers behind LessEn, but Ms Notay said it was important to be realistic about all factors of a building. An older building that may also be listed – and that would be the House of Commons for a start – is not about to have its roof and walls stripped out for 21st century insulation and solar panels, so such a building with a G-rating is never going to make it to an A. But a C could well be achievable.
See the energy map at https://less-en.org/?page=LessEnEnergyMap
Download the phone application at https://less-en.org/?page=MobileApp