UK public buildings need major upgrades for Net Zero – report

The UK government is falling behind on one of its core Net Zero commitments to reduce CO2 emissions by 101 years, according to the Public Building Energy Efficiency Report conducted by network service providers Neos Networks.

The report analysed over 450,000 public buildings in England and Wales and found CO2 emissions from public buildings need to be reduced five times faster than they’re currently falling to meet the target of a 75% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2037.

On average across England and Wales, CO2 emissions per m2 have fallen by 0.62% annually over the last 15 years, while an annual reduction of 3.75% is needed to achieve the core goal of a 75% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2037, compared to the 2017 benchmark. Almost 13% of public buildings fall below the current minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) EPC rating of E for non-domestic buildings.

The report projects that 91% of public buildings will need upgrading in the next seven years to meet net zero targets. 

There is a mixed picture across the local authorities, with public buildings in a third of local authorities seeing an increase in their CO2 emissions per m2.

William Harris, senior account director, Public Sector at Neos Networks, said: “These findings highlight the size of the task ahead if authorities are to meet targets. It’s clear that greater support from central government is needed – and investment in network connectivity across public buildings is a crucial first step.

“This will enable more effective data collection and analysis – to make informed decisions about the public building stock in each area.”



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