Decarbonising our energy

As recently highlighted by the Climate Change Committee (CCC), having a reliable, resilient and decarbonised electricity system by 2035 is a central requirement for achieving net zero in the UK. It is also vital for enabling the transition to a fully electric heat and transport system. To achieve this 2035 target, the CCC outlines the importance of flexible, low carbon solutions to ensure that a renewable-led power system is prepared for an increasingly electrified economy, as well as being resilient to potential future extreme weather.

In support of our 2035 target, the built environment has a significant role to play. Over the next decade, our industry must deploy large amounts of building-level renewables, such as solar PVs, and become increasingly flexible, with buildings able to actively manage their energy demand to respond to the availability of zero carbon electricity on the grid. How our industry procures electricity also has a critical part to play by sending demand signals for the renewables, storage, and other supporting technologies that will enable a resilient, net zero carbon electricity system.

Renewable energy procurement: phase two 

UKGBC has recently published new guidance to better equip those who procure energy for buildings, to do so in a way which enables them to achieve their climate goals, whilst contributing to the continued decarbonisation of our energy supply sector. The guidance builds on our Renewable Energy Procurement and Carbon Offsetting report published in 2021 and seeks to provide greater insight into the myriad of procurement circumstances which the industry currently faces.

5 Calls to Action for better renewable energy procurement

In order to decarbonise our buildings and the electricity grid, UKGBC recommends the following actions for stakeholders in the built environment:


the importance of decarbonising the electricity system and the role buildings have to play in supporting a resilient, zero carbon grid


with the energy market to secure the information to determine the performance of your current procurement strategy and review the range of alternative options available to you


the performance of your building’s electricity strategy – including both your procurement and on-site generation and demand management – using the rating system provided


the performance of your electricity strategy by optimising your building’s operation and exploring more ambitious procurement routes


your experiences and information with industry to help others on their procurement journey and strengthen the demand signals being sent to the energy markets

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