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There is a recent trend in planning policy to emphasise energy demand reduction ahead of more costly low carbon energy supply options. In 2009 the zero carbon hub consulted on a new parameter to encourage more consideration of the Fabric Energy Efficiency (‘FEE’) of a home’s construction.

The FEE credit was introduced into the Code for Sustainable Homes in 2010 under the Energy-2 issue. We are still waiting to learn if FEE targets will be introduced into the Building Regulations in 2013.

Ahead of upcoming announcements on the future of the FEE, we thought we would remind people of the significance of this benchmark.

The FEE result is very variable across homes with the same specification, because it is sensitive to orientation and the area of exposed wall. Under the Code, FEEs can be averaged across a block of flats, but not for a terrace of houses.

The FEE result is sensitive to factors which are under the energy specifiers control: The heat loss envelope u-values, design air leakage rates, thermal bridging and thermal mass.   The FEE is not altered by the design of the heating, lighting or ventilation systems, or by the inclusion of low carbon technologies.