The UK's biggest CO2 offenders unveiled
The UK's biggest CO2 offenders have been revealed, and most of them are public buildings and tourist attractions.
They are rated on a sliding scale, where A is the best and G is the worst. About 18,000 buildings, including schools, museums and job centres, are being tested. The Houses of Parliament and the Bank of England both scored a G.
However, much newer buildings also fared really badly, such as London's City Hall, which only opened in 2002, and that scored an E.
The government estimates that almost a fifth of all carbon dioxide emissions in the UK are caused by non-residential buildings, and environmental campaigners said the findings mean the government must launch an urgent refurbishment programme to slash carbon emissions.
The Natural History Museum spends £1.4m a year on electricity and gas - a figure that is expected to double from this month as a result of rising world energy prices. One of the most energy hungry buildings in the country was the National Media Museum in Bradford, a 1960s structure, which scored a G. One in four of the 3,200 buildings assessed so far scored F or G, and the average was D. Only 22 buildings - under 1% - scored A.
"These results show our leaky and draughty public buildings should be a priority target for refurbishment," said Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Buildings Council. "In a turbulent financial climate, lower energy bills will benefit the taxpayer for years to come. If we are to cut our carbon, save money and achieve energy security, our buildings have to be on the front line of this battle."
"We review 350 significant new build projects a year at design stage and we hear a lot of greenwash," said Matt Bell, director of public affairs at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, the government's architecture watchdog. "The knowledge that from now on this performance will be objectively measured should mark the end of that."
Yesterday it became law that any public building larger than 1,000 square meters must display an energy certificate.
No 10 got a D rating - which is apparently not that bad for a building of its age.
Still the findings are going to embarrass the government as most of the buildings belong to them, and they have pledged to make all new public buildings zero carbon in the next ten years.
Even the Department for the Environment's head office only got an E.
If a buildig fails to display the energy certificate then they can be fined up to 150,000 UK pounds.
There are many ways that are cheap to make buildings more efficient - it's just a matter of enforcing the rules and making it mandatory for the government to have a better chance of success in making this work.