Virtual Panel: Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) – A Help or Hinderance to Net Zero Innovation?

Published: 15 March 2021

To achieve the ‘Net Zero’ target, ambitious action in all sectors of the economy is required, including tackling emissions generated by our homes.

Current evaluation of buildings’ energy and environmental performance is carried out using Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). SAP assessment is a legal requirement for all new-build domestic properties.

The Energy Launchpad team have been working with multiple innovators who have highlighted challenges associated with the SAP accreditation process. The team have been supporting innovators to help navigate the process and therefore have direct feedback on the hindrance it presents.

In this webinar, our expert panel will aim to discuss and respond to these challenges.

Panel Discussion

The panel will hold a debate on the challenges that SAP presents to net zero solutions and discuss recommendations on ways it could potentially be improved. Questions will include:

  • Does SAP support or hinder the adoption of Net Zero innovation?
  • What are the ways of new technologies being included in SAP today and what challenges those ways present?
  • How can one ensure that new technologies, especially enabling solutions like digital platforms are suitably ‘qualified’?
  • What are the paths to change? What happens if nothing changes?
  • Could Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) data be presented on energy bills?
  • Are SAP / EPC metrics presented in the best way?
  • How to address the performance gap of theoretical vs actual performance?
  • How can smart meters improve measurement of energy use and occupancy?
  • Thoughts on Green Building Passports or Carbon Performance Certificates

Agenda

9:30 – 9:40am Introduction

Dr Kerry Mashford OBE, Director at Interfacing Ltd

9:40 – 9:45am
The Four Ways into SAP

Neil Cutland, Director at Cutland Consulting Limited

9:45 – 10:30am Panel Discussion

  • George Day, Head of Markets, Policy and Regulation, Energy Systems Catapult
  • Neil Cutland, Director at Cutland Consulting Limited and previous Director of BRE’s Low Carbon Housing Futures Centre
  • Andy Sutton, Co-founder & Design & Innovation Director at Sero Group
  • Hamish McMichael, Co-founder & CEO at Ambue

Chaired by Dr Kerry Mashford OBE, Director at Interfacing Ltd

10:30 – 10:55am Q&A
10:55 – 11am Wrap up and close

Register to secure your place today!

More About SAP

To achieve the ‘Net Zero’ target, ambitious action in all sectors of the economy is required, including tackling emissions generated by our homes. To date, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from homes have been reduced by 16% compared to 1990 levels. However, they still account for 22% if electricity generation is included.

Current evaluation of buildings’ energy and environmental performance is carried out using Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). SAP assessment is a legal requirement for all new-build domestic properties (this includes houses, flats and all other residential properties), which considers a range of factors, including materials used, solar gains through openings, fuel used to provide heating, ventilation, lighting and used renewable energy technologies. SAP gives a ranking of the buildings estimated performance in terms of the energy use per unit of floor area, and carbon dioxide emissions – to show the impact it will have on the environment.

Essentially there are four routes into SAP for new technologies: Conventions, Product Characteristics Database (PCD), inclusion in next full version of SAP and Appendix Q – an official method of manually calculating the energy benefit of the new technology and feeding it into the SAP calculation. There is a view that the Appendix Q process is restricting innovation due to lengthy, laborious and expensive process to demonstrate product’s performance – this is especially difficult for small innovators who do not have the capacity, time nor resources that is needed to deliver this. However, SAP and stakeholders that use it rely on the stated performance of the technology to justify their decisions.

With the development and growth of dynamic energy management and control systems alongside innovations in building fabrics and energy storage – can SAP methodology bring these innovative products into the main specification more quickly and effectively than at present? And if so, can SAP maintain its credibility and at the same time be flexible enough while considering relatively untested technologies to help accelerate net zero innovations?

Should we also be thinking more radically about the future of the SAP energy rating system and reforming the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) system. EPCs were introduced in England & Wales in 2007 following an EU directive addressing improving energy performance for buildings. Largely introduced as a compliance and benchmarking tool, over time EPCs – and specifically – Energy Efficiency Ratings have been used as a policy design tool to set minimum building standards. The EER is primarily a cost metric, not a measure of actual energy use or a measure of carbon emissions. As such, framing decarbonisation targets for buildings in terms of EPC Energy Efficiency Ratings risks incentivising the wrong kinds of actions and solutions across the UK’s building portfolio – and failing to incentivise some of the smart new innovations that we need for net zero buildings.

The Energy Launchpad team have been working with multiple innovators who have highlighted challenges associated with the SAP accreditation process. The team have been supporting innovators to help navigate the process and therefore have a direct feedback on the hinderance it presents. The panel will aim to discuss and respond to these challenges.

 

Learn more by signing up for our webinar today!