The GLA’s ‘Be Seen’ policy will empower residents by providing public access to a development’s design and in-use energy performance data. It requires explanations and potential mitigation measures for differences between design and in-use performance. With increasing public awareness of energy and sustainability issues, inaction could have a significant reputational impact.
Energy estimates are based on controlled variables such as fixed weather data, standardised behaviour and occupant numbers, theoretical plant performance, and perfect builds.
Energy use is, in part, driven by uncontrollable variables such as weather, people and actual operations.
It is important to have the appropriate protection to help explain differences between energy estimates and use. This involves an appropriate metering and monitoring strategy. This may require additional submetering to understand the cause of inconsistencies. An example is heat use. Being able to differentiate between space heating and hot water is valuable additional information that could point at how people use heat rather than assumed construction flaws.
Be Seen is required for major planning applications measured against the London Plan 2021.