London’s Business Energy Challenge (BEC)

Location: London, United Kingdom

Population: 8,899,375 (Greater London)

Climate: Oceanic

Duration: 2014 – currently

Sector: Buildings

Funding sources: It is a voluntary program

City networks: C40

Savings: Carbon reductions of 188,000 tonnes by 2014/2015.

Solutions: A voluntary program fostering CO2 reductions among different types of businesses across London.

Multiple benefits: CO2 emissions reductions

The London’s Business Energy Challenge (BEC) was implemented in 2014 by the Mayor of London and is conducted by the Greater London Authority (GLA). The existence of many businesses making big efforts to reduce energy usage even in the lack of regulations stimulated the creation of BEC.BEC was driven by the fact that many businesses are making big efforts to decrease energy usage.

Objective – BEC intends to encourage low-carbon business practices and promote commitment and a sense of competitiveness around energy efficiency.

Solutions – This voluntary programme rewards outstanding achievements through Mayoral recognition and diverse type of awards. BEC encourages low-carbon business practices and building usage across many industry types. The programme analyses overall results to obtain key carbon intensity and energy consumption performance trends for each industry sector. GLA will use this data to increase understanding of the local building stock’s energy intensity and carbon emissions. Feedback is also presented to businesses in the form of individual report cards on the carbon intensity performance of their buildings compared to peers [source].

Funding – N/A

Innovation – BEC has presented much innovation in the configuration of award categories. The most common criteria are CO2 emissions relative to the floor; however, a big spectrum of special awards recognises different achievements. For example, the sector leader rewards outstanding performance relative to other peer buildings of the same type. Besides, by measuring carbon intensity reductions rather than absolute emissions or energy use, the programme encourages business sector efforts to reduce energy consumption while still raising operations.

Success factors – 1) Collection of awards fosters wide participation; 2) Diversity of business types enlarges data value. The variety of building types and businesses represented at the BEC offers an important first glance into the average energy efficiency and CO2 emission performance of certain commercial building types in London. This collected data has stimulated the creation of a range of industry-specific benchmarks for other same-type businesses to follow and measure performance against; 3) Mandatory high-level commitment in participants; 4) Mayoral support; 5) Regional recognition.

Significant outcomes:

  • 188,000 tonnes of carbon emissions were saved in 2014/15 relative to the 2010/11 baseline year;
  • More than 100 of London’s leading businesses took part in the 2015 BEC, sending in data for a total of 1,600 buildings. [source].

Synergies with local policies:

  • London Environment Strategy tackles a range of actions (including green infrastructure and climate change mitigation and energy) to improve the environment now, setting London on the path to creating a better future.
  • London Energy Plan. The initial outputs of the London Energy Plan are a spatial map of London’s energy supply and demand to 2050 and options for the required supporting infrastructure. It includes projections of heat and electricity infrastructure, retrofitting of the built environment to reduce demand, and electrically-powered transport [source].

Political alignment:

  • UK National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP). The UK’s draft National Energy and Climate Plan sets out our integrated climate and energy objectives, targets, policies and measures, covering the five dimensions of the Energy Union (including decarbonisation).
  • Clean Growth Strategy. The strategy is aimed at decarbonising the whole economy and includes several policy announcements relevant to the energy sector, such as domestic and industrial energy efficiency schemes, funding for new technologies such as carbon capture usage and storage, and support for electric vehicles [source].
  • Reaching Net-Zero. In 2019, the UK Government and the devolved administrations committed to the Net Zero target as the Climate Change Committee recommended. Achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions requires extensive changes (including energy efficiency) across the economy, but the foundations are in place.
  • New climate target. Prime Minister announces ambitious new emissions target setting the UK on the path to net-zero by 2050, leading the way in tackling climate change globally. The new plan aims for at least a 68% reduction in GHG emissions by the end of the decade, compared to 1990 levels.
  • The Future Buildings Standard. The Future Buildings Standard will deliver highly efficient non-domestic buildings which use low-carbon heat, ensuring they are better for the environment and fit for the future.

Marketability: Many participants in the programme are national or international businesses. Many of these acknowledge and emphasise the participation of their London locations within the larger company and look to them as examples. This will motivate businesses to make efforts elsewhere and encourage the conversation about energy efficiency on a larger scale.

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Sector: Buildings

Country / Region: United Kingdom

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities

Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative

Published by: Urban Efficiency II

Publishing year: 2022